In the recent years every time when we go out for dinner with friends in Sofia we face significant difficulties. The reasons is not in the lack of good places where to meet. On the opposite!
Recently Sofia has experiences such a number of excellent restaurants, with menus and atmosphere to discover and fall in love with, that your head can easily spin. Moreover, a significant part of these introduce or interpret culinary traditions that until recently were new to the Bulgarian palate. Mediterranean cuisine is not a novelty anymore. The Japanese cuisine has its dedicated fans. Burgers are not associated with international fast food chains anymore, and lovers of the exotic can explore the tastes of India, for example.
The whole world meets on the plates of the Sofia restaurants. The reasons for this change are complex. Globalisation transfers foreign culinary traditions thousands of kilometres away from their birth places. More and more Bulgarians travel all over the world, getting acquainted to its tastes. The city is visited by a growing number of foreign tourists and they are not only after Bulgarian national cuisine. Brave entrepreneurs and chefs meet this growing demand with quality, well thought-over concepts and offers. The winner in this situation are the people for whom food is a way of life and an expression of their innate curiosity and openness to the world.
Indian restaurant Kohinoor: Deliciously exotic
The cuisine of India is famed all over the world with its intensive tastes and aromas, and in the heart of Sofia you will discover it in its complete, delicious variety. Indian restaurant Kohinoor (Sofia, 7 Knyaz Boris I St, www.kohinoor.bg) offers authentic dishes, selected for all types of preferences: from vegetarian to delicate to spicy. In its menu you will discover favourite classics like Korma, Tikka Massala, Tandouri, Curries, Biryani. The wine list is carefully selected, and the atmospheric ambience of the restaurant inspires you for an imaginary travel to India, the kingdom of tastes.
Mediterraneo Restaurant: Classical Mediterranean cuisine in home-made style
Mediterraneo Restaurant (Sofia, 9B Oborishte St, www.mediterraneo.bg) is the place to try special selection of the most interesting Mediterranean cuisines. In it you will find the famed Coq au vin from France; crunchy and delicate pizza with sourdough from Italy; Greek Kritaraki with horse meat ragout; typical Lebanese Kebab of lamb and veal; Gallician octopus, one of the most famous dishes of Northern Spain; Mediterranean Topenitsa in Turkish style. All of these are combined with different wines from the Mediterranean countries. The professionals at Mediterraneo believe that the creativity to prepare good food is an extremely important part of the art of life, and are truly happy when their dishes are in the centre of the shared emotion of a dinner with friends.
Boom! Burgers: Where burgers are a mission
In 2012, when Boom! Burgers opened the first gourmet burger joint in Bulgaria (Sofia, 15 Karnigradska St, www.boomburgers.com, FB: Boom Burgers), this modern culture was practically unknown in the country. Today gourmet burgers are known and loved, and Boom! Burgers not only established itself as one of the tastiest locations for them, but also opened a second restaurant (Sofia, 12 Tsar Osvoboditel Blvd), which also offers craft cocktails and bourbon. The burgers of Boom! Burgers are made only of Prime Irish beef, the buns are baked every day, and each Wednesday the burger lab offers you to try a new recipe. Add to all of thеse the series of beers that you cannot find anywhere else, and you already know why Boom! Burgers were, are and will remain hot spots on Sofia's culinary pleasures map, and why they won the Best Burger Place 2015 in the Go Guide Food & Drink Awards.
The View: Restaurant at the top of Sofia
Food tastes better when the view is remarkable, and few places in Sofia can compete in beauty of the vistas with The View (89B Vitosha Blvd, 24th floor Millennium Center, www.theview.bg, FB: The View Restaurant Sofia). Everything in The View has been crafted to make you feel happy and satisfied with life: from the elegant atmosphere, through the vistas of the capital, to the dishes. The View offers delicious options for the entire day: marvellous breakfast, a diverse buffet weekday lunch, and exquisite à la carte offers for the nights and the weekends. The menu is focused on the cuisines of the Mediterranean, Italy, and France, and the quality is of the kind that will inspire you to come up with new and new reasons to return to The View.
Tuga Portuguese Restaurant: Authentically Portuguese
From the interior to the music to the suggestions in the menu and the wine list: every detail in Tuga Portuguese Restaurant (12 Madrid Blvd, www.tugabarsofia.com) recreates the unique atmosphere of Portugal and its ocean coast. Tuga and its Portuguese chef rely on original products like Portuguese prosciutto, cheeses, chorizo, and on homemade recipes for classics like octopus lagareiro, francesinha, cozido and codfish. The desserts include remarkable local creations like pastel de nata and the famed Molotov pudding. The carefully selected white, green and red Portuguese wines beautifully complement the taste of the food and brighten your mood. The gentle fado music is the final touch in this one-of-a-kind, charming place. For a more dynamic experience, visit Tuga when football matches from the Portuguese championship are broadcasted.
Die Alte Lampe German Bierhalle: Authentic recipes and fascinating tastes
If there is anything that can make us forget about our diet and the approaching warm months, this is the cuisine of Germany: who could resist a good Wiener Schnitzel with a stein of German draft beer? For more than 15 years now, Die Alte Lampe German Bierhalle (Sofia, Lozenets, 2 Kotel St, www.fenerite.com) has been bringing together in its menu the biggest classics of this great culinary tradition and has been invariably presenting it to us authentically, deliciously and in large portions. In Die Alte Lampe you will find everything you need to transport yourself spiritually in Germany: four types of genuine draft beer, wursts, goulash, sauerkraut and, of course, juicy and crispy pork knuckle.
Chekpoint Charly: International favourite
Named after the infamous checkpoint in Cold War Berlin, Checkpoint Charly restaurant (Sofia, 12 Ivan Vazov St, phone: 02 988 03 70, www.checkpointcharlybg.com) stands out not only for its intriguing interior divided between Communist East and democratic West, and covered with the autographs by famous diners, such as Umberto Eco and Elizabeth Kostova. For years, Checkpoint Charly has been a beloved place for the Sofia Boheme and for everyone who cherishes quality food. The menu plays on the pleasant variety and filling sizes, manoeuvring between recipes both beloved and denying political borders, like risotto, salmon, schnitzel and duck breasts, and classical Bulgarian dishes like cheese pastry, meatballs, Smilyan beans, polenta, buffalo cheese and tasty tomatoes. The wine list is carefully selected and on Friday nights there is live jazz music.
All Seasons Restaurant: The name of satisfaction
Wonderful author's international cuisine and the elegant atmosphere that goes best with it: this is what is on offer for the clients of All Seasons Restaurant (All Seasons Residence Hotel, Sofia, Boyana, 4 Sborishte Sq, www.allseasonsresidence.com). Located among the clean air of the prestigious neighbourhood in the capital, All Seasons is for everyone who cherishes high-quality products and author's cuisine, reinterpreting the well known classics. Everything in the restaurant, led by chef Daniel Dimitrov, is made of carefully selected seasonal products. As a result, the tastes stay with you long after the end of the dining, filling you with the feel of perfection and satisfaction.
Miyabi Japanese restaurant: The delicate power of perfection
If you think that Japanese cuisine is monotonous, then you don't really know Japanese cuisine, but have restricted yourself to sushi. Since 2011, the Miyabi Japanese restaurant (Sofia, 5 Stara Planina St, phone: +359 887 275 064; +359 886 105 675, www.miyabi.bg) has achieving the impossible: bringing the cuisine of the Land of Rising Sun to Sofia in its complete diversity, delicacy and authenticity of the taste. The skilled chef Petar Mihalchev has created a menu, in which the well known types of sushi share space (and the love of the customers) with more exotic suggestions like several types of Japanese soup, salads with a variety of fish and seafood, a diversity of main dishes, sets of donburi, sashimi and intriguing desserts like taiyaki (fish-shaped cakes with filling of red bean marzipan). Whatever you choose, in Miyabi you will be offered dishes that are fresh, authentic and inspiring to get to know in depth the rich culinary tradition of Japan.
Butcher Specialised Meat Shops: Discovering true taste
Is it possible to find quality beef in Sofia? The short answer is yes, while the long one is yes, at the Butcher Specialised Meat Shops (27 Gurko St, www.butcher.bg). For four years now this small family butcher shop has been offering aged meat and beef products from calves that were raised under the best conditions by trusted Bulgarian farmers. Each piece of meat at Butcher has been cut on the spot, and the shop's suggestions now also include lamb, pork and chicken. If you are wondering how to cook the meat of your choice, the professionals behind the counter will advise you. Don't miss the meat specialities as well: Sazdarma delicacy after the shop's own recipe, Sudzhuk, meatballs.