MY OWN CHOICE: HAPPY EATING

MY OWN CHOICE: HAPPY EATING

Thu, 05/01/2008 - 17:41

Sofia is a diner's delight, whether it is a light lunch or a more substantial meal

Jeanette Visser
Jeanette Visser

Lunching, dining out or having coffee in Sofia is an absolute thrill and challenges your decisions due to the multitude of restaurants available. I never thought, when coming here, that I would be confronted by such a variety of places, which seem to multiply by the month.

Having a cappuccino at Costas in the City Centre Sofia mall is a special treat - especially if you like fresh muffins. A variety of coffees are served as well as freshly baked cakes. The right way to end your visit to the mall!

The freshly baked French croissants, not to mention the variety of imported cheeses, patés, hams and other delicacies, available at Dar ot Bogovete (Gift from the Gods) should not be missed. An espresso and croissant while pondering the choice of cheeses, makes this my favourite delicatessen in Sofia, (Bellisimo Business Centre, 102 Bulgaria Blvd, phone: 854 8686/7, 17 Cherni Vruh Blvd, phone: 866 2004). Their wonderful hampers make a welcome gift for that special friend and it is the ideal shop to buy those nice specialities you sometimes need for that important occasion when time is running short. Their name says it all.

My first dinner after arriving in Sofia was in the old Krim Restaurant, (17 Slavyanska St, phone: 988 6950/51), which has been undergoing a major renovation since that first evening nearly four years ago. The lamb which was served during the Easter period of that year was unforgettable, especially as I grew up on a sheep farm far away in the Freestate province of South Africa. It was later that I learned about lamb only being served during the Orthodox Easter period. Situated in a beautiful, renovated building resembling a distinguished house, it is an oasis in this lovely part of the city, equally pleasant in summer and in winter. The menu now offers a variety of delicious dishes to suit all palates as they have done away with the heavier dishes of that first evening.

A little jewel in the centre of Sofia is definitely L'Etranger, (78 Tsar Simeon St, phone: 983 1417). This French restaurant also underwent a major renovation and their carefully selected menu will definitely suit all tastes.

Of course you cannot mention restaurants without including an Italian one. The new Osteria di Sofia, (32 Hristo Belchev St, phone: 987 0999), is one of those that beg you to return time and again. With a very capable chef, who likes to please; a minimalist interior and friendly staff, it is surely a restaurant to be recommended. The chef, when requested, will willingly put together a complete meal without you even having to glance at the menu. Their anti-pasta, soups, pizzas, risottos and so on are well worth trying.

What is more comforting in summer than a filling bowl of soup which I recommend at Pri Latsi, a small Hungarian restaurant, (18 Oborishte St, phone: 846 8687). This small and homely restaurant is very cosy and gives the feeling of being in your own comfort zone. There are only a few tables, so in order not to be disappointed it is advisable to make a reservation.

Talking about small and intimate restaurants I must recommend Vishnite Club-Restaurant, (45 Hristo Smirnenski Blvd, phone: 963 4984). A real gem with only three tables, excellent wines and superb food, this is another must to visit.

Coming from a country with a large Indian community and therefore excellent Indian restaurants I must mention the Ramayana, (5 Arsenalski Blvd, phone: 963 0866). They are open for lunch and dinner and have an excellent take-away menu as well. The variety of North Indian food on offer is extensive and their chapattis must be among the best there are.

In Boyana you should not miss the Armenian Restaurant, (116 Pushkin Blvd, phone: 857 5180, 857 5190). In summer lunch is served around a lovely swimming pool. The salads are highly recommended. A huge variety of dishes being a combination of Armenian, Bulgarian and Lebanese are offered. Portions are fairly large so bear that in mind when ordering. This restaurant offers great value for money.

I also have to mention Grozd (Bunch of Grapes), (21 Osvoboditel Blvd, phone: 944 3915). This restaurant offers a wonderful view of the Russian monument and their menu has something for all tastes. I could go on and on which shows that I have really been impressed with the number and variety of restaurants here.

The Bulgarian custom of starting a meal with a fresh salad and rakiya followed by one of their excellent wines contributes, of course, to the spirit of togetherness. A custom which will always bring back good memories.

Sofia is a diner's delight, whether it is a light lunch or a more substantial meal. The choice is there. The problem you encounter, and it is a pleasant problem, is where to go next. Happy eating!

Issue 20 My own choice Eating out in Bulgaria

Commenting on www.vagabond.bg

Vagabond Media Ltd requires you to submit a valid email to comment on www.vagabond.bg to secure that you are not a bot or a spammer. Learn more on how the company manages your personal information on our Privacy Policy. By filling the comment form you declare that you will not use www.vagabond.bg for the purpose of violating the laws of the Republic of Bulgaria. When commenting on www.vagabond.bg please observe some simple rules. You must avoid sexually explicit language and racist, vulgar, religiously intolerant or obscene comments aiming to insult Vagabond Media Ltd, other companies, countries, nationalities, confessions or authors of postings and/or other comments. Do not post spam. Write in English. Unsolicited commercial messages, obscene postings and personal attacks will be removed without notice. The comments will be moderated and may take some time to appear on www.vagabond.bg.

0 comments

Add new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.

Restricted HTML

  • Allowed HTML tags: <a href hreflang> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote cite> <code> <ul type> <ol start type> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <h2 id> <h3 id> <h4 id> <h5 id> <h6 id>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.

Discover More

The 23rd infantry battalion of Shipka positioned north of Bitola, Macedonia, during the Great War
FINDING ANTIP KOEV OBUSHTAROV
In early 2021 veteran Kazanlak-based photographer Alexander Ivanov went to the Shipka community culture house called Svetlina, founded in 1861, to inspect "some negatives" that had been gathering the dust in cardboard boxes.

soviet army monument sofia ukraine
MONUMENTAL WOES
One of the attractions of the Bulgarian capital, the 1950s monument to the Red Army, may fascinate visitors wanting to take in a remnant of the Cold War, but many locals consider it contentious.

panelki neighbourhood bulgaria
PREFAB SOCIETY
With the mountains for a backdrop and amid large green spaces, uniform apartment blocks line up like Legos. Along the dual carriageway, 7km from the centre of Sofia, the underground comes above ground: Mladost Station.

boyan the magus
WHO WERE THE BOGOMILS?
What do you do when the events of the day overwhelm you? When you feel that you have lost control of your own life? You might overeat, rant on social media or buy stuff you do not need. You might call your shrink.

Monument to Hristo Botev in his native Kalofer
WHO WAS HRISTO BOTEV?
Every 2 June, at exactly noon, the civil defence systems all over Bulgaria are switched on. The sirens wail for a minute. A minute when many people stop whatever they are doing and stand still.

st george day bulgaria
DAY OF ST GEORGE BULGARIAN STYLE
Bulgarians celebrate St George's Day, or Gergyovden, with enormous enthusiasm, both officially and in private.

Shopska salad is the ultimate rakiya companion
HOW TO ENJOY RAKIYA
The easiest way for a foreigner to raise a Bulgarian brow concerns a sacrosanct pillar of national identity: rakiya, the spirit that Bulgarians drink at weddings, funerals, for lunch, at protracted dinners; because they are sad or joyful, and somet

151020-28446.jpg
SOFIA'S PARTY HOUSE
"Where is the parliament?" A couple of months ago anyone asking this question in Sofia would have been pointed to a butter-yellow neoclassical building at one end of the Yellow Brick Road.

Boyko Borisov_0.jpg
BLAST FROM THE PAST*
Bulgaria's courts have been given the chance to write legal history as former Prime Minister Boyko Borisov is suing Yordan Tsonev, the MP for the Movement for Rights and Freedoms, over Tsonev's referral to him as a mutra.

bulgaria underworld.jpg
WHAT IS A MUTRA?
Mutra is one of those short and easy-to-pronounce Bulgarian words that is also relatively easy to translate.

Magdalina Stancheva.jpg
WHO WAS MAGDALINA STANCHEVA?
Walking around Central Sofia is like walking nowhere else, notwithstanding the incredibly uneven pavements.

SCHOLARS AND RADICALS
When a Bulgarian TV crew came to our village in northeastern Bulgaria to shoot a beer advert they wanted British people in the film, so we appeared as ourselves.