The characteristically cosy cafés and restaurants in Sofia, Bulgaria’s capital city, invite long and leisurely lunches. Surrender to its invitation and recharge over platters of local food and a glass or two of Bulgarian wine.
Top cafés and restaurants in Sofia
Sofia is more than 2000 years old and brimming with history, art and cultural attractions. A good lunch will keep your energy levels up, which is yet another perfect excuse to linger at our pick of restaurants in Sofia.
If you need to catch your breath after exploring Sofia’s shops and boutiques, drop into Cosmos. This fine-dining restaurant is conveniently located near the city’s famous shopping street, Vitosha Boulevard.
The talented chefs at Cosmos take traditional Bulgarian cuisine and give it an innovative twist. The result? A surprisingly modern take on hearty Eastern European cuisine.
Choose from a variety of delicious, locally-sourced ingredients and impeccably presented dishes. We’d certainly wager some of them are actually almost too good to eat.
While you’ll love the spacious interior, attentive staff and extensive menu, it can get busy. So, consider booking a table ahead, particularly if you’re a large group.
Find it at: Lavele St 19
2. Niko’las 0/360
When the restaurant’s tagline is “The Taste of Balkans with an Asian twist”, you know to expect the unexpected.
The superb Niko’las 0/360 restaurant delivers on its promise. As one of the only restaurants in Sofia to offer a dégustation (or tasting) menu, guests can sample from the chef’s signature dishes.
Imagine mouth-watering creations like warm kyopolu (a traditional aubergine, pepper and garlic dip) and slow-cooked, fall-off-the-bone veal served with potato, porcini mushroom and baked apples. It’s just the dish to warm your soul on cold winter days.
The restaurant is trendy yet welcoming, with wood-panelled walls and minimalist décor.
Find it at: 3 Rayko Daskalov Sq.
If lunch seems like a lifetime away, give in and grab a table at Tables Sofia for brunch.
Trendy Tables is one of the hippest restaurants in Sofia. What’s more, it offers a special brunch menu, served after 11am.
When you’re not tucking into its delectable small bites plates, you’ll have your phone out capturing its ambience for that perfect Insta story. This little gem is tucked away in a teeny side street just off the popular Vitosha Boulevard.
Our top tip? The Eggs Benedict are particularly recommended.
Find it at: Bul. Vitosha, 55 B, Sofia 1000
It may not be traditionally Bulgarian, but trust us on this one. If you’re craving a really good melt-in-your mouth cheeseburger, make a beeline for Skapto. Hands down, it’s one of the best burger restaurants in Sofia.
Wolf down one of the burgers from their small but delicious menu. Then wash them down with an excellent local craft beer.
This cosy restaurant is indeed the perfect place to carbo-load for an afternoon of exploration.
Find it at: Iskar 11А, 1000 Sofia Center. You’ll see it on the ground floor.
5. Rainbow Café
While there’s no pot of gold at the end of this one, you’ll feel like you hit the jackpot anyway when you dine at this New York-style Sofia café. A local favourite for breakfast, brunch or lunch, Rainbow Café is well worth the wait for a table.
Fuel up with a locally-roasted, speciality coffee before sampling traditional Bulgarian pastries like banitsa (a type of cheese pie) or mekitsa (fried dough) drizzled with white cheese.
Our recommendation? The Rainbow Café’s homemade cakes and lemonade are legendary.
Find it at: Veslets, 10
6. Made in Home
For a taste of traditional Bulgarian hospitality, pop into Made in Home. Run by a local family, this small restaurant serves up Bulgarian-meets-Middle-Eastern fusion cuisine.
Consequently, you’ll have lots to choose from with an extensive menu featuring such favourites as hearty traditional soups, meatballs and beef pita burgers. Pick a few plates and share, or settle back and relax in the restaurant’s cosy Victorian and Bohemian interior. Better still, you’ll leave feeling like one of the family.
Find it at: Angel Kanchev 30, 1000 Sofia Center
7. Corso Restaurant
If you’re looking for a beautiful view to pair with lunch, head to Corso. One of the most popular restaurants in Sofia, it boasts the best views of Sofia’s Russian Church. Of course, Corso also has a huge menu covering everything from traditional Bulgarian dishes to international favourites.
The multi-level establishment has a casual coffee bar on the ground floor, a cosy garden-bar on the second floor and an elegant restaurant on the third floor. Across the way, through the wall to ceiling glass windows, is Sofia’s UNESCO-listed 17th-century Muscovite church.
Find it at: 10 Tsar Osvoboditel Boul.
There’s certainly no chance you’ll go hungry with such an extraordinary array of restaurants in Sofia, serving so many different culinary tastes. Take advantage of the city’s epicurean roots and linger over lunch. There’s absolutely no better way to enjoy the city than by refuelling at one of these popular Sofia cafés.
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Have you visited Sofia? We’d love to hear about your top lunch picks and favourite Sofia cafés. Let us know in the comments below…