I’m sure that some of you already know that this year WordCamp Europe is coming to Sofia. As a food blogger and also one of the speakers , I’ve been asked for some food recommendations for those who are coming to Bulgaria from all around the world.
First, I must say that Bulgarian food is just awesome! Being an enthusiastic traveler, I had the chance to try many different cuisines and still couldn’t find such a combination of tastes. Even though we share a lot of dishes with the Middle-Eastern, Russian and Greek cuisines, our local variations are so delicious, that I really hope you come to Sofia hungry.
Considering the great variety of dishes you’ll find in the local restaurants’ menus, I decided to make a list of must-tries for you. Below you can find a few tips:
- Bulgarians typically order a soup or salad and a main course. If you’re planning a long nice dinner with friends, we recommend you to start with some dips – ljutenitsa and kyopoolou. You can try those in most traditional Bulgarian restaurants in Sofia, such as Manastirska Magernitsa.
- Your first salad should definitely be the Shopska salad. It’s a mixture of tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, and the white cheese, which in Bulgaria is ‘The Cheese’. Everything else you might identify as cheese is either called ‘Kashkaval’ or something else. There’s also a version of the salad with meat and mushrooms, it’s called Ovcharska (Shepherd’s) salad.
- There’s a special place for Shkembe chorba in the Bulgarian national cuisine. That’s the famous tripe soup. Typically we eat it with bread and lots of garlic – no appetizer or entrée. It’s a classic meal for people having strong hangover after last night’s party. The best place to try tripe soup in Sofia is Catch’A maK. Remember that name, shkembe chorba, you might need it! :)
- Speaking of soups, September in Sofia is usually warm. After a hard WordCamp day you’ll most certainly enjoy a refreshing bowl of tarator. It’s a cold soup made of yogurt, cucumbers, walnuts, dill and (an optional) touch of garlic. I strongly recommend Catch’A maK’s tarator!
- Also, try the bean soup in Bulgaria! Roasted beans, fried beans, anything beans – it’s very traditional and quite popular. You can usually order it together with baked sausages. Just ask for it in that nice place called Жадната Ламя (Тhe Thirsty Dragon).
- It’s the season of roasted peppers here. There is nothing better than a red pepper, stuffed with The Cheese and eggs, called ‘Peppers burek’. This meal typically lives under the appetizers menu, but you might not need a main course if you order it. It can be found in any of the Divaka restaurants.
- When in Sofia, you should also try the stuffed peppers with mince and local spices. They’re traditionally served together with the famous Bulgarian yogurt. Again – ask for them in Divaka or any traditional restaurant offering typical Bulgarian cousine.
- One of the favorite main dishes in Bulgaria is moussaka. The local variation of the meal is made usually with meat and potatoes and it’s often served with yogurt and fresh parsley. You can usually find it in the special lunch menus in most restaurants.
- I almost forgot about the Bulgarian banitsa! Definitely a must-try. It’s a pastry with various fillings. The banitsa with white cheese is the most traditional one and you can try it in Checkpoint Charly.
- Remember (especially if you don’t like risks when it comes to food) – the local equivalent of burgers are kufte and kebapche. They fit well with ljutenitsa and in restaurants are usually served with no buns, so you’ll need to also order bread. One of the best places to try kufte is Made in Home.
There are plenty of good local wines, but if you need to choose one to try – go for Mavrud. And give a chance to the Bulgarian rakia - a brandy made of various fruits which is very popular in the Balkans.
I’m sure that you’ll enjoy the time spent in Sofia with new friends, trying all the delicious things you can find in this part of Europe. Also, Petya already shared a few Foursquare lists with cool places in Sofia, don’t miss them!
See you next week in Sofia and please do not hesitate to ping me on twitter, if you need some more recommendations! :)
* Макар до момента да съм писала в Sweet Things само на български, този път случаят е специален. В края на седмицата в София ще се проведе WordCamp Europe – събитие, което ще се радва на голям брой международни гости. Освен, че ще участвам като лектор, в публикацията по-горе се опитах да събера няколко препоръки за интересни местни храни. Още идеи са добре дошли! :)