Food appreciation post: Sofia, Bulgaria

Sofia is a great place to eat at great restaurants, and delicious food, at a very cheap cost.

I arrived in Sofia just at lunchtime on a Saturday, and quickly realised my hotel was closed to one of the most recommended restaurants by tourism guides. Moma – the outside is nicely decorated and the inside is just stunning, adorned with traditional Bulgarian tapestries and portraits of Bulgarian women wearing traditional costumes.

I am always a bit more self-conscious when I’m travelling alone in a smaller city, where most people are eating in groups. I always notice how the locals look at in with a certain curiosity and that was exactly what happened here. Yet, they couldn’t have been nicer. In their timid English, they guided me to a table for four people – thankfully, the restaurant was mostly empty, with just the other two tables occupied. I assumed the restaurant is busier in the evening.

I looked around in splendour. The interior was indeed unique, as you can see in my photos here.

I ordered their Grandma’s Vegetarian dish in a bread bowl – I had tried something similar before in Riga, Latvia, but it was not even close to the quality of this. The crispy bread, the rich taste of the vegetables and the added piece of goat cheese. It was delicious. To drink I ordered a glass of Bulgarian white wine.

when the food came to the table, the waiter offered to take a picture of me. I was so surprised by how nice everyone seemed to be ‘ from the lovely lady at the hotel reception to the staff of this restaurant. So far, my first impressions of the locals were very very positive. Even though I really didn’t feel like taking a picture, as I had slept probably two hours and was incredibly tired, I didn’t have the courage to refuse.

When I was almost finishing my meal, I realised that out of the three tables that were occupied (now there were three, instead of the initial two), there was a table with two fellow Portuguese girls, seemingly enjoying the same dish I was enjoying. It took me some time to realise they spoke my native language. What a coincidence!

Definitely add this one to your list, when visiting Sofia!

The days were mostly warm when I was in Sofia, and so when I went to have lunch with my friend, I took an opportunity to try the Shopska salad. Apparently is mostly considered a national dish because the colours evoke those of the Bulgarian flag – it’s made of cucumber, tomato, onions, peppers and sirene (goat white cheese). I also ordered (and later regretted it as the salad was more filling than expected) the mashed potato dish you see on the left.

On my last day in Sofia, I made my way to another recommended Bulgarian restaurant Izbata Tavern. Also very traditional decoration and amazing food – I went for the granny’s chicken (there is a theme with me going for the dishes imagined by some grandma!) and to drink I got the Ayran, a cold savory yogurt-based beverage of yogurt and water.

If you are a dessert person, you may be disappointed in Bulgaria. Sweet things are not the strongest suit, and the dessert menu is always disappointingly short and common. My advice – skip the dessert at the restaurant, and go get yourself some ice cream elsewhere 🙂

And that is all I wanted to share today – my final post on Bulgaria!

Thank you for reading.

Love, Nic

4 thoughts on “Food appreciation post: Sofia, Bulgaria

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