Bulgarian Traditional Cuisine is very popular in the country. The traditional Bulgarian cuisine is in many ways similar to the culinary tastes of Balkan nations, Greece, Turkey and Serbian cuisines but each of these have their own local flavour. Check our list…

Salads & Appetizers


The internationally-renowned salad made of sliced cucumbers, tomatoes and onion, topped with grated white cheese and parsley. Dressed with sunflower oil and vinegar. Of course no oil is better than the virgin olive oil that gives it a totally rich flavour but it is scarcely served in olive oil here. It is the salad that defines Bulgaria.


It can easily be spread on bread, and is made of thick relish of tomatoes and peppers. It is spicy and lovely. Children’s favourite and it is the one we liked best when visited Sofia. The ingredients include onions, garlic and cumin.

Bulgarian Traditional Cuisine – Best Traditional Popular Dishes

Shkembe Chorba   (Dragon’s breath)

Also known as ‘Dragon’s soup’ it is strictly the preferred territory of adults. It takes more than a bit of guts to try this tripe soup. In Greece we have a similar dish called ‘patsas’. You are expected to add vinegar, oil, salt and crude pepper. You can find it in small restaurants and usually it is served the early hours. You accompany it with cold beer.


It is light and refreshing and served cold. It is a yogurt-base soup of cucumbers, garlic, dill and sometimes walnuts. In some restaurants it is served with ice cubes. The Snezhanka is the salad version of tarator which uses strained instead of watered-down yoghurt and is similar to Greek tzatziki and Turkish cacik.


A Kebapche is the perfect side dish to a glass of cold Bulgarian beer on a summer day. Of course it could be a Zagorka and it makes no difference. The meat is usually a mix of pork and beef, though it can be solely pork just as well. Portions usually include 3 pieces and are accompanied with French fries with grated sirene cheese on top to make the classic “three kebapcheta with sides” The dish is an elongated piece of grilled minced meat, comparable in shape and size though not in contents, to a hot dog.

Bulgarian Traditional Cuisine – Best Traditional Popular Dishes


A flaky pastry that you can find in bakeries throughout Bulgaria, with a white cheese filling of a similar to feta-cheese but between us nothing compares to the taste and flavour of a Greek authentic Feta cheese. When it is homemade it is great but the ones sold in the market are frequently greasy. Banitsa comes in different fillings and tastes with onions, cabbage, spinach, leeks, mushrooms, even with pumpkin.


It is the Bulgarian style fried dough, that comes in random shapes and is usually dusted with icing sugar but also served with jam or sided by white cheese, similar to doughnuts. Popular in Bulgaria and mostly served at breakfast.

Kiselo Mlyako

It is the Sour milk or yogurt with live bacillus bacteria known to us as Kefir. It is a unique cultured dairy products, a probiotic-rich food.

Bulgarian Traditional Cuisine – Best Traditional Popular Dishes


It is a traditional Bulgarian fried dish prepared with grated potatoes, onions, salt and spearmint similar to the Spanish tortilla.


A traditional stew from the Pirin region. It contains at least 7 types of meat cooked slowly with onions in a large earthenware clay pot.

Popular Desserts

Bulgarian cuisine especially in restaurants is not very strong when it comes to desserts. In pastry shops you can find Palachinka which are pancakes with honey and nuts. Also the Tulumbichki –fried dough sticks in syrup.

Torta Garash

Torta Garash is the ultimate and most popular walnut cake in Bulgaria, served for special occasions with layers of walnut meringue and rich dark chocolate cream. Traditionally the cake is garnished with green-dyed chopped almonds but personally, I believe pistachio would perfectly do here.


Bulgarian Easter Bread but also served at Christmas

Bottom Line

In all, traditional Bulgarian dishes are prepared of fresh ingredients, while deep-frozen are less favorable here. Popular dishes are the pot-cooked, oven-baked and steamed. Frying is also not that common, contrary to grilling which is very popular. Grilled specialties are widely offered in the majority of restaurants of the country. In an attempt to make food tasty and more appetizing, they add a slight oriental note to it. This is accomplished with the use of spices, herbs, and aromatic vegetables -garlic and onion during the preparation of their meals.



How informative was this article? Have we missed something that perhaps could be added on the list above? Your comments are always welcomed



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here