Girl Meets Bulgaria

Musings of an American expat in Bulgaria (with detours in Utah and Alaska)

Calling All Sofia Friends!


I need a little help from any of my readers living in or around Sofia. You fantastic city-dwellers, you!

Vince and I are headed to Sofia next Friday (Feb. 3rd) for a weekend getaway–we’re going to see Cirque du Soleil, eat lots of food, and possibly overnight in Veliko Tarnovo.

I want to maximize my time in the city, which is why I am hoping I can get some advice from you lovelies:

  • Any recommendations for must-visit restaurants? I love Thai, Chinese, Pizza, everything really! Not looking for Bulgarian cuisine; we want something not available in Smolyan. What are your favorite eats?
  • I am dying to let out my creative juices. Does anyone know of a good arts and crafts store? On that note, anybody know of a good yarn shop?
  • Any favorite bakeries/cupcake shops?

I am also hoping to figure out a time to work in a lunch or coffee date with anyone who wants to meet up! I’d LOVE to get to know some of you better, so let me know if you’d like to get together (possibly in the afternoon on Friday or Sunday?). I thought we could do a group thing if enough people are available, then we can all grow our circle of friends!

Please leave a comment or email me at whitney(at)girlmeetsbulgaria(dot)com.

Thanks so much!



10 thoughts on “Calling All Sofia Friends!

  1. Well,well as far as I can see, you got a lot of suggestions, Wit:) Anyway, I will be very glad to share with you coffee and cupcake 🙂 either on Friday or on Sunday.As I thought the foreigners in Sofia are much more aware of the restaurant/art shops than I am :).I think that Carolyn is also very informed about the options that we might have.I personally was at the Nine Dragons and the food is just fine and it is not expensive,the interior is OK,nothing fancy but…depends on what you want.Are you going to spend the night in Sofia in the same hostel as you did last time? So try to focus on something in the city center, so that would be easy for everybody who are willing to attend the meeting:)

    • Elena: I’m Bulgarian 🙂

      I second the recommendation for Skara Bar. It’s a great place.

      jadedknitter: The yarn shop, is it the one in the indoor bazaar on the ground floor of the building? It had quite a good selection, Actually I think that one was in the building across the street from the front entrance of the palace of justice, not to the side of the building. Well, there was at one point a good yarn shop there too, I don’t know if it’s still there.

      I also won’t be in Bulgaria at the time…

  2. Not in Bulgaria, so I son’t know if it still exists but this is a yarn store that used to be there:

    Yarnshop Plethe (,%20Bulgaria%20VI%20Bulgaria

    Have fun & enjoy Cirque! I saw their Michael Jackson tribute in the fall and it was amazing.

    ~ K.

  3. I found the restaurant that has Thai, apparently it’s still there:

  4. For Chinese, I’ve been told The Nine Dragons across the street from the Russian church is better than most, by people who like more authentic Chinese and don’t like most restaurant Chinese food. One that some friends often go to is Гуейбинлоу on 32 Iskar street, at the corner with Rakovski street, and the service is good there.

    As for Sushi, Happy Sushi is ok but nothing special. Oki Sushi at Vitosha blvd is pretty great and my personal favorite, and don’t let it being on Vitosha blvd fool you, it’s not fake fancy / kitchy and overpriced like you would think from the location. It’s a very small place, with small high tables and confortable high chairs. Service is very friendly.

    The Sushi Bar at Denkoglu street is one that everyone seems to like, but I haven’t been there yet, I guess I’m saving the best for last. I think it’s on the expensive side. Another fancy one is Miyabi, which is a Japanese restaurant in general, not specifically for sushi. I went there once and it was good, but it’s expensive. It’s near Гуейбинлоу (which is not).

    Another place is Sushi Express in the middle of of Prague blvd across the street from the park, it’s a bit bigger than Oki Sushi, it has two normal size tables, but it’s more of a traditional fast eat sort of place, you get the sushi on plastic plates for example. Oki is more homely and cozy, and they have miso soup too. If you have to go to just one sushi place in Sofia, and you don’t want it to be very expensive, I’d recommend Oki 🙂

    Here’s websites and facebook pages for the places I’ve mentioned, I couldn’t find one only for The Nine Dragons. They all have menus and some post limited-time offers on their wall.Китайски-ресторант-Гуейбинлоу/108356072607151?sk=info

    There are unfortunately no Thai restarants in Sofia, which is a huge loss and a bit strange, considering ingredients and comdiments required for Thai cooking are widely available and I cook some miself often. I think they’re more easily available and more varied than Japanese ones, for example.

    I know there’s one in Varna and there is or was a restaurant, I think across the street from Sofialand, that offers dishes from several East Asian cuisines, including Thai, but the review suggested they’re too spead out and as a result none of them are really good.

    A good art (and a bit of crafts) supplies store is Слънчоглед on 11-13 Ivan Vazov street.

    As for bakeries, everyone seems to be raving about Ma Baker, but bakeries are not my forte 🙂

  5. Hi there.

    Would love to meet up for some coffee, either Friday or Sunday, please let me know the time and place.
    Happy Grill is a great place. I know there is one in Sofia Mall.

    Anyhow, hope you are well.



  6. Dear Whitney!

    Here are some of my recommendations. These are places that I personally love and usually take friends to when they visit me in the city.

    Checking out Skara Bar is definitely worth it, even though the food is typical Bulgarian in theory, it is super simple and delicious and the atmosphere is really unusual and pleasant. One of their two locations, on Benkovski Street ( is entirely non-smoking, which I know you’ll appreciate.

    Another unusual restaurant, for Sofia and definitely for Bulgaria (and my personal favorite) is Butcher’s (4A Sheinovo Street). They have a daily menu with very few selections of really good dishes, as well as nice wine and antipasti. There is a cool bar (same owners and same name) just next door to it, so you can pop in for a drink after dinner. The area around there has several arts and crafts stores – on Shipka and Krakra streets. There is also a cupcake place just around the corner – Take a Cake on 1 Tulovo Street.

    For a quick eating break during the day, I whole-heartedly recommend Supa Star (8 Shishman Street) – a variety of delicious, usual and unusual soups and great atmosphere. That area is really nice to walk around and there is a big arts and crafts store in one of Shishman’s cross streets – Slanchogled ( at 11 Ivan Vazov Street. This area is also filled with many little shops, cafes and restaurants, so I recommend walking around (if it’s not too cold) and just stumbling upon things that catch your eye.

    Hope you’ll enjoy your stay in my beloved Sofia and I’m sorry I won’t have the chance to meet you this time (I’m currently out of the country).

    Good luck and have fun!

    Ekaterina (from

    • Thanks for the suggestions, Ekaterina! I think we will try Skara Bar. I have heard a lot of good things about it (and I especially like that they have a non-smoking option).

      Hopefully we can meet one of these days when you are in BG. Safe travels!


  7. Well Happy is a restaurant chain in Bulgaria that serves non-Bulgarian things. I love Happy Sushi. There is apparently an excellent Indian restaurant that my friends rave about that I have never been to. I know there is a good yarn store in VT. I hope you have fun and that the weather doesn’t spoil your trip. The roads are horrible on the east side of BG.

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