I’ve teamed up with a bunch of my local Bulgarian blogger friends to bring you this list of Sofia restaurants you must try! I’ve asked for list entries from locals and those who have been living in Bulgaria long-term — so you can rest assured these are the best restaurants in Sofia! From the best burgers in town to vegan and vegetarian options (and even horse meatballs) this list has something for everyone.
25 Sofia Restaurants That You Have to Try
Lavele St 19 // +359 88 820 0700
I was excited to try Cosmos, as the food was described to me as upscale yet traditional Bulgarian cuisine. When I arrived, I found this description quite accurate.
The menu is full of choices like the traditional shopska salad, Balkan trout,
and even meatballs made from horse meat!
The service was impeccable. My waiter knew the wine list inside and out, and he made some delicious pairings.
Be sure to try the spicy beef tongue with a foie gras mousse and the Bulgarian rose dessert made with strawberry and roses sorbet and pink pepper.
If you want to sample more of the menu, Cosmos also offers a tasting menu with wine pairings.
ул. Веслец 10 // +359 2 444 0556
Suggested by: Dario of Beyond Sofia
Sofia is a city with a unique mix of cultural heritage that contributes to a rich variety of food. But like most who live here, I have a favorite dining place.
Believe me, it’s not easy to choose only one place in Sofia as a favorite, but if, like me, you love a friendly atmosphere, good attitude and (above all) tasty food … Rainbow Factory is the place!
Rainbow Factory isn’t just some ordinary venue that can satisfy your appetite, it’s a place that will put you in a good mood! How? The restaurant has an eternally friendly and cheerful staff obsessed with creating culinary masterpieces as you sit in a very pleasant and hospitable interior and enjoy relaxing music.
I’ve found nothing better than their sandwiches — always fresh, and I typically finish with a piece of mascarpone and chocolate cake alongside a latte. This is real happiness!
Rainbow Factory is one of those places that transports you away from where you actually are. It’s a spot for mellow conversations, sharing feelings, and satisfying taste buds. If you’re looking for a Western European attitude with an unmistakable local vibe, this is the place for you.
The Rainbow Factory has two locations, both located in the city center.
12 King Liberator Blvd. // +359 878 444 474
Secret by Chef Petrov provides you with a culinary journey through Bulgaria’s post, bringing dishes and cooking techniques that have been long forgotten. Enjoy foods from as far back as the ancient Thracians, all the way to present-day traditions.
If you wish for a unique Bulgarian eating experience, this is the place to eat in Sofia. Secret’s provides a 23-course tasting menu, most of which is prepared in front of you while Chef Petrov shares stories from his time spent traveling and working around the world, providing an unforgettable evening to you and anyone with you.
Visit Chef Petrov’s Secret for a unique dinner show paired with fine dining, creating a restaurant atmosphere like no other.
Pro-tip: You will need reservations for this as space is limited. I would book well in advance. Reservations can be made by clicking here to visit the website.
Khan Krum str. No. 31 // +359 888 931 151
MasterChef André Tokev, the founder and president of the Bulgarian Chef Association, first opened his restaurant, ANDRé, in 2015. Cooking is his first love and takes pleasure in preparing each dish for his guests.
Combining a unique blend of flavors and tastes from different countries and cultures he has traveled to, ANDRé has quickly become one of the top restaurants in Sofia.
You can order anything from the seasonal menu or choose the lunch menu for a unique 2 or 3-course meal you won’t experience anywhere else.
6 Yuri Venelin str. // +359 89 857 9999
Recommended by: Maria of Traveling Buzz
Made in Blue is a cozy, chic restaurant nestled within a traditional apartment building in Sofia’s center. When you walk inside, you’ll feel like you’ve entered a friend’s house, not a public restaurant.
But this cozy atmosphere is made even better by the food: a fresh and high-quality modern yet affordable menu.
Popular dishes include steamed mussels in a spicy sauce, peach chicken in white wine,
chicken marsala skewers,
and the grilled salmon over lentils.
Pro tip: book a table in advance and ask for a seat on the magical third floor.
ul.Tsar Ivan Shishman 24 // +359 88 805 2299
Recommended by: Lindsay of The Neverending Wanderlust
Farmer’s is one of my favorite places in Sofia to grab a quick, healthy bite. Farmer’s serves fresh soups, salads, and sandwiches daily. My personal favorites are their tomato basil soup, potato cream soup, and roasted vegetable sandwich.
All soups come with optional fresh-made croutons, and their sandwiches and salads are made to order. I particularly appreciate Farmer’s welcoming atmosphere and attention to detail, especially when I’m in dire need of some good comfort food.
The salads and sandwiches on offer don’t change, though they do have different seasonal soups available. They also serve fresh juice, a variety of desserts (including cookies and candies), and a selection of bread. Menus are available in both English and Bulgarian. Although a meal isn’t super cheap, I’ve found it’s well worth the money.
Farmer’s is always at the top of my list when I’m in the mood for a fresh, healthy, and filling lunch!
“Knyaz Boris I” str. No. 105 // +359 899 000 681
A fine dining Bulgarian restaurant in Sofia, they serve traditional dishes in the most unique of ways. They have designed various meals based on certain symbols found in Bulgaria: roses, wheat, and the dulo, tying each item on the menu with a piece of Bulgarian heritage and history.
Enjoy classic shopska salad, lamb tongue, duck hearts, and more Bulgarian delicacies with a modern twist of flavors and design.
ul. Aksakov 18 // +359 2 987 2723
Recommended by Joanna of Healthy Inspiration
MOTTO is definitely an establishment with a brunch tradition. Their specially selected brunch menu has whatever you’re craving. While their way of serving brunch is a bit unconventional, it’s also somehow more personalized as well.
Here, alongside their typical omelets, pastries, burgers, pancakes, and desserts, new menu additions frequently pop up.
The omelet with spinach, the poached eggs, and their amazing summertime lemonades are my absolute favorites. The lemonades can often surprise you with unusual flavor combinations.
The summer garden is an oasis in the city, a place where you can soak up the sun on a beautiful day or hide away from the sizzling heat. The elegant glass room in the garden boasts fantastic cozy sofas made for long brunches and tête-à-têtes.
Str. Angel Kanchev 18 a // +359 87 717 4845
Recommended by: Dimitar of Trip Cook Book
We’ve been to Pesto on many occasions since it opened in 2014, and the place deserves to be fully booked all the time. As a real Italian, cozy, authentic, and family-run bistro, Pesto could easily live on an Italian street.
As typical Bulgarians, we started by ordering salads. There are a few choices on the menu, but all use fresh ingredients, just as Italian cuisine should. Their traditional salad was our favorite.
The menu has two full pages with a variety of paninis. Our first time, we stumbled across the Barbarossa (that’s the owner’s family name) & Lombarda, and these two have been our favorites ever since. The paninis come in two sizes. I recommend you split a large one if you’re planning to order pasta too.
Pesto’s pasta comes in different varieties. Tell the waiter your preferences and ask for a recommendation. No matter which pasta you order, it’ll be fresh, cooked right there, and served from a hot pan at your table. We’ve enjoyed some of the best pasta in Sofia simply by asking about meat and red sauce. This was an interpretation of bolognese with some peppers added. Really, really tasty.
While Pesto’s has no ‘wine list’, their wine choices are listed on a wall next to the tables. Most are from Sardigna.
The place is quite tiny and only has high chairs. Even so, on one of our visits, we were a party of six, and the waitress did everything to make us comfortable. She even had some treats for the kids — a sheet of paper and colored pencils. Small details are what have brought us back again and again.
In the summertime, Pesto also has some outdoor seating. Due to the bistro’s popularity and capacity, we strongly recommend you make reservations for an evening meal.
25A Nikola Vaptsarov Blvd. // +359 2 468 0570
Named using the Spanish word for “now”, Ahora was created to provide a bonding experience between the chef and the guest. It was created by chef Sevda Dimitrova, who was the winner of season two of Master Chef.
Her desire in opening this restaurant was to provide a place to not only express her creativity and love of food but that of each person who walks through the doors and orders a plate. The concept of “us” and that everyone changes and evolves is prevalent in this friendly restaurant.
It also means that the menu will often change. Each time you visit you’ll taste something different, even if you ordered the same thing.
Ahora restaurant also offers catering, events, and celebrations. Just give them a call or email them at [email protected].
ul. “Angel Kanchev” 1 // +359 88 707 8455
Recommended by: Stanislava of Sun and Sany
If you’re looking for a gourmet sandwich and burger place in Sofia, MEAT is your place. Its easy-to-access location has tables on the first, second and third floors, and the interior is bright and detailed.
Enjoy a draft of Glarus (one of Bulgaria’s best craft beers) while waiting for your burger. They also have a variety of bottled beers and other cold and warm drinks.
The menu includes daily soups, salads, and desserts, but the place is best known for its burgers and sandwiches made with the best quality Bulgarian meat and homemade freshly baked bread.
There is also a meatless sandwich and meatless halloumi sandwich for vegetarians. My advice is to try the cheeseburger, made of 100% ground juicy beef. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by the French fries, which are homemade and heavenly delicious. Last but not least, the service is friendly and you won’t have to wait long to get your order served.
30A Angel Kanchev Str. // +359 87 688 4014
This small family-run restaurant provides tasty homemade meals that include local Bulgarian, Middle Eastern, European, and Mediterranean cuisines.
Enjoy breakfast, lunch, or dinner favorites for meat lovers or vegetarians. At this cozy little Bulgarian restaurant, you’ll find something for everyone, and no one will leave disappointed.
Some of my favorite dishes include any of their salads (I love Bulgarian cheese!), the roasted shrimp, or the meatballs.
Ul. Stara Planina 5 // +359 887 275 064
If you find yourself craving traditional Japanese food while in Bulgaria, Miyabi has everything you want.
Their menu includes sushi, sashimi, futomaki, nigiri, as well as various vegetarian options. And for dessert, you can have delicious green tea cake or homemade ice cream made with green tea, black tahini, and red beans.
75 G Kumata Str. // +359 0885 760160
You should definitely try one of the best gourmet fine dining Italian restaurants in Sofia Bulgaria. They only use fresh products from local farms, and all their flour, oils, cheeses, and other durable ingredients are 100% from Italy.
Enjoy modern twists to Italian classics brought to you by their chef, Alex Dimitrov. They also have the best Italian wine list you’ll find in Bulgaria.
Everything on their menu is both delicious and beautiful to look at. Truly an experience you won’t forget.
“Alabin” 22 // +359 898 550 380
This little vegetarian restaurant and bakery is one of the best places to eat in Sofia, especially if you’re on a limited diet. Their menu is inspired by Asian, Indian, Middle Eastern, and South American cuisines and is great for the hardcore vegetarian or vegan.
They prepare fifteen different types of bread every day, all using natural ingredients and freshly made with no artificial additives.
Come for just the bread or sit down for a delicious meal that you won’t forget. The owners also run a small shop called Inke Tinke that sells a variety of organic products, including the very same flour that they make and use in their bread.
Uzundzhovska Str. 13 // +359 89 912 5975
It’s okay if traditional Bulgarian food just isn’t your thing. If you’re looking for where to eat in Sofia that provides you with a bit of meat without it being from animals you’ve never eaten before, Ribs Brothers have just what you need.
Ribs Brothers bring American and European cuisines to the table, paired with the best BBQ you’ll find in Bulgaria.
Enjoy traditional Bulgarian favorites like shopska salad and tripe soup like never before at Chef’s. Viktor Angelov brings his own unique style to the menu, blending various cuisines with that of Bulgaria.
Easily one of the best Sofia restaurants, Chef’s actually has two locations for you to choose from. One is a standalone restaurant in the Lozenets district, and the other is on the ground floor of the Sense Hotel.
Han Asparuh 36 // +359 87 962 9419
Agarta is a delightful little restaurant offering various vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options on its menu. With a unique blend of Italian, European, and Mediterranean cuisines, you will surely be in for a treat if you have lunch at Agarta. Even better than their food is their fast and friendly service.
If you love art, you won’t find any better Sofia restaurants, as the walls are lined with art from local artists. The restaurant also has a very cozy atmosphere, making you feel like a beloved guest coming over for dinner.
Angel Kanchev 18 // +359 88 830 9933
If you were to take the wisdom and experience of MasterChef Andre Tokev and blend it with the youth and new ideas of his daughter, Elisa Tokeva, then you would have Old is New.
It combines traditional cuisine with unforgettable drinks, music, and an atmosphere to get lost in. Lose all sense of time while you’re within the walls of Old is New restaurant, and forget about the worries of the outside world.
7-9 Uzundzhovska Str. // +359 88 333 6313
If you simply can’t get enough of the menus prepared by MasterChef Andre Tokev, you won’t be disappointed when you come to Moments Restaurant.
Obviously, Andre makes the best restaurants in Sofia, and Moments is no different. This is his newest restaurant, and it brings a cozier atmosphere than his others. Enjoy great music, wine, and Bulgarian cuisine. You won’t regret it.
No matter which side of Sofia you are on you’ll be able to step into one of two Street Chefs locations. This restaurant brings you the best burgers, steaks, and French fries that Sofia has to offer.
Burgers and steaks are made with fresh Bulgarian beef, locally grown, and delivered fresh and ground by hand. Vegetables are homemade and homegrown, and their fresh brioche buns are delivered twice a day.
Most locals would agree that this is hands down the best burger in Sofia!
2 William Gladston Str // +359 88 210 8108
Not many of the restaurants Sofia has to offer to provide you with such a wide variety of tea as Veda House. They offer so many different kinds of tea (at least ten or more), that they have two separate menus: one for tea, and one for food.
The food they serve is completely vegetarian. They strive to keep all of their ingredients and dishes completely clean and uncontaminated, so you won’t even find anything made with eggs, onions, garlic, or mushrooms.
This restaurant keeps with the principles of Ayurveda, ancient Indian wisdom that practices holistic living. By providing a clean menu to their guests, they know that everyone will leave both satisfied and healthy.
Where to Go For Brunch in Sofia
Brunch may not be as popular in Bulgaria as it is in other countries, you’ll find that many restaurants in the area have begun to add brunch dishes to their menus to accommodate their guests. If brunch is your thing, you should stop at one of these three locations for a bite or two.
18 Oborishte Str. // +359 87 757 4104
This delightful café in the heart of Sofia has some of the best brunches around, but you can stay for dinner or coffee if you want, as they serve that, too.
Enjoy friendly service and delicious foods, including healthier options. The Old Lady provides a cozy atmosphere like you’re having brunch with your best friends (because you are!).
Hristo Belchev 29B // +359 89 645 1458
BOHO restaurant has amazing classic Bulgarian brunch favorites along with comfort food like pancakes and waffles. I enjoyed their version of Eggs Benedict.
Paired with some of the best coffee you’ll find in Sofia, you’ll keep coming back again and again.
Best Bars in Sofia
Sometimes all you want is a drink and to hang out with your buds. You can do that at one of these bars below while enjoying some of the best alcohol that Bulgaria has to offer.
bul. Yanko Sakazov 17 // +359 2 444 6111
While this may be a bar, you can come here for lunch or dinner, maybe even breakfast, and then cycle back around at night for some drinks.
Enjoy the best and fruitiest rakia you’ve ever had, or sample something you’ve never had before. Their food menu also includes options for vegetarians, vegans, and those who need to eat gluten-free.
bul. “Yanko Sakazov” 17 // +359 884 982 098
Sputnik bar will give you a nightlife experience you never expected with some of the best cocktails in town. The atmosphere at Sputnik will take you out of this world and make you feel like a true astronaut on the ground.
Paired with their amazing cocktails is great music and food. You’ll find everything at Sputnik, no matter your tastes.
15 Tsar Shishman Str // +359 88 401 0205
Experience a modern speakeasy-like no other! To truly get a taste of what the nightlife of Sofia Bulgaria has to offer, you won’t want to miss having drinks at 5L Speakeasy Bar. They even have a secret door like a real speakeasy that is difficult to find. But once you find it, the atmosphere you find will transport you to another world. Great drinks, amazing food, and lots of fun will be found there.
Which of these Sofia restaurants do you most want to try? Let me know in the comments section below!
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Travel writer and owner of the blog. My work has been featured on Fodors, Eater.com, International Living, and Great Escape Publishing, among many others. My story? Nearly six years ago, I left my job at an Oklahoma City law firm and embarked on a journey around the world. At the time, I thought I would only be gone for 6 months, but the more I traveled, the longer my bucket list became. Flashpacker describes how I travel. Rather than traveling as the normal world wise backpacker and staying in hostel dorms, I prefer a more comfortable experience, and typically stay in private rooms, take Ubers instead of taxis, and now use a suitcase instead of a backpack. Foodie, on the other hand, describes one of the key reasons why I travel. I love to pick a central “base camp” and then explore the surrounding area, really immersing myself in the culture and interacting with the people, and enjoying and exploring the food of an area is an essential part of this experience.