Sofia Restaurant Guide

Last updated Aug 2015

 

Food! Can you think of a better way to explore a city? We can't!

So what are the best restaurants in Sofia?

If food quality is what you are after,  here is a list of some of our favorite, tried-and-tested restaurants in Sofia.


TRADITIONAL BULGARIAN RESTAURANTS IN SOFIA
 

Pod Lipite

1 Elin Pelin St
+359 886 801 227

Open for lunch and dinner

Pod Lipite /Under the linden trees/ is one of the best places to try authentic Bulgarian cuisine in Sofia, especially if you are not in the mood to watch an elaborate folklore show.

It may be a bit pricier than other restaurants in this category, but a tourist trap it is not. The large number of locals celebrating special occasions is there to prove it.

Don't miss out on the vast selection of home-cooked staples. You can try the large number of vegetarian options or go straight for the open fire grilled meat.

Dinner for 2 with drinks: 80 lv /40 euro/

 

Vodenitzata
 


 

Dragalevtsi suburb
+359 2 967 1058
Open for lunch and dinner

Large tourists groups frequent this restaurant known for its elaborate folk program. The undisputed highpoint is the world famous fire dance, an ancient tradition of dancing over hot coals (available in dry weather only).

Not located in the city center, Vodenitzata sits in the mountainous suburb of Dragalevtsi but is worth the taxi ride (15-20 lv from the city center). 

Reservations are recommended!

Dinner for 2 with drinks: 80 lv /40 euro/

 

Manastirskata Magernitsa
 

67 Han Asparuh St
+359 2 980 3883
Open for lunch and dinner

The unpronouceable name of this superb restaurant translates as "the monastery kitchen" and its menu is supposedly comprised of recipes collected from over 160 Bulgarian monasteries, all places where food was taken seriously. 

Browse the thick menu for some rare recipes for slow-cooked stews (highly recommended!), or go for the well-known Bulgarian grilled meats and vegetarian appetizers with some home-made beer.

Get ready to part with a lot, but this temple of Bulgarian cuisine is well worth it.

Dinner for 2 with drinks: 100 lv /50 euro/
 

 

CONTEMPORARY RESTAURANTS IN SOFIA


A growing number of independently-owned Sofia restaurants offer creative contemporary menus, friendly service, cool ambiance and, most importantly, take no shortcuts when selecting their ingredients.

 

Before 10

1 Milko Bichev St
+359 884 935 857 
Open for lunch and dinner

Creative approach to traditional Bulgarian classics with a good deal of respect for the original ingredients, attention to detail and smooth service, plus a great wine list, make this small restaurant one of our top choices in Sofia.

No outdoor seating, unfortunately.

Reservations are recommended.

Dinner for 2 with a bottle of wine: 80 lv /40 euro/


Raketa Rakia Bar

15-17 Janko Sakuzov Blvd
 /Behind Zaimov park/
+359 2 4446 111
Open for lunch and dinner

For a trip back in time, go to the Raketa bar. Both the decor and the menu here pay homage to times long gone.

Sample dishes that were once on every restaurant menu and look around for old memorabilia from the 70's and early 80's Communist Bulgaria.

As the name suggests, this is a great place to sample Bulgarian rakia. Feeling brave? Try what we think is the best shkembe chorba (traditional tripe soup that comes with a lot of garlic) in Sofia or go for a weekend breakfast of mekici (the lokal doughnuts) with homemade jam.

Dinner for 2 with drinks: 50 lv /25 euro/
 

Atelier

16 Asen Zlatarov St
+359 886 202 717
Open for lunch and dinner

This pleasant neighborhood bistro is the forerunner in the recent Oborishte district restaurant revival and remains one of the high-points in the area.

A well thought-out menu and daily specials, combined with a friendly service, attract the local well-to-do crowd.

Reservations are recommended.

Dinner for 2 with a bottle of wine: 80 lv /40 euro/
 

Talents
 

9 Petar Beron St / next to NDK
+359 2 421 90 68 
Open for lunch and dinner

Part of a Sofia-based international culinary academy, Talents offers an ever-changing menu, which is a reflection of the classical training and diverse background of its students. 

Go for one of their theme nights / also culinary school exams / from October to March to sample a 4 course set menu for a fixed price of 30-40 lv, drinks not included.

Enjoy what probably is the friendliest service in town.

Dinner for 2 with drinks: 80 lv /40 euro/
 

Lavanda
 

12 Shishman St
+359 882 249 740 
Open for lunch and dinner

Lavanda's Med-inspired menu touching on Greek, Spanish and middle Eastern cuisines gives central role to ingredients like figs, cinnamon, mint, halumi and pistachio, as well as various sea creatures. Meat lovers however will not be disappointed with options like black angus beef terin.

The casual, yet elegant atmosphere of old Sofia house and the friendly service will contribute to a pleasant evening.

Dinner for 2 with a bottle of wine: 80 lv /40 euro/
 

Happy Pig

17 Tsarigradsko shousse blvd
+359 878 778 446
Open for lunch and dinner

Interesting experimentation with Bulgarian cuisine is the focus of the menu in Shtastlivoto Prase (The Happy Pig).

But the food here serves another important function: it provides fuel for sampling the exquisite cocktail menu. There is no cocktail you can go wrong with. For a truly local experience, try the old rakia fashion made with rakia, the local brandy of choice.

We also recommend trying the desserts.

Dinner for 2 with cocktails drinks: 60 lv /30 euro/


 

ITALIAN RESTAURANTS IN SOFIA
 

Confetti
 

4 Graf Ignatiev St
+359 2 988 4444
Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner

Half restaurant, half ice-cream parlor, this big and noisy place has it all; salads, pizza, pasta, wine, cocktails. But it was the large cake window and the choice of 60+ flavors of Italian gelato that caught our attention.

Check out the large garden at the back.
 

Pastorant
 

16 Tsar Asen St
+359 2 981 44 82
Open for lunch and dinner

One of Sofia's best kept secrets, this small, cozy place resembles more the house of a close friend than a restaurant. But unlike most of our friends' houses, the food here is to die for.

As the name suggests, the highlight here is the pasta. It is cooked from scratch in a sincere Italian fashion.  Don't miss out on the fish.

Dinner for 2 with a bottle of wine: 80 lv /40 euro/
 

La Bottega Due Piani
 

24 Shishman
+359 889 953 266

The low-key Bottega (half deli, half restaurant) has brought the spirit of Sicily to several sleepy Sofia streets. La Bottega Due Piani on Shishman St is our favorite.

The pizzas, the pastas and the dessert are all worth a try.

Dinner for 2 with a bottle of wine: 60 lv /30 euro/

 

Forno Chipollini
 

36 Oborishte
+359 88 777 8464

Open for lunch and dinner

For the last few years, this trendy place has attracted a well-to-do crowd with its precision-made gourmet pizzas, baked before your eyes, a choice of salads, and (in our opinion) the best home-made tiramisu in town, all served in a cool and casual setting.

Expect to find this place packed even on week nights.

Dinner for 2 with a bottle of wine: 80 lv /40 euro/
 

Trattoria Verdi

174 Rakovski St
+359 893 379 767
Open for lunch and dinner

Another old Sofia house turned into a restaurant, Trattoria Verdi offers two stories of warm and busy rustico interior. The restaurant is a little cluttered, a little noisy, but nevertheless white-tablecloth classy.

The large menu of classics (think housemade pasta, pizza, scallopine) is backed up by the approachable wine list and a polite and attentive service.

Perfect for dinner with friends or colleagues, a great place to satisfy a sudden craving for Italian food. Italian chef.

Dinner for 2 with a bottle of wine: 80 lv /40 euro/
 



VEGETARIAN RESTAURANTS IN SOFIA


Check out our map of vegetarian restaurants in Sofia for a full list of vegan, vegetarian and almost vegetarian restaurants in Sofia.
 

Sun and Moon (Slance i luna)
 

Location 1:

18 B William Gladsote St
+359 897 094139

Location 2: 

39 6 Septemvri St

Famous for their artisan bread, made with stone ground flour, Sun and Moon /Slunce i Luna/ is a local institution.

It is a great place to indulge in a vegan/vegetarian menu in a charming rustic atmosphere, surrounded by the aroma of freshly baked bread.

No time to sit down? Just grab one of their wholesome cookies.

Two locations in town. The one of the corner of Gladstone St and Kniaz Boris St is our favorite but go to their restaurant at 6st September St for outdoor seating.

Meal for 2: 30 lv /15 euro/

 

Soul Kitchen
 


 

13 Kokiche St
+359 876 440 003
Open for lunch and dinner

The closest thing to vegan fine dining the city has to offer!

Vegan-only delicacies with Mediterranean accents and a sizable beer and wine selection are served inside an early-20th-century Sofia house with a quiet garden in the back!

Meal for 2: 40 lv /20 euro/

 

 

RESTAURANTS FOR MEAT LOVERS
 

Meat lovers in Sofia can't go wrong with any of the traditional Bulgarian restaurants where slow-cooked or grilled meats play the central role.

 
Below is a list of several other restaurants that serve nothing but meat and fish.
 

Boom Burger
 

15 Karnigradska St /corner with Vitosha Blvd/
+359 894 420 440
Open for lunch and dinner

Hands down the best beef on a bun in town!

The burgers are small, but they more than compensate in quality. Wash them down with a craft ale for a quick meal in this super casual burger joint.

Vegetarians should not shy away: the goat cheese veggie burger is sublime.

Meal for 2: 40 lv /20 euro/

 

FRENCH RESTAURANTS IN SOFIA

 

L'Instant

24 Asen Zlatarov St
+359 2 843 03 64
Open for lunch and dinner /Mon-Sat/

Ideal for special occasions, romantic evenings or just a glass of wine with friends, this classy, white-tablecloth establishment is the creme de la creme of Oborishte district, Sofia's upcoming food & drinks neighborhood.

Neither the decor nor the service here have the overtones of formality that keep many away from French cuisine. Of course, superb New French fare comes at a price. L'Instant is expensive, but many consider it among Sofia's finest. 

Closed on Sunday.

Dinner for 2 with a bottle of wine: 100 lv /50 euro/
 

L'Estranger French Bistro
 

78 Tsar Simeon St
+359 887 523 376
Open for lunch /Mon-Fri/ and dinner /Mon-Sat/

This can very well be the best restaurant in Sofia.

Run by a friendly French-Bulgarian couple, L'Estranger offers sophisticated food made from scratch. The high price tag is well worth the quality.

Reservations are recommended.

Closed on Sunday.

Dinner for 2 with a bottle of wine: 100 lv /50 euro/

 

ASIAN RESTAURANTS IN SOFIA


Indian Restaurants in Sofia

Taj Mahal

11 "11-ti avgust" St
+359 2 987 3632
Open for lunch /Tue-Sun/ and dinner /Mon-Sun/

Authentic North Indian cuisine with Indian chefs in the kitchen!

Be advised that unless you ask for "extra spicy", no hot chilli peppers will make it to your dish; Bulgarians do not like spicy food and the restaurant has adapted. We usually order "Indian spicy" to get the real deal.

Important: do not miss out on the desserts!

Meal for 2: 50 lv /25 euro/


Gurkha

Lozenets District
56 Tsvetna Gradina St
+359 2 865 0216
Open for lunch /Tue-Sun/ and dinner /Mon-Sun/

Authentic Indian/Nepaleese cuisine made by the Nepaleese chef and owner of this place with the option to spice it up. We like the parathas and the samosas and have a soft spot for the bhindi massala.

The restaurant occupies a small house surrounded by apartment buildings in Lozents district and is homewhat hard to find. A taxi from the city center should cost around 6 lv.

Meal for 2: 50 lv /25 euro/

 

Japaneee/Sushi Restaurants in Sofia
 

Hamachi

3 Orphei St
+359 884 262 244

Hamachi has been serving sushi and Japaneese food to Sofia's guests and residents for close to 10 years and with a few exceptions, in our opinion, they do a good job. The wine selection and the service are excellent and the winter garden in the back makes for a pleasant evening. Don't get fixated on the sushi sets but explore the thoughtful menu of Japaneese main courses.

Meal for 2 with a bottle of wine: 100 lv /50 euro/

 

Korean Restaurants in Sofia
 

Yun

34 Elemag St
+359 2 963 0365
Open for lunch and dinner

From stuffing on spicy kimchi to sampling authentic Korean dishes, this is a place for serious lovers of Asian cuisine that are not afraid of 'spicy'. Frequented by the staff of the nearby Korean embassy, the restaurant also offers a set menu of Korean dishes /with a day's notice/ for the uninitiated.

Meal for 2 with drinks: 80 lv /40 euro/


 

INTERACTIVE MAP OF SOFIA RESTAURANTS

It's all on the map!

Click on the side bar to explore by type of food or on the map to explore by area.

Do you see any scandalous omissions from this list?
Let us know! 

Last updated Aug 2015
 
   
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resized/Happy Pig Restaurant Sofia Bulgaria 3 ffo 600x200
Happy Pig Restaurant Sofia Bulgaria 3 ffo
Happy Pig Restaurant Sofia Bulgaria 3 ffo