While I already mentioned some visually pleasing places which enlighten your morning mood and your Instagram feed, I still feel like something is missing. Something which makes a visit to a city like Sofia even more exciting – its bars. And no, I am not encouraging you to drink and drink until you pass out. I am merely outlining three nice places in Sofia, where you can have a drink – alcoholic or non-alcoholic, chill, spend your evening, and maybe get to know Bulgaria and its culture even better.
"By The Way" exists since 2001 and is the first one to introduce mainstream cocktails to the country. In the menu, there is something for everyone – coffee, sandwiches, salads, cakes, juices, lemonades, cocktails. All the juices used for the cocktails are made from scratch on the spot. To sum up, you can spend your whole day here – start with breakfast and finish with dessert and a drink.
The interesting thing about this place is, as I already mentioned, that it offers a wide range of food and drink options, and it is located in the centre of Sofia, which means that it is easy to find. Secondly, on its website, there are suggestions for other interesting bars, similar in concept and ambience. If you are visiting Bulgaria in summer and feel like “By the way” is a place you need to visit, you are lucky – there is one by the seaside in southern Bulgaria – 40 km southern from Burgas.
Yes, you read that correctly – the name of this bar is the Russian word for "satellite", which is a keyword in the interior design of the place. "Sputnik" also means “companion” - the bar offers a warm atmosphere, you feel welcome and in a good company, even if you are alone. It was voted “Sofia`s best bar” for two consecutive years – 2017 and 2018. If you are one of those who needs a snack before/after their drinks, here you can try “princess”, or as we Bulgarians call it “princesa”. It is a slice of bread, which is baked in an oven with cheese and minced meat on top. This is a very popular Bulgarian snack or breakfast choice. “Sputnik” has gone further with this traditional dish - a vegetarian option with vegetables and cheese. As for the cocktails, the bar offers some original ones, such as “Rakia sour” – “rakia” is the Bulgarian version of brandy.
If you are interested in learning more about this type of brandy, I suggest you visit the last bar from today`s list:
As the name suggests, "Raketa Rakia Bar" is a bar which specialized in Rakia drinks. But what stays hidden from an outsider is the fact that this place also specializes in promoting and preserving Bulgarian culture and history. Some may argue that local alcoholic beverages are not something that important when it comes to cultural heritage, and you would be right, of course. Still, throughout the centuries, the process of Rakia making has kept people in touch with their roots and local traditions and customs. And this is just one of the reasons why is this bar so interesting. "Raketa" means "rocket" in Bulgarian, so in that sense, this place is similar to "Sputnik". What makes it unique though is the fact that its interior, as well as the food and drink menu, combine elements of Bulgaria`s both socialist past and democratic present. "Raketa Rakia Bar" offers not only a way to reminiscence about the past but also an opportunity to remember it and learn from it!
If you are, like me, a fan of parties and having fun, you have landed on the right page. Each of the aforementioned places is unique and exciting in its own way and presents a different side of Sofia as well as of Bulgaria. Those three bars I presented offer merely the opportunity to enjoy a nice evening in Sofia, but you have to grab this chance and do something with it!
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