Are you a foodie? As our trip in Varna, Bulgaria began, we had no idea how much we would fall in love with Bulgarian food.
We want to share the 5 best restaurants in Varna, Bulgaria that you must visit. These will give you a taste of fresh, high quality food at the best locations for an unforgettable experience.
Dining in Bulgaria is inexpensive
Why spend time cooking when the food is unbelievably cheap? We are not talking about street carts or food trucks. We are talking about high-end, fabulous cuisine that wouldn’t come close to adding up to an American restaurant bill.
Bulgarians are very friendly
Bulgarians seem a little unapproachable at first but after breaking the ice, you will find how hospitable and friendly they are. Their hospitality and all-around lovely demeanor, go a long way.
Tipping in Bulgaria
Tips are good. Wherever you go, it is appreciated to show your gratitude for your service, especially if alcoholic drinks are involved. You are likely to receive a big smile from your server. It’s good to make friends.
1. Staria Chinar – Port Varna – We found our way to the first restaurant on our list from the Port of Varna, a quick 10 minute walk from the Varna beaches. Once you cross a big parking lot on the right, you’ll see a strip of restaurants at Port of Varna, where this gem is located. At first glance, we already felt the ambiance of the restaurant while the inviting music sucked us in. We were greeted and seated immediately. Daniel the waiter is the man, ask for him!
Don’t be late
Be sure to show up before 10:30 PM, as that’s their last call before the kitchen closes and you certainly don’t want to miss it! If you don’t see a table open for you, try sitting at the bar. You will get all the attention you need, despite the size. Before listing our favorite dishes, it’s worth mentioning that the this place brought us back three times during our stay in Varna. We started with a bottle of champagne 30 BGN / $17 USD, and our waiter Daniel killed us with his kindness and presentation.
We spiced things up and went straight for the Shopska salad. Shopska is a traditional Bulgarian salad with fresh veggies and Bulgarian cheese. Their mussels in beer sauce was the next thing that landed on our table and could easily be a favorite amongst mussels lovers. You’ll be getting a huge plate, so make sure you leave room for main dishes!
We share everything, and when we say it’s a huge dish, just trust us. If we talk about Staria Chinar’s main and most delicious courses, it’s absolutely their Lamb and venison (at least for us). Both were tender and served in huge portions!
If I’d have to pick my personal favorite, it would be their mushroom Risotto with shaved parmesan that compliments any dish you order. To complete an absolutely unforgettable experience, we ordered their handmade ice cream which presents itself with a dry ice show. Who doesn’t like ice cream? Plus, when it comes with a glorious show, it really put the cherry on top. Perfect for your Instagram story.
Our check never went above 70 BGN / $41 USD which usually included a bottle of Champagne, 3 appetizers, 2 main dishes and desserts. As you can imagine, we had to pace our eating after a few days.
2. Veranda – Takes number two for its diverse menu, unique flavors and romantic ambiance. The open terrace has high bar tables and appears very posh. Don’t be intimidated by the layout, it is a great spot to mingle after your perfect meal. The setting is beautiful, romantic, and elegantly decorated with real olive trees and relaxing lights.
The DJ adds an extra touch as he plays his set throughout the evening. After your meal, you can go dancing on the terrace. The food was incredible, full of different options to choose from, artfully plated and served by a friendly and attentive staff.
3. By The Sea (on the Black Sea, obviously) has taken number three on our list for their combination of great views, food and entertainment. By The Sea is in the heart of the beach area. On the first floor there’s a beach bar, dance floor and a stage. The second floor is the restaurant. In this environment, you’ll get the best of both worlds, especially if you take a table overlooking the dance-floor beacuse every night during the summer, they have something new going on on the dance floor. The combination of all of this created an overall awesome evening in Varna.
4. Mr. Baba is a restaurant on a Pirate ship overlooking the Black Sea coastline. If you want an early bite and a drink in a unique setting, you have to visit Mr. Baba. We had a pleasant surprise eating on a pirate ship and watching the sunsets. The staff was friendly and attentive.
We got to sit outside on their terrace as we got there for an early bite. If this is a must-go for you, I suggest to reserve your table just in case.
5. Alba – When all other restaurants in Varna close their kitchen at 10:30 pm, you have this as a last minute life-saver. Alba is very casual, and their kitchen closes at 1:30 am. Don’t bother going anywhere else or trying to find a spot that will serve you food late at night, you’ll only find drinks.
Located in the city center, Alba is THE late night food restaurant. Alba has many healthy dishes it’s really hard to believe for a late night spot. They have 36 types of salads (we counted). It’s fresh and there are choices for anything you can possibly want. We watched the World Cup on big screen, listened to great music and had excellent service. Cash only here but there is an ATM 50 meters way. Just come prepared.
Map of the 5 best restaurants in Varna Bulgaria
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