The restaurant complex “Hadjidraganov’s cellars” is a traditional Bulgarian restaurant situated in the center of Sofia. The name of the restaurant comes from the legend of Hadjidragan, which you will find out about, if you join us at the food tour.

The restaurant offers Bulgarian national cuisine prepared on an open flame, on a hot plate and in an oven. 

The whole cellar is decorated by hand-made wooden reliefs that represent different periods of  Bulgarian history and more. 

In the evenings one of the best Bulgarian folklore bands will be taking care of your good mood so that you get as close as possible to a typical Bulgarian national atmosphere. 

Traditional Bulgarian costumes, chairs, made of casks, painted walls, the smell of homemade dishes welcome you, when you enter “Hadjidraganovite izbi”. Ludmil, the owner, shares more about the restaurant, the food and of course, the legend of Hadji Dragan – the first owner of the place.

Q:  What is the history behind the opening of “Hadjidraganovite izbi”?

A:  The history of the restaurant begins in 1869 when the inn was built (at “Kozlodui 75” street). Many masters from different parts of Bulgaria were called to help  building the inn. The owner of the place, Hadji Dragan, chose masters from Melnik, Bansko, Jeravna, and Koprivshtitsa. Everyone had to build one beautiful house in the inn of their hometown. In the basement of the inn, there was a big cellar, where Hadji Dragan kept bottles of wine from various places in the country. So, after the rest?ration of the inn, now the restaurant “Hadjidraganovite Kashti”, we wanted to recreate the cellar just to finish the story. That’s how “Hadjidraganovite Izbi” was opened.  We needed two years to reproduce the authentic and at the same time functional style of the halls. We used natural materials like stone, wood, old beams. Cask masters made some of the elements of the interior. We have carpets from Kotlen, coppers, traditional couches.

Q: Why did you choose to open a restaurant in an authentic Bulgarian style?  

A: Because there was no such kind of restaurant, or at least we did not know there was.  However, the Bulgarian cuisin? is very rich and there is a delicious dish for everyone, doesn’t matter if it’s a Bulgarian or a guest of the city.   

Q:  What traditional Bulgarian products do you use?

A:  We are always changing the menu and this allows us to use all of the seasonal products that are in the markets – vegetables, legumes, meat.  We do not use specific products because our nature gives us a lot of various products. I could distinguish the appetizers with pork and veal or the ones with diaries, the dishes with mutton. Despite the rich menu, we prepare everything in our own kitchen.

Q:  Could you share some traditional Bulgarian recipes from the menu?

A: Katino appetizer with veal, Georgiovski Lamb, Mindova kashla. We knead and bake bread every day.

Q:  How do you honor the Bulgarian traditions and celebrations?

A:  It depends on the celebration. For each one, we offer the traditional dishes and drinks, connected to it. On our website, there is a section with the history and the traditions we honor. We want more people to know about them.

Q:  In the restaurant, you offer the drink pelin. How is it made?

A:  In a container, full of homemade wine (red or white), we add a bouquet of 24  herbs that we order from an old master in Yambol. We add some chopped apple, quince, medlar and sugar. It has to stay like this between 7-14 days, according to the season, the wine and the speed of fermentation of the ingredients. After that, it can be served.  

Q: Do you take part in different activities?

A: Not really, but we work 365 days and we try hard to make every client happy by making their visit a memorable experience – from the food, music, comfort to the service and the personal attention.