Plovdiv is my new favorite place in Bulgaria. There are plenty of things to do in Plovdiv, everything from exploring the unique houses of the Old Town Plovdiv to vibrant street art. Another major attraction in Plovdiv is the food and the craft beer scene if you’re into that. So, here’s the best food you should try in Plovdiv, and also the craft beer to go with it.
Best Places to Eat and Food to Try in Plovdiv
I love Bulgarian food in general, and all its regional influences. However, I found that the food scene in Plovdiv is quite spectacular. Moreover, they turned to traditional food and brought it back with a modern, upscale twist. Here are my top places to eat in Plovdiv and a few suggestions of food to try.
56 Vasil Aprilov Street, Plovdiv
This is a simple Greek gyros place and a perfect place for lunch. The meat at Gyroland is perfectly roasted and you just have to try the aubergine dip with it, it’s exquisite.
No.5 Skapto Burgers
24 Yoakim Gruev Street, Plovdiv
Good burgers and fries, cold beer, what more could you wish for? Again, perfect for lunch. Sit outside and enjoy the art on the wall just across the street. They also have great vegetarian options, I especially liked the quinoa burger.
No.4 Sofra Turkish Restaurant
13 Jelezarska Street
Bulgaria has been under Ottoman domination for almost 500 years. There are many influences in the Bulgarian food and you can also find good Turkish restaurants in this part of the country. One of them is Sofra Restaurant where you can try some great lamb kebab and kunefe for dessert.
Just to clarify, this is an unpretentious place with a few grilled options, but the meat is fresh and tasty.
No.3 Aylyakria Gastro Bar
3 Kozhuharska Street, Kapana, Plovdiv
3rd place goes to Aylyakria, a trendy terrace in the summer and a cozy place in the winter. Aylyakria Gastro Bar has a short menu of reinvented traditional recipes. Try the salads and the pork breast or meatballs with lutenitsa-a popular sweet pepper sauce. They also have a very good selection of Bulgarian wine.
One more thing, I recommend making reservations for dinner, especially on a summer weekend.
10 General Gurko Street, Plovdiv
Hemingway is a more upscale type of restaurant outside Kapana. It is tucked away on a pleasant street just near the Odeon and it’s also a great place to spend the evening on the outside terrace.
I loved that their menu has a lot of local cheeses, meats, and also drinks. I highly recommend the beef croquettes, porcini risotto, and lamb at Hemingway restaurant.
No.1 Pavaj – The Very Best Food in Plovdiv
7 Zlatarska Street, Kapana, Plovdiv
And the winner is…that is to say my favorite restaurant in Plovdiv is Pavaj in the Kapana area. Pavaj is quite popular with the locals so reservations are usually required for the evening.
Another short menu with very fresh ingredients and tasty food beautifully presented. They also try to bring local flavors to the table. Try the sausage, aubergine salads, the zucchini balls, or the incredible ribs. Everything is delicious here. They have an extensive drinks list too. Unfortunately, I didn’t make it to dessert, but that’s a good reason to go back.
Most of these restaurants are in the Kapana area of Plovdiv or close by. Kapana is one of the attractions in Plovdiv, and also a good place to hunt for some local craft beers.
Craft Beer and More
Plovdiv has a good vibe, it feels young and trendy. Locals like to spend their time outside, walking on the long pedestrian street in the city center, enjoying the sunset from the hills around the city center, or having a drink in the Kapana area.
While the craft beers scene is not really developed in Bulgaria, Plovdiv has something to offer in this area too.
Start exploring with a local beer at Hopium Taproom (7 Zagreb St, Plovdiv). Try a hazy Mango with me or Anthipa from Pelta Brewery and admire some of the incredible street art in Plovdiv just in front of the shop.
Another good place for a cold craft beer is Kotka i Mishka (Cat&Mouse) at 16 Hristo Dyukmedzhiev street. They have over 100 craft beers to choose from and you can spend some good time on its terrace enjoying the relaxed atmosphere of the city.
If craft beer is not your thing, there’s a nice bar just across from Kotka i Misha where you can have some great gin & tonics.
At 31 Otets Paisiy Street, Bar Fabric and Craft Shop Fabric will also offer local as well as international craft beer options. You can even buy some very decent draught IPA from the shop to take with you.
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