The Ultimate Guide to being Vegan in Sofia

Sofia is definitey an up and coming city. If you were looking to make an investment in a city that is destined for bigger things, I would definintely recommend it now.

It’s a city that looks a little dusty and rough around the edges but it regularly surprises me and the vegan scene is growing quickly. People are often very surprised when I tell them that Sofia’s vegan scene is bursting with flavour. The more time we spend there, the more vegan options I find.

This post will be updated as and when we discover more.

what is it like to be vegan in Bulgaria. Here's the places we've tried & tested.

Being vegan in Sofia

Being vegan in Bulgaria has been much easier than I originally anticipated. Especially as we were warned prior to arriving that being vegan would be impossible.

It actually isn’t impossible but at times it can be limiting. If we’re in the country we’re reliant upon ordering from the side dish menu; usually we order five side dishes and share them between us.  However Sofia has been my saviour. Since we bought a house nintey minutes from Sofia, we’ve been regular visitors and whilst we’ve had no bathroom, kitchen, heating, electricity or hot water, Sofia has been my knight in shining armor.

We’ve been weekly visitors for the last two months which has given me ample opportunity to sample the vegan cuisine – of which I’m pleased to announce there is quite a bit!

So, in no particular order here’s what we’ve found:

Loving hut

An entirely vegan shop with a small seating area at the back of the shop. 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, all English speaking, and the shop is very small but with a warm, busy feel.

Bulgaria

Loving Hut

Restaurant Kring

I really liked it here although the food isn’t all vegan it is well signed. The restaurant is a self serve buffet which offers (mostly vegan) cold starters and salads, soup and a large selection of hot dishes.

Only one dish had cream in it (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 for payment. It does get busy and there are times when you may have to share your table.

The staff didn’t all speak English but we mumbled through.

vegan in sofia

Restaurant Kring

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 and it’s definitely somewhere we’ll go back to, when we have time.

Soul Kitchen

Built as a project by a group of friends, Soul Kitchen set out on a mission to embody fresh, tasty, beautiful food.  There is plenty of vegetarian and vegan food on offer.

Soul Kitchen

Dream House

This restaurant is located in a grimy area (above some shops) and was a little difficult to find.

The host was lovely and spoke great English but the restaurant had an odour reminiscent of boiled cabbage.  The food we had was very bland and only moderately warmed through. The teas were nice although I wouldn’t go back.

On a Sunday Dream House has a buffet style self-serve afternoon. It has good reviews.

Fairouz Lebanese Restaurant

We got such a warm welcome here and the food was nice. Parking in the local area can be a challenge but drive around and you will find something.

Fairouz has a selection of cold starters, warm starters, soups, salads and bread that vegans can eat. The flavours were subtle in comparison to some Lebanese I’ve had.

vegan in sofia

Lebanese

This is a family run business and you can really tell that they care. There’s a huge garden outside the back if you don’t want to sit inside.

Edgy Veggy

This cafe is a super modern but small place with limited seating. All the food is vegan! Every dish comes with a choice of vegan protein and most dishes are cold.

In the winter they have a soup on offer and also sell yogi teas. The food is very fresh and made to order. The chef may have been American but all staff speak English.

vegan in sofia

Edggy Veggy Vegan Taco

Edgy Veggy vegan seitan wrap

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. We liked this place because of its very warm and welcoming atmosphere. It seems always busy but not too much that its’s spoiled.

Spaghetti Bar

Ashurbanipal

Ashurbanipal, who I’ve discovered  was a King of the Neo-Assyrian Empire in 600BC, is a hidden gem amongst the Sofia backstreets. Run by a Lebanese husband and wife duo, the restaurant is similar to an old, wooden tavern.

There’s no menu as such but the host tells you what’s available. Food is delivered to the bar where you collect it and you help yourself to drinks. It’s a warm and welcoming place where you may have to share a table.

We really loved it here and the food was delicious, cooked out the back by his wife. This is our favourite restaurant in Sofia because of its rusticity and no frills approach to home-cooked food.

Ashurbanipal meal

Sun & Moon

Right under the huge mural of a lady is this small shop selling a range of vegan and vegetarian bakery delights. The vegan banitsa is delicious and we also had a slice of this tahini chocolate cake. They have a small seating area upstairs and they also sell teas and coffees. Everything edible is made on site.  It’s definitely worth a visit.

There are also other Sun Moons around the city, SunMoon Alabin is one.

Mural

vegan in sofia

Sun & Moon Tahini Cake

Green Deli Cafe

I wasn’t very impressed with this chain of vegan friendly cafes however I did visit at 10am on a Sunday morning when Sofia appeared to be virtually dead. Apparently they hadn’t stocked the fridges or started preparing food.

Our coffee was tasteless and luke warm and our heated sandwich was cold in the middle. I would only return if I was very desperate.

Luke warm coffee

Ananda Bakery

My kids visited here without me and raved about their vegan cakes. They left me a few morcels to try and they were incredibly rich. Our kids love this place though.

Thanks to Ananda Bakery for this photo!

Ananda Bakery

Saffron

Saffron is on the outskirts of Sofia in the Studenski district and is a large, modern Indian restaurant with a huge choice of food for vegetarians and vegans. Every dish is made fresh & you can select how spicy you want each.

I had been warned that service may not be the quickest but that the flavour of the food would make up for it. We had no problem with the service time but we were there mid-week and only one of three tables. Starter portions were huge but main courses were a little smaller and served in small round bowls.

Adi’s Cook & Book

Adi’s is vegan friendly and you must book in advance!

Stepping into Adi’s Cook & Book is a bit mystical. The restaurant is in a converted house, through out which are floor to ceiling book shelves and a plethora of nick-knacks scattered around.

Adi’s

Furna

This bakery provides another opportunity to try banitsa of which there are usually two vegan and one vegetarian.  There are other vegan delicacies on sale and usually they have a couple of vegan cakes.

Kim’s Cook

Kim is a Vietnamese lady living in Sofia and she cooks from her own kitchen. Due to this you must book well in advance. She will cook anything you want to order and the price may decrease if you provide your own take out dishes.

You can contact Kim through her Facebook page.

Salted Cafe

Salted cafe offers vegetarian, vegan and raw food. They offer a range of vegan wraps with homemade hummus and pesto, baked falafels, salads and spring rolls. Only some of the staff speak English but there are English menus available.

vegan in sofia

Being vegan in sofia

Supa Star 1 & 2

If you like soup, then this is the place head. They usually have two vegan soups available per day and in the winter you should probably expect one to be cabbage based!

Supa Star advertises itself as a work friendly location so take your laptop and spend a few hours there.

vegan in sofia

Supastar

Cafe Parallel 43

Inspired by vegetarian and vegan dishes, Cafe Parallel 43 is open during the day and evening and caters for take out too. With incredible attention to detail this place has a soulful ambience that encourages ‘Food for life’!

Veda House

With a vast choice of ayurvedic teas and shoeless seating, this place is an Indian charm. The menu is vegetarian with a few vegan dishes. All food is served in delightful ceramic tea pots that were made locally. A cross between Bulgarian and Indian.

Wok To Walk

In the pedestrianised area of Vitosha is this ultra modern noodle bar where all staff speak English. You choose a base noodle of which there are at least three vegan choices and then add toppings and a sauce. All dishes come with an egg so you MUST remember to say ‘No Egg!’.

The noodles are not that tasty but it’s quick, easy and pretty affordable.

Wok to walk

Golden Indian Cuisine

All dishes here are lovingly made to order so you can choose the contents and the spice level.  All food can be made vegan and vegetarian and even home delivered through Econt! They also offer collection and delivery if you’re in Sofia.

They accept orders, a week in advance for the coming week’s delivery or latest 4 – 5 days in advance.

General ordering days are Thursday, Friday, Saturday And the Delivery Days are Thursday and Friday ( For all the cities / regions of Bulgaria – With Econt Courier Service to your Local Econt Office.

Made in Blue & Made in Home

On the outskirts of Sofia, Made in Blue is a cosy place described by some as ‘Instagramable’.  It has the same owners as Made in Home.

Why Instagram? The whole house, which is an old building, is painted in blue. You can’t fail to miss it because the exterior is artsy and retro. In every room there is a treasure to be found: a herb collection, plier wall decoration, an old record player and the garden is equally as beautiful.

Booking is adviseable as this place gets busy. Also remember it is only vegetarian and vegan friendly and that they do still offer meat and fish.

Shops:

Zelen

Zelen is a chain of Green Bio Shop & there are a number of them throughout the city. I think there’s about seven shops in total.

This one photographed is next door to the Art of Living Centre (Georgi S. Rakovsky) and opposite from the Green Deli Cafe. It sells a lot of vegan food and ingredients.

Zelen

Zelen

Zoya Country Market

A huge range of floor to ceiling shelves filled with organic vegetarian food that you can purchase to take away or eat in. On offer are smoothies, cakes and sushi. I also love the range of body care products they have here.

Green Life

Found in the Ring Mall near Ikea, Green Life sells a range of vegan foods, powders, flours and health care products.

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The ultimate vegan guide to Sofia featuring over 20 cafes, restaurants and shops in Sofia, Bulgaria.

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