Top 17 Most Popular Food In Bulgaria – A Foodie’s Guide

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Bulgarian cuisine is a unique blend of flavors influenced by the country’s geography and history. Bulgarian cuisine emphasizes fresh, locally sourced ingredients and offers a range of healthy and delicious dishes. From Banitsa to kavarma, Bulgarian cuisine has something for everyone. The country’s proximity to Greece and Turkey has also led to incorporation of Mediterranean flavors into traditional Bulgarian dishes.

Are you a foodie looking to explore the lesser-known cuisines of Europe? Bulgaria is a hidden gem that offers diverse and flavorful cuisine. Bulgarian food will satisfy even the most discerning palate, from the traditional Shopska salad to the hearty Kavarma stew.

Here we will take you through the must-try popular food in Bulgaria, each with its unique blend of spices and flavors. Get ready to embark on a culinary adventure and discover the exquisite taste of Bulgaria.

Start Your Journey: Bulgarian Food Tours

Embarking on a Bulgarian food tour is an excellent way to indulge in the country’s diverse culinary offerings. There is no shortage of fantastic food, from traditional dishes like Banitsa and Kavarma to lesser-known delicacies like lyutenitsa and Tarator.

Not only will you get to taste authentic Bulgarian cuisine, but you’ll also have the opportunity to explore different regions of the country and learn about local ingredients and cooking methods. Plus, with wine gaining international recognition, a Bulgarian food tour is the perfect chance to sample some delicious local vintages.

Popular food in Bulgaria

17 Most Popular food In Bulgaria – You Must Try

Introducing you to a delicious world of culinary delights, Bulgaria offers an array of mouth-watering dishes that are sure to leave you wanting more. From the traditional pastry Banitsa filled with cheese to the hearty meat stew Kavarma, Bulgarian cuisine is both flavorful and diverse.

Indulge in the refreshing Shopska salad, or try the Tarator cold soup made with yogurt, cucumbers, garlic, and dill. Satisfy your sweet tooth with the pumpkin-filled pastry Tikvenik or sweet bread Kozunak, traditionally eaten during Easter celebrations. Whether you are a vegetarian or a meat-lover, there is something for everyone on this list of the 17 most popular food in Bulgaria that you must try at least once.

1. Shopska Salad

Shopska salad is a staple food in Bulgaria and one of the most famous dishes in the country. The salad’s simple ingredients of diced tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, and peppers topped with feta cheese make it a refreshing and healthy option for anyone looking for a light meal or a side dish.

Shopska salad is also known for its vibrant colors and eye-catching presentation, making it an excellent choice for photo opportunities. This salad is almost everywhere in Bulgaria, from street vendors to high-end restaurants. It’s an easy-to-make dish that you can try at home with fresh ingredients.

2. Lyutenitsa

Lyutenitsa is a beloved Bulgarian spread that has become a staple in the country’s cuisine. Made with roasted red peppers, tomatoes, and eggplant, this sweet and tangy condiment is a popular addition to many Bulgarian dishes. But beyond its delicious taste, Lyutenitsa also offers several health benefits.

It contains antioxidants from red peppers and tomatoes, while the eggplant provides fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Moreover, the garlic used in making Lyutenitsa can have anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting effects. So not only does this spread add flavor to your meals, but it also keeps you healthy!

3. Snezhanka

It introduces Snezhanka, a traditional Bulgarian salad that is a must-try for anyone visiting the country. The name “Snow White” may be misleading, as the dish’s main ingredient is yogurt, but the refreshing combination of cucumbers, garlic, and dill makes for a light and healthy meal option.

It’s a popular choice during Bulgaria’s hot summers and can be served as a side or as a main course with bread. Interestingly, Snezhanka is well-known in other Balkan countries like Greece and Turkey.

4. Kiselo Mlyako

Kiselo Mlyako, a type of Bulgarian yogurt, is an essential component of Bulgarian cuisine. Made from a unique strain of bacteria found only in Bulgaria, it has a distinct tangy taste and creamy texture that sets it apart from other yogurts. This dairy product is the basis for many dips and sauces but is also enjoyed on its own or with fresh fruit or honey.

Kiselo Mlyako is high in protein and calcium, making it a healthy addition to any diet. Its popularity has expanded globally due to its unique taste and health benefits.

5. Kyopolou

Kyopolou is a beloved traditional spread in Bulgaria, made from roasted eggplant, peppers, garlic, and tomatoes. Its creamy texture and smoky flavor make it easy to see why this dish has been enjoyed for generations. Kyopolou is a versatile dish that can be used as an appetizer with bread or crackers or as a condiment for grilled meats.

To make it even more appealing, the word can be customized with different herbs and spices to suit individual tastes. If you’re looking for a unique taste of Bulgaria, Kyopolou is a must-try dish on your foodie journey through the country.

6. Tarator

It introduces Tarator, a cold soup made with yogurt, cucumber, garlic, and dill. This refreshing dish is perfect for hot summer days and has been a staple in Bulgarian cuisine for centuries. Its low-calorie count and high protein content make it an excellent option for those looking for a healthy meal.

The dish has many variations across the Balkans and can be customized to individual tastes. Tarator can be served as an appetizer or main course, making it a versatile addition to any meal. So why not try and experience the unique flavors of this classic Bulgarian dish?

7. Bob Chorba

Bob Chorba is a hearty soup that has been a staple in Bulgarian cuisine for centuries. It is the ultimate comfort food made with beans, vegetables, and spices. The dish is delicious and packed with nutrients, making it an excellent choice for any meal.

Many local restaurants and cafes serve Bob Chorba with a dollop of sour cream and a slice of bread, adding to its rich flavor. This soup is also great for people looking for healthy options, as it’s high in protein and fiber. So, if you want to try something authentic and nutritious, Bob Chorba should be on your list!

8. Shkembe Chorba

Shkembe Chorba is a famous soup in Bulgaria for its unique taste and healing properties. Locals and tourists enjoy this traditional dish made from tripe, milk, and spices, which gives it a distinctive sour flavor. While it may not be everyone’s cup of tea, Shkembe Chorba is a staple food in Bulgaria and is often served as a breakfast dish.

Some believe the soup can even cure hangovers due to its therapeutic properties. With its rich history and tasty flavors, Shkembe Chorba is worth trying during your Bulgarian culinary adventure.

9. Kavarma

Kavarma is a mouthwatering Bulgarian dish encompassing everything you love about a stew. The plate features hearty cubes of meat cooked in a rich sauce with flavorful spices and vegetables. Restaurants, fast-food chains, and street vendors throughout Bulgaria serve Kebapche with a side of fries, salad, and bread.

What sets Kavarma apart from other stews is its unique flavor profile, which is both savory and sweet. This makes it an excellent choice for those seeking a satisfying and delicious meal that will leave them wanting more.

10. Kebapche

If you’re looking for a quick and tasty snack on the go, then Kebapche is the perfect choice. People make this popular Bulgarian street food from grilled minced meat mixed with spices, typically pork or beef.

Restaurants, fast-food chains, and street vendors throughout Bulgaria serve Kebapche with a side of fries, salad, and bread. With its Ottoman roots and similarity to the Turkish kebab, Kebapche is a must-try for anyone who wants to experience traditional Bulgarian cuisine.

11. Kyufte

Kyufte is a famous Bulgarian dish that will satisfy any meat lover’s cravings. Made from ground beef or pork mixed with spices, these patties are grilled or fried to perfection and served alongside sides like potatoes, salad, or bread.

People enjoy Kyufte as street food or at local restaurants and even consider it a staple dish during traditional Bulgarian celebrations and festivals, with variations found across different regions of Bulgaria. Don’t miss out on this flavorful and hearty dish during your visit to Bulgaria!

12. Sirene po Shopski

Introducing a delicious appetizer or side dish, Sirene po Shopski is a classic Bulgarian specialty from the Shopsko region. This dish features white cheese, roasted peppers, and tomatoes, creating a unique blend of flavors that complement each other perfectly.

Served with bread or as part of a salad, this dish is easy to make at home with simple ingredients. You can also find it in many Bulgarian restaurants. Try out Sirene po Shopski on your next trip to Bulgaria to experience the traditional flavors of Bulgarian cuisine.

13. Kavarma (Meat Stew)

If you’re looking for a hearty and flavorful dish, look no further than Kavarma. They simmer the traditional Bulgarian meat stew in a clay pot, allowing the ingredients to meld together beautifully. Combining pork or chicken with vegetables such as tomatoes, peppers, onions, and mushrooms creates a delicious and satisfying meal for colder months.

Plus, the versatility of Kavarma means that you can use different meats or vegetables depending on what’s available in your region. So why not try making this beloved Bulgarian dish at home or seek it out at a local restaurant during your travels?

14. Banitsa (Cheese Pastry)

Banitsa, a traditional Bulgarian pastry, is a must-try for any foodie visiting Bulgaria. Made with layers of filo dough and filled with cheese and eggs, Banitsa is perfect for breakfast or as a snack. Its unique combination of flavors makes it stand out from other pastries.

The dish has several regional variations, including Banitsa with spinach or meat. People often serve it with yogurt to balance the richness of the cheese. If you want to experience authentic Bulgarian cuisine, Banitsa is an absolute must-try!

15. Tikvenik (Pumpkin Pie)

The aroma of cinnamon and cloves wafts in the air as you take a bite of Tikvenik, a traditional Bulgarian dessert made with filo pastry and pumpkin filling. It’s easy to see why this dish is a popular choice during autumn when pumpkins are in season.

The sweetened pumpkin filling paired with flaky filo pastry is nothing like you’ve tasted before. Whether served as a standalone dessert or as part of a larger meal, Tikvenik is an essential experience that captures the essence of Bulgarian cuisine.

16. Patatnik (Potato Dish)

If you’re looking for a hearty and filling dish in Bulgaria, look no further than Patatnik. People from the Rhodope Mountains region make this traditional potato dish by grating potatoes, onions, and spices together and cooking them in a pan.

Whether you have it as a main course or as a side dish with meat or cheese, Patatnik will satisfy your hunger cravings. People make Lyutenitsa by roasting peppers, tomatoes, and spices.

17. Kiopoolu (Roasted Eggplant and Pepper Spread)

It is introducing the perfect appetizer to kick off a Bulgarian feast: Kiopoolu, a roasted eggplant and pepper spread that will impress your taste buds. This traditional Bulgarian dish derives its distinctive smoky flavor from the roasted vegetables, typically combined with garlic, onions, and sometimes tomatoes or parsley.

Served with bread or crackers as an appetizer, Kiopoolu is prevalent in many restaurants and markets across Bulgaria. Don’t miss out on this flavorful and uniquely Bulgarian experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What Is The Leading Food In Bulgaria?

Bulgarian cuisine is diverse and has many traditional dishes, but some of the most popular foods in Bulgaria include Banitsa, kebabche, and lyutenitsa. Banitsa is a pastry with cheese and eggs, while kebabche is a grilled meat sausage. People make Lyutenitsa using roasted peppers, tomatoes, and spices.

2. What Is Traditional Bulgarian Street Food?

Traditional Bulgarian street food includes a variety of delicious options. Banitsa is a popular pastry with cheese or meat, while kebabche offers grilled minced meat in a sausage shape. Langos is another favorite, featuring deep-fried dough topped with cheese and garlic sauce. And for a refreshing side dish, try the shopska salad made with fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, onions, and feta cheese.

3. What Is A Typical Bulgarian Breakfast?

A typical Bulgarian breakfast usually consists of bread, cheese, and yogurt. Banitsa, a savory pastry filled with cheese and eggs, is a popular breakfast dish. Another traditional breakfast food is mekitsi, fried dough pieces served with jam or cheese. To accompany the meal, locals typically drink coffee or tea.

4. What Is The Most Popular Meat In Bulgaria?

Pork is the most popular meat in Bulgaria, with many traditional dishes like kebapche, kyufte, and Banitsa featuring pork. However, chicken, beef, and lamb are also commonly consumed.

Bulgarian cuisine also offers a variety of vegetarian options like stuffed peppers, shopska salad, and tarator soup, which are popular among locals and visitors alike.

5. What To Eat In Bulgaria?

Bulgarian cuisine is a blend of Balkan, Mediterranean, and Slavic influences, resulting in a unique culinary experience. Some popular dishes to try include Banitsa, a pastry filled with cheese or meat; kavarma, a stew made with beef and vegetables; and kebapche, grilled minced meat.

It would also help to sample Bulgarian salads like shopska salad and lutenists.


Bulgarian cuisine is a delightful blend of flavors and textures that will leave any foodie wanting more. There’s something for everyone, from the refreshing Shopska salad to the hearty Kavarma. To make the most of your Bulgarian food adventure, we recommend trying out a food tour that will give you an in-depth insight into the country’s culinary culture. With so many delicious dishes, it can be challenging to decide what to order.

But don’t worry; we’ve covered you with our list of the 17 most popular foods in Bulgaria that you must try. So what are you waiting for? Get ready to tantalize your taste buds and immerse yourself in the rich and diverse world of Bulgarian cuisine.

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