Hot vegetarian dishes, too, are to be found on most menus, albeit in the 'hot starters' section. Try courgette or spinach croquettes, battered kashkaval cheese, 'sirene po shopski' (feta baked in a ramekin with tomatoes), baked aubergines and more. Several times per year, in the period before Easter as well as in August and the run up to Christmas, many Bulgarians observe a religious fast. At these times of year most restaurants offer a vegan - 'postno' - menu.
In the big cities, of course, restaurants offer a far wider variety than that mentioned above. Sofia has specialised vegetarian, vegan and health food restaurants, though all of the restaurants in our Mediterranean or International chapters offer a wide variety of dishes, often with a separate vegetarian section. Listed here are our favourite places for vegetarian or vegan fare.