Even though the culinary world has changed immensely over the past years, with foods and meals from all over the world now being accessible almost anywhere, there is no doubt that every nation is attached to its traditional breakfast. The English are still in love with their eggs and bacon, coffee and croissant for the French, praise the cereal when it comes to the U.S. And Bulgarians? Well, we definitely love pastries, be it savory or sweet.
A typical Bulgarian breakfast would include a piece of pastry with “airan” – liquid yogurt or “boza” – a traditional fermented drink made of wheat or malt. And when it comes to pastries, ask anyone in Sofia, we are crazy about “banitsa”. Banitsa is a usually savory piece of pastry that we fill with whatever our imagination or our grannies could think of. Most typically it’s cheese, but also onion, pumpkin etc.
If you are into the Bulgarian type traditional breakfast, Sofia has a lot to offer in terms of breakfast places. Even if you miss your home country’s breakfast style – you still have a chance for a proper English or French breakfast. Let’s take a look of our favorite breakfast places in Sofia!
Mekitsa & Coffee
Mekitsa is a traditional Bulgarian deep fried breakfast dish made of dough, full of childhood melancholy for us Bulgarians. As for Mekitsa & Coffee – it is undoubtedly the place for mekitsa in Sofia, offering a wide variety of sweet and savory mekitsa, with healthier options for the ones on a gluten-free or vegan diet. Make sure to try the small fried pastries we call “buhta”, another sweet memory from our childhood.
HleBar’s name comes from the Bulgarian word for bread – “hlyab”. Originally a bread bakery, HleBar has turned into one of the hippest places for breakfast in Sofia currently. You can choose from savory banitsa or sweet pastries and croissants, and a daily seasonal menu if you’re up to stay till lunch time. HleBar has also excellent coffee options as well as an organic shop. Make sure to try their bread, available in both classical and more adventurous options. HleBar has two locations, both central – on Shishman Str. and Oborishte Str. It’s a favorite spot of the locals and it can get fairly crowded on weekends and around lunch time.
“Furna” in Bulgarian means oven and this is one of the better bakeries for banitsa in town. You can choose from classical style banitsa or healthier whole grain options, both savory and sweet. Furna also offers mekitsa, French croissants, pastries cookies, all kinds of desserts and breads and of course coffee. You can find Furna on 3 Stefan Stambolov Blvd., not too far from the Women’s Market. If for some reason you happen to be in Metro Cash&Carry store on Tsarigradsko Shose, there’s one over there, too.
Daro is named after its owner Darin, going by Daro, a culinary blogger and Master Chef star. Daro is a small cozy bakery and cafe located on Angel Kanchev Str. If you’re not sure what you feel like for breakfast, then Daro is definitely your place. You can keep wondering while choosing from savory and sweet muffins, banitsa, English breakfast (yay for those who feel homesick), omelettes, eggs on eyes, yogurt pudding etc.
Another hip place for coffee and food. It offers all kinds of breakfast: sandwiches, wraps, French toasts, salads, pastries, cakes and sweets. And when it comes to the coffee – many describe the coffee roasted by Rainbow Factory as one of the best you can find in Sofia. Rainbow Factory can be found in two locations: Veslets Str. and Sheynovo Str.
If your sweet tooth is stronger than anything and you can’t begin your day without having something sweet, then Villa Rosiche is the kind of place for you as it is well-known for its deserts and sweets. A higher end sweets shop, Villa Rosiche offer some amazing options for cakes if you’re into the the sweet side of life. It has two locations: more central one on Neophit Rilski Str and one in the neighborhood of Lozenets.
Jovan the Dutch Bakery
Whether you’re Dutch or not, this bakery is one of your must stops when it comes to breakfast in Sofia. The owner is (surprise) a Dutch expat living in Bulgaria, who’s been bringing joy for Sofia citizens with his tasty creations since 2005. Croissants, breads, pies, cakes, as well as all kinds of top culinary meals from the imagination of that bakery king – you can find them all on Angel Kanchev Str.
Crêpes de France
A cute French bistro, founded by a French couple who moved to Sofia some six years ago. If you’re down to have a real French crepe in Sofia, there is no doubt that Crepes de France is the place to go. Crepes, croissants, desserts, salads and omelettes, along with nice coffee and hot beverages options in a cozy atmosphere. As French as it could get. Find it on Solunska Str.
As you have probably figured out so far, pastries and coffee is what we continue to believe a proper traditional breakfast is for us Bulgarians. Even if you don’t manage to get to one of those favorite spots of ours, don’t worry – banitsa will find you wherever you are in town.
And in case you want to get lost in our city in your own search for banitsa, away from the big touristy crowds but still know your surroundings – check out our self-guided tours or contact our consultants for a private program designed especially for you!