Top Sofia Restaurants Convenient For Bansko

Jul 10, 2011 No Comments by
Sofia Restaurant BeSo

BeSo Restaurant: Sushi, Salads and Bling

Summer holidays are here and if you’ve had an early flight into Sofia,  you’re in your hire car and you are thinking that it will be best to pick up a sandwich at a service station, then read on for an alternative way. A better way to kick off your holiday in style.

Hire Car: Ring Road

Many of my clients have used Philip from Urca as part of my ski packages offer. However, Philip’s business includes a sizable fleet of hire cars. Excellent value hire car and service from 19 euros per day. So now depart Sofia airport and join the southern section of the ring road. This is now the quickest way out of the city towards Bansko

1. Victoria Restaurant, Bulgaria Boulevard

Victoria Restaurant, Sofia

Victoria Restaurant, Sofia

There is a Victoria on the ring road. But there is a better branch now open. After coming off at the Bulgaria Boulevard junction (Manastiski Livadi) you’ll have to take the first right, complete a “U” turn at first lights on the dual carriage way of Bulgaria Boulevard and go back on yourself. Then park in Victoria car park. The parking machine gives you a card which you’ll need on exit. The restaurant is on the ground floor of the Abacus office building.

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Victoria restaurant in Bansko will be familiar to most Bansko regulars. A reliable choice, superb value and well located opposite the Kempinski hotel. However, this Victoria having been open for some 18 months , has proven to be hugely popular with locals and having been here three times, is my default choice when sushi is not required. The interior has a large no smoking section which is generally more popular than the smoking area. How times have changed for the better! A stylish and light decor, offers views of Vitosha mountain and the wood burning pizza oven lends it a comfortable feel.

My top recommendations here are the salads; especially the walnut and pear salad which is probably the best I have had in Bulgaria yet. The pizzas are good and the basic ones are as good as any I have tasted in BG. A large one is plenty for two people. On my last trip here on Sunday, we shared a half bottle of Minkov Brothers reliable Chardonnay/Colombard white wine – 12 levs. Total bill for two 45 levs. This is the place to come if you have young children. Update: Pork neck filet (9.40 lev) with mushrooms also a sound choice.

2.  Turquoise: Tasting Turkish

The Garden At Turquoise Restaurant, Sofia

Passing by Bulgaria Boulevard junction on the ring road, the next junction is for Buxton Boulevard (and Boyana). You will see an OMV garage on the junction, but turn off at the junction and go down the cobbled street for just 50 metres. Immediately on the right is the smart new Bubbles cafe and restaurant (and excellent car wash) but on the left you will see Turquoise restaurant. Usually a few large 4×4’s are parked outside.

Inside is great, but for summer visits it’s the garden here that steals the show. A place to unwind from the journey and to tuck into freshly cooked breads (cooking can be viewed going on in the garden hut), humus, meze and various shish kebabs. I needed a change from Bulgarian beer, so thinking of Istanbul two years ago, I went for the Turkish Effes beer (5 lev), super creamy and a good accompaniment to the food here. Expect to pay around 30 lev per head.

3.  BeSo: Be Spotted

Sofia restaurant

BeSo, Be Seen In Sofia

As per directions for Turquoise, you keep going down Buxton Boulevard for 2 kilometres. At the first set of lights you turn right. Then just 100 metres on the right you will see BeSo. There is parking behind the restaurant. This area is called Borovo.

Here there is an open sushi bar, which offers all the usual sushi fare — at above average quality. A six roll tuna sushi set is 9 lev. The upscale and a “see and be seen” atmosphere has kept BeSo busy since it opened late 2009. A smart terrace area with some super cool netted off VIP booths leads into the nicely designed restaurant area. There is no obvious no smoking area I saw being observed — but ventilation is excellent and smoke is rarely a problem here. A wide menu includes excellent salads and pasta dishes.

BeSo, Sofia

The BeSo Terrace

Expect to see ladies meeting here who look as if they have spent much of the day preparing to look good. Service is generally efficient, helpful and quick. The toilets are worth mentioning — and not just for the fact that they are clean — see gallery..

Sofia Sushi

Sushi On The Terrace At BeSo

The Black Sea Coast

La Veranda Restaurant, Santa Marina

La Veranda Restaurant & Swimming Pool, Santa Marina -- Sozopol

It’s been a time of travel for me. Just on Wednesday I was enjoying La Veranda Bar & Lounge at The Kempinski Hotel Grand Arena Bansko and now I’m on the Black Sea coast at Sozopol, at the most excellent Santa Marina resort. I can’t recommend this place enough.

The new Veranda restaurant there has stunning views from around the infinity pool. And with a number of VIP guests staying here is a worthy inclusion into a the traveller who is after a VIP Bulgarian experience. It was opening night and both the grilled seas bass and the perch with a nice olive tampenade and curry sauce was just the job. First night wobbles caused other diners problems but from a food perpective this new restaurant comes recommended.

Today I met an English couple who were staying there for the first time. They were impressed with what they have seen in Bulgaria, as they normally take egypt holidays — always staying in five star brand hotels. Good to see Bulgaria and Santa Marina is a worthy competitor. There are still some cheap deals on holidays abroad, but hope wherever you plan to go that you have a wonderful time. And if coming to Bansko, be sure to contact me if you are looking to book some activities whilst you are here.

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.
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