A mehana is a traditional Bulgarian restaurant and Mehana Orehcheto is a real hidden gem! I can almost guarantee that you would not find this place by chance. It’s tucked away in the back streets of Sofia slightly out of the city centre but this is why I am going to urge you to visit it!
There are some lovely traditional restaurants in the centre of Sofia however they are usually made for visitors, not locals. Mehana Orehcheto however is a traditional Bulgarian restaurant made with Bulgarians in mind. This means the food is truly authentic and the prices are local prices.
When you enter you will notice that there is a beautiful statue in front of the doorway of Saint Sofia. There used to be a tree growing through the restaurant which had to be cut down and in its place the statue was added.
The decor is very typical for a Bulgarian restaurant and the place feels very cosy. If you go at the weekend it is likely to be busy so you should call ahead and make a reservation. I was there on a Saturday evening and every table was full. There were actually two birthday parties there and after 10pm the guests decided to turn the entire restaurant into a party by sharing their birthday cakes with everyone and dragging us up to dance horo!
The restaurant has a lovely garden area and is very family friendly. In fact a couple of the children from the restaurant spent the evening eating and playing in the quiet street outside!
Mehana Orehcheto really is the perfect place to fully experience Bulgarian culture and it wont cost you more than 5-7 leva in a taxi to get there from the centre! They serve lunch and dinner and if you visit on a weekday at lunchtime the lunch menu is incredible value for money! I suggest that you choose things from the menu that you’ve never tried before, or, just ask the waiter to bring you the most popular dishes because whatever you order is going to be delicious!