Bansko in Bulgaria is normally associated with the winter season, skiing, winter sports and snow. However, Bansko in the summer is glorious with clean air, mountains to climb and hike and places to visit.
But where do you eat when you are in Bansko? Take a browse through these recommendations from Becky Gillespie for the best places to eat in Bansko in the summer.
This article refers to a visit or visits made before the travel restrictions put in place to deal with the 2020 Covid-19 outbreak around the world. Please take into account the advice from your local government before planning any travel and click here to see the current UK government advice regarding Covid-19
Since last summer, Ivan and Maria, a lovely couple from Bulgaria and Russia, have opened a place in the heart of Old Town with both outdoor and indoor seating. Each lunch comes with a free dessert of the day (sometimes a fruit plate or baklava or a small piece of cake) and there are rotating lunch specials including spinach patties, moussaka, and pasta.
The chicken Julienne or big BBQ plates served on skewers are also delicious for dinner, and the menu has a wide array of traditional Bulgarian dishes including Shopska salad and palenka flatbread for very reasonable prices. The couple speak English and are some of the friendliest restauranteurs in town. Say hello to their cats when you visit!
Address: ul. “Ivan Vazov” 5, 2770 кв. Стария град, Bansko
This restaurant is only open for dinner and has an extensive wine list along with a wide variety of Italian-inspired dishes in a garden setting. The service can be hit-or-miss depending on the mood of the manager/waiter, but this has a lovely ambience for dinner at medium-level prices. I like the risotto, trout, and don’t miss the lemon pie for dessert.
Address: “Pirin” Str. 10, 2770 кв. Стария град, Bansko
Le Petit Nicolas
Often the highest-rated restaurant in town on TripAdvisor, Le Petit Nicolas specializes in gourmet sandwiches and speciality coffee along with an impressive array of treats baked fresh every day by the owner.
The sandwiches are, without question, the best in town so don’t miss a visit here if you can catch this place when it’s open (often closed on Mondays and the hours can be a little bit hit-or-miss.
If it closed on your first visit, do give it another try). There are only a few tables and there is only one man running the place, so it is advised to go early.
Address: “Pirin” Str. 19a, 2770 кв. Стария град, Bansko
Lovna Sreshta Tavern
This is a lovely back courtyard of a large, traditional Bulgarian home turned restaurant. It has a huge menu so be prepared to take your time looking over all of your options. I would recommend the Cornflakes-battered chicken (seems to be a thing in Bulgaria) and asking for the separate dessert menu at the end to see what pies and cakes are available (they never have everything on the dessert menu so do ask what they have for the day).
The cherry pie and apple pie are especially good, but the cherry pie only seems to be available in from June – mid-August.
Address: “Pirin” Str. 29, 2770 кв. Новия град, Bansko
Read next: Stay in the Snomads Chalet in Bankso
Family Bansko Coffee and Kids Club
This is another cute little café on the corner by Coworking Bansko in the Old Town that also hosts kids programs from time to time. The owners often experiment with different sandwiches including their newest salmon and avocado mix. They also serve donuts and croissants in the morning along with good quality coffee. Try this quiet place for breakfast or lunch and don’t miss the smoothies!
Address: ul. “Toma Vishanov” 2, 2770 кв. Стария град, Bansko
This is not the best Chinese food you’ve ever had, trust me, but it’s the only Chinese food that you’re going to find in Bansko, so you take what you can get. Most of the classic Chinese takeaway dishes are available but do note that the portions are huge, so if you pop in for lunch, you will have enough leftover for dinner. They also deliver!
Address: ul. “Glazne” 45, 2770 кв. Новия град, Bansko
This pizza place also delivers around Bansko and offers a wide range of toppings. Please note that the family size is absolutely massive. This is great for a night when you’re just wanting to stay in after a long hike and eat in with the family. They have a website where you can check the menu.
Address: “Pirin” Str. 119, 2770 кв. Грамадето, Bansko
This is a decidedly more upper-class restaurant in Bansko where you feel that you can actually get dressed up and enjoy a Malbec either on the front or back patio while listening to the likes of Norah Jones. The prices are a bit high for Bansko, but if you want some more cosmopolitan vibes, this is your place. A wide array of dishes are available and they also serve beef on hot stones, which is a rarity here.
Address: “Pirin” Str. 49, 2770 кв. Новия град, Bansko,
This is a nice place for lunch also in the Old Town area. The lunch specials change every day, and there is no English available on the menu, so please have one of the young waiters read out all of the specials to you and go from there. I like the fish dish and lasagna here, but all portions are of a decent size.
Address: “5-ti oktomvri” 9-5, 2770 кв. Стария град, Bansko
This is the most popular ice cream shop in town and it is run by an Italian guy who really knows his gelato! Be prepared to stand in a queue, especially on weekends, but this is worth the wait. Go for the pistachio if you can get it.
Address: “Pirin” Str. 90, 2770 кв. Новия град, Bansko
If you are staying near the gondola, this is a wonderful choice run by a friendly staff who offer a nice variety of food including vegetarian options. The burgers and sweet potato fries here are particularly delicious and the warm atmosphere combined with a good quality of food at reasonable prices will certainly leave you feeling—well—happy.
Address: ul. “Nayden Gerov” 2770, 2770 Noviyat Grad, Bansko
Also located up near the gondola, Danny’s Bar has the best (and also only) Mexican food in Bansko and it’s actually quite tasty! Danny’s Bar also has the most entertaining description of cocktails that you’re likely to find on a menu in town, and it well worth a trip to this bar for a great night of delicious drinks with friends.
They also have shisha pipes with a good collection of flavours of tobacco. Check their schedule carefully in the summer, as they are closed for part of the season.
Address: ul. “Lazar (Lankata) Trenchev” 1, 2770 кв. Новия град, Bansko
This is your go-to bar in the summer for sitting out on lively Pirin Street and watching the tourists and locals go by. Drinks and music here are pretty standard along with the prices. There is both indoor and outdoor seating and the bar often plays football matches on TV.
Address: “Pirin” Str. 75, 2770 кв. Новия град, Bansko
This is a new addition to Bansko in the last year and it’s the only place in town that offers speciality coffee including gourmet coffee beans from local and international distributors (usually 2–3 types of beans per week). There is no indoor seating here.
Instead, you order inside and then you can take away or sit on the nice outdoor patio. This is a great little spot next to the Fenix gym.
Address: ul. “Tsar Simeon” 23, 2770 кв. Глазне, Bansko
This place serves beautifully prepared smoothies and smoothie bowls in addition to delicious coffee. Located on a recently repaved street parallel to Pirin Street, this is a great place to relax on a quiet afternoon while people-watching from one of the benches outside or chatting with the owner at the counter.
Address: 20 Gotce Delchev str, 2770 Bansko
This is the fanciest restaurant in town so it will be harder on your wallet than anywhere else, but it’s open all summer and serves classic Italian dishes and Mediterranean delicacies.
The restaurant is next to two apartment hotels, with a swimming pool next to the dining area whose sound system is “so professional you can hear the music even underwater.” You can spend a great day here buying a day pass to relax in the pools and then sitting down for a delicious dinner.
Address: ul. “Kir Blago Todev” 11, 2770 кв. Глазне, Bansko
The Sunday Farmer’s Market
If you’re looking for the freshest fruits, veggies, cheeses, jams, and spices in town, this is a must-do every Sunday. The produce here is straight from the farm, and usually as organic as you can get, as Bulgaria has traditionally been chemical-free and is still mainly a network of small farmers. Don’t miss the vendors selling from their cars at the entrance to the market for even better deals.
There are also delicious sandwiches prepared by the butcher located on the right-hand side of the market and a lovely flower shop open all week in the back left-hand corner. Please bring coins and small banknotes for all transactions as the vendors do not take credit cards.
Address: 2770 кв. Стария град, Bansko
I am so pleased that you’ve chosen to explore places to eat in Bansko. You’re sure to find somewhere great to have lunch or dinner. If you have any questions or wish to share accounts of your own Bansko adventures, please comment below!
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Originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, Becky Gillespie has been living abroad since the age of 22, when she moved to Tokyo and spent the next 12 years using it has her perfect sushi base for traveling the world. She became a digital nomad in 2017 and is now a freelance editor and host of The School of Travels podcast, where she interviews people about what travel has to teach us about life, love, work, and all the in-between. Her travels have now taken her to 70 countries including six continents. When she’s not visiting a new country, you can find her trying a new food she’s never heard of, playing her ukelele, or putting in her next song at the karaoke bar.