Here’s what to eat and drink during an alternative weekend getaway in the Balkan Peninsula of Sofia, Bulgaria.
There’s something remarkably authentic about Sofia. Perhaps its the buildings, a mix of Balkan architectures, Soviet symmetry and the up-and-coming underground community which is making use of the hidden nooks of the city. Perhaps, however, it’s the city’s history and strong religious undertone, evident in the Orthodox churches, mosques and synagogues dotted all around.
Either way, Sofia is one of those few cities that still remain relatively unknown to the tourist masses, making it all the more interesting. Although ‘luxurious’ may not be the first word that comes to mind (underground or historical are probably more appropriate), here are some of the most exciting high-end things to do in Sofia, besides those you have already seen in TripAdvisor.
Eat Local at Manastirska Magernitsa Restaurant
There is no better way to be introduced to a country’s culture than eating traditional food, which is where Manastirska Magernitsa Restaurant comes in. Traditionally Bulgarian in taste and decor, this picturesque restaurant in the city centre is ideal for an immediate cultural immersion into the delicacies of the Balkan country.
Grab a drink at DSQUARED2 Cocktail & Lounge
Sofia’s DSQUARED2 store is located in one of the city’s prime locations, but what might come as a surprise is the sheer size of the property, which spans into a cocktail lounge and café – the first of its kind. In true DSQUARED2 extravaganza, it is decorated in tones of blue and gold, hosting a variety of events and serving mouth-watering dishes in the hands of chef Dobrin Atanasov.
Smoke and Drink at Hambara
Certainly the most alternative of options, Hambara is Sofia’s best kept secret. Lit only by candles and hidden in an inconspicuous alleyway, Hambara doesn’t even have a sign to announce its location. Instead, you need a lot of gut instinct, and the courage to knock on a random door in the hopes of it opening up for you. However, arm yourself with courage if you’re not a smoker, as this place has a permanent cigarette smell embedded into its walls.
Dance Away at the Sense Hotel Rooftop Bar
Everyone loves a rooftop, but if it happens to be like the Sense Hotel Rooftop bar and has views to Sofia’s greatest attraction, the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, even better. A smart-casual dress code is imposed from 6pm, letting the night roll in with an elegant crowd and panoramic city views that is open until 2 in the morning.
Drink you coffee at Drekka
Everyone needs a good cup of coffee. You can bet on getting one at Drekka, a pop-up-like café decorated in blues and concrete which not only fixes your caffeine cravings, but offers courses and a cute little shop of Drekka inspired accessories.