Sofia is bustling with life and creative ideas. One surefire way to see this for yourself is to take a tour around the independent stores scattered around the city. From natural ice cream to indie bookshops and Bulgarian wines, here are the best local businesses.
Vino Orenda Wine Shop
Wine Bar, Bulgarian
Vino Orenda WIne Shop in Sofia | Courtesy of Vino Orenda Wine Shop
If you want to delve into the tastes and aromas of Bulgarian wine, Vino Orenda Wine Shop is the place to go. It was the first shop in Sofia selling only Bulgarian wine. The small store on the corner of Makedonia Boulevard has accommodated more than 300 wines from 60 Bulgarian wineries. The knowledgeable shopkeeper will help you find the best bottle for you.
This indie bookstore will satiate your thirst for rare finds, whether that’s books, authentic signed memorabilia, comics or creative gifts. The special selection of second-hand English books will keep you enthralled for hours, but you can also find English books from local authors, like “203 Travel Challenges”. If you are in search of a special gift, at Elephant Bookstore you can find a magazine from anyone’s month and year of birth!
If you want to get to know Bulgarian fashion, the Sofia-based label Sassa Björg is the perfect starting point. The limited ready-to-wear outfits hanging in the store might be your best souvenir from Bulgaria. If you have more time in the city, you can order custom-made clothes, too. Look for the bright red door on Solunska Street.
Gelateria Naturale was the first ice cream parlor in Bulgaria to offer a 100% natural ice cream containing no refined sugar, no palm oil, no colorants or preservatives. There are options for vegans and lactose-intolerant people, and they are all delectable.
Soul Elements takes the elements of nature (water, earth, fire and air) as ingredients of their products meant to soothe your body and soul – candles, handmade chocolates, tea, scarves, high-quality woolen blankets, yoga leggings, and decorative objects. Everything has been made with special attention to detail, and with care for your well-being.
Some of the products of Soul Elements | Courtesy of Soul Elements
This is a place made by beer fans, for beer fans. At 100 Beers you will be spoiled by the huge choice of quality beer brands and styles from all over the world. This is also a good place to gain some knowledge about Bulgarian craft beers.
If you wish to treat yourself to a freshly baked cupcake with a fluffy, rich frosting, head to Take a Cake. This was the first cupcake bakery in Bulgaria. Tucked away on a quiet side street in the center of Sofia, you won’t see hundreds of sweets behind a glass, but you will have every cupcake decorated in front of your eyes. Don’t forget to ask for the season’s special tastes.
If hunting for second-hand treasures is your passion, you are not alone. Trash Clothing is where you will find carefully selected shoes, coats, dressing gowns, purses and more, from international brands. Shopping here is like trying clothes on in a friend’s bedroom – it’s just as cozy and friendly.