Bulgarian cuisine consists of plenty of fresh vegetables, eaten raw, roasted or stewed with meat in terracotta pots, lots of garlic, onions, oil and spices. Influences of its neighbors, Turkey and Greece are also present in dishes such as sarmi (stuffed vine leaves), moussaka and baklava. A salad and rakia (Bulgarian schnapps) are the obligatory start to the meal. Listed below are traditional Bulgarian Dishes, well worth a try.
shopska salata - chopped tomatoes, cucumbers, onions and peppers sprinkled with sirene (Bulgarian white cheese)
snezhanka - thick creamy yogurt with chopped cucumber or gherkins, walnuts and garlic
kyopolou -roasted aubergines, peppers, loads of garlic, parsley.
bob chorba - traditional bean soup with plenty of herbs
shkembe chorba - tripe soup with garlic, vinegar and chilli, quite tasty if you can bring yourself to try it.
tarator -cold yoghurt and cucumber soup.
kavarma -meat and vegetable stew, usually served in individual pots
gyuvetch -stewed chunks of vegetables and lamb
kyufteta -spicy meat balls.
kebaptcheta -spicy mince meat, sausage shaped, grilled.
kashkaval (or sirene) pane -fried yellow (or white) cheese
chushki byurek - fried peppers stuffed with egg and cheese
sirene po shopski - white cheese, egg, tomatoes and peppers baked in a pot
Most restaurants offer only pancakes or cream caramel. Cafes usually have a good selection of pastries and cakes. The garash torta is the Bulgarian equivalent of the Sacher Torte, made from eggs, walnuts and cocoa.
Snacks ('zakuska') are available all over town in tiny shops or from stands on the street.
banitsa - fillo dough pastry filled with white cheese
gevrek - like a very dry bagel, sold from big bags on street corners
kifla - croissant usually filled with jam
pirozhka - dough stick filled with white cheese and fried.
For the really adventurous, try:
boza - a thick malt drink with a distinct smell. (It's said to be an acquired taste!