Food, drink, party. Where to go in Bansko

Dec 18, 2013 11 Comments by
Boulevard Bar

New Boulevard Bar, Grill and Beer. "Live Beer" -- Fifth Ocean

Bansko restaurants bars, and clubs change every year in Bansko. The name may be the same but is the food, drink and party atmosphere the same?

New owners, chefs, and premises dominate the Bansko scene.

It has never been better for going out. Read on to find out what’s happening in Bansko this season. Download the Bansko App for location, tel number, email and reservation.

 

180 degrees Bansko

NEW: 180 Degrees bar & restaurant. Piste side just up from Shiligarnika.

 

At a glance guide to Bansko food and drink   (* family friendly)

Piste*
  • The Secret Hotel. (Wednesdays & Saturdays afternoons. DJ, AirBag BBQ)
  • Peshterite (snow road, 900m after Chalin Valog turn, stay on main road)
  • Hotel Shiligarnika, 200m on forest road behind Bla Bla
  • 180 degrees (Shiligarnika)
  • VIP Room (Bunderishka Poliana)
Pubs*
  • The London Pub
  • Harry’s Bar
  • The Irish Harp 
Euphoria Bar and Grill Bansko sun deck

Euphoria Bar & Grill: Home to the Q cam

Apres Ski & Food*
  • Dalboka Mussel Farm (NEW: located in Astera Hotel)
  • Ti Amo (NEW: opposite Penguins)
  • Queens Pub
  • Euphoria Bar & Grill
  • Lions Pub
  • Penguins Bar & Diner
  • Boulevard Bar Grill & Beer (NEW: near the main gondola lights)
  • Chateau Antique
  • Chepishev
  • Riverside (Mall Bansko)
  • The Terrace (Mall Bansko)
  • The Log House
  • Bar 360
Night Bars                    
  • Bar 360
  • Pirin 75
  • Bash Bar
Piano Bars                    
  • Sing Sing (Kempinski Hotel; Friday and Saturday only
Night Clubs                  
  • Jack’s House
  • Euphoria Bar & Grill (What’s Up live band)
  • Happy End
  • Oxygen
  • Night Club at Palace hotel
Indian restaurant Bansko

Mind The Step @ The Dream Hotel

Indian*
  • Mind The Step (Dream Hotel) New for the season. Tel: +359 087 633 0452
  • Avalon Hotel (Thursday nights only). Always good.
Traditional*
  • Boyanova
  • Molerite
  • Dedo Kotse
  • Zehtindjieva Kushta
Upscale
  • Amvrosia (Premier Hotel)
  • Sopranos (above The Happy End)
  • Kempinski Teppanyaki Bar & Grill
  • Come Prima (Kempinski)
Takeaway
  • Euphoria Bar & Grill
  • Le Retro + order and collect nr gondola at 08:15
Notes
  • Dalborka has there own mussel farm near Kavarna. All fish from the Black Sea.
  • Boulevard Bar, Grill and Beer has draft Fifth Ocean micro brewery beer + live music.
  • Mind The Step restaurant. New. I love it.
  • Harry’s bar. Excellent apres ski venue. The Lizard on guitar.
  • Sing Sing piano bar. Don’t miss Taboo playing there. An upscale night out in Bansko.
  • Jacks House and Happy End. The dance troupe at Jacks House and the cage dancing girls at Happy End add to the party vibe.
  • Happy End on Thurs/Fri/Sat usually usually has a live band then DJ.
  • Euphoria has superb What’s Up live band and DJ Sharkie.
  • Lions Pub and Pirin 75 after 10 pm. Long time favourites.
  • Oxygen for purist clubbers after 11 pm
  • Bar 360 has great DJ area upstairs. Fresh and well-priced food downstairs.
  • All of these, except the night club at the Palace Hotel and Bash bar are within five minutes walk of the main traffic lights near the gondola lift. Bar 360 is a ten minute walk down hill passing Lions Pub on your right, the river on your left.
  • The traditional (mehana) list is just a small selection from many others

 

Penguins (the old Friendly Pub) Open for breakfast at 08:00 and live music makes this a family favourite.

Boulevard Bar, Grill and Beer

New place just by the main gondola traffic lights. Pour yourself beer from a tap at your table. Draft Fifth Ocean micro brewery beer. Reliable food and live music most nights.

Family friendly and set to be a popular apres ski place.

 

Amvrosia restaurant at the Premier Luxury Mountain Resort

Amvrosia is the gastronomic beacon in Bansko. Click here for my full Amvrosia restaurant review.

If you’ve got a special occasion to celebrate, then Amvrosia would make an excellent choice. For my full review click here.

 

Chepishev

A fine dining room with log fire combines with the pleasingly contemporary  interior design. It was a favourite for mine last season.

New management and new very international menu looks very promising. One to try.

 

Queen’s Pub

Bansko Queens Pub restaurant

Queen's Pub. From restaurant to live band and DJ.

A huge sign adorns the entrance, and located just a few metres from the main traffic lights on Pirin street.

New chef this winter. Amazing ribs, great salads and the stuffed pork (stuffed with vegetables) is superb.

Because of this high standard, I am delighted that they have agreed to offer a 50 lv voucher to be used at the restaurant for a meal for two. To win just submit your “My Stats” data by sharing on the Bansko app via Facebook. Attach a selfie so we know its real.

The #Bansko tag will identify your post. We pick a random winner every three days. We do not pick top speed or furthest distance.

The live band for this season is one of the best in town this season. However it’s best eating before 21:30 if you want a quiet conversation

Recommended for families and hungry skier. And those who do not want to sacrifice quality food when in Bansko.

Recommended for this season.

 

Riverside restaurant + The Terrace (Mall Bansko)

Riverview restaurant at the Mall

Amazing views from Riverview restaurant, at the Mall, Bansko

My visit on their first day on their Terrace bar impressed me so much that I think Riverside could be the place to celebrate New Year.

Open from 09.00 till 00.00
  • happy hour all day
  • info@bombaygrill.bg ,phone number: +359 894 374 680
  • Mall Bansko, floors 4 and 5 (top floors)
  • After the working hours of the Mall (after 22.00 o`clock), reach the restaurant and terrace by the side entrance of the building, use the lift to the 3rd floor and stair to the terrace.

 

Euphoria Bar and Grill

WiFi: euphoria p/w 123456. Home of the live Q cam and this year it’s also home for DJ Shark. Also new here is a takeaway service. There are some times when it’s nice to stay in after a hard day on the slopes, or after a hard day’s partying!

The solution is here with free delivery of the whole menu including the exceptionally popular pizzas.

Tel:  +359 879 126 55 for delivery (it’s free).

Euphoria Bansko

Euphoria Bar & Grill, December 2013

A long menu, with pictures. Music can be loud here. On the plus side, the DJ is excellent this year. The sound system is rather good too.

What’s Up live band are excellent. Service from both the bar staff and the waiting staff has been friendly and attentive on my regular visits here.

Like Penguins, and Lions Pub, the owner of all these three places has kept Euphoria a “Free House” and therefore these bar can serve beer from breweries other than the big multinationals (e.g. Carlsberg etc) that dominate the Bulgarian beer scene.

The upper terrace is the après ski sun deck in Bansko town. Watch people on the live cam or better still on the terraces. Euphoria is open in winter ski season only.

Football and Sky sporting action on big screens plus winter ski and boarding videos.

 

Penguins Bar & Diner

Penguins is located 100 metres across the lights. Regulars will see it is the old Friendly pub, but for last season it was completely extended and renovated. Toni is the manageress this season.

Pleasingly different inside. A good selection of beers including English beer.

Great vegetarian sache. (A Sache is delivered on a hot grill pan). Meat option too. Good breakfasts.

 

The Lions Pub

For many regular Bansko visitors the Lions Pub is the original. Located on the corner of Glazne street and Pirin Street, opposite Pirin 75 it is very easy to find. Sky TV open at 08:00. Good full English breakfast and stays open till the early hours. A DJ will often build up a good party atmosphere.

Food is consistently reliable

 

Chateau Antique

Chateau Antique dining room

For my full review from last year, click here. Tested in December 2013 and the standard is every bit as good as last year. New Year’s Eve menu looks extremely appetising. See their facebook page for more.

Don’t be fooled by the ground floor, which may look empty. There is a wonderful second floor dining room.

The VIP dining room is private, has its own toilet and seats six persons.

Tested in December 2013 and the standard is every bit as good as last year. New Year’s Eve menu looks extremely appetising. See facebook page for more.

1 Angel Kanchev Street.

Tel: +359(0)895 515  9999  |   chateauantique@gmail.com   |     https://www.facebook.com/chateau.antique.b

 

The Irish Harp

Bansko restaurants and bars

The Irish Harp, Bansko. Biggest whiskey range in Bansko.

Brian and the crew at the Irish Harp offer pleasingly short menu. Featuring steaks and stews prepared using real Irish beef. Puddings look tempting too. A range of superb genuine branded whiskies completes a picture of quality. Now that is good.

 

Salt & Pepper

New mehana where the Chinese restaurant used to be by Pirin 75. Mixed reports so far. My salad was good, but a little pricey.

 

Ti Amo (opposite Penguins)

The restaurant with live music is new for this season. Nice interior.

 

Chateau Antique

Last year a firm favourite — full review, click here. One of the best places to start up in Bansko for some time.

But this year Evgeny the executive chef will not be returning — so Chateau Antique is not the same as last year. Has not opened yet, so interested in hearing reports when it does.

 

Victoria restaurant

Victoria is located on Pirin Street opposite the Kempinski Grand Arena. I reviewed this small Sofia chain a while back (click here). At the time it was in my top 12 Bansko places. No longer does it always live up to the promise. Dishes are sometimes arriving rather quickly. The fine dining room is still as good as ever. But, be warned, sitting on a tables by the windows in the conservatory annex will make you cold.

Swiss mountain chalet feel – plenty of wood and stone and a deer antler’s “chandelier”. A warming corner fireplace.

Vegetarians options included stuffed peppers. These were part of the special pre Christmas Advent menu (Part of the “fasting” Christian Orthodox no meat tradition).

A long menu. Choose carefully.

 

Pirin 75 

Yanis, the Greek owner has taken care of the small details that make for a really pleasant bar.

Pirin 75 still has great coffee. After dinner drinking and meeting spot.

For a late night in a convenient location, Pirin 75 comes recommended for it’s lively vibe. Be warned, it gets loud there later on with DJ music.

 

Sushi and Teppanyaki Bar & Grill, Kempinski

Teppanyaki is a superb show and one a child will love too. Prepare to be amazed at some of the cooking tricks with knives flashing before your eyes.

Grilled fish, shellfish, meats, rice and noodle dishes. My review of sushi and teppanyaki places in Bansko, click here.

The Sing Sing piano bar next door is one of my favourite nightclubs in Bansko. Prices reflect the upscale setting.

 

Kempinski Lobby bar

This lobby bar has to be mentioned. I never recommend places I do not enjoy – but please bear in mind some of the places discussed sponsor Bansko Blog. It’s here in the Lobby bar I can relax, the music is unobtrusive and the range of real teas here are wonderful.

On my last visit, the Darjeeling tea came in a pot kept warm with the flame of a candle.

 

Kempinski Come Prima

One of the best steaks I have had in Bansko. Pasta is served al dente – the way it should be. I had the best white truffle I had ever tasted here.

Bring the plastic or a good amount of leva if you like wine — and if you like wine and steak you will need around 110 lv per head.

 

Dragons Den Celtic Tavern, at Valentina Heights Hotel

Breakfast and Sunday lunch at Dragon’s Den Celtic Tavern

Cristian and Adam run Valentina Heights hotel.

A warm and comforting pub atmosphere, and value for money prices, makes The Dragon’s Den Celtic Tavern a regular place to go when super hungry. Breakfasts come recommended as so their  meal specials (from last season, so prices may have changed):

1. Tuesday:  JACUZZI & POOL PARTY with DINNER , 29 lv. Choice of Chicken in mushroom sauce or Pork in pepper sauce served with french fries; Salad Shopska, Ice-cream sundae; 3 drinks Champagne cocktails or your selected drink choice ; Pool and jacuzzi party before or after dinner,  from 7 pm to 12 midnight

2. Wednesday: BARBARIAN NIGHT, Eat as much as you like, 7-9 pm; Bulgarian traditional food with “Sudjuk “ sausages, “Chiufte” meatballs, “Sach” a mixed meats and vegetables on a hot plate and “Ciomlek” a traditional stew with meat , potatoes, tomato sauce and mountain spices all with  ”Parlinka”  bread, salad, fries and a shot of Rakya; 19.50 lv

3. Thursday; “DRAGON’S FIRE CHICKEN” Spicy evening; Half chicken oven roast with salad, fries and glass red wine at 15 lv; Add Spicy Mexican wings in “El Taco” sauce or Dragon pizza with bacon & chicken meat, all for 19.50 lv. Hot sauces competition at 9 pm,  “Baby”  “Mama” and “The Daddy Dragon”, win an Organic British Ale or Cider of your choice.

4. Sunday BRUNCH
Full English Breakfast 400 g; Served with tea or coffee; 12 lv;

PLUS Sunday golden chicken roast, 300 g at 9.50 lv Or Golden chicken roast, 400 g with two chicken slices, boiled potatoes, carrots, broccoli or other green vegetable, home made gravy; Served with two home made Yorkshire pudding; Plate of Bread and butter pudding desert or Ice-cream sundae; Served with choice of glass of wine or beer; 17 lv;

Book your table in advance at +359 (0) 896 818 559, or by mail: office@valentinaheights.com. Located two streets down the hill from Guinness Hotel or just above Mountain Paradise 1 and 2.

How to find the bars and restaurants of Bansko

Most of the above restaurant and bars may be found in the Bansko app. Free to download for Apple iOS and Android mobile devices. Be sure to update to latest version.

By clicking on the places/bars and restaurants button you will see both an interactive map and listing. Clicking on a pin on the map will give you more detail including booking. In resort the pin marks your exact location… see below.

 

WiFi

Free WiFi is available in all the restaurants and bars here. WiFi is good and better than many other places. Bulgaria is the third best country in Europe for internet availability. So bring your WiFi enabled gadgets.

Us the Bansko app to navigate around the town and find your friends. Key places such as the gondola lift, mountain restaurants, pharmacies and ATM’s are also marked.

Once in Bansko resort, or even from your transfer driver if you book via Bansko Blog, you will receive a free town and piste map. Drawn by hand. Or you download, and print, your own free copy.

 

Skimania Bansko

Our ski hire and lesson partners, skimania's new large, modern shop.

Tips of the day

  • Discounted ski packages avoid first day and arrival hassle.
  • update your Bansko app for the best Bansko experience to find, and book, the places.
  • NEW!! iOS (Apple) version now has “My Stats” (top speed and distance), and “Friends” (friend finder),
  • Carrefour opens in Bansko Mall. New shops, new management. Stefanel, Pepina & Baldina shoes, kids club, gaming zone

 

Bars and Restaurants


About the author

I enjoy tech, apps, entrepreneurship, podcasting and collaboration with others. I love travelling as well as skiing, hiking, MTB, paragliding, cooking and good food.

11 Responses to “Food, drink, party. Where to go in Bansko”

  1. Phil D says:

    Hey Lance.
    Great bar and restaurant review – nothing better to wet my appetite!
    The 180 degrees bar looks suspiciously familiar – I dont suppose that this is a re-vamp of the completely new bar (last season) that sits on the RHS where the three pistes converge on the way down to Bla bla is it? – If so, I can say that this (in my view) serves the best food on the mountain with great service too.
    Phil.

    • Lance says:

      Hi Phil, You got it. It’s the same executive chef as Sopranos and VIP Room. It should be good — will see if i can find some spare change and take a peek, very soon.

  2. Alison says:

    Think we might be off to the riverside for NYE. Now to confirm with the other members of our party!

  3. Phil D says:

    ‘Spare change’ eh? Papi plays some great music there too.

  4. Anders says:

    the spinach and ricotta soup last year was the best, Will be a sad first day if new chef has taken it off the menu.

  5. Phil D says:

    Spent a great late-morning at the VIP Room today. What a revelation! All the years ive been to Bansko and ive never been there before.
    The service, soup, coffee and beer (and slippers) were all spot-on, as was the company.
    A great day!
    Cheers Lance.(and Dave)

    Phil.

  6. Peter Cordiner says:

    Hey, really looking forward to our trip in Feb, where is the jacuzzi party at, we’re very interested in this but struggling to find much info/pics on it onine!

    Thanks
    Pete

  7. cecilia says:

    what about the restaurant La Skara located at Mountain Dream hotel,I saw it on foursquare.I have been to Bansko several times but I didnt know about this place.for sure I will visit it when coming to Bansko in March probably!

  8. asaf says:

    hI I HAVE BEEN IN RESTURATNT SALT AND PEPPER AND IT WAS VERY BAD asspecialy THE STAFF WAS RUDE.
    we change our mind and decide to move to other place and the staff cursing us becouse of it.
    i recommend not to go to this place

  9. Lance says:

    Thanks David. It is especially challenging in Bansko as every year there are new places opening up and old ones closing. Then there are old places with new chefs or management. But overall I would say the standards and choice are improving.

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