Welcome to your gluten free guide for Sofia, Bulgaria. This was one of the more tricky countries, regarding gluten free, which I have ventured to, but I managed nonetheless. The guide isn’t as extensive as my Cambridge and Helsinki guides, for example, but still has plenty of suitable options. I have managed to find a couple of veganised local dishes, such as Tarator (cold soup).
After much research, I found a few hidden gems in Sofia. This included a couple of vegan restaurants too. One of my favourites was Soul Kitchen, which had previously been recommended by a friend. I did, however, find that quite a lot of ‘sweet’ places contained nuts as they do love their raw cakes in the Baltics, so do be aware of this in my bakery/sweet treats section.
I must also recommend Plovdiv if you are visiting Sofia. They are a short bus ride apart. Many say to take a day trip there, but I fell in love with the place and am glad I stayed there longer. Make sure to check the bottom of this guide for some ‘must see’ sights.
Happy gluten and dairy free dining in Sofia xx
Updated July 2022.
- Edgy Vegy – Not breakfast per se, but more of a brunch. They have a vegan smoothie bowls to set you up for the day. Just triple check that the house granola topping is suitable for gluten free on the day. Otherwise toppings consist of chia seeds, coconut chips and fresh fruits.
Lunch and light bites
- Aubergine – A popular venture in Sofia. It boasts a Mediterranean menu with lots of gluten free options. Quite a few have dairy in, but you can always ask for adaptations if needed.
- Cafe Parallel 43° – healthy cafe which serves salads, gluten free muffins, and raw cakes. There’s plenty of vegan options too – including protein shakes and fresh juices. This is one more for a balanced, light bite.
- Da! Organic – An art gallery and eatery combined. There are a few lighter lunch options such as salads, soup and stews. The menu is more limited for lunch than dinner.
- Edgy Vegy – This vegan restaurant has plenty of gluten free options for all tastes. The main menu covers a range of burgers, wraps, toast, and soup. There’s also a couple of desserts too.
- Loving Hut – A 100% vegan cafe in the centre of Sofia. Bear in mind there is only a bar with 3 stalls to sit at, so it is mostly a ‘take away’ option. They have a few gluten free options for lunch, which vary each day. Think of things such as tofu scramble and crustless quiche. They have good allergen awareness and separate preparation for all GF goods.
- Sun Moon Cafe – A popular 100% vegetarian cafe which is perfect for lunch. You can get both lighter and heavier meals here, depending on your fancy. Lots of cake too! They are knowledgeable of allergens.
- Aubergine – A restaurant not to miss! The perfect spot for a gluten free dinner in Sofia. Quite a few dishes (like others in Bulgaria) contain milk so you may find this part harder. Don’t let this put you off – they can adapt dishes and help too. However, it is great if you need GF only. Everything is clearly labelled for ease.
- Da! Organic – Plenty of healthy and hearty options to choose from here (including plenty of vegetarian and vegan dishes). This restaurant, placed in the heart of Sofia, focuses on healthier, gourmet cuisine.
- Hadjidraganov’s Cellars – A traditional Bulgarian restaurant which is a spin off from the sister Hadjidraganov’s houses. This was my favourite dinner in Sofia, or even Bulgaria overall. The waiter was extremely clued up on allergens and reassured me they could adapt the majority of the menu. This is mostly a meat-based eatery so not as suitable for vegetarians/vegans (as the veggie dishes contained gluten or dairy).
- Soul Kitchen– A 100% vegan establishment where the majority of the menu is gluten free. If there’s anywhere you must try whilst in Sofia, it is here – definitely not to be missed! It was my favourite eatery and highly recommended online and by friends. They have a range of healthier meals including noodles, pasta, and salads. There are also multiple starters to choose from, including the must-try local soup known as Tarator. I’ve put this down for dinner as it is slightly out of the main centre by walking, and the portions are quite substantial. However, they are also open for lunch if preferred.
- Sun Moon Cafe – This vegetarian cafe is open all day for your dinner fix. They have lots of options to choose from, all of which are on the healthier side. However, I must say it is very popular so do book in advance.
- Cafe Parallel 43° – Lots of vegan muffins and raw treats here. Accompany with a fresh juice or protein shake (suitable for vegans also).
- Gelateria Naturale – I always try to find vegan GF ice cream when traveling, and this little gem was a huge hit. They have lots of natural ice creams with vegan sorbet options. Unfortunately there is no GF cones that I know of, but maybe in future. I highly recommend the vegan dark chocolate!
- Loving Hut – Sweet little cafe in the heart of Sofia, serving lots of raw treats. Everything they sell here is completely vegan and on the ‘healthier’ side.
- Sun Moon Cafe – This cute corner cafe in Sofia does more than just lunch and dinners – they have an array of gluten free cakes too! Beautiful raw cakes and bliss balls galore.
Places to visit:
- St Alexander Nevski Cathedral
- Church St. George Rotunda
- Banya Bashi Mosque
- Sofia Synagogue
- Sofia’s Central Market Hall
- Vitosha mountain
- Saint Nikolas Russian Church
- Sofia History Museum
- Vitosha Boulavard
- Rila Monestry (Day trip from city)
- Cathedral of Sveta-Nedelya
- Saint Sofia Church
- Ivan Vazov National Theatre
- Mineral water fountains (found around city centre)
- Borisova Gradina