The capital city of Bulgaria, Sofia, is known for many things (being the second oldest city in Europe per say), but delicious food is usually not the first thing that comes to people’s minds. However, I think it’s about time that Sofia starts to become famous for its food and coffee. Honestly, we could not have been more delighted and surprised by the array and tastiness of all the food that we tried in Sofia. And be prepared for very reasonable prices compared to other European countries! We were quite shocked by the high quality of food in some of the restaurants and the very low prices.
So whether you are looking for a little snack, a delicious coffee to start your day, or a fancy place to have dinner, these cafes and restaurants in Sofia are sure to get your appetite started and your stomach growling.
Cafes in Sofia
Who doesn’t love a good coffee shop? There is nothing quite like finding the perfect cup of coffee and a little treat to have on the side. Whether you are looking for artisan coffee or just a place to work with your computer, these cafes in Sofia are perfect for you.
1. Rainbow Factory
Hands down, Rainbow Factory was our favorite cafe in Sofia. Not only did it have very cute vibes, but the food was absolutely DELICIOUS. This was the first place that we ate when we arrived in Sofia and it really started our trip out on the right foot. They have sandwiches, soups, and salads…all of which are delicious. But the star of the show is their bread, which is a homemade focaccia that will leave you wanting more. We came here multiple times on our trip as the food was just so addicting and the sandwiches were great to bring along for road trips. Don’t forget to try the beet sandwich, we still dream about it!
Keep in mind that the name Rainbow Factory is listed only in Bulgarian on the shop sign. It was a bit difficult for us to find as first. It is very centrally located, however, so it’s a nice place to stop as you are sight seeing.
2. Coffee Lab
If you are looking for the best vibes and the best coffee in the city, this is the place for you. Even from a quick glance at the aesthetic on the outside, you can tell that it’s going to be good. But when you walk in, it just gets so much better. Incredible décor in an old-fashioned and hipster style Bulgarian building, you will find Coffee Lab. The owner of the shop is friendly and talkative and will put real effort into the creation of a delicious cup of coffee or matcha. You can walk upstairs to find upholstered sofas and chairs, private rooms to work or have a meeting, and chess boards to play while you enjoy your coffee. It is relaxed, chic, and
Coffee Lab was located right next door to the Airbnb where we stayed for the majority of our trip, which was quite convenient for us. It is open late in the evening and even offers wine in the evening.
Who doesn’t love a café and restaurant that is decorated nicely and has delicious food? Boho is the perfect place to go if you are looking for the perfect brunch. With the perfect combination of local food and classic international favorites, you are sure to find something that you’ll love on the menu. Everything was fresh and delicious and the place was packed full of tourists and locals.
From our experience, the only downside to this café/restaurant is that they claimed to open at 10:30am, and although we arrived promptly at that time, they did not open for more than a half hour to forty five minutes later. If you are in a hurry, this isn’t the place for you. But if you have a little time to spare, it is definitely worth the experience. Don’t leave without trying the Bulgarian Mekitsi, a doughy fried donut that is topped with yogurt and honey.
4. Chucky’s Coffee House
In case you are already in the area of Boho and you don’t have the time to wait for a full meal, you can stop by Chucky’s Coffee House. They have delicious coffees, located in a quaint back alley. You can relax and people watch on the small back roads as you sip some of Bulgaria’s finest.
If you are health conscious and looking for the perfect place to eat, Sofia offers Furna. It is a café and bakery that has some of the most delicious and fresh baked goods and health food products. Ever heard of Einkorn, the original wheat? This bakery has fresh bread made from it. It is also a great place to stop if you have any allergies, like gluten intolerance as they have many alternative health options.
As their signs say, all you need to do is Keep Calm and Eat Bulgarian Banitsa. Try it here at Furna!
Restaurants in Sofia
Cafes and coffee shops are lovely, but sometimes you are looking for something a little more substantial. Whether you are looking for a hefty lunch or the perfect place for a date night, these are the restaurants in Sofia that you just can’t miss. Although the food will all be tempting, don’t forget to try all the delicious drinks that they offer in most restaurants. They have tasty iced tea variations and mocktail-like drinks. Be sure to take advantage of the rose or elderflower flavoring as Bulgaria is famous for it.
If you only have time to have one meal in Bulgaria, you must go to Shtastlivetsa. There is no debate. We went here on our first night in Sofia and couldn’t have been more delighted with the meal, the service, the atmosphere, and the prices. The menu was extensive, offering local delicacies and also more moderate and average alternatives. There were meat dishes to die for and a dessert menu that you couldn’t resist despite the excessive amount of food that you consumed.
They have a lovely seating section outside that allows you to have a view of the busy boulevard as you eat, or you can venture inside to the beautifully decorated indoor seating. Whichever you choose, you will surely not be disappointed. There’s a reason this is one of the top restaurants in Sofia.
7. The Hadjidragana Tavern
Looking for a traditional Bulgarian meal? No need to look any further, you have come to the right place. From the moment that you walk into the Hadjidragana Tavern you know that this is a unique place. You can see the traditional tapestries, decorations, and stone walls of the cave-like cellar décor. The menu is complete with very traditional Bulgaria dishes and they offer live, Bulgaria music almost every day of the week (except Mondays).
Although the experience was unique and worth it (in our opinion), we did find the food to be mediocre at best and the service was not up to standard. It was interesting experience, but the prices were also more expensive than other places due to the touristic nature of the restaurant. Despite this, it was a fun experience to feel a little bit of historical and traditional Bulgarian culture.
Don’t forget to read about the history of the place while you lean back, enjoy your food, and revel in the festivities and live music that they offer.
8. Mangia Station
If you are looking for something quick to eat and a reliable and yummy place to do it, Mangia Station is for you. Just in case you are craving a little bit of Mexico while you are in Sofia, Mangia Station has you covered with some yummy tacos, nachos, and burritos. We went here a few times to grab some snacks and even for dinner. It is quick, convenient, centrally located, delicious, and full of friendly staff.
Be warned…if you ask for spicy food, it will be very spicy! We love a good spice and were very happy with the spicy level that they offered.
9. Sun and Moon
Concerned to travel to Sofia or Bulgaria as a vegetarian? Don’t be! Although a lot of the local and traditional dishes do focus on meat, there are always nice vegetarian options such as Sun and Moon. This restaurant came highly recommended from our Airbnb host. It is located very centrally, has a cute aesthetic, and offers a fully vegetarian menu with many vegan options. There is also a nice health food store right across the street in case you are in the mood to check out the local health food market!
10. Mediterraneo Restaurant
After journeying a bit far from our Airbnb, which was located in the more central, touristic part of Sofia, we made it to Mediterraneo Restaurant. It was located in a hipster neighborhood that was filled with bookshops, vinyl’s shops, art galleries, and unique bars. The entire areas was adorable, but this restaurant was the crème de la crème. Tucked away in a little nook that is covered by trees and fairy lights, you’ll find The Mediterraneo.
Unfortunately, we did not make a reservation and the place was fully packed (we couldn’t even wait for a table it was so full), so we were not able to eat there, but it looked amazing! Go visit there for us and enjoy the vibes and the highly acclaimed food!
11. The Little Things
Another restaurant that came highly recommended from our host (and plenty of people on the internet) is The Little Things. Our trip to Sofia was too short for us to find the time to eat here, so we were only able to dream about it. However, the quaint vibes and tempting menu is almost enough to book another trip back to the city just to give it a try.
Looking for more fun things to do in Bulgaria? Check out our full 5 Day Itinerary in Bulgaria: 5 Days in Bulgaria – Ultimate Itinerary for an Unforgettable Trip
Or our list of Things to Do in Sofia: 10 Can’t-Miss Things to Do in Sofia | Exploring the Unique Things in Bulgaria’s Capital City
Lots of Love and Safe Travels,
Danielle and Brooke, Colorful Sisters