Grape Central

My first visit to Grape Central was over a year ago, there was no sign outside, so I walked back and forth a few time and eventually found the right spot. At that time last February, it was still a work in progress, but I was oozing with anticipation. I really like the owners and what is more fitting than having wine specialists (writers, educators, tasters, distributors) opening a wine bar and restaurant? I couldn’t help but be excited for this new spot in Sofia. You might ask why did it take me so long to write about Grape Central, well I wasn’t ready to share it, getting a table now is hard enough as is!

You can’t help but notice the interior, it is right out of downtown New York (Soho/Tribeca). It feels like a pre-war building with the exposited brick, industrial vibe and high ceilings. The spot used to be a brick oven bakery and some remnants of its former self can still be seen. In the floor, you can find a collection of wine bottles. This hole used to house the fuel for the oven. I personally prefer the wine.

Grape Central is a wine bar that also happens to be a restaurant with great food. It has a small novel for a wine list and a one page full menu that changes frequently according to the seasons. Also, check out their Facebook page, they are always creating special event dinners, with particular themes, for example a few weeks ago, I attended a Slow Food dinner, where the food and the wine focused on traditional Bulgarian food products from the Ark of Taste and great local Bulgarian wines.

A small space that can fit 32 people maximum, seriously, by law they can only have so many chairs. The atmosphere is very laid back, you can find Yana and Efie around the bar and Ivo creating in the kitchen, while he is not a chef in the traditional sense, he can cook and the three of them know what good food is and the importance of fresh and seasonal ingredients.

Considering that I only find myself in Sofia once a week, I managed to once visit three times in a month, maybe it was because of this one cheese and sausage appetizer that I kept dreaming about. Whether you are popping in for lunch, dinner or just a glass of wine; they have great wines by the glass, usually about 10 different ones to choose from, which is for me is unique in Sofia. Grape Central does not disappoint. If you are intimidated by wine don’t be shy and ask for some tips and recommendations… I always do!
45 Ulitsa Tsar Samuil 
1000 Sofia, Bulgaria 
Mon. – Sun. 12:00 pm – 11:00 pm 
Phone 088 982 0444 

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