Stragata A Mehana That’s Winning Me Over

Feb 05, 2015 No Comments by


I keep getting requests for information about traditional Bulgarian restaurants in Bansko. I must admit I have not been able to offer more variety in my traditional “mehana” recommendations because, after a while, I felt I’d tried it all.

Generally speaking, I am more tempted by the international additions to the Bansko restaurant scene. But for sure, when you come to Bulgaria, you should try the local cuisine.

Local traditional restaurants are called mehanas (механа) and they have nothing to do with Mexican food. Mehanas are how it all started in Bansko.

Nowadays, they are located mostly in the old town.

Stragata upper dining room

So I was lucky to be invited to try Stragata – a mehana in the new centre just off the gondola lift, almost opposite Euphoria Bar and Grill. Stragata is the white house located next to The Log house — so it is also known as The White House.

The very first impression I have is that this is place is very convenient for apres ski eats, or a lunch. It just could not be easier to find being located just cross the gondola station parking lot. You can even enter the restaurant from the rear of the building.

Tradition: Stragata fireplace

Next impression – it’s not the usual dark and low ceiling dining room. A fire was roaring downstairs when I entered.

Plenty of space and air, a big upstairs dining room with windows overlooking the mountain. It even has an outdoor deck for the sunny days.

Interior is simple and traditional, nothing too much. Tables of all sizes. Nice to see bottles of proper balsamic and olive oil on each table. Also good not to hear loud music. I am told they have a live singer in the evenings who is unobtrusive.

Smiles at the bar

A good start, time to look at the menu.

Salads – all the usual – Shopska (5.90) and Greek (7.90) but also some other variations called Chef’s salad and Boss’s Salad.

Feta cheese with spicy peppers

When reviewing, I try to taste something different so went for a dip made of feta cheese, roast peppers and chillies. Excellent spicy starter that goes great with the local flat bread. Did its job to whet my appetite for more.



The menu features a selection of typical Bulgarian dishes, such as – sache – sizzling meats with vegetables on a hot plate – usually to share. Another popular thing in mehanas is the skewer of grilled meats and vegetables.

Kavarma pot

I spot rabbit in the menu, which I believe will be popular with fellow Brits (22 leva). Pork knuckle and lamb shoulder are always a good choice in Bansko too.

I went for one of the most typical Bulgarian dishes – Kavarma. This is a stew of pork or chicken meat cooked slowly in a clay pot with lots of vegetables (onion, peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes). Perfect for the cold days and a nice variation from dry grilled meat. Well worth the price of 13.90 leva.

A dish peculiar for the Bansko region is Kapama. This is again slow-cooked in a pot and contains pieces of chicken, pork and veal meat and sausages in sauer kraut and rice.

Though sauer kraut is not to all foreign tastes, this one was not salty and was rather nice.  Price: 14.90 leva.


Those who do not like venturing with unknown dishes have the choice of pizza (11.90 leva) and spaghetti (7.90-8.90 leva).

Also a good selection of soups (3.90 -5.90 leva) — perfect if you’re just up for a light lunch.

Many were that day, the restaurant quickly filled with skiers coming down from the mountain.

I did not go for a pudding, but the baked apple with honey and cinnamon (3.90 leva) was tempting.

The wine list contains all the major Bulgarian brands.


Margo the hands on restauranteur

Upstairs dining room with clear view of mountain

I had a chance to speak to the manager, Margo, to ask how they manage to attract customers in such fierce competition.

She said everything they offer is home-made with local ingredients. Margo herself has been in the business for many years and runs a successful restaurant on the Black sea coast. I believe she knows how to do a good job. She’s very welcoming and smiley – that’s always reassuring.

I think I will be going back there for an apres ski bite to eat more often now. I would also love to sit outside and watch the people coming down.



4 Nayden Gerov St. (opposite Euphoria)

088 868 5718


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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