As you may have gathered, food is something we’re extremely passionate about, with that in mind we’ve decided to share a list of some of our favorite options that Bansko has to offer. Whether you’re staying with us in our catered or B&B chalets, getting out and tasting some of the local dishes is a must during your holiday with us.
Within Bansko you’ll find a range of ‘Mehana’ which simply translates to tavern. This typically refers to a traditional restaurant where you’re likely to find local Bulgarian dishes. The food found here is often fresh, very hearty and made based on age old recipes that have been passed down generationally.
When eating out prices can vary although you’ll be pleased to find that on average meals are cheaper than in other European countries with dinner for 2 ranging from 20lev (£9) for a simple feed up to 200lev (£88) for a Michelin star style experience.
Be aware card machines are often ‘broken’ so it’s always worth having enough cash on you to buy the meal and leave a tip.
Foods to try before leaving Bansko
This is a list that could go on and on so we’ll try and keep it short.
Shopska salad – this is a classic salad that you’ll find everywhere and is must as the ingredients are always nice and fresh. Made from cucumber, tomato and white cheese it uses local ingredients that are rumoured to have been combined to combine the colours of the Bulgarian flag.
Bobchorba – this is a national dish and translates as a bean soup, 💯 vegan and not to be missed, great with some homemade garlic bread
Pork knuckle – this is a beauty, slow cooked for hours and will simply fall off the bone
Sach – this dish usually consist of a variety of meats and vegetables or only vegetables and is cooked and served on a sizzling hot plate, a real showstopper
Chicken in cornflakes – sounds unusual but a homemade chicken nugget covered in corn flakes with a yogurt dip on the side, what’s not to like
Lutenitsa – a local tomato based chutney sauce which goes unbelievably well with cheesy chips or sauté potatoes. The ketchup of the Balkans.
For more ideas just give us a shout or check out a guide written by A Social Nomad.
Eating out in Bansko
Finding the right place to find some of the above can be hard as Bansko is packed with places to eat out. This is why we’ve created a short list of some of our favorite options to dine.
Mehana Obetsanova, an 18th-century tavern where sheepskins cover the hand-carved chairs and waistcoated waiters glide around the room. Take your pick from a menu that champions meaty mains, such as braised lamb shanks, barbecued pork and slow-cooked veal. They can even collect you from the chalet and drop you back after you’ve eaten.
Restaurant ??? – Some things are best kept a secret and you’ll have to ask your Snomads host on arrival about this one. After nearly a decade of exploring this is our number one spot in Bansko and if possible shouldn’t be missed. We get our old Soviet 4×4 UAZ truck fired up and drive you up the snow covered dirt road to a serene reservoir set in the foothills of the Pirin mountains, this is a set meal evening to die for.
Truly a unique setting and the freshest fish you’ll eat in Bansko which stands out among the classics on offer, washed down with homemade wine and rakia – Bliss.
Mehana “Елите” – this is another traditional mehana which is easy to miss but well worth a visit. Some of the best and freshest home made food with a perfectly simple menu.
Kirsty’s restaurant – another family owner and run restaurant serving local and fresh food. Well worth trying the house wine with whatever you decide to order and the lutensita is great.
Baryakova Mehana – this is one of the oldest mehana in Bansko and is based in the beautiful old town. Very traditional menu and atmosphere with some unique Bansko dishes that you won’t find in many other places
Chalet Yanitsa – another winner that’s based in the old town serving simple, very affordable yet delicious Bulgarian dishes. Listed again in our take away options just in case you fancy kicking back back at the chalet whilst still enjoying their food.
With all the above we’d always recommend trying the house wine and going as traditional as possible to avoid missing out on the real Bulgaria.
Take away in Bansko
If you’re not staying in our catered Chalet Prince, It’s sometimes quite difficult to take yourself back out after a long day skiing, luckily across all our Bulgarian bed and breakfast chalets we have a traditional and seasonal meal set cooked to order for a small extra cost, delicious and seasonal produce with both meat and vegetarian options available.
If you’re feeling like something different to Bulgarian then options have increased a lot in recent years.
below you’ll find a list of some options that cover a variety of cuisines.
Happy Food – apres and burger bar
Suvorov – interesting Russian/Eastern european menu
Irish Harp – missing home, this one’s got you covered, British/European
Victoria Bansko – part of a chain serving European foods
House of Fries – name gives it away, burgers and chips and all things bad for you
Succuk – another doing burgers that aren’t to be missed
Momini Dvori – Traditional/European
Ski Chalet menu
Within our chalets, our menu has always been heavily influenced by the quality local ingredients and the regional food that we’ve enjoyed in many of the places listed above. To find out more about how this has influenced us and the type of food we offer across our chalets feel free to have a quick look here.