Since the past, today's Roman Stadium square has emerged as an important place in the city. Seven streets intersect on it. Here was the first phaeton market, then the first taxis gathered. Later, the first bus lines passed, and subsequently the first trolleybuses in Plovdiv. Today, it is entirely pedestrianized, but it also has its function - it tentatively divides the Main Street into two parts and is like an open-air museum, exhibiting the northern end of the ancient Roman stadium.
It is interesting that gradually over the years, probably because of the Muslim religious temple, Dzhumaya Mosque, and the adjacent Turkish pastry shop, an area saturated with Turkish cuisine, faith and culture was formed around the square. From the stadium to the Central Hali in Plovdiv, you can enjoy a number of Turkish specialties prepared with authentic recipes and immerse yourself in the richness of the Turkish language.
Everything seems to have started with the famous pastry shop Nazam Hikmet (today's Dzhumaya). It was known for its malebi and ashure, the latter costing only 10 stotinki in the 1950s. To this day, they tempt us there with a number of oriental desserts and all lovers of strong tea and classic künefe shouldn’t miss it during their walk in Plovdiv.
Just a few steps away are also some of the best places for Turkish cuisine. Sofra and Pasha have proven themselves over the years and it is no coincidence that you can often see a queue forming in front of them. Without absolutely any hesitation, we declare that the three-floor Pasha restaurant offers not only one of the best oriental recipes prepared from fresh meats and vegetables, but also an extremely tasty lunch menu. The establishment, located at 10 Zlatarska Street, offers an informal atmosphere, friendly service and perhaps the tastiest adana kebab. The next emblematic place offering Turkish cuisine - Sofra - is located two streets away from it. The food is super tasty and fresh, their beef meatballs would be hard to beat, and the beyti kebab is an absolute must-try if you're a fan of exotic flavors. Right in between is Gokorec, where connoisseurs come to try the traditional specialty kokorec, which is made from lamb intestines wrapped around spiced offal.
And between all these larger sites, on the corners and literally in front of the Hali, there are numerous places where you can eat the specialty of the Arab "fast food" – doner kebab. In our opinion, not all of them have the distinctive traditional taste, but in one of our older texts we tried to make a ranking of the best doners in Plovdiv. We'll let you in on a little secret – not all of them are in this area, so if you're a fan, you'll have to walk a little outside the center.
We can safely confirm that in the city under the hills, Turkish cuisine is at a pretty high level, and you don't necessarily need to catch the quick one-hour flight to Istanbul if your goal is just to eat deliciously. From baklava to lahmajun and kebab - all this is just a few steps away in the very center of Plovdiv!