24 Hours in Sofia: Restaurants and Cigar Lounges
The astonishing Vitosha Boulevard
OUTDOOR TERRACES. INDOOR SMOKING LOUNGES. A CIGAR PARADISE
24 Hours is a new series where we uncover the best places to eat, drink and smoke cigars across the world, sourcing establishments within close proximity. For all our Cuban Cigars enthusiasts, this is your ultimate short-break guide. Already in the series, we have explored:
Sofia – the capital of Bulgaria, was built on Roman Ruins and offers a wondrous exploration of architecture and archaeological sites. For a city with a mere 1.2 million residents – contrastingly small compared to other capital cities, we were charmingly surprised to discover that in addition to hosting one of the very luxurious Cohiba Atmosphere franchises, Sofia has three La Casa del Habano shops and four Habanos S.A Specialist point of sale. Our online LCDH Editions Cigars are exclusively released to La Casa Del Habanos Stores, such as the Ramon Allones Superiores Cigar – a full flavoured, coffee and dried fruit tasting delight. Sofia as an ultimate cigar city, is proven further by hosting the head quarters of the official Habanos S.A distributor Kaliman Caribe – importers for a staggering eleven countries in Eastern Europe. To fully enjoy the best cigar shops and lounges in the city, we recommend booking accommodation on or near the Tsarigradsko Shose Boulevard.
OWLEE - This coffee house is independently serving Sofia with some of the tastiest, freshest, and locally roasted speciality coffee. Tucked in a cosy and welcoming setting, we found ourselves heading downstairs from our apartment each morning to awaken to the expertise of their experienced baristas. We highly recommend you try their Oat Milk Flat White, which is simply irresistible.
Address of Owlee: Tsar Osvoboditel Blvd. 27, Sofia, +359 883 301 844
CORSO - A stone’s throw away – a short 10-minute walk from Owlee, is this wondrous restaurant, focusing on healthy and nutritious food. Breakfast begins at 8am and comprises of many traditional Bulgarian dishes, such as Mekista, Bulgarian fried bread slices with feta cheese, and Banitsa s boza (whisked eggs and cheese between filo pastry). Be sure to take in the views at Corso, which overlooks the spectacular Russian Church.
Address of Corso: Tsar Osvoboditel Blvd. 10, 1000 Sofia, +359 88 810 0113
NIKO'LAS 0/360 - Stroll along Sofia’s pedestrian Vitosha Boulevard – reminiscent of one of Barcelona’s Ramblas, and you’ll find yourself in close proximity to a side-street featuring this incredible restaurant. Though the lunch menu changes daily, we have to mention what we chose – tasty Celeriac and Truffle soup for starter, and grilled salmon on a bed of risotto primavera for main. Fantastically, the lunch menu (including a starter), is only 15 Bulgarian Lev (approximately 7 Euros). Finish your lunch with some local Rose and you’re all set.
Address of Niko'las 0/360: Rajko Daskalov Square 3,1000 Sofia, +359 87 688 8471
OPEN BAR LA CASA DEL HABANO RADISSON BLU HOTEL - On the ground floor of the Radission Blu Hotel, is a La Casa Del Habano store with a tantalising array of Cuban cigars to smoke. There’s an outdoor terrace with comfortable seating and drinks, and an impressive walk-in humidor. On a warm or picturesque day, the terrace is luxurious for enjoying a delightful habano.
Address of La Casa Del Habano: 4 Narodno Sabranie Square, 1000 Sofia, +359 88 727 3597
Taking in the views and atmosphere at the Art Club Museum
ART CLUB MUSEUM - The venue is situated next to The National Archaeological Museum – a place you can easily spend time admiring. The food our eyes glanced upon, looked well-prepared and at great value for money. Before you head to dinner, unwind with some drinks and cigars at their large patio outside. Cocktails and shisha is also on the menu.
Address of Art Club Museum: ul. Saborna 2, 1000 Sofia Center, Sofia, +359 89 356 4877
SHTASTLIVECA - Though there are two of these restaurants in Sofia, we dined at the one right above the Cohiba Atmosphere. Shtastliveca is an appetising establishment specialising in Bulgarian cuisine, offering an extensive food menu of high quality. The menu encompasses a varied assortment of meat and fish, along with excellent Bulgarian wines. If you fancy pairing your food with a cigar, the indoor smoking lounge is ideal. We received invaluable advice from Darius Namdar – World Habanosommelier 2018, on our post: Best Tea and Cigar Pairings. He shared crucial tips on meals and drink choices in general.
Address of Shtastiveca: bul. Vitosha 27, 1000 Sofia Center, Sofia, +359 2 441 1155
A unique and opulent experience at the marvellous Cohiba Atmosphere
After Dinner Smoke:
COHIBA ATMOSPHERE - If an artist were to paint a cigar smoker’s heaven, Cohiba Atmosphere would be their final masterpiece. Everything from the décor to the level of service, exudes luxury and exclusivity. The extraction system works a treat and the Chesterfield style sofas and chairs are extremely comfortable. The Negroni cocktails served here are superlative, and the cigar selection is second to none. With a well-stocked humidor comprising of Cohiba Cigars in every vitola, as well as 2017 and 2016 Limited Edition Cigars, we believe this place cannot be missed.
Finalising our 24 hours in Bulgaria, we look back in nostalgia at the stunning scenery, enchanting food and the prime locations for our Cuban Cigars for sale to be smoked. Before being invited to the launch of the San Cristobal de la Habana Prado Cigar, we didn’t know much about Sofia. Now however, we are in complete awe and taken aback by what the city has to offer, at an overall fantastic value for money.