When three out of three people say it is the best burger they have ever had, there is something to it. But before finding that burger at Soma Vital Food, we made our way to Rila mountains and back to Sofia and had many memorable meals.
Ul. Kokiche 13, Sofia
Soul Kitchen’s webpage
We prepared ourselves for some hiking at Soul Kitchen in Sofia. The place was a bit on the fancier side but we did want to celebrate before we would soon be in the mountains with maybe no warm meals. Pizza it was! And tacos! And such a full stomach I thought I might have to roll my way up the mountains. It was delicious and actually we did return once more during our trip.
My worries of a possible starvation while hiking were for nothing. We spent three days in Rila mountains, overnighting at two huts, Skakavitsa and Ivan Vazov. We had our backpacks filled with food but actually returned to Sofia with all the noodles uncooked. I love the hut system in Rila. You don’t have to reserve anything beforehand, actually you most times even can’t. You just go to a hut and have a bed to sleep in. The huts are very simple but they do serve food. In fact there wasn’t any common kitchen at least at these two huts.
At Skakavitsa there were some veggie soups on the menu but I needed a lot of grease and salt to reward myself for the hike we had done. That meant I ate fries like I would have never seen fries in my life before. At Ivan Vazov we had really tasty vegan bean and vegetable soup, perfection after the long day of hiking in the most stunning scenery. The prices were low, couple of euros for the meal.
I just loved loved loved Rila! So beautiful and before and after passing the Seven Lakes tourist trap there were almost no people in sight.
In the morning at Ivan Vazov we didn’t get any coffee since we had to leave really early. There was only one daily bus heading to Sofia from Rila Monastry and we didn’t want to miss it. We dreamed of coffee on the way down and when we arrived to the monastery after 7 hours of walking, we had a good 30 minutes time to find a cup of coffee. We didn’t see any signs (or people with coffee cups) so Sandra asked from a monk who helped us find the restaurant area. Coffee has rarely tasted that good. When returning to the parking lot there were tens of people queuing for the bus. It looked like we might have to stay in the monastry drinking coffee for another day, but in the end we sat on the bus floor and made it back to the city.
In Sofia there are many nice restaurants and we had no problem finding good food. But we didn’t expect to find the best burger ever.
Soma Vital Food
Bl. Knyaginya Maria Luiza 58, Sofia
Soma Vital Food is on the top floor of a building and the entrance was not too easy to spot. Look for some bambuu murals and take the elevator that looks like it is not the right one.
The restaurant shares the space with a yoga studio that looked really nice as well. There were three burgers on the menu. Such a hard choice. We did some serious food stalking and a woman sitting at the table next to us said she had tried all the burgers (my hero!) and recommended a seasonal special with eggplant and fried cashew cheese. She was also eating a Greek salad with cashew cheese so we decided to have that too.
The salad came as a starter and I would have died for that cheese. It was excellent and the texture just right. That is why we had sky-high expectations when the burgers arrived. Sourdough bun, delicious ranch sauce, fried eggplant, fresh veggies and fried cashew cheese that was maybe the best thing I have ever tasted. I wasn’t even hungry so it didn’t influence my judgement. We all agreed this was the food highlight of this trip by far. The roof top view didn’t make it worse.
EDIT: Sadly Soma Vital Food has closed its doors and that perfect burger is no longer available: (.
The burger wasn’t the only great thing we ate in Sofia. Here are two of my favourite spots:
Ul. Rakovski 113
Loving Hut Sofia’s website
Loving Hut chain has saved me many times when travelling, especially in Asia. I like that the menu is never quite the same in any of the restaurants. This one had sandwiches, smoothies, pies and more. Plus the friendliest staff ever and peanut butter ice cream to die for. Mmmmm… We went back there for some take away pie to survive a crazy long train ride to the coast of Bulgaria.
Sun Moon Bakery
Ul 6-ti Septemvri 39
Sun Moon has many locations in Sofia, but this one happened to be a 5-minute-walk away from our flat. We went to have breakfast and were not disappointed. We had Bulgarian traditional pastries, banitsas, rolls filled with veggies and paste. They were so good that we had to order another round. Breakfast cake was also our choice.
The place is vegetarian which meant that other time we visited early in the morning there was nothing vegan ready. I found it funny in Bulgaria, that even though the restaurants were open they often didn’t have any food to sell for the first hours. Shouldn’t be so eager to eat before the lunch time…
Next to Sun Moon there was one of the Zoya organic stores, where I bought a tasty seitan wrap. They had a nice and wide range of vegan products from soaps to sushi.
To sum up:
My life advices: Visit Sofia, eat that burger, fall in love.
Regrets: That I only ate one of those heavenly burgers.
Burger countdown: 5 countries, 9 burgers.