What to eat in Sofia when you want to explore the culinary culture of Bulgaria? In this article, I will make a list of restaurants you should try in Sofia. And also suggest traditional dishes for your reference. Choosing delectable restaurants in Sofia with diverse menus and reasonable prices will be the ideal places to enjoy specialty and traditional dishes and better understand the cuisine of the land of roses. So, what to eat in Sofia and where to eat in Sofia (Sofia where to eat). Let’s check out our Sofia eating guide with the suggested +11 best restaurants in Sofia Bulgaria as well as must-try foods in the capital city of Bulgaria.
- Plovdiv trip blog — How to make a Plovdiv day trip from Sofia
- Sofia blog — The ultimate Bulgaria Sofia guide for first-timers
- 8 reasons why should you visit Bulgaria at least once in a lifetime
- Where to eat in Osaka? — 10+ Osaka best restaurants & best places to eat in Osaka
- Taiwan food blog — 9+ traditional food in Taiwan & must try food in Taiwan
Below is a list of savory restaurants and cafes as well in the capital city of Sofia that are loved by many travelers today along with addresses, opening hours and reviews that we compiled to help you spend less effort to find them.
Best restaurants in Sofia Bulgaria: Hadjidraganovite Izbi
Address: 18, Hristo Belchev st. (next to Vitoshka Street, Sofia Center 1000, Bulgaria).
This is a must-go traditional restaurant in Sofia. This restaurant is located in a basement, with typical Bulgarian décor, cellar style. Outside the door hung a wooden carriage covered with colorful textiles. The best dishes here are grilled, roasted meats or kebabs. If you come here, don’t order salad, only meat and meat.
Also they offer Pelin wine, a traditional Bulgarian sweet wine. The Pelin here is the best in Sofia with white Pelin and red Pelin. White Pelin is sweeter and lighter. Red Pelin is more strong. The price of this restaurant is not too expensive but mid-range. But still cheap compared to in Western Europe. On average, a meal of 2 dishes with wine is only around 15 Euros.
Best restaurants in Sofia Bulgaria: Manastirska Magernitsa
Address: ul. “Han Asparuh” 67, 1000 Sofia Center, Sofia, Bulgaria
Manastirska Magernitsa is located in a street in Sofia, with a two-story space and an airy garden in front of its door. In winter, this restaurant has a fireplace for guests to comfortably enjoy delicious food. The menu includes: Grilled meats, salads, and stewed dishes or in the traditional style of many regions in Bulgaria. The food at is rich in taste, has a distinctive flavor and reasonably priced. Beautiful space, savory food and enthusiastic service are the reasons you should come here.
If you come to this restaurant in the winter, you will be able to sit at a table with a fireplace while enjoying the delicious food.
Where to eat in Sofia: Moma Bulgarian Food & Wine
Address: ul. “Solunska” 28, 1000 Sofia Center, Sofia, Bulgaria
This restaurant specializes in traditional and modern Bulgarian cuisine. Mona has spacious space, including 3 floors and 9 dining rooms, each room is warmly decorated. The most famous dishes at Moma you can savor are made from cheese, baked potatoes, grilled meat, crusty bread, traditional salads… If you plan to go to this restaurant on the weekend, you should arrange to go early, because it is quite crowded, so it will take a long time to order. The plus point that the price is reasonable, the food is delicious and the space is nice.
This is the first restaurant I visited in Sofia. Very good impression. Delicious food, strongly recommend Shopska salad. This is a salad of cucumbers, tomatoes, grated goat cheese, roasted peppers and olive oil. This is a traditional Bulgarian salad, you should try it. The main courses in “Western” style, not exactly Bulgarian tradition. I chose roasted duck and tomato rice. Duck skin was crispy, meat was soft and smooth inside, just enough seasoning, very match with rice but quite smell.
Sofia where to eat: Site Bulgari Zaedno
Address: bul. “Gen. Nikolay G. Stoletov” 37, 1233 g.k. Banishora, Sofia, Bulgaria
Zaedno is impressive with wooden and stone designs, which are old houses that are also a plus point to attract diners. The restaurant specializes in serving famous salads made from vegetables made from White Cheese, Olives, Onion, Tomato, Cucumber, Pepper, and Parsley and costs around 6.40 BGN (approx. US$3.90), besides there are many specialties and traditional dishes of Bulgaria. The special thing when coming to this restaurant is that visitors can enjoy the food while watching the unique horo dance. Food at Zaedno is reasonably priced, served quickly, and ordered quickly.
Address: ЕТ2, ul. “Tsar Ivan Shishman” 12, 1000 Sofia Center, Sofia, Bulgaria
Phone: +359 88 322 0885
I found out this restaurant through the Sofia Free Food Tour. This is a fusion restaurant that “combines traditional and modern cuisine”. The food is very tasty, the lamb chops are fragrant and not overdone. The sweet dishes bring mainly lavender scent, very fragrant. It’s set in a lovely, unsigned garden. You have to look around a bit to find in. But it’s worth a try.
Sofia where to eat: Checkpoint Charly
Address: ul. “Ivan Vazov” 12, 1000 Sofia Center, Sofia, Bulgaria
Referring to good restaurants in Sofia with affordable price, Checkpoint Charly must be mentioned. Coming to Checkpoint Charly restaurant, visitors will both tasting delicious meals and listen to classical jazz music. This restaurant located in a central location, very close to the city theater and other tourist attractions. Checkpoint Charly has a spacious campus, an exhibition area of famous poetic, dramatic and musical works of Ivan Vazov for visitors to visit after dining. The restaurant specializes in modern cuisine and a great selection of premium wines, and especially on every Friday, it hosts a live Jazz performance. The delicious menu at Checkpoint Charly you can savor includes: Stewed or grilled meat, salads and many scrumptious desserts.
Sofia where to eat: Spice House Indian
Address: ul. “Rodopski Izvor” 40, 1680 Borovo, Sofia, Bulgaria
Phone: +359 87 755 6441
What to eat in Sofia that’s not Bulgarian taste? Indian food! Sofia also has a lot of Indian restaurants. Actually, I chose this restaurant because it’s close to the place I rented. But at that time, I got up late, was so hungry, I went down to look for food and saw it. But it turned out to be a very good restaurant. The menu is diverse, with many different types of curries, not just beef and chicken. I tried butter shrimp, very greasy. The portions is large enough, price is also reasonable. Overall, very satisfied. You can try to change the flavor.
Sofia where to eat: Adi’s Cook & Book
Address: Budapeshta Street 31, 1202 Sofia Center, Sofia, Bulgaria
Adi’s Cook & Book is rated as one of the best restaurants in Sofia Bulgaria. The highlight of Adi’s Cook & Book is that it is located in a villa area decorated with green walls to create a close natural space. With beautiful natural grounds at the restaurant, guests can take a relaxing stroll while waiting for their food or reading a book. It is renowned for its wine collection, serving a wide range of scrumptious dishes with an international menu. It attracts diners with beef dishes, salads and Bulgarian specialties at reasonable prices, savory food.
Where to eat in Sofia: Supa Star
Address: ul. “Tsar Ivan Shishman” 8, 1000 Sofia Center, Sofia, Bulgaria
Hours: 11AM–8PM/Saturday: 12–8PM/Sunday: 12–7PM
I’m a soup fanatic, so Central/Eastern Europe is heaven for me. In these countries soup is everywhere, so happy. This is a fast food shop, many kinds of soup, quite cheap, the food is also quite delicious. The bread is a bit bland but goes well with the rich soup. Recommend those who are tired of meat. Romanian and Bulgarian cuisine are both too meaty, “too heavy to weigh”.
Best restaurants in Sofia Bulgaria: Pod Lipite
Address: ul. “Elin Pelin” 1, 1164 g.k. Lozenets, Sofia, Bulgaria
The delicious eateries in Sofia are always crowded, one of them is Pod Lipite, which is specializing in traditional Bulgarian cuisine. The restaurant offers various dishes including processed meats (stewed, roasted or grilled), salads, vegetables and dairy products, organic grains… In addition, Pod Lipite also serves fresh salads with rich flavor, vegetarian dishes, other meat dishes. From here, it is also very convenient for visitors to get to famous attractions in Sofia as well as many other good places to eat.
Pod Lipite also known as Under the Linden Trees. A special thing when coming to Pod Lipite restaurant is that, the dishes are all made from organic ingredients that grown in the restaurant’s own farm.
Address: ul. “Kozloduy” 75, 1202 Sofia Center, Sofia, Bulgaria
Hadjidraganovite kashti is a famous dining place in Sofia that is loved by many tourists. It is located in the downtown area, built in 1866 with a spacious 4-storey design and a garden. The restaurant specializes in serving meat dishes such as steak, skewers and many more delicacies. In addition, the restaurant also serves many delicious drinks such as beer, fine wine. If you want to enjoy delicious barbecue and steak, then Hadjidraganovite kashti is the place that you should not miss.
The restaurant is located in the city center area, with spacious and airy space. In particular, steaks, skewers and meat dishes prepared on traditional wood-burning plates and ovens, extremely unique. That is why the food at the restaurant is always appreciated for its quality.
Besides eating, what else to drink in Sofia? I don’t remember the exact address of this shop, because it’s a very small counter. But the seats are all placed on the street as shown in the picture. It is located on the Vitosha Boulevard – Sofia’s main shopping street, very conspicuous. If you see a place with low chairs, colorful cushions, mainly pastel colors, that’s it. Also, it’s the only one with hookah.
I really like tea, and this tea shop is very good. There are many types from classic to creative. Moreover, sisha is very cheap and delicious. The average in Western Europe is 40, 50 Euros. It’s only…10 Euros here. There is nothing better than an afternoon of drinking tea, smoking shisha, reading books and watching people pass by.
Sofia dining tips
- The portion or meal in Bulgaria is generally very big. Please be careful when order. Usually, I’m full after… 1 dish (including salad).
- Please tip the waiter. Generally in Central or Eastern Europe they live on tips, due to very low wages. The ideal tip is 10% of the bill. Cash should be used.
- In Bulgaria, please don’t order fish dishes. Eastern/Central Europe is a meat paradise, keep it up! Their kebabs/bbq/grills are all very special.
- Bulgarians, like most Europeans, have a great deal of respect for their meals. They take the time to eat slowly and communicate carefully, not casually. A meal is generally two to three hours long. And eating in the afternoon is absolutely normal.
- If you do not know where to eat deliciously in Bulgaria, you should choose restaurants with a large number of local people.
- Bulgarian people are very friendly, if you don’t know what to eat when entering the restaurant, you can feel free to ask the owner. In case you are not fluent in a foreign language, you can use the Google Translate app to make sure they understand.
- You can bring food in case you are not familiar with Bulgarian food.
Do you suggest any other favorite places to eat in Sofia? Or what else to eat in Sofia? Please share with me!
Some best day tours, trips, activities and transfer services, tickets in, from and to Sofia you can refer to
- Nis Day Tour from Sofia
- Plovdiv Day Tour from Sofia
- Rila Monastery and Boyana Church Tour from Sofia
- Rose Valley and Koprivshtitsa Tour from Sofia
- Plovdiv and Koprivshtitsa Combo Day Tour from Sofia
Read more: Sofia blog — The ultimate Bulgaria Sofia guide for first-timers and Bulgaria travel guide here.