When I was thinking about restaurants that keep their tradition I could not stop thinking about the restaurant “Baba Cana” (“Grandmother Cana”). It was my sister’s university graduation party when I went there for the first time.
When seen from the outside you would think “oh well, this is just an older house with a beautiful garden” but wait until you get inside. When I went inside I was speechless, especially as a went through the restaurant to reach the table where my family was. You can hardly find a restaurant that thinks of every detail, but here they really did. Each square of “Baba Cana” was filled with tradition. You can find old radios, phones, typewriters, “traditional clothing” and more as decorative pieces. The music that was played was the only tradition, the dishes that the food was served on was also with a traditional theme.
The food? No comment! Here you can’t find Spaghetti, risotto or pizza (which are not Macedonian food) there is strictly only Macedonian food, prepared with love and only fresh ingredients. I enjoyed a delicious and juicy piece of pork ribs that were baked until the meat was easily detachable from the bone. But still, I can’t choose the one favorite because everything that was served on our table was perfect. “Grandma’s Shashlik”, “smoked bacon”, different cheeses, “our salad”, “homemade bread”, and more.
After this experience, I wanted to learn more about this restaurant and how come I haven’t heard anything about it before. Well, the fact was it was new in Skopje but their tradition and their first restaurant started in Kumanovo. But why the name “Baba Cana”.
The first thing that we might think about this person is probably that this woman was a lady with her own restaurant between the two world wars. In fact, the name “Baba Cana” was Pavlovska Cana a girl born in 1908. This girl was a very hardworking and nice person and an orphan who was looked after her aunt and her husband. She helped raise their son and then his children and their children too. Everyone respected her and she always sharing unconditional love toward everyone. This left strong emotions and reminders even after her death. Later one of the children that she helped raise opened up a restaurant in a house that he bought from a famous person Vojnata Petar Tashovski and he gave the name “Baba Cana” as respect and in memory of this amazing woman.
The restaurant was given to a new owner after the first one leaving for Canada because of many different reasons. Even the new owner didn’t change the name. Today this restaurant is known for his best Macedonian food, especially from the city Kumanovo. Now the same quality and ambient can be experienced in the capital, Skopje.
So, if your road takes you to Macedonia don’t forget to visit this place because it will leave a mark that you will always carry. A mark of hospitality, delicious food and great, homelike ambient that you won’t be able to find anywhere on earth.