Traditional Bulgarian dishes – what should we try from Bansko cuisine?

In our blog, we have already given you many good reasons why to visit Bansko – from the interesting historical and natural sights in the area, to the many activities you can have fun with. In today’s article, however, we will focus on the delicious culinary delights with which Bansko wins the hearts of its guests from near and far.

What is specific about the SPA kitchen?

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There are few places in Bulgaria that can boast of such a rich traditional cuisine. Most of the recipes that the Banskalians prepare to this day have been handed down through the generations and have preserved the authentic taste of the past. You will find these dishes with whimsical names on the menu of a number of taverns, pubs and restaurants in Bansko area.

It is specific to Bansko cuisine that most of the dishes are very filling and most of the specialties are prepared with one or more types of meat. Different types of vegetables that are traditionally grown in the area also complement the wonderful taste – beets, potatoes, cabbage, etc. Another interesting fact is that most main dishes are cooked on slow fire and can take 5-10 hours to cook. However, this guarantees their unique taste and the juiciness of the meat.

What to try from the Bansko kitchen?

If you haven’t had the opportunity to taste the traditional dishes of Bansko until now, we recommend that you correct this omission. Bansko is a great destination for culinary tourism, and here are some of the most delicious specialties that you must try at least once:

Banska kapama


банска капама - традиционно ястие с месо и зелеBanska kapama It is debatable which is the most famous specialty from this region – whether the banska kapama or the banski starets. However, we decided to start with the kapama – an extremely filling dish that Banskalians prepare mostly in winter. The interesting thing about the recipe is that Banska kapama is traditionally prepared with several types of meat. Usually these are pork, beef, chicken, and sometimes rabbit. Slanina and karvavitsa are also added to them. The rest of the ingredients include beets cut into rounds, sour cabbage and rice. This is a very tasty dish, which is even better when served with a glass of pint of red wine.


Another one of the delicious meat dishes that is worth to try is the so-called chomlek. It is prepared from beef or pork shank in the company of appetizing potatoes, carrots, tomatoes and onions. Bansko grandmothers use special combinations of spices that give an even more pleasant taste and aroma to the dish. It is baked over a slow fire in a special clay pot, usually all night. Thus, the meat becomes very juicy and tender and absorbs the flavor of the spices.

Kostureta with chekane and slanina

If you are not from the Pirin area, you will probably need a translation. Kostureta with chekane and slanina is actually beans with beets (from the pickle) and slanina (bacon). The recipe uses ripe beans, which are usually cooked in a pot. Beets and bacon are added to it, and this is how a wonderful dish is created.



Perhaps the name of this dish sounds unfamiliar, but the taste will probably remind you that you tried something similar. Barkada is actually the bansko version of polenta, or as it is also known – kachamak. They are mainly made from corn flour and of course, typically in the style of banskalii, the dish is not lean. Karvavitza, liver and bacon are also added to it.


Against the background of so much meat and the main dishes, let us introduce you to a delicious dessert. Banski kukurini. This is a doughy dessert that is easy to make. Only eggs and flour are needed. When they are fried, they roll up and that’s where their name “kukurini” comes from, which means curls. They are even more delicious when generously sprinkled with powdered sugar.


These are a few traditional dishes worth to try if you visit Bansko. We guarantee you that they will charm you with the pleasant and authentic taste preserved through the generations.





Picture of Vanya Grancharova

Vanya Grancharova

I actively participate in the cultural life of the tourist destination Bansko and I’m a member of the patriotic association "Dedo Lazko". I combine my commitments to the tourism business with teaching at the high school in Bansko. I am part of the author's team for the adaptation of „Slavic Bulgarian History“ for students. My favorite projects that I develop with passion and enthusiasm are: "Art Idea Bg" company for design, the internet portal for culinary tourism and the "Taste of Bansko" project as entirely my author's spaces.