Bulgaria Food and Drink

Dinner is a social occasion, with traditional music and dancing in many restaurants, especially in resorts and in some Sofia eateries. Food is hearty and good. Meals usually start with a salad, from which there are many to choose from on the menu.

There is a wide variety of national dishes, as well as Western European standard dishes, which can be chosen on the spot at any restaurant. All good hotels have restaurants and there are many attractive folk-style restaurants and cafés throughout the country.

Specialities

Tarator (cold soup made from cucumber, walnuts and yoghurt).
Shopska salata (huge salad starter with tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and white cheese).
Kavarma (individual casseroles of pork or veal, onions and mushrooms).
Surmi (stuffed vine or cabbage leaves stuffed with meat).
Kebapche (small, strongly spiced, minced meat rolls).

Tipping

Apart from the top hotels, restaurants rarely add service charge so a 10% tip is customary.

Regional drinks

Coffee, served espresso style, is particularly popular.
Drinks made from infusions of mountain herbs and dried leaves, particularly lime.
White wines include Evksinograde, Karlouski Misket and Tamianka.
Heavy red wines include Mavroud and Trakia.
Liquors include mastika (aniseed spirit, usually diluted) and rakia (local brandy).

Drinking age

18.

Edited by Jane Duru
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