9 Quintessential Bulgarian Breakfast Ideas To Eat In Bulgaria

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Post author SJ

Written by our local expert SJ

Sarah-Jane has lived in Croatia for 10+ years. SJ, as she is known, has been traveling the Balkans & beyond since 2000. She now shares her passion for traveling with her husband & kids.

For anyone planning a trip to Bulgaria or just curious about Balkan delights, I’ve got a roundup of popular options for breakfast for your most important meal of the day.

Having visited Bulgaria a few times myself, I can personally vouch for the fantastic start to the day these dishes offer. Bulgarian cuisine is something special, and breakfast there is no exception.

From the creamy, tangy Bulgarian yogurt that’s a staple in many dishes to a variety of other mouthwatering choices, there’s something for everyone. Whatever you choose, you’re in for a treat on your Bulgarian adventure. 

Bulgaria Travel Blog_Typical Bulgarian Breakfast Ideas

Heading to Bulgaria or just intrigued by the culinary culture of the Balkans? Let me give you a rundown on what a typical Bulgarian breakfast looks like and why you might want to give it a try.

From my own experiences traveling through Bulgaria, I’ve found that breakfast there is not just a meal; it’s an introduction to the day’s adventures. Bulgarian breakfasts can range from simple bread and various sandwiches to more traditional fare that includes grandmother’s recipes like mekici (fried dough), banici (Bulgarian cheese filled pastry), tutmanitsi (a kind of bread), popara (bread with cheese and butter), and other delightful snacks.

In today’s fast-paced world, it’s easy to fall into the habit of grabbing a quick sandwich, cereal, or just a coffee on the go, often overlooking the rich traditional options available. But here’s a gentle reminder: breakfast is crucial. It fuels your day, should be enjoyable, and, yes, it can be both nutritious and tasty.

The variety of Bulgarian breakfasts, with their traditional charm, are not just delicious but can also be a healthy start to your day if enjoyed in moderation.

So, if you find yourself in Bulgaria or just looking to experiment with your breakfast routine, consider trying out some traditional Bulgarian breakfast options. 

Traditional Bulgarian Breakfast Snacks

Exploring the diverse world of traditional Bulgarian breakfast snacks is like taking a culinary journey through the country’s rich history and flavors. Here’s a closer look at what you might find on the Bulgarian breakfast table, divided into various categories based on their preparation and texture.

Solid Snacks

Solid snacks include a variety of bread and pastry options, such as soft buns, both fried and baked, alongside donuts and patties. Not to be missed are traditional items like tutmanik (a cheese bread), katmi (Bulgarian pancakes), and homemade biscuits.

An interesting tidbit is the term “mekitsa,” historically the opposite of “tvarditsa,” a word for thin, crispy bread baked on a clay cooking slab known as a sach. Today, similar items are often called purlenki, highlighting the evolution of Bulgarian culinary terminology.

Liquid Snacks

Liquid snacks in Bulgaria can be quite comforting, often consisting of steamed or boiled pasta dishes. A standout in this category is popara, a beloved classic made with crackers or dry bread, softened with tea, fresh milk, or sweetened hot water.

Another common choice is pasta-based breakfasts, like spaghetti or noodles, served with broth or sauce, offering a warm, soothing start to the day.

Fried Snacks

When it comes to fried snacks, Bulgarians enjoy a variety of soft cakes, donuts, and fried bread. These can vary from sweet to savory, with the iconic mekici sometimes incorporating cheese and prepared with either animal or vegetable fat.

Fried slices of bread are a particularly popular choice, showcasing the simplicity and deliciousness of traditional Bulgarian fry-ups.

Baked Snacks

Baked goods hold a special place in Bulgarian snack culture, with a wide range of pasta dishes, pastries, and breads. The quintessential Bulgarian banitsa, a layered pastry filled with cheese or other ingredients, is a national favorite. Smaller versions of banitsa are also popular, as well as variations that resemble Italian pizza but are increasingly rare.

Other beloved baked snacks include the so-called Gypsy pie, a bread pie filled with eggs, milk, and cheese, sometimes simply topped with oil or butter, red pepper, and savory for a quick, flavorful treat.

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Most Common Breakfast Food In Bulgaria

1. Banitsa – Баница (Most Popular Bulgarian Breakfast Choice)

Bulgarian Breakfast - Bulgarian Banitsa Recipe - Small pieces

This traditional Bulgarian breakfast is made with banitsa crusts, which can be homemade, bought, finned, baked in sach, and many other types. The most common filling for a pie is eggs and cheese, but it can be made with spinach and cheese, pumpkin, cabbage, leek, and many other options. It can also be prepared with minced meat.

2. Burek – Бурек 

Burek is also a type of pie made in neighboring Turkey. The difference is that the burek uses cow butter instead of sunflower oil and is topped with more eggs than the patty.

3. Pogacha – Погача

This is a type of bread that is also called a loaf. Eggs are also used to make it, and it can have a cheese filling or no filling.

4. Kazanlushki Ponichki – Казанлъшки Понички

Kazanlushki Ponichki - Bulgarian Breakfast

This is a dough snack, a type of deep fried dough in a round shape with a hole in the middle, which is finally sprinkled with powdered with icing sugar.

5. Klin – Клин 

This is also a type of pie, but it is made with only two crusts with a filling in the middle, which is cooked on a plate, then buttered.

6. Mekitsi With Jam Or Bulgarian White Cheese – Мекици със сладко или българско бяло сирене

Bulgarian Breakfast Ideas - Bulgarian Mekitsi

The “Mekici” are loved by young and old. They are prepared from dough that is cooked in hot oil. Most often, we eat them for breakfast, sprinkled with powdered sugar, but typically served with jam. They can also be filled with cheese.

7. Patatnik – Пататник

Patatnik - Bulgarian national dish

Patatnik can also be served for breakfast. It is made from grated potatoes, and onions, salt, cheese, and garlic are added to them, and everything is baked on a very slow fire.

8. Tutmanik – Тутманик

Tutmanik is also a type of pie, the crusts of which are not wrapped but placed on top of each other, and between them, there can be a filling of meat or cheese.

9. Fried slices – Пържени филии

Fried bread slices. Bulgarian breakfast.

This is a snack that is loved by young and old. It’s just bread dipped in eggs, eggs, and milk and fried in hot oil until golden.

Yummy, yummy, in your tummy – how do you like these breakfast options in Bulgaria? Let us know which Bulgarian breakfast item you’ll devour first. 

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