Bulgaria, or the hidden gemstone of the Balkans, definitely has something to fascinate you with. It has quickly become a preferred and budget-friendly destination for tourists, where you can find layers of ancient history, magnificent geography, combining the grandeur of the mountains and the endlessness of the seaside, a hospitable and friendly atmosphere and last but not least delicious food. It is difficult to determine where does a certain dish originate from, but with the years some traditional dishes have been established, which we consider to be typically Bulgarian and you just have to try them when you visit.
Keep in mind though that the moussaka can be presented as Greek in some places, and elsewhere - as a typical Bulgarian dish. We only have no claims for coffee, because in Bulgaria and Plovdiv you can drink coffee from every corner of the world - Brazilian, high class Italian, Turkish and so on.
But let's leave the topic of drinks for a moment and go back to a summer classic that is perfect for cooling - the tarator. It is a mandatory starter in every summer menu and the legend says that the recipe was stolen from the Greeks, and we have only added water to it. We have dedicated a separate article to it and there we will reveal where they prepare the most delicious tarator.
Another soup will enter our improvised ranking of the most Bulgarian dishes and this is the tripe soup. It is emblematic of our kitchen and don’t give up on it because of the products from which it is prepared because it is delicious! The tripe soup is used as a hangover cure, to warm you up in the winter, to take care of your immunity by adding more chili or pepper. And as we have said, its certain effect against a hangover is the most widespread.
There is almost no restaurant in Bulgaria, where the first item on the menu is not the shopska salad. Whether it will be prepared following the recipe - with cucumbers, tomatoes, onion and grated Bulgarian cheese, or it will be some variation, we urge you to try it. Perhaps the most important ingredient here is cheese, which doesn’t have such a taste anywhere else.
The gyuvetche is a kind of stew of beef or pork, mushrooms, onions, peppers and/or potatoes and is prepared in a special clay pot that is often passed on in the family. At the top, there can be grated white or yellow cheese and a baked egg. Typically the traditional gyuvetche is quite spicy and with lots of paprika.
As we have mentioned in our article about breakfast, this important meal usually happens on the go, and the banitsa is the thing that plays a major role in quenching the morning hunger. You can find it almost anywhere and it goes well with boza or ayryan.
The lukanka, or the Bulgarian version of Italian prosciutto and Spanish Jamón, is a mixture of meat and fat flavored with herbs and spices and left to dry. Each region of Bulgaria has its own recipe for preparing this popular appetizer. Serve with vegetables and cheese or a slice of bread as a snack.
The vine leaf or cabbage sarmi is another Bulgarian tasty dish, which you shouldn’t miss. They are often eaten as an appetizer and sometimes as a main dish. The leaves of the grapes are used for their preparation and are rolled together with minced meat, rice, spices. And during the winter months, the leaves of fresh or sour cabbage are used.
Fried meatballs or kebap - in Bulgaria, they are very popular. They are eaten mainly as a main dish with green salad, lyutenitsa, French fries, torshi or other side dish and they can also be served with sauce as a stew or fricassee.
The patatnik is a typical dish of the Rhodope mountains. It's made of grated potatoes, onion, salt, and spearmint. It's all mixed and baked. You can add meat, cheese or an egg. Some people put savory or greaves. You must try it, especially if you're traveling to the Rhodope region.They also eat a lot of kachamak there which is a variation of Romanian mamaliga or Italian polenta.
Lyutenitsa - cooked with roasted red peppers, tomatoes, onions, carrots and a variety of spices. Most often, it is served on a sliced toast, sprinkled with white cheese and is perfect for a quick snack.
Finding a restaurant that offers all of the above is not easy, but our team has tried to collect some of them in our article on Bulgarian cuisine. Wherever you find any of our delicious suggestions, we guarantee it will be delicious and aromatic.