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.
7 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 heritages that contribute 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 will put you in a good mood! How? The restaurant has 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 two locations, both located in the city center.
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
ul. Aksakov 18 // +359 2 987 2723
Recommended by Joanna of Healthy Inspiration
MOTTO is definitely an establishment with a brunch traditions in brunch. 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 omelettes, pastries, burgers, pancakes and desserts, new menu additions frequently pop up.
The omelette 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 hideaway 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 any 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 pastas come 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’, there 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.
ul. “Angel Kanchev” 1 // +359 88 707 8455
Recommended by: Stanislava of Sun and Sany
If you’re looking for 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 the 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.
Which of these Sofia restaurants do you most want to try? Let me know in the comments section below!
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