Macedonia is the country where we had what is by far the most unhealthy street snack in the whole world – a deep-fried burek wrapped up in a bread roll. Welcome to Carb City! Population = my clogged arteries. Unsurprisingly, the most unhealthy meal we had was also in Macedonia, in the capital city of Skopje.
When I started Googling local eats in Skopje in the hopes of finding the hidden gem of eateries, the name that kept popping up again and again as a local favourite was Fast Food 7. It’s not particularly highly rated on Tripadvisor, but local blogs constantly talked about it as the place to visit in Skopje with lines of locals crowding the shop at almost every hour of the day. Given that it was only a ten minute walk from our Airbnb apartment, we headed there for a takeaway lunch one day.
The shop is located opposite the Greek embassy in the west side of Skopje city, far enough out of the centre that it’s rarely reached by tourists. There’s only three or four tables inside, so there’s an expectation that most customers will either eat outside on the few benches, or like us, take their food away to eat at home.
As promised by the local blogs, the shop was absolutely packed when we get there. There were ten people ahead of us in line, which gave us ample time to inspect the menu, conveniently displayed with accompanying pictures for those of us who can’t read Macedonian. It’s all burgers and fries here – and unlike McDonald’s with their twenty different burgers, Fast Food 7 only offers a handful of options to their customers.
We struggled with trying to decide what to order, until we saw the hotplates. There’s two burger fillings we could immediately identify – hamburgers and chicken breasts, so that’s what we decided to order. Keep in mind that a ‘hamburger’ here in Macedonia is not a 100% Angus beef patty, or whatever you might be used to in Australia. A hamburger patty here is made of a mix of beef, pork and lamb mince, spiced to accentuate the rich full-bodied flavour of the meat.
The ladies have a pretty good system going on here – one lady overlooks the grill, and two others take and assemble the orders. Now when you order a ‘meal’, the picture on the menu looks as though you get served with a burger, fries on the side, and a drink. It’s a bit deceptive – here at Fast Food 7, they’re famous for serving the fries inside the burger itself rather than on the side.
So if you order a hamburger, the hamburger patty is placed in a large fluffy white bread bun, topped with a squirt of ketchup and mayonnaise, topped again with a generous serving of salty french fries, topped with a shake of dried oregano, and topped again with more, slightly spicy ketchup. It’s a real monster and near-impossible to eat with just your hands, which is why they provide you with a few plastic forks so that you can eat the fries first before tackling the massive bun itself.
This is what it looked like when we got home – an absolute mess! But, it was a delicious mess – the mix of sauces is perfect for the fries, and the subtle taste of dried oregano is genius. I don’t know why we don’t use oregano more regularly with all our fries, as it’s the perfect herb for enhancing already tasty crunchy fries. The hamburger patty was delicious as well – the mix of different meat minces may sound strange, but it’s surprisingly effective and more-ish!
We didn’t need to eat dinner after this enormous burger – each burger is seriously big enough for two people, even for big eaters like K and I. I fell into an intense food coma after this meal, and spent the rest of the afternoon curled up in a foetal position on the couch, crying and cursing myself for what I did to my body. I wish I was joking.
I can see why Fast Food 7 is so popular with the locals – they offer filling, delicious food at an amazing price (370 denars for both meals or $9.50 AUD). Service is quick and friendly even with a language barrier, and the servings are beyond generous. I’d highly recommend trying to tackle a meal from Fast Food 7 if you ever visit Skopje…if you’re brave enough!
Fast Food 7 is located at Borka Taleski in Skopje, Macedonia.