Pubs, Cafes and Restaurants in Sofia


Bulgarian Specialties

Bulgarian food is rich in flavor and hearty. Bulgaria is known for it's meat dishes, fresh vegetables, and flaky pastries. The most common forms of meat used are pork and chicken, however, seafood and lamb are also used as a special tradition in some meals. Bulgarian cuisine has influence from Greece and Turkey, but have their own unique take on cuisine compared to other Balkan countries.

Bulgarian specialties:

  • Banitsa – Similar to börek, it is a pastry with eggs and cheese in filo dough.
  • Kabapche – Grilled spiced meat (usually pork and beef).
  • Shopska Salad – Classic salad made of diced tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, peppers, sirene (white brine cheese), and parsley.
  • Musaka – Usually associated with Greek cuisine, this dish is made with potatoes, ground meat, and tomatoes baked in white sauce.
  • Lyutenitsa – A spicy vegetable chutney of peppers, carrots, eggplant, onion, garlic, black pepper, vegetable oil, sugar, and salt, and tomatoes.
  • Skembe Chorba - Pork, beef or lamb tripe is boiled, chopped, and then put back into broth and served as a soup with ground red paprika.
  • Tarator – This cold soup served in summer is made of ground walnuts, garlic, and yogurt or tahini.
  • Sarmi - Cabbage leaves stuffed with rice and minced meat and then boiled.
  • Byurek peppers - Peppers stuffed with white cheese and fried
  • Rakia – Iconic plum brandy often produced at home to family recipe.

Restaurants in Sofia

Sofia's city center is the place to go for the best restaurants, cafes, and bistros that have all kinds of different cuisine to fit your every need and craving. If you are on a budget, the best time to go out to eat is at lunchtime because there are always lunch deals going on at very competitive low rates.

Some restaurants serve the food when it is ready. This means that your friend may have their main course before you even received your appetizer. Make it clear when ordering when you would like to receive your food. After the hours of 10:00PM, customers may smoke in the restaurant even if it is non-smoking.

The best Bulgarian restaurants in Sofia include Mamin Kolio Tavern, La Skara, Hajidraganov's Cellars, Hadjidraganovite Kashti, Ascua, and so many more. These restaurants attract both the locals and tourists and ensure an amazing Bulgarian food experience.

There are also many other restaurants throughout the city with various international cuisines. You can get burgers, pasta, pizza, and many foods from around the world. Some favorites include Skaptoburger for burgers, 2 Giraffes Espresso Bar for coffee and desserts, Bagari and Avtentichno for European cusine, Vino and Tapas for Spanish inspired dishes, and Taj Mahal for Indian.

Vegan and Vegetarian Cuisine in Sofia

Many restaurants offer vegan and vegetarian dishes. It is always best to look at the menu beforehand and talk with the waiter about their options for your dietary needs.
Cosmos and Soul Kitchen are popular restaurants for healthy, vegetarian, and vegan options.

Tipping in Sofia

Be sure to check your bill carefully to make sure you are appropriately charged. Tips are roughly 10%, but could be added to the bill, so it is best to check before paying.

Drinks in Bulgaria

Non-Alcoholic Drinks in Bulgaria

Tap water is safe to drink in Bulgaria, but many people choose to drink bottles still or sparkling water for the taste.

Bulgaria has many herbal teas and coffee is readily available. There are several cafes throughout the city since Bulgaria has a great coffee and café culture amongst the locals. Juices, compote, and sodas are also popular to drink in Bulgaria.

Cafes in Sofia

Bulgaria has a strong love affair with cafes and many of them throughout the city have delicious coffees and drink specialties that keep locals and tourists coming back for me. Cafes are always a great spot for breakfast or for a sweet pastry or dessert.

Popular cafés in Sofia:

  • Green Deli Café
  • Park Bar
  • Bar de Rouge
  • +Tova
  • Street Bar & Co.
  • Fabrika Draga
  • Cakey Bakey
  • Ciccione Panini Bar

Alcoholic Drinks in Sofia

Bulgaria is a beer and wine drinking country with good quality drinks and breweries. Craft beers have also become popular throughout the years. Drinking is a social event and is usually accompanied with food. It is rare to see people intoxicated on the streets because public drunkenness is frowned upon.

The production of homemade alcohol is a very popular pastime in Bulgarian culture. Many people make homemade wine and rakia. Rakia is a brandy made of fruit, being mainly plums.

In bars the standard drink size is 50 ml for a small beer and 100 ml for a large. Hard liquor is usually served neat or on the rocks. It is quite common to find cocktails on every menu at a bar and restaurant.

Drinking Laws in Bulgaria

There is no legal drinking age in Bulgaria; however, the age to purchase alcohol is 18 years old.

Update 6/06/2018


Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Pinterest WhatsApp Addthis

Recommended Partners

Learn a language

Babbel is an international success with millions of active subscribers and ranked as the world's #1 innovative company in education.

Why Babbel?

Learn and review on your own schedule: Mobile, tablet or desktop compatible, with lessons about 10-15 min.

Expert-made courses: Learn the basics or focus on topics like travel, culture, or business.

Start speaking right away: Learn to speak a new language naturally and conversationally.

Every learner is different: Each course is based on your native language and personal interests.

Remember everything: Babbel employs proven cognitive techniques that move new vocab to your long-term memory.

Refine your pronunciation: Practise speaking and improve your pronunciation with speech recognition technology.

Try Babbel for free today

Registration with Babbel is completely free of charge and the first lesson in every course is FREE to try (Depending on the language you choose, that's 30-80 free lessons!).

If you want full access to Babbel's courses, simply choose a subscription that works best for you. Buy with confidence: 20-day money back guarantee!

Do you have comments or personal information to communicate about this article? Add your comment.

Find more definitions and general answers on expatriation issues in the Expat FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions).

Go to the Forum to talk more about pubs, cafes and restaurants in Sofia, entertainment.

Download the full digital PDF expat guide in Sofia

Download the guide: Sofia, Bulgaria
  • See in one single booklet all the articles for a city guide for expatriates.
  • Enjoy full colour photos to illustrate each section.
  • Additionnal maps: Region, City view, Neighborhood, Street view.

  • - My Life Abroad -
    A selection of expat stories

    "A fun compulsive read!"
    J. Matcham, Amazon

    "I strongly advise people ready to live abroad to read this book!"
    Patrice, Amazon