Take advantage of this hidden Balkan gem: Bulgaria! Well hidden in Southeastern Europe, this beautiful country is an excellent mixture between the  Black Sea coast and majestic mountains. Bulgaria has stunning landscapes, golden beaches, colorful festivals, unique traditions, and tasty cuisine!

Due to its geographical position, Bulgarian food culture has been influenced since ancient times by The Ottoman Empire, and nowadays, it shows numerous similarities with its Balkan neighbors: Greece, Romania, Serbia, and Turkey. Of course, there are also a lot of unique features that make it unforgettable!

Bulgarians love their pork and chicken – the most common meat dishes, though seafood, fish, and veal dishes are also popular. At the same time, lamb is special in Bulgarian cooking since it’s often used in festive holiday dishes.

Is your mouth watering yet? Whether you are a meat lover or a vegetarian, buckle up: let’s discover what food experiences are a must when traveling to Bulgaria! 

Bulgarian Dishes to Try

A cheesy and buttery pastry dish to try is Banitsa! A hot and steamy Banitsa for breakfast is an excellent start for an authentic Bulgarian day. You can find it everywhere, from cafes and bakeries to restaurants and gas stations. This savory pastry boasts a delicious classic filling of feta cheese — although you can also find variations with onion, cabbage, spinach, mushrooms, or pumpkin. Let your taste be the judge!

You can always opt for a delicious banitsa filled with apples or walnuts for your sweet tooth! 

The standard price for one is approx—$ 1,10.


Have you ever been in a situation where you craved something light, fresh, and vegetarian? If this scenario finds you in Bulgaria, you are in luck! Discover Tarator – A yogurt-based soup of cucumbers, garlic, dill, and sometimes walnuts (and even ice cubes!). This can be the perfect appetizer for a lovely summer brunch while cooling off at a rustic restaurant on the Black Sea shore. 


Another dish that will make your taste receptors throw a party is the Bulgarian version of a well-known recipe across most Balkan countries. The Moussaka Bulgarians love to eat is made with potatoes cut into small cubes, mixed with pork meat, and then covered with a mixture of eggs and milk and baked. Some recipes call for a topping of yogurt for a tangy flavor, while others choose to top their moussaka with cheese when served. 

Sounds divine? Wait until you have a taste! 


One of the best Bulgarian foods you can come across is Kavarma. A delicious and thick stew is simmered to ensure the meat melts in your mouth. Traditionally made with pork, carrots, onions, leeks, mushrooms, peppers, tomatoes, and wine; Kavarma is a dish prepared originally only in traditional clay pots (gyuveche).

Usually served as a main dish on a cold winter afternoon, this stew is one of the country’s “emblematic” comfort meals. Bulgarians say it just smells like home! 


The Farmer’s Market experience

If you are more of a home cook, you will be ecstatic to learn that Bulgarian food markets are rich and diverse in fresh fruits, vegetables, and authentic homemade goods. 

Designed with foodies in mind, here are three essential Sofia markets you can’t pass by: Flea Market, Zhenski Pazar Women’s Market, and the covered market known as Central Market Hall. You can find them all in Sofia and enjoy all their specialized stalls and lots of bakeries.

Here’s some advice when visiting these markets: If you don’t see the price, feel free to bargain! 

Central Market Hall

Gourmet lunches in Bulgarian Restaurants

Traveling to Bulgaria as a gourmand is relatively easy! 

Travelers love eating in local restaurants that allow them to try many authentic Bulgarian dishes. Here are a few recommendations for some of the cities you can’t miss when visiting this rich-in-flavor country: 

Sofia – the capital: book a place at “The View Restaurant” for a fantastic panoramic view over the city. If you’re looking for a more rustic feel to your brunch, try Hadjidraganov’s House – one of the most traditional restaurants in Sofia; ordering garlic bread here is a must! 

Ruse – For the best traditional and cultural experience in Ruse, you must visit Mehana Chiflika. If you’re looking forward to an evening full of entertainment with live music, this is the place to be.

Plovdiv – Book your table at Philippopolis – The restaurant is part of a complex comprising a private museum, an art gallery, and an art shop. The menu is a fusion between national flavors and international delicacies. Definitely, an experience you will remember.

Varna – Want the experience of the local taste right on the coast of the Black Sea? Visit El Kapan. The interior is colorful and playful, and you will enjoy some tasty fish-based dishes while admiring the endless blue horizon. 

El Kapan

You can’t dine without WINE! 

Upon coming to Bulgaria, wine tasting should be on your itinerary. 

Villa Vinifera 

Not many wineries in the world still operate in the traditional style – in oak barrels. Villa Vinifera is one of these places. Here you will taste the Mavrud and Misket varieties, meet the winemakers, eat local bread and cheese, and enjoy the site at the foothills of the Rhodope Mountains.

Villa Vinifera – tasting

Good wine is made with love and passion; modern winemaking in Bulgaria is truly an art! Other popular picturesque places to visit for wine tasting are Villa Melnik, Borovitza Winery, and Tsarev Brod Winery

Eager to try Bulgarian food?

All your senses should be teased by the end of this article. If the foodie in you can’t wait to take a trip to Bulgaria, consider this post your sign to book a flight to the Balkans and enjoy all the traditional dishes! 

If you need even more reasons to see this beautiful country, you’ll find nine other reasons here. 

In the meantime, why not consider consulting with Balkan Trails? We have unique private tours to Bulgaria.

Don’t miss out on the chance to discover the hidden treasures of Bulgaria!

Book your custom tour now and embark on an unforgettable journey through this captivating country. With our expert guides and personalized itineraries, you’ll experience the very best that Bulgaria has to offer.

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