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Varna food (Sofia)

I think I like it. But if you consider moving to Varna, there are several caveats which you should be aware of -- because Varna is not Moscow, or London, or Tel Aviv. A lot of things you are accustomed of probably do not exist here.

No beef. Well, almost. But forget about your daily steak, unless you want to pay eur50 for 200g (yes, 200g steak!) of wagyu in one of a few ridiculously expensive restaurants. Here is no such thing as an affordable steak. And you cannot buy steak to cook it at home. Not available, sorry.

No beef means no burgers. Formally, there are some. But if you expect something above McD level, you are out of luck. Seen some Serbian fast food offering pleskavitsa which is so delicious in Montenegro? Forget about it, really. It is cooked at the morning and warmed up all day. Yuck. Unlike steak, though, there are ingredients in local stores to make your burger at home. But NEVER, NEVER buy ground beef outside of meat store (like, in supermarket) where they make it while you can watch. It DEFINITELY will be made of (mostly) substitutes like soy, wheat or milk protein, chicken, pork.

And now, the substitutes. If you are into organic or just healthy food, watch closely. They are everywhere.

Wine. You have little options besides local wine. Local wine is good, though, almost everything above 15lv Protected content is quite worth it. But you won't find big variety of world's wines here. Not like anything you see in a big liquor store.

Beer. Forget about craft beer in every pub. You are lucky if there would be a few craft beers from a single brewery. Most likely there would be none. Drink local lager like the rest.

Whisky. A dozen best-selling brands, quite similar everywhere. Want more? You need to mail order it, I think (haven't tried it yet)

Oysters. Just one variety and quite expensive -- not what you expect near the sea.

(entertainment, transportation, real estate, utilities questions will follow someday ;-)

The conclusion: want to live in Varna? Forget your old habits and enjoy a simple life. Eat what local people eat: pork, chicken, fish, mussels, and season vegetables, drink what local people drink: lager, and rakija.

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