Top 10 Restaurants in Sofia

When you visit a new town one of the best ways to explore it is to lose yourself in the little streets and neighbourhoods, try some small restaurants and bars, mix with the locals. Nevertheless, speaking about food quality and atmosphere there are a couple of MUST-VISIT restaurants that should be checked out.
Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria, offers wide variety of places to eat - from fast food to high - end restaurants, from Bulgarian cuisine to international gourmet dishes, there is something for everybody.
Trying to find restaurants with unique atmosphere and great food, we highly recommend the following ones:

1.Raketa Rakia Bar

Unique atmosphere resembling the Soviet past of Bulgaria - the whole interior is decorated with objects from this period. But what is even greater is the list of offered varieties of rakia - more than 100! The cuisine is mostly traditional Bulgarian - with a slight innovative twist in some dishes. Make sure to try the fresh salads and rakias, the typical "tsiganska banitsa" ( i.e. gipsy banitsa - bread topped with some oil and herbs such as sharena sol and red pepper), and also the delicious meat dishes.  Raketa Rakia Bar is a great pace to start your journey exploring the Bulgarian cuisine.

2. Skara Bar

If you feel like trying the local grill specialties - such as kebapche and kyufte, combined with delicious home-made lyutenitsa - this is your place! The menu is not big, but the offered grill dishes are very delicious and the portions are quite big  - so you might consider sharing.

3. Shtastlivetsa 

A gem located on the main pedestrian street Vitosha Boulevard (Tip: as this street is very touristic be careful with the other restaurants there - usually the quality is not very high). Shtastlivetsa has very elaborately decorated interior (no garden) and it offers both Bulgarian and international cuisine. Even the dishes that you have tried already will surprise you with their presentation and taste. The downside is that the restaurant is usually very busy and rarely seating without reservation will be possible. So - plan well in advance! 

4. The Little Things

A small restaurant with home-like atmosphere. As the name hints - the focus is on all the little details that make the unique dishes extra tasty. The cuisine is international, but all the products are so fresh  that make it hard to choose from the menu. Some of the must-try dishes are: salad with hummus, homemade french fries with white cheese and garlic, chicken masala,etc.
But whatever you chose you can be sure that it will be delicious!

5. Aubergine

Tasty, charming restaurant giving many options both for the meat-lovers and for the vegetarians. The cuisine is international. One of the signature dishes is the vegetarian stuffed aubergine. Although the food is not typical for Bulgaria, it is definitely worth-trying.

6. Pod Lipite 

A great traditional Bulgarian restaurant offering a wide range of local dishes. The interior inside resembles and old Bulgarian village house - very traditional and unique. The food is very delicious - so here is the place to try all these Bulgarian dishes that you wanted to - starting from Shopska Salata, Sirene po Shopski and all the other meat options and soups. If you happen to go there in the evening (Fri-Sun) there will be a performance of local traditional Bulgarian dances.

7. Fabrika Duga (Rainbow Factory) 

This small, cosy restaurant is mostly famous for its brunches. You can try there the variety of Bulgarian breakfast options, which both locals and foreigners love. The place offers also lunch and diner menu, but it is not so popular as the breakfast one.

Tip: all around the city center there are small bakeries which can be a great breakfast (or snack) option as well -be sure to try the typical banitsa, kashkavalka, mekitsa and kozunak. Usually most bakeries are take-away, and the prices are very reasonable.

8. Trikrakoto Pile (The Three-leg Chicken) 

A small, pub-style restaurant which offers only few items in its menu, but all of them very delicious. You can grab a dinner (mostly international food prepared with the personal twist of the chef) and enjoy a variety of beers and whiskeys afterwards.
The music and the whole atmosphere is rock, but the food is not a typical bar food - on the contrary it is fresh and very tasty.

9. V Dvora (In the Yard)

A bit farther from the city center, in a charming neighborhood this small traditional restaurant is a real gem. There are only a few tables inside, and in the evenings the restaurant is quite full. The dishes are traditional, with local produce, and amazing taste. Be sure to try the chicken or pork "Sach" (large clay pot on which meat and vegetables are slowly cooked).

10. Avtentichno (Authentic)

Pretty new small restaurant in the city center which works with a few local farmers and guarantees the high quality of the offered meat and vegetables. The cuisine is Bulgarian, but it is not limited to the traditional dishes only, rather its focus is on the combination of  fresh farm-grown produce. The meat balls and the pork ribs are extremely delicious. And for the salad-lovers the tomato salad with grilled white cheese is a MUST.


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