On the road: Being vegan in Bulgaria

We were warned before going to Bulgaria that the food was very heavy on meat, cheese and cream… Usually all in one dish! So we had a fair idea of what to expect before we got there however we were pleasantly surprised when we discovered it wasn’t that bad!

Being vegan in Bulgaria required a bit of planning but it wasn’t as horrendous as we were expecting. Typically most restaurants had something on the menu that we could eat, but usually we ordered all of the side dishes (which were mostly all vegetable based) and ate those on a share basis.

All photos taken with the Google Pixel.

Balchik, Bulgaria

Street market

As you’re entering Balchik from the west there are a number of permanent market stalls which sell an abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables. They don’t speak a huge amount of English but google translate and pen and paper worked well for us!

The food sold here is all grown locally and is very seasonal. We bought potatoes, onions, tomatoes and the biggest watermelon I’ve ever seen.

Lidl

Loads of vegan choices and there’s a huge range of fruit and veg, fresh breads, as well as some organic ranges. I bought an entire week’s shop including 12 avocados, 2 small boxes of lego, vegan bars and dips, organic brown rice and some art and craft stuff for €100/£87/211Lev. I was astonished.

Bulgaria

Lidl’s at Balchik

Kaliakra

On the cape of Kaliakra is a restaurant which serves a small amount of vegan and vegetarian food. I had a vitamin A salad which was delicious and we shared a range of vegetable side dishes.

Bulgaria

Vitamin A salad and mushroom risotto.

Sunny Beach

B41

This upstairs restaurant-bar offers a small selection of vegetarian and vegan food. We ended up ordering a huge plate of sizzling vegetables (sache) and about five side dishes. Most dishes come with cheese which we picked off.

Sofia

Loving hut

Entirely vegan shop with a small seating area at the back. For me the food looked very brown and this puts me off, including a strawberry smoothie. We ate a range of wraps, a quiche and some sandwiches and some protein balls for take-out. The staff are really friendly and nice and the shop is very small with a busy feel.

Bulgaria

Loving Hut

Restaurant Kring

A self serve buffet which offers (mostly vegan) cold starters and salads, soup and a large selection of hot dishes. One dish had cream (mushroom stroganoff) but all the rest were vegan. The restaurant has a relaxed canteen type atmosphere where you serve yourself and then have your food weighed at payment.

Tea Room

We arrived at 19:15 on a Friday evening to be effectively told that they were having a concert at 8pm and didn’t have room for us. The lady was polite about it but there was no mention anywhere that we should ring or reserve first. It seemed to be busy and have a nice atmosphere.

Dream House

The food we had was very bland and only moderately warmed through. The teas were nice though. It is located in a grimy area (above some shops) and the restaurant had an odour reminiscent of boiled cabbage.

Spaghetti Kitchen & Bar

A very modern bar and restaurant in the centre of town. Funky lights, great atmosphere, really nice staff and a good menu too. The vegetarian and vegan options are not specifically marked so you do have to hunt for those options but there are quite a few.

Veliko Tarnovo

Ethnos

A restaurant with a great view over the valley and monument and a lovely menu. Quite a number of vegetarian and vegan dishes, the staff are really nice and the dishes very tasty.

Synopsis

If you do not intend to eat out in Bulgaria then being vegan will be easy as there are plenty of markets and stalls by the sides of road that sell beautifully fresh fruit and vegetables. As well as that there is a large range of supermarkets that sell vegan stapes.

If you do intend to eat out then be prepared to have very limited choices and also to contend with the locals bafflement as to why you don’t eat anything lol.

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Being vegan in Bulgaria was a challenge but it wasn't impossible.

 

 

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