Cosmos One of the Best Restaurants in Sofia for Modern Bulgarian Food

Cosmos restaurant in Sofia is one of the best restaurants and a must try in Bulgaria’s capital.

The restaurant was referred to us numerous times by locals and chefs we met during our three month stay in Bulgaria.

On our last day in Sofia just before leaving the country, we made a point to eat at Cosmos also known as Kosmos restaurant.

Cosmos, puts a modern spin on traditional Bulgarian cuisine, inviting visitors to a space themed dining experience.

Join us on a taste of the universe at Cosmos restaurant in Sofia.

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Cosmos Best Restaurant in Sofia for Modern Bulgarian Food

Cosmos restaurant opened in 2016, and has quickly established itself as one of the best restaurants in Sofia.

The restaurant’s decor is modern and stylish. Exposed brick walls, angular light fixtures orbiting from the ceiling and an airy atmosphere welcomes you.

Walking in, we felt like we could have been dining at a modern restaurant in a major city like New York.

Inside decor Cosmos Restaurant Sofia by Authentic Food QuestThe modern and space themed interior at Cosmos restaurant

Bulgarian Traditional Space Cuisine

The introduction to the menu immediately caught our attention. We knew it was going to be an experience as we read their motto.

We create and transform Flavors. Experiences. Ourselves. Exploring the vast universe of tastes and creating our own version of Bulgarian cuisine.”

Just as we were looking over the menu, the head chef, Veadislav Pevov stopped by and introduced himself.

A tall lanky man with a generous smile graciously took time to answer our questions about Bulgarian food and the Cosmos menu.

With traditional Bulgarian acoustic music playing in the background, we learned that the cuisine at Cosmos is inspired by Bulgaria in space.  

For instance, in 1979, Bulgaria became the sixth country in the world to send a man to space, Geogi Ivanov

Further, alongside the USA and Russia, Bulgaria has been manufacturing space food since the 1980s.

With that heritage and inspiration, Cosmos’s aims to make dishes with geometry and space, using traditional recipes and modern techniques.

As chef Pevov added, “we don’t know much about space. It is interesting to look at the sky at night and be inspired.” 

Following his recommendation, we each ordered the tasting menu and a bottle of Applauz Melnik 55 from Villa Melnik.

From the part astronomers and part chefs, here’s a look at what to expect from Bulgarian traditional space cuisine.

Related: Read more about our wine tasting experience at Villa Melnik

Chef Pevov at Cosmos one of the best Restaurant in Sofia by Authentic Food QuestChef Pevov describing modern Bulgarian food

Cosmos Restaurant: Tasting Menu Highlights

The tasting menu had a selection of 6 different dishes, including meats and fish and seafood.

With a complimentary amuse bouche to start and bites of regional specialties, we ended up sampling 10 different dishes.

Just before chef Pevov returned to the kitchen, he told us:

“Bulgaria is a small country and still undiscovered. We want our guests to be happy. To see that we have nice products, nice ingredients, creatively put together.”

And with that, we eagerly anticipated the traditional Bulgarian space culinary experience.

Cosmos Restaurant Menu Sofia by Authentic Food QuestThe space themed menu at Cosmos restaurant

Creative Spatial Tetevan Salad

After our amuse bouche, a reinterpretation of the traditional Bulgarian, tarator, cucumber soup  topped with frothy a dill mousse, we were ready for the spatial journey.

On a dark plate representing the starry night were ingredients delicately placed representing the moon, sun and galaxy.

Slices of goat cheese placed delicately on garden tomatoes, reflect the moon and sun. Small dollops of anise flavored mastika alcohol represent different planets. 

And a wonderful accompanying gazpacho with mastika rounded out the unique salad. A creative and tasty beginning, we were off to great start.

Spatial Tetevan Salad at Cosmos Restaurant Sofia by Authentic Food QuestSpatial salad with fresh Bulgarian ingredients

Locally Sourced Fish Dishes 

From Bulgaria’s Black Sea coast, the next dish was homemade smoked sturgeon with fresh vegetables, herbs, edible flowers topped with finely shredded goat cheese.

A beautiful dish, the combination of ingredients was quite refreshing, with a salty touch from sturgeon eggs incorporated within the dish.

Keeping within the fish and seafood theme, the next tasting was sea bass, carrots and barley in a light butter sauce.

Another delightful dish, the seabass was seared to perfection and the touch of barley with butter sauce rounded it out.

Smoked Sturgeon at Cosmos Restaurant Sofia by Authentic Food QuestColorful and creative smoked sturgeon

Lamb Cooked in Traditional St. George Style 

Lamb, one of our favorite meat is eaten widely in Bulgaria, especially in the Spring. 

May 6th is the Bulgarian Army Day and St. George Day; eating lamb is customary.

In honor of this tradition, Cosmos restaurant serves the lamb with nettle puree and mushrooms. A fresh green salad, which is typical, also came with the dish.

The lamb was impressive and extremely tender from a long and slow cooking. 

The mushrooms, puree and additional lamb offal pieces made for a heavy dish. The flavors were rich and the salad helped balance the dish.

Rosemary and Claire at Cosmos Restaurant Sofia by Authentic Food QuestRosemary and Claire savoring the rich lamb flavors

Cherni Vit Green Cheese 

One of the surprising experiences of the evening was tasting green cheese. Earlier, chef Pevov mentioned this cheese, and when we told him we never had it, he added it to the menu.

When our server brought over a wooden tray with two slices of cheese saying it was green cheese, we were surprised. We expected the cheese to be green or at least have an obvious green crust.

The cheese comes from Cherni Vit, a small village in the northern part of the Balkan mountains. This is one of only three regions in the world where cheese mold grows naturally. 

The moisture, mild climate and drastic differences between day and night temperatures, gives the cheese a specific color on the mold. 

And, the mold, is what turns the cheese into a delicacy.

Despite the name, the cheese was a hard yellow cheese with strong and spicy notes. We both liked it and it paired well with red wine.

Green Cheese at Kosmos Restaurant Sofia by Authentic Food QuestStrong Bulgarian green cheese

Refreshing Gin Tonic 

Prior to dessert, we were curious about the Gin Tonic on the tasting menu. An elegant ice cream bar with a mint leaf on top is not what we were expecting. 

While surprising, we loved the playful sense and the refreshing flavors.

The ice cream bar, made with cucumber and mint ice cream on the inside, cleared the palate for the final dessert.

Gin Tonic at Cosmos Restaurant Sofia by Authentic Food QuestSurprising Gin Tonic palate cleanser

Bulgarian Rose Dessert

The Bulgarian Rose dessert had all the theatrics for a crowning finale. While Claire had the Bulgarian baklava with ice cream, the rose dessert stole the show.

The Valley of Roses in Bulgaria is one of the largest producers of rose oil in the world. And the cultivation of roses has a long history with origins dating back to 1680.

With roses being such an important part of Bulgaria’s heritage, it was not surprising to find something with roses on the menu.

As soon as the plate was put on the table, a blue flame engulfed the rose dessert, revealing its magnificent center. 

Once the flames died down, I eagerly took a bite of the dessert to find vanilla sponge cake, with yogurt, rose sorbet, ice cream and strawberries.

Absolutely divine is how I described the dessert, as Claire looked on enviously. Even though this dessert was not on the tasting menu, Cosmos made the substitution at no additional charge.

Regardless of what you order when you dine at Cosmos, be sure to end on the Bulgarian rose dessert.

Bulgarian Rose Desert at Cosmos Restaurant Sofia by Authentic Food QuestAmazing Bulgarian Rose Dessert
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In Summary

Cosmos restaurant Sofia, lives up to their motto of creating and transforming flavors and experiences. 

The creative tasting menu which pushes boundaries and reinterprets traditional Bulgarian flavors takes you on that journey.

The earnest commitment from chef Veadislav Pevov, to making Bulgarian food and Cosmos known is impressive. 

As he shared “we dream of being a famous place where people from all over the world come and visit. We are only three years old and still at the beginning.”

If you are curious about Bulgarian cuisine and looking for a unique experience, book a cosmic experience at Cosmos, one of the best restaurants in Sofia.

Rosemary and Claire with chef Pevov at Cosmos one of the best Restaurants in Sofia by Authentic Food QuestRosemary and Claire with chef Pevov

Cosmos

Address: 19 Lavele Street, Sofia

Hours: 11:00 am – 1:00 am, Advanced reservations recommended, book on their website

Prices: Tasting menu price per person –  84.44 BGN (approx. $47.80)

Kosmos Restaurant Sofia by Authentic Food QuestThe exterior of Cosmos Restaurant

Take a Sofia Food Tour and Explore More Bulgarian Food & Wine 

If you would like to learn more about Bulgarian food and wine, take a Sofia afternoon tour with wine and food tasting. With a local guide, you will visit the city’s iconic sites and learn about their history and culture.

The afternoon tour ends with a visit to a traditional Bulgarian restaurant to sample Bulgarian foods and try fantastic Bulgarian wines. 

Where to Stay in Sofia 

Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria is a modern city, exuding historic charm. 

Basing yourself in the city center is a convenient option.You’ll be close to the Old Town and attractions like the National Theatre and St. Alexander Nevski cathedral.

There are several accommodation options at various price points. Here are a few options we recommend.

St Alexander Nevski cathedral Sofia Bulgaria by Authentic Food QuestThe famous Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Sofia

Les Fleurs Boutique Hotel

Les Fleurs Boutique Hotel is located close to the main shopping and historic attractions. This boutique hotel offers warm Bulgarian hospitality in a luxurious setting. 

Each of the 31 rooms, designed by Italian architect Francesco Lucchese have a unique layout and floral design. 

The onsite modern Eisha restaurant offers innovative cuisine with fresh seasonal ingredients.

Double rooms with breakfast start at about $130.00 per night.

See more prices, read reviews or to find similar hotels check: Booking.com

Sense Hotel 

This upscale design hotel enjoys a prime location in the heart of the city.  Devoted to luxury, tranquility and comfort, Sense Hotel is a great place to relax after a day of sightseeing.

In addition to Sense Spa where you can pamper yourself, Sense also has a Gastro bar on the top floor with unbeatable city views.

Double rooms start at about $260.00 per night.

See more prices, read reviews or to find similar hotels check: Booking.com

Airbnb in Sofia 

There are many fabulous properties on Airbnb for Sofia. We are big fans of Airbnb as it allows to choose different accommodation styles and have your own kitchen.

If you have never stayed at an Airbnb, browse through the many options available and choose a place that fits your travel style.

When booking with Airbnb, use our referral link, and get $55 towards your first stay.

Entire studios and apartments start at about $20.00 per night.

See more prices, read reviews or to find similar hotels check: Airbnb

Authentic Food Quest Tip: Whenever you travel, you want to make sure you are covered just in case anything goes wrong. Even if you are gone for a short trip you should always travel with insurance. We use and recommend Allianz travel insurance which is an affordable option.

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28 thoughts on “Cosmos One of the Best Restaurants in Sofia for Modern Bulgarian Food”

  1. Looking at the food pictures itself was such a treat. I loved the Space theme and how they arrange the food geometrically. The rose dessert amazed me. I would also love to try the cucumber and mint icecream bar.

    Reply
  2. I always found Sofia to be a foodie’s paradise. So much going on there. I haven’t checked out Cosmos but I wish I have! The Bulgarian Rose Dessert looks like a work of art. The level of creativity is out of this world..figuratively and literally!

    Reply
    • So true, Adonis, Sofia does have a lot to offer in terms of food, though unfortunately, it is still not well-known. Restaurants like Cosmos are changing the local food scene. Worth checking out on your next Bulgarian trip. Cheers.

      Reply
  3. This post doesn’t contain only lots of great food – it also contains many interesting information I didn’t know – starting with the fact that they were the sixth country having a man on the moon….kinda 😉
    I’m very impressed that you had the chance to spend three month in Bulgaria – that must be such a great way diving into the culture!

    Reply
  4. Interesting restaurant, to be sure. I would not have associated any of these dishes with the Bulgarian space industry, but I can appreciate the creativity and thought that has gone into the menu names and dishes. And how clever to arrange foods (like in the salad) on a black plate to represent the orbs of space. Of all that you described, though, it is the Bulgarian Rose Dessert that intrigues me most. That I would definitely want to try!

    Reply
  5. You have me sold on Cosmos/Kosmos restaurant! The lamb sounds amazing, and I have to say I’m now intrigued to taste green cheese (I’ve also never heard of it!). Also, I’m making it a point to try the rose dessert — sounds extraordinary and it looks amazing all lit on fire like that!

    Reply
  6. We really do need to add Bulgaria to our travel wish list. If we visit Sofia, we will definitely add Cosmos to our restaurant list. I love it when the chef walks around to meet the guests. Such a simple gesture always means so much. The tasting menu looks like a great way to get a great sample of local Bulgarian food. I love the idea of a gin tonic palate cleanser!

    Reply
  7. I wish this restaurant was opened when I was in Sofia (but I am going back to 2008 on my only visit to the city!). I would just go back to experience the city. Not only the food looks tasty, but they havebeen very creative with the presentation which makes it even more appealing.

    Reply
  8. That really looks like an amazing tasting menu, I don’t know that much about Bulgarian food, but this really takes it to another level. The food presentation looks amazing and I would definitely try this when I get a chance to visit the area some day.

    Reply
  9. We’re planning a family trip to Europe, but we won’t be able to see most of Eastern Europe. I’m writing this down for our Eastern European tour in the future.

    Reply

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