14 Best Bansko Restaurants in 2024

When people talk about Bansko, they’re usually talking about skiing, mountains, and cheap property, but actually, Bansko restaurants are enough of a reason to visit this small mountain town if you ask me!

When I spent 2 weeks in Bansko recently, I was amazed at the quality of food in Bansko restaurants, from succulent meats to fresh salads, baked cheese dishes and so much more.

I didn’t have a single bad meal in Bansko, and while I’m sure that bad restaurants in Bansko do exist, all I found was an abundance of traditional taverns serving up heaped plates of soul-warming food.

If you’re looking for traditional Bulgarian food in Bansko, then look no further, because I’ve got you covered.

Here are the 14 best restaurants in Bansko, Bulgaria.

14 Bansko Restaurants You HAVE to Visit in 2023

What is traditional Bulgarian food?

Like most Balkan food, Bulgarian meals usually consist of meat, meat, and more meat (although there are definitely veggie-friendly options in Bansko).

The most common meats that Bulgarians eat are pork, chicken, veal and lamb – beef is not as popular in Bulgaria as it is elsewhere in the world as cattle are primarily raised for their milk.

The meat is usually grilled or slow cooked in rich stews. Meat skewers are also popular, and usually come with onions, peppers and tomatoes.

Vegetables are either grilled or roasted, and the most popular vegetables you’ll find are eggplant, zucchini (breaded zucchini is also common in Bansko), peppers and onions.

Mashed potato or fries topped with Bulgarian white cheese are also served.

An absolute must-try Bulgarian food is the Shopska salad.

Shopska salad can be found in every country in the Balkans, but Bulgaria is where the dish originated, and it is considered Bulgaria’s National Dish.

A Shopska salad is made up of tomato, cucumber, bell pepper, red onion, and lashings of white sirene cheese, which is also native to Bulgaria. It is seasoned simply with parsley, salt and sunflower oil.

For drinks, you will always find rakia, a Balkan fruit brandy, and very affordable (but good) wine.

Fun fact: Bulgaria is one of the oldest wine making countries in the world!

shopska salad
Shopska salad

Mehanas in Bansko

Traditional Bulgarian restaurants in Bansko are called Mehanas, which literally translates to taverns.

There are over 40 Mehanas to choose from in Bansko, and all of them have folkloric décor, traditional music and menus brimming with delicious Bulgarian dishes and local wines.

Whether you’re visiting Bansko in summer or winter, Mehanas are perfect because they have cosy interiors with wood fires, as well as lovely outdoor gardens that you can sit in.

Most of the Bansko restaurants on this list are Mehanas, but I’ve also included a couple of other options as well, just in case you fancy a change!

bansko mehana
Inside a cosy Mehana on my first night in Bansko

The 14 Best Restaurants in Bansko

1. Vodenitsata Traditional Restaurant

Vodenitsata is one of the best restaurants in Bansko Old Town, and it has a beautiful outdoor courtyard filled with flowers.

With an extensive wine list and a menu full of dishes native to Bansko, Vodenitsata is a great choice.

I opted for the Vodenitsata baked beans and Bansko sausage, and while I probably shouldn’t have ordered the sausage, I thoroughly enjoyed the beans.

Useful information

Address: площад, Никола Й. Вапцаров 1

Google Maps link: Vodenitsata Traditional Restaurant

Opening hours: Every day from 12:00pm – 12:00am

Vegetarian/vegan friendly? Lots of vegetarian options, a few vegan options.

Pro Tip: The house wine is only 8 EUR per bottle and is really good.

2. Bunare Ethno Restaurant

Bunare is another one of the many Mehana restaurants in Bansko, and is where my friend and I ended up on our first night in town.

With a super cosy interior, friendly waitress and ice cold beers, we were sold before we’d even ordered, but my hearty veal stew sealed the deal.

Useful information

Address: Pirin Street, 44

Google Maps link: Bunare Ethno Restaurant

Opening hours: Every day except Tuesday from 10:00am – 12:00am

Vegetarian/vegan friendly? Veggie mains very limited. Salads, potatoes and soups available.

Pro Tip: Best Chicken Julienne in town.

veal stew
Veal stew

3. Chalet Yanitza 

Chalet Yanitza is a lunch restaurant just across the road from Coworking Bansko, and as a result, it’s super popular with the digital nomads of Bansko.

This small, no frills joint is owned by a husband and wife who provide friendly service and cheap food.

The lunch menu changes daily but always includes a mix of traditional Bulgarian food, along with some more international options, most of which are less than 5 EUR.

Surprisingly, this is also one of the most vegan-friendly restaurants in Bansko.

The lunch menu on the day I’m writing this post includes eggplant with tomato, lentil soup, vegan curry, tofu and green salad, spinach patties and peppers stuffed with rice, zucchini, spinach and eggplant.

When I visited, I ordered tagliatelle with chicken, broccoli and curry sauce, and it was so good that I went back a few days later and ordered it again!

Seriously – if you’re looking for a great lunch, Chalet Yanitza is one of the best places to eat in Bansko.

Useful information

Address: ul. Ivan Vazov, 5

Google Maps link: Chalet Yanitza

Opening hours: Every day except Saturday from 12:00pm – 4:00pm

Vegetarian/vegan friendly? Yes.

Pro Tip: Check out their daily menu on their Instagram page.

tagliatelle with chicken, broccoli and curry
Not so traditional but it was good!

4. Mehana Chevermeto

Mehana Chevermeto specialises in barbecues, and once you’ve eaten there, it isn’t hard to see why.

Selling every kind of meat imaginable along with fresh salads, potatoes and veg, this restaurant is a great place to go with a group and order everything on the menu!

Useful information

Address: Nikola Vaptsarov, 12

Google Maps link: Mehana Chevermeto

Opening hours: Every day from 11:00am – 11:30pm

Vegetarian/vegan friendly? Not for main courses.

Pro Tip: Make sure to order the barbecued pork ribs with BBQ sauce – so juicy!

5. Механа Ловна Среща

While the food at this place doesn’t particularly stand out (it’s good, just not The Best Ever), the real reason to go here is to sit in the enchanting garden.

Of all the pretty restaurants in Bansko, this one is the prettiest, so if you visit Bansko in the warmer months, be sure to come here for your date night.

I ordered ‘chicken sticks with cornflakes,’ (Bansko’s answer to fried chicken) and a caprese salad when I visited.

The chicken was about 8 EUR and the salad was 6 EUR.

This is definitely expensive for Bansko, but hey, you’re paying for the setting.

Useful information

Address: Pirin Street, 29

Google Maps link: Механа Ловна Среща

Opening hours: Every day except Monday from 2:00pm – 10:00pm

Vegetarian/vegan friendly? The one vegetarian dish on the main menu is a vegetable pot with yellow cheese. Starters, salads and potatoes available.

Pro Tip: Bring some bug spray!

6. Bar and Diner Damyanitza

Although it is open all day, Damyanitza is a really popular place to get lunch in Bansko due to its super cheap lunch menu that changes daily.

If you prefer to order from the main menu, you can get pizzas for less than 5 EUR or salads for around 3 EUR.

Typical dishes on the lunch menu include grilled meatballs, lasagne, and the famous chicken and mushroom Julienne.

The food is decent, the portions are generous and there are comfortable chairs outside in the sun where you can watch the world go by as your food digests.

Useful information

Address: ul. 5-ti oktomvri” 9-5

Google Maps link: Bar and Diner Damyanitza

Opening hours: Every day from 7:00am – 11:00pm

Vegetarian/vegan friendly? There are usually at least 2 veggie options on the lunch menu.

Pro Tip: Don’t order lasagne/pasta bake as it will arrive lukewarm, having been sat under the counter all day.

chicken julienne
Chicken Julienne

7. Five M

Five M is hands down one of the best restaurants in Bansko, especially if you’re looking for something a little more high end.

Located halfway down Pirin Street, Five M has a sleek and modern interior and a trendy vibe.

Five M is definitely more of a ‘restaurant’ than the cute and cosy taverns on this list, and its menu is also that bit posher, with a range of seafood dishes, risottos, roast duck and more.

Unfortunately, I never went for dinner at Five M, but I did pop in for a quick lunch and ordered a broccoli and cheese bake that I still think about to this day.

Useful information

Address: Pirin Street, 49

Google Maps link: Five M

Opening hours: Every day from 10:00am – 12:00am

Vegetarian/vegan friendly? Yes.

Pro Tip: As well as being a gorgeous place for dinner, Five M is laptop friendly and a popular spot to get some work done during the day.

five m bansko
Broccoli cheese bake

8. The House

The House is my favourite Bansko restaurant – I went here about 5 times during my 2 week stay!

From scrumptious avocado and burrata salads to slow-cooked lamb, gigantic T-bone steaks and seafood pastas, The House has a bit of everything and I can’t recommend it enough.

Another great thing about The House is that the waiters are super friendly, the house wine is delicious, and the prices are a fraction of what you’d pay in any other country.

The House is at the top of Bansko Old Town, in the gondola area.

Useful information

Address: ul. Peyo K. Yavorov, 41

Google Maps link: The House

Opening hours: Every day from 10:00am – 12:00am

Vegetarian/vegan friendly? Vegetarian options.

Pro Tip: You can find their menu on Facebook and you can also place orders via Messenger. Delivery is free!

lamb shank
Lamb at The House

9. Valevitsata Tavern

Lovely garden seating on a quiet street serving up traditional Bulgarian fare with live music in the evenings, an outdoor barbecue and a small stream that trickles by.

Prices slightly higher than some of the other restaurants on this list.

Useful information

Address: 75 Glazne Street

Google Maps link: Valevitsata Tavern

Opening hours: Every day from 10:00am – 12:00am

Vegetarian/vegan friendly? Vegetarian options.

Pro Tip: Go in the evening to see traditional Bulgarian folk music.

10. Smokey Mountain Bar & Grill

Halfway up Pirin Street in the sweet spot between the Old Town and gondola area, Smokey Mountain is the place to go for burgers, ribs, chicken wings and coleslaw.

With bottomless brunches, live sports, pool tables and Sunday Roasts, it’s a bit of Britain in Bulgaria.

Useful information

Address: Pirin Street, 58

Google Maps link: Smokey Mountain Bar & Grill

Opening hours: Open Friday from 6:00pm – 1:00am, Saturday 2:pm – 1:00am and Sunday 1:00pm – 12:00am.

Vegetarian/vegan friendly? Vegetarian burgers, cauliflower bites and vegan chilli are some of the offerings.

Pro Tip: Check their Facebook Page to see what’s on.

chicken wings
Buffalo chicken wings with blue cheese dip

11. Орлово гнездо

Орлово гнездо, which translates to ‘Eagle’s Nest,’ is a great place to go for a cheap bite to eat during the daytime.

Situated in Vazrazhdane Square with a large outdoor seating area, Eagle’s Nest serves a range of grilled meats, skewers, salads and a couple of spaghetti dishes (every restaurant in Bansko seems to serve spaghetti bolognaise).

They even serve an all-day English Breakfast!

Useful information

Address: ul. Nikola Y. Vaptsarov

Google Maps link: Eagle’s Nest

Opening hours: Open every day from 9:00am – 12:00am

Vegetarian/vegan friendly? Limited.

Pro Tip: If you like friendly cats, you’ll like it here.

shopska salad
A simple Shopska salad

12. Le Petit Nicolas

Le Petit Nicolas is located on Pirin Street and offers breakfast pastries, croissants, cakes, soups and gourmet sandwiches.

Lots of the sandwiches feature ingredients that aren’t common in Bulgaria such as artichokes, prosciutto, sundried tomatoes, smoked salmon, capers, chorizo and ratatouille, so if you’re in need of a change, this is a great place to go!

Useful information

Address: Pirin Street, 19a

Google Maps link: Le Petit Nicolas

Opening hours: Open every day from 9:00am – 6:30pm. Sunday stays open until 7:30pm. Mondays are closed.

Vegetarian/vegan friendly? A couple of options.

Pro Tip: If you’re a bread snob, you’ll love it here – their bread is homemade!

13. Station Bansko

Station Bansko is an espresso bar and Greek fast food restaurant in the gondola area.

From humongous chicken and pork gyros and souvlaki to Greek pies and wraps, there’s a wide range of things to choose from here.

They also have a large range of veggie and vegan options, including falafel wraps, zucchini pita, leek and goat’s cheese pie and a vegan burger.

Useful information

Address: ul. Nayden Gerov, 2770

Google Maps link: Station Bansko

Opening hours: Open every day except Wednesday from 10:00am – 2:00pm.

Vegetarian/vegan friendly? Yes.

Pro Tip: Station Bansko offers delivery, perfect for those hungover days!

chicken gyros bansko
Chicken gyros for lunch!

14. Етно Ресторант Метоха

I can’t speak on what the regular menu at Етно Ресторант Метоха is like because I went there when they had a buffet, but this did mean that I was able to try a variety of different things, all of which were delicious.

With a leafy courtyard and cosy interior, this is a solid choice at any time of year if you’re looking for restaurants in Bansko Old Town.

Useful information

Address: ul. Nikola Y Vaptsarov, 11

Google Maps link: Етно Ресторант Метоха

Opening hours: Open every day from 12:00am – 12:00pm.

Vegetarian/vegan friendly? I *think* so!

Pro Tip: The slow cooked pork is delicious.

restaurants in bansko
Buffet food!

What to expect when visiting a Bulgarian restaurant

Although it’s common for Bulgarians to share food, ordering a few types of grilled meats with sides of potatoes and vegetables, restaurants in Bansko make it super easy to order in the Western way if you prefer, with their menus including sections for hot starters, cold starters, salads, mains and sides.

You may notice that the weight of the dishes is often indicated on the menu. This can be really helpful when you’re trying to figure out if something will be large enough to share, or you can also use it to guide your order if you’re not so hungry.

Bulgarians will typically start by ordering a Shopska salad with some rakia.

The rakia is said to open the stomach, while the salad keeps your appetite at bay while the kitchen staff begin preparing the mains (which might take a while!).

You should also be prepared for the dishes to arrive whenever they’re ready rather than everybody’s food coming at once.

Don’t wait for people’s food to arrive before you begin eating yours, because you could be waiting for an hour!

You should also bring cash, as card is not accepted everywhere in Bansko.

Bansko Restaurants Prices

Bansko is incredibly affordable, and Bansko restaurant prices reflect that.

Soups and salads will typically cost 2 – 4 EUR, a meat dish at lunchtime would be between 5 – 7 EUR, and a rib-eye steak at The House is 15 EUR.

My lamb shank with mushroom risotto at The House was the most expensive meal I had in Bansko and it was 13 EUR.

A note about opening times

I was in Bansko throughout June and July, and the vast majority of restaurants in the Old Town were open.

The gondola area was much quieter – that area opens up during the winter.

I say all of this to warn you that depending on what time of year you visit Bansko, the restaurants on this list may or may not be open. Some remain open year round, while some close during the off-season (after ski season ends and before summer begins).

You should also take the opening times listed here with a big grain of salt! All of the times were what Google Maps had listed at the time of writing, but as is sometimes the case in Bulgaria and the Balkans, Google Maps isn’t always right!

Usually, the best way to find out if a restaurant in Bansko is open is to look for their Facebook page, or just take a walk through town and have a look!

Restaurants in Bansko | Final Thoughts

I hope that by now you’ve got some good ideas about where to eat in Bansko!

With homegrown ingredients, delicate flavours and traditional recipes, Bansko restaurants do not disappoint, and by now, your only problem should be how spoilt for choice you are!

That’s about it for this post, but if you have any questions then please leave them in the comments section below and I will get back to you!

Until next time,


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