At last, some coffee coming your way, straight from Sofia. It has been a long wait and I assure you, I've tried almost all the "cool" new places that popped up in the city in the past few years. It has been quite a rocky road and I've had the taste of disappointment. Don't get me wrong, I do not want to sound too fussy, or like some spoiled basic... well lady (I know you said it in your head..), but honestly a bad cup of your favourite bevarage is sad and noone deserves that, especially when coffee is what gets you going! That is why I think that if you happen to be even slightly as picky as me (come on, admit it!), you might find this post helpful.
I am still learning about the heavenly drink and still bulding up my own taste and understanding of it, but one thing I am certain of-I like a good flat white-a little bit on the bitter side, strong flavoured with an extra nutty, low-acidity flavour (with the help of some variety of nut milks of course, as a cow is a big no-no for me. For health reasons I am not allowed to consume any dairy, plus I do not enjoy the taste of cow milk anymore).
I haven't yet found the place in the city that serves my flat white at my perfect preffered taste (something I have aquiredliving in the UK), however I do realise that that might be, because of simply the general taste difference between our countries. You see, every country has their own flavour (Nordic syle roast, or Italian espresso roast for example) and these are sympathetic to the the local culture, national cuisine, water or the produce they grow, the weather conditions, the soils and so many other factors. So if a particular roast is not that palatable to me, it may still be what the coffee roastery was after, just because...
For me the perfect cup of coffee comes also with the attitude of a well informed and educated skilled barista, that is willing to share the knowledge, explain patiently when asked and happy to recomend the right grain when you kindly ask them.
So if you are still with me (I would hope, that you are experiencing the same problems, or have an idea or understanding of what I am on about) and before I make a complete fool of myself with my incompetence, here is a list of places in Sofia that specialise in excellent coffee. Their baristas are professional and didn't get particularly annoyed with my hundred questions (which is a huge plus!) The flavour was almost there, the coffee nor the milk was burned, the froth was poured nicely and overal the atmosphere and experience was pleasant and enjoyable.
Ladies and gents it's coffee o'clock, Sofia edition!
Chucky’s Coffee House
ul. "Hristo Belchev" 29, 1000 Sofia Center, Sofia
ul. "Kazbek" 61, 1680 Manastirski Livadi, Sofia
Chucky’s is probably the first special coffeeshop that opened back in 2014. I think it is only fair to say that they’ve changed the coffee scene in the city. They don’t just serve you a great cup of coffee, but really pay attention to you and to your cuppa and talk about it and prepare it with such attention. You can indeed taste the love they put into it and quite frankly I am ashamed to say that i’ve only tried their coffee only this year. Definitely a mist stop if you are a teal coffee aficionado!
Cafe Brunch 1920
1202 Sofia Center, Sofia
I have written a whole post about crushing on that place-from concept, through marketing, branding, food, coffee and interior design execution. The place is really worth your visit, so you must definitely give it a try! They do not specilise particularly in coffee but they have it, and it actually tastes really good! You won't be disappointed, I promise! Plus the atmosphere is great! It's spacious, airy and very... kind of in the spirits of Sofia-old and new!
ul. "William Gladstone" 60, 1000 Sofia Center, Sofia
Drekka is a whole world of wonderful things-coffee, tea and chocolate. Oh and keep cups and other beautiful handy accessories for coffee connisseurs and amateurs like me. They have a blog as well! I told you, a whole different world, and one you must definitely explore. Their space is quite fin too! The design is quirky and different-modern with its own kind of special touch to it. And I would definitely say the place is quite unique and there's hardly anything like it in Sofia. They are doing excellent job and their coffee taste delicious!
16, Oboriste Str. /, 27, Shishman Str., Sofia
Hlebar translated directly from Bulgarian, means bread maker, and they indeed are bakers and specialise in delicious bread and pastries, which instantly made me fall in love with them when the place was first opened.
ul. "Veslets" 10, 1000 Sofia Center, Sofia
One of the first "cool" coffee places in Sofia I tried coming home from the UK for the holidays, back in the days! In fact I even won a competition with the interior shot of that one! You can read more about it here. But back to the coffee shop, located in my dear KvARTal area (a new developing and much needed art quarter in the city) the owners and developers had chosen the area right! They saw potentioal and went for it, and ever since they have opened a second Rainbow Factory shop in another great area in Sofia (just behind Sofia University). I recommend both, however this one is slightly more intimate and secluded, I think. But both are worth your visit! Plus they have great cakes!
ul. "Professor Asen Zlatarov" 19, 1504 Sofia Center, Sofia
Another place, I only just tried recently. Not gonna lie, I was attracted by the interior-they have beautiful artwork drawn all over the walls of the tiny coffee shop. But after doing a little bit of research I realised they specialise in specialty coffee and roast the beans themselves, which meant those people must know what they’re doing. The Bug sounds and looked promising and I once again was pleasantly surprised by a delightful cup of coffee and some expert advice on my peculiar taste.