One of the main reasons to visit Bulgaria is it’s food. Whether it’s a fresh banitsa for breakfast, a portion of musaka for dinner or just a regular shopska salad with real tomatoes, nobody goes home with a bad impression of the local foods. Even foreign cuisines are made with good ingredients, that would be hard to come by in some western countries, at the same price range.
Borovets offers a wide range of foods and places to eat. From restaurants located above 2200m. asl. for lunch, to a wide variety of dinner options, there is something for every taste. And if you get bored with the restaurants in Borovets, the town of Samokov offers even more great options at even lower prices.
Eating while skiing
Everybody who has ever eaten lunch on the slopes while skiing knows that prices on the slopes are higher than in the resort. Borovets is no exception to this rule, but compared to the Alps, prices are much cheaper. There are a few places to eat in each of the ski centers in the resort, but you always have the option of skiing down to the area of hotel Rila, where most of the restaurants in Borovets are located.
If you’re skiing in the Markudjik ski center and don’t want to waste an hour going down for lunch and back, then there are a few restaurants located just under the top gondola station. Prices are almost identical among these restaurants so it’s just down to finding a nice place to sit. A tea or coffee will cost you 4lv, while a glass of hot wine goes for around 6lv and a beer is 5lv. For a decent lunch you should be prepared to pay between 20lv and 30lv. (beer 5lv; soup 6lv; main dish 15-20lv). Some restaurants, such as “The White House” also offer pizzas (around 15lv) and Burgers (10-15lv).
Read our review of the White House Restaurant
If you’re skiing in the Yastrebets ski area, then you have two options. Your first is the Yastrebets hotel, located at the end of the Yastrebets 3 ski run. This is a 5***** hotel, so you can expect prices to be higher, the location is great with plenty of seats outside for those sunny days. Your other option is the restaurant at the end of the Popangelov ski run, where prices are slightly cheaper (tea 3lv; beer 5lv; meatball 3lv; soup 5lv; sandwich 10lv; a dish from the grill is around 20lv)
If you’re skiing in the Sitnyakovo ski area, then you have the biggest choice of where to eat, as you can just take off your skis and walk 5 minutes to any restaurant in the area. Some of the best places are located in front of the Hotel Rila and at the end of the “Cherveno Zname” ski run. Some restaurants also offer free sleds to their customers. There is also fast food close to the slopes, if you don’t want to take too long.
Eating in the resort
As we said, most of the best restaurants are located in the area around hotel Rila and the base gondola station. Prices here vary a lot between restaurants, but are generally lower than in the Yastrebets and Markudjik ski centers. Here are some of our choices:
Bulgare – This is one of the most popular traditional Bulgarian restaurant in Borovets. It has a cozy interior and welcoming staff. It’s located on the main sqaure in Borovets, between Hotel Rila and the ski slope. Bulgare is not the cheapest restaurant in Borovets, but the price for value is good.
Black Cat – If you’re in the mood for live music, then the Black Cat is were you need to go. Located next to the Hotel Rila, it’s within a 10 minute walk from most of the resort. A good choice for a local dish is the cheverme that they serve, along with tasty Turkish bread.
Alpin – Alpin is a hotel located between the Hotel Rila and the Sitnyakovo Express lift. Its restaurant is open to outside guests as well and is one of the best rated in Borovets. Wood was used excessively in its design, giving it an interesting atmosphere. The breakfast menu is exceptionally good, and we suggest the american style pancake menu. It’s a little bit more pricey than other restaurants in Borovets.
Bobby’s Bar – Built in a traditional alpine style, with a large open fire and outside terrace area with lighting and patio heaters. Bobby’s is a good way to spend an evening. Featuring live music after 10pm, Sky sports, children’s activities, party games and plenty of drinks.
In terms of fast food in Borovets, the best place to look is on the street behind Hotel Ice Angels and the street between Hotel Rila and the gondola. There you can find the odd Turkish duner, grill, pizza slice place and so on. If you’re looking for a Turkish duner or something like that, then you should look at the southwest corner of the main square in front of Hotel Rila. This stand located very close to the slopes, so it’s a suitable option for a quick lunch. But keep in mind that the lines can be long for this place. Depending on your portions, a decent lunch will set you back 10lv.
A good place for pancakes is the Grizzly Bar Grill & Pancakes. It’s located opposite the gondola in the direction of Hotel Rila. They have a big selection of salty and sweet pancakes. You can pretty much make up your own pancake as well. Next to the gondola parking there is another fast food hut which serves grilled meat, such as meat balls, hot dogs and so on. A Bulgarian favorite is small loaf of bread with a “kebapche” (pole shaped meatball) and “lutenica” (like ketchup, but better)
Eating in Samokov
Taking a cab to the neighboring town of Samokov is a great option if you’ve visited everything in Borovets, or just want to mix things up. The price of a cab is 10-15lv per direction, but you will save that money from lower prices in the restaurants. Here are some of our favorites:
Restaurant Target – Target is a modern style restaurant located in Samokov. It has a big selection of specialties as well as more traditional dishes. They serve exotic cuisines such as Thai food, sushi, Mexican and more. The fajita is exceptional and the selection of wines is good. They also serve lunch menus for under 8lv. Most people find it hard to spend more than 20lv on food here, as the portions are huge and the prices low.
Read our full review of Restaurant Target
Pri Sote – This popular restaurant is located on the main road to Borovets. It’s situated inside a park area and has a nice children’s play ground. This restaurant can get very busy, so it’s a good idea to make a reservation if you’re planning on having dinner there during the high season or weekends.
The Old House – This is a very popular traditional Bulgarian restaurant with much better prices than those found is Borovets. It’s often full (especially on the weekends) so it’s good to call in advance and make a reservation.