I recently rediscovered a forgotten treat, which I have systematically underestimated in my childhood – the gevrek. It is a truly simple food – a doughy, bready circle with a big hole in the middle, or should I say – a big round hole with a little bread around it? Either way, gevrek is probably the closest one can get to a bagel in Sofia – taste-wise as well as price-wise.
When I was little, there were plenty of gevrek sellers around the centre of the city, strategically positioned at bus stops and crossroads of big boulevards, selling out of big paper bags to keep the gevretzi (plural in Bulgarian) warm. Most of them have disappeared, but some are still selling them at the same spot for decades. If you look out for them, you might be lucky enough to come across one of the most characteristic snacks of old Sofia.
If you prefer not to rely on chance, one place that has been selling gevretzi for ages is right on the side of Halite. The minuscule booth looks extremely low-profile, but, believe me, they sell the best gevretzi around – hot and crispy on the outside and chewy and dense on the inside. Better get there before 13:00 to catch the best batch. Pop into Halite to get some olives to accompany your gevrek, sit in front of the old bath (now the History Museum of Sofia) and enjoy a cheap lunch in one of the nicest parts of the city.