European Bakery and Deli is easy to miss, tucked into an apartment building on 17th Avenue S.W. I forgot to take a photo of the exterior but here’s one posted to Urbanspoon.
I stumbled upon it a few years ago when I interviewed owner Shaqir Duraj for my day job. He graciously performed for the camera by tossing dough into the air (TV loves that). He also recommended that I try the burek, which I had never seen before.
Duraj, a refugee from Kosovo, makes a round burek displayed like pizza in a rotating warmer. Thin layers of phyllo dough are layered with filling and then baked. European Bakery does cheese, spinach and feta, or meat for a mere $3.50 per slice. The burek combo is $3.99 with a Coke. One slice is enough for lunch.
The meat one has spiced, minced beef with hints of cinnamon. The spinach and feta is straight-forward. The burek pastry is best eaten hot and fresh so the outside is crispy and the inner layers are soft and chewy.
There are breads, other pastries, and imported Eastern European groceries on offer too. I tried the tiramisu, and can politely say stick to the burek which is so unique.
European Bakery and Deli, 515 17 Ave SW, Calgary, (403) 806-3768. Open Monday to Saturday 8 a.m.-7 p.m., Sunday 8 a.m.-5 p.m.