Bread is a vital part of Bulgarian culture. In the past baking your own bread was a daily ritual in every house. But with industrialization and machine automation, things have changed and hardly anyone makes their own bread anymore. Of course, the machine bread has nothing on the freshly baked bread made by your grandmother.
Yet, since the homemade bread in Sofia seems like utopia for a bread lover like me. Fortunately, I am glad that in the recent years some small bakeries like Hlebar have opened up. “Hlebar” itself in Bulgarian means a man who bakes bread. But it’s also a game of words because “Hleb” is translated as bread and “bar” you can probably guess – a bar. So you have bread and also a bar there with good organic wines and stylish Belgium beers.
At HleBar you can buy different kinds of homemade bread, prepared according to old recipes. Together with the bread, you can also find the traditional Bulgarian pastry – banitsa filled with a variety of fillings, sandwiches and some sweet pastries (do not miss the single bite brownies, these are to die for). On top of that, you can buy organic products like yogurt and Bulgarian cheese.
You can take some bread or banitsa from HleBar, sit on a bench in the nearby garden in front of Sveti Sedmochislenici church and enjoy feeding pigeons with breadcrumbs for example.
They recently renovated their branch at ul. “Oborishte” 16, trust me you should not leave Sofia without lunch there!