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Sofia gastro guide by Alex K.

Alexander

Sofia gastro guide by Alex K.

Cafés & sweets
Sweet-toothed travelers who don't mind a potential language barrier will fall in love with the baklava, Turkish coffee, and other indulgences at Antep. Wander around the nearby marketplace – the largest open-air market in Sofia – and its surrounding neighborhood to get a feel for the Oriental influence in the city.
Antep Baklava
89 ul. "Tsar Simeon"
Sweet-toothed travelers who don't mind a potential language barrier will fall in love with the baklava, Turkish coffee, and other indulgences at Antep. Wander around the nearby marketplace – the largest open-air market in Sofia – and its surrounding neighborhood to get a feel for the Oriental influence in the city.
The artisanal bread at Baker Brothers will remind you of how satisfying a simple, warm loaf can be. Your best bet is to grab a jar of lyutenitsa from a nearby store, spread it on your freshly bought bread, then savor one of the greatest simple pleasures of life in Bulgaria. The croissants are excellent as well.
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Братя Хлебари / Baker Brothers
44-46 ulitsa „Georgi S. Rakovski“
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The artisanal bread at Baker Brothers will remind you of how satisfying a simple, warm loaf can be. Your best bet is to grab a jar of lyutenitsa from a nearby store, spread it on your freshly bought bread, then savor one of the greatest simple pleasures of life in Bulgaria. The croissants are excellent as well.
Mekitsa i Kafe's unassuming storefront conceals the perfect place to try a mekitsa, a soft and warm deep-fried dough treat served with your choice of savory or sweet toppings. An added bonus is the view of vibrant Graf Ignatiev street from the upstairs seating area – a perfect vantage point for people-watching.
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Мекица и Кафе (Mekitsa and Coffee)
28 ul. "Graf Ignatiev"
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Mekitsa i Kafe's unassuming storefront conceals the perfect place to try a mekitsa, a soft and warm deep-fried dough treat served with your choice of savory or sweet toppings. An added bonus is the view of vibrant Graf Ignatiev street from the upstairs seating area – a perfect vantage point for people-watching.
It's not easy to imagine a more delightful way to start your day than a homestyle breakfast and a warm cup of coffee at Rainbow Factory. With its freshly prepared food options, state-of-the-art coffee equipment, and authentically cozy vibe, this café will warm you up to Sofia's energetic yet hospitable character.
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Фабрика ДЪГА / Rainbow Factory
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It's not easy to imagine a more delightful way to start your day than a homestyle breakfast and a warm cup of coffee at Rainbow Factory. With its freshly prepared food options, state-of-the-art coffee equipment, and authentically cozy vibe, this café will warm you up to Sofia's energetic yet hospitable character.
Restaurants
Offering a uniquely creative take on traditional Bulgarian cuisine, Cosmos is a must-visit for fans of molecular gastronomy and culinary experimentation. Explore innovative variations of classic Bulgarian dishes, aided by a knowledgeable waitstaff and accompanied by an incredible music selection. Reservations recommended.
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Cosmos
19 ul. "Laveleye"
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Offering a uniquely creative take on traditional Bulgarian cuisine, Cosmos is a must-visit for fans of molecular gastronomy and culinary experimentation. Explore innovative variations of classic Bulgarian dishes, aided by a knowledgeable waitstaff and accompanied by an incredible music selection. Reservations recommended.
Enjoy lunch or dinner in an antique, traditional Sofia townhouse. The inviting atmosphere, including the pleasantly lively garden area (open when weather permits), is the perfect backdrop to Made in Blue's menu of fresh, seasonal dishes that appeal to many a palate and dietary preference. Reservations recommended.
Made in blue
6 ul. "Yuri Venelin"
Enjoy lunch or dinner in an antique, traditional Sofia townhouse. The inviting atmosphere, including the pleasantly lively garden area (open when weather permits), is the perfect backdrop to Made in Blue's menu of fresh, seasonal dishes that appeal to many a palate and dietary preference. Reservations recommended.
Enter a nondescript residential building and head up a flight of stairs to discover a colorful restaurant dedicated to kiufteta, the Bulgarian version of meatballs. Accompanied by homestyle fries with lyutenitsa (rather than ketchup), traditional pork and beef kiufteta abound on Q-ftetaria's menu alongside vegetarian and vegan options which even carnivores find delicious. Reservations recommended.
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Q-ftetaria
1 ul. "Angel Kanchev"
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Enter a nondescript residential building and head up a flight of stairs to discover a colorful restaurant dedicated to kiufteta, the Bulgarian version of meatballs. Accompanied by homestyle fries with lyutenitsa (rather than ketchup), traditional pork and beef kiufteta abound on Q-ftetaria's menu alongside vegetarian and vegan options which even carnivores find delicious. Reservations recommended.
Step back in time at Raketa, a restaurant that teasingly harkens back to the era of socialism in Bulgaria with its Communist memorabilia and other retro decor. You'll want to explore the extensive selection of rakia, a traditional Balkan spirit similar to brandy. Take recommendations from your server if you feel overwhelmed, and perhaps stumble over to Sputnik next door afterwards to continue the night with some offbeat, unique cocktails. Reservations recommended.
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Ракия Ракета Бар
17 bul. "Yanko Sakazov"
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Step back in time at Raketa, a restaurant that teasingly harkens back to the era of socialism in Bulgaria with its Communist memorabilia and other retro decor. You'll want to explore the extensive selection of rakia, a traditional Balkan spirit similar to brandy. Take recommendations from your server if you feel overwhelmed, and perhaps stumble over to Sputnik next door afterwards to continue the night with some offbeat, unique cocktails. Reservations recommended.
Have you ever dined in pitch darkness? The multi-course set menu at ‘eat-in-the-dark’ restaurant Tenebris is among the most elevated food in Bulgaria, but you won’t know what anything is – unless you figure it out with your other senses. The reveal of the menu with photos at the end may surprise you, not in the least due to the dishes’ beautiful presentation. For those seeking a culinary adventure, Tenebris will leave you with a changed perspective on food and our senses. Reservations required.
Tenebris
65 ul. "Han Asparuh"
Have you ever dined in pitch darkness? The multi-course set menu at ‘eat-in-the-dark’ restaurant Tenebris is among the most elevated food in Bulgaria, but you won’t know what anything is – unless you figure it out with your other senses. The reveal of the menu with photos at the end may surprise you, not in the least due to the dishes’ beautiful presentation. For those seeking a culinary adventure, Tenebris will leave you with a changed perspective on food and our senses. Reservations required.
Bars
Located on a charming cobblestone square in the heart of Sofia, The Cocktail Bar provides a lovely setting for sitting back and sipping a delicious cocktail – especially during the summertime. The menu includes conventional options as well as some creative concoctions with unexpected ingredients.
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The Cocktail Bar
9 ul. "Angel Kanchev"
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Located on a charming cobblestone square in the heart of Sofia, The Cocktail Bar provides a lovely setting for sitting back and sipping a delicious cocktail – especially during the summertime. The menu includes conventional options as well as some creative concoctions with unexpected ingredients.
Wine lovers will appreciate the internationally acclaimed selection in this charming wine bar. Grape Central's tastefully curated wine list (worldwide, but featuring the best of Bulgaria's local vintages) will ensure the perfect companion for an evening in its cozy yet modern atmosphere of brick walls and street-facing floor-to-ceiling windows.
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Grape Central
45 ul. "Tsar Samuil"
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Wine lovers will appreciate the internationally acclaimed selection in this charming wine bar. Grape Central's tastefully curated wine list (worldwide, but featuring the best of Bulgaria's local vintages) will ensure the perfect companion for an evening in its cozy yet modern atmosphere of brick walls and street-facing floor-to-ceiling windows.
Enter through the swanky Sense hotel lobby and take the elevator to the 9th floor for breathtaking views of the central Sofia cityscape including not only the iconic St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, but also the ornate Russian Church Nikolay Chudotvorets. Soak it all in with a cocktail or glass of prosecco against the backdrop of the rooftop's trendy, sleek ambiance.
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Hotel Sense Rooftop Bar
bulevard "Tsar Osvoboditel bul. "Tsar Osvoboditel"
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Enter through the swanky Sense hotel lobby and take the elevator to the 9th floor for breathtaking views of the central Sofia cityscape including not only the iconic St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, but also the ornate Russian Church Nikolay Chudotvorets. Soak it all in with a cocktail or glass of prosecco against the backdrop of the rooftop's trendy, sleek ambiance.
Calling Sputnik a retro-themed cocktail bar doesn't quite do it justice. If the Soviet space-era motifs don't transport you to another realm, the unique, potent drinks here certainly will. Also, Raketa Rakia Bar is right next door, so consider popping in there for a quick peek at some Bulgarian Communist memorabilia or a more solid meal if you need to return from orbit.
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Sputnik Cocktail Bar
17 bul. "Yanko Sakazov"
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Calling Sputnik a retro-themed cocktail bar doesn't quite do it justice. If the Soviet space-era motifs don't transport you to another realm, the unique, potent drinks here certainly will. Also, Raketa Rakia Bar is right next door, so consider popping in there for a quick peek at some Bulgarian Communist memorabilia or a more solid meal if you need to return from orbit.