When actually eating, be sure to take small portions at first as your hosts will
take it as a compliment if you take more food later. It's also important to
note the religion of your company as many Muslims won't eat pork nor will they
consume alcohol. If this is the case, it would be wise to follow their lead. If
they do drink though, your glass will be continuously refilled, so if you don't
want more wine, leave your glass at least half full. If you're served rakija
or mastika, the local alcoholic specialties, drink slowly as they are stronger
than they taste, although these are generally only served once to begin the meal.
Tipping in Macedonia is primarily at your discretion.
At nicer restaurants you should tip 10-15% of the bill, while at local establishments
tips may not be expected at all. Be sure to check if there is a service charge included
before tipping, as if there is, there is no need to tip beyond this.
After being under Turkish rule for so long, the
Macedonians gratefully adopted Turkish-styled coffee and it has become an
excuse to meet for any occasion or event. More recently other coffee drinks have
taken a larger market share such as cappuccino and latte. In addition to these drinks,
are all the other popular international drinks such as tea, soft drinks, juices,
The most authentic local alcoholic drinks are rakija and mastika,
which are distilled liquors, generally made from grapes or plums. Wine is also making
a significant impact on the market as numerous wines are produced every year, one
of the most popular local varietals being vranec, but merlot and other
well-known grapes are also used. In addition to these beverages, international wines,
beers, and hard liquors are also available.
There is no consensus on the cleanliness of the tap water in Macedonia.
Generally speaking, the tap water is safe to drink, particularly in big cities,
but in some areas the water quality is poorer, perhaps even unsafe, so should be
avoided. The best course of action is to check with locals for the cleanliness of
the local water or be extra cautious and avoid the tap water entirely. If you do
decide to drink the tap water, remember that many people may have troubles adjusting
to the local water, as it will most certainly be different from what your system
is used to.