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Favourite Restaurants in Sofia

If you find yourself in the Bulgarian capital of Sofia, it can be difficult to know where to grab a bite to eat or enjoy a more leisurely dinner. In no particular order, we offer a fistful of restaurants in Sofia which we particularly enjoy. Divaka was one of our first eating out experiences in the capital and really enjoyable it was too! There are three Divaka restaurants in the city, each with their own atmosphere. Usually they are packed with locals, young professionals and foreigner visitors. The restaurants offer good prices, nice food and fast service with lovely atmosphere. One of the best value-for-money in the centre.

Checkpoint Charlie is trendy and is divided into two parts, representing East and West Berlin. The food is good and usually portions are big enough to share. Live music in the evening from time to time add to the ambience.

Motto is one of our big favourites both winter and summer. With the modern trendy interior and warm colours, indoors is perfect in winter. The large walled garden at the back makes for a lovely summer dining experience. The food is a nice mix of Bulgarian and international and prices are reasonable. Some of the waiting staff speak English. Lively good atmosphere but be prepared, it is often packed and can be difficult to get a table.

Apart from Divaka with cheap prices, the chain of Ugo restaurants around town offer nice food. Interiors are modern and clean, food is straightforward and it really is inexpensive. The crisp based pizzas are great. Another chain is Troll, which is also unpretentious and popular with locals working in town. Again, cheap and decent food. My selection is often the pasta with spinach and garlic sauce.

For those looking for something a bit more special, then Bulgaria is our recommendation. It's a beautiful old house in town with a very pretty garden. The house is all you would imagine of a traditional townhouse with polished wooden floors and high ceilings. The food is excellent as is the faultless service. Worth eating here for a real treat.

If fish and seafood are your thing, then both Tambuktu and Captain Cookes remain the best places. However, be aware, that both are a bit pricey. You can wander along the counter and select your fish, which is a lovely way to start your meal. Don't get caught out as we did first time; the prices are per 100g!

JJ Murhpy's is always a bolthole for expats. The food is good pub food but by the time you've had a couple of drinks it can soon add up.

Possibly top of our list would be l'Etranger. This is a small French bistro restaurant with a delightful ambience. The food is excellent and carefully cooked. The menu is presented on a blackboard and you really do want to choose everything. Service is friendly and charming. This is a family-owned restaurant and definitely one of the best in Sofia.