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Varna - Best International Restaurants

Varna, the sea capital of Bulgaria and voted ‘Best Place to Live’ for numerous years in a row has a wealth of excellent restaurants both traditional and international. Varna is a city where you could dine at a different restaurant every day for a year and still have change from your salary as well as a few pounds round your middle. We take a look at some of the city’s best international restaurants.

 

Guan Don

If it’s Chinese food you crave, then head to the Cathedral area of Varna because this restaurant serves by far the best Chinese food on the northern coast. You will find it next to the Hotel Splendid on Brata Shkorpil St. If you are looking for stylish atmospheric dining, then this is not the place to be; whilst the restaurant affords a view of the Cathedral, the interior is far from classy and chic, in fact it could be described as somewhat tacky with walls and ceiling adorned with those Oriental decorations, which the Chinese feel add authenticity and the rest of us think are cheap looking! Yet, decor is not the reason why Guan Don makes it as one of the Varna city’s best international restaurants – it is the quality of the food, which is second to none and excellent value for money and the fact that the restaurant is always full with both expats and young Bulgarians is testimony to its success. The menu shows each dish in pictures, but does no justice to the actual food served here and some of the translations are the source of much hilarity with mystery dishes like Stir Fry Rice with Spy Germs and Fried Froggy in Eggs and Bread –Srumbs. The waitresses are dressed in Oriental garb and offer a reasonable service although the dishes do not always come out at the same time. Seating is inside a booth with enough room for six people at each table. Recommended is the Prawn Crackers (400g, 3.80 lv), Hot and Sour Soup (300g, 2.10 lv), Guan Don Rice (500g, 3.50 lv) Chicken and Fried Noodles (400g, 3.80 lv), and the Sweet and Sour Chicken (500g, 5.90 lv). The restaurant also operates a take away service.

La Pastaria

This is possibly the best restaurant in Varna. There are two branches of La Pastaria, one in the heart of the city on Dragoman 45 and the other within the Piccadilly Park shopping centre on the coast road of Varna (there is also a branch in Sofia). The restaurant provides sophisticated Italian dishes, not the simple pasta/ pizza fare most people associate with Italy. The interior has a bistro feel to it with checked table cloths and wooden panels decorated with jars of colourful dried pasta and peppers floating in olive oil. The wine is also displayed in the alcove shelving and the selection is excellent with many Bulgarian award winners and boutique brands. On a summer’s day you can dine al fresco on the secluded patio, which offers views of the giant monolith in the Park of Fighting Friendship. The service here is second to none, both discreet and friendly and most of the staff speaks English. The menu is also translated into English and there is a monthly specials list and untypical for Bulgarian restaurants, all of the dishes arrive at the same time. When drinks are served you are also given a complimentary bread basket. Recommended are the beautifully presented salads and the desserts particularly the Creme Brulee and the Chocolate Mousse. The main courses will leave you spoilt for choice but particular favourites are the beef shank, the Seafood Tagliatelli and the Anti-Pasti Meat Platter. There are plenty of child friendly dishes to including good old fashioned Spaghetti Bolognaise. Wines are priced from 9 lv. a bottle upwards and the house Chardonnay is both perfect and chilled to perfection. The cost of a two-course meal for two with alcohol is around 25 lv.

The Silver Moon

Located on the coastal road of Varna in the Briz district next to the Impala Hotel on Boulevard 492, this newly opened Indian restaurant is the place to go for nostalgic expats. It offers superb Indian curries in a stylish setting and in summer there is an outdoor dining area. There is plenty of choice of seating from intimate secluded areas to large tables suitable for groups. The staff are both professional and friendly and at the end of your meal, the Indian chef comes to talk to guests and listen to your comments on his food. The menu contains all of the old Indian favourites from mild kormas to hot vindaloos. Recommended is the Onion Bahji, Chicken Tikka, Chicken Madras and if you like very hot curry the Hotter than Vindaloo dish will not disappoint. Food is served at the same time in reasonable portions and you must order your rice seaparately. The side dishes to go with your Poppadums and Nan bread are all homemade and the Mango Chutney is exquisite. At the end of the meal, the chef serves you with a tray of mint, aniseed and other herbs and spices – his own secret blend with many imported from afar, which take away the scent of curry and taste absolutely delicious. The bill for a family of four is around 50 lv. including two alcoholic drinks. The restaurant also offers a take-away and delivery service.
So if you can get away for a long weekend and you fancy some exquisitely cooked cuisine then before you try anywhere else, make sure that your first stop off is to Varna.