Hlebar Bakery in Sofia, Bulgaria
Hlebar is a modern bakery, a bread bar (as the name states) or simply your daily go-to place when you want warm bread, a tasty sandwich or a traditional pastry. The name is a cool play on words because it means a baker in Bulgarian but also a bread bar. Here you can get coffee in the morning, warm lunch or a bottle of wine for home. Hands down to the best non-dairy latte in town made with almond and hazelnut milk.
The venue focuses on homemade sourdough bread and it prides itself on being one of the best bakeries in Sofia. Not only you can get a fresh einkorn or rye bread, but you can also order a sandwich. Our personal favourite is the one with salmon, cream cheese, and fresh herbs.
They have two locations – both in the city center. While the one on Ivan Shishman street is very centrally located it is definitely worth it to go to Hlebar on Oborishte street because it is more spacious and the interior reminds you of a restaurant you could find in London or Berlin. The interior in the first one gives you a cozy and homey feeling while the one on Oborishte street has some industrial elements that we love!
One of the best things that you can try here is homemade “banitsa”. This is a pastry made out of filo dough and usually filled with cheese and eggs. It is popular around the Balkans with small variations and different names such as borek in Turkey. It is the perfect breakfast and even a rather good hangover remedy. If you like sweets – you can try banitsa with apple and cinnamon or with pumpkin and walnuts. If you are traditionalist get one with cheese or with cheese and spinach.
There are numerous variations on this Bulgarian delicacy with some traditional options as well as others with a more modern take – filled with sun dried tomatoes, potatoes, and even mushrooms. Important note – these pastries are better served warm so ask the staff and make sure that you get it fresh. We promise it is mouth watering! If you want to feel like a true Bulgarian pair your banitsa with “ayran” or “boza”. The Turkish cold yogurt drink (ayran) has made its way permanently in Bulgaria through the years and is one of the favourite drinks for every Bulgarian in the warm months. “Boza” is a rather strange drink that we have to admit is a challenge for every foreigner because of its sweet and sour taste, a result of fermented wheat. You either love it or hate it from the first sip!
Hlebar is the perfect venue if you are visiting Sofia for the first time and want to try something traditional in a modern atmosphere. It also solves the problem for local people where to bring foreign friends for a delicious breakfast or brunch.