Ordering fish dishes in the restaurants of Bulgaria - how to understand Bulgarian fish and seafood names?

Ordering fish dishes in the restaurants of Bulgaria - how to understand Bulgarian fish and seafood names?


How do you know what kind of fish you have on your plate? Does such a thing exist in the Black Sea or it was brought from other European countries? We have prepared a small tourist cheat sheet, with which you can safely order fish and seafood from Bulgarian menu.


Walking along the seafront of the Bulgarian sea resorts and port cities it is difficult to pass by the numerous restaurants, where fresh fish and seafood are served. Tempting aromas of fried fish, the smell of spices, coming from plates with mussels, attract you to a cozy table with a great sea view. And where else can you try fish delicacies, if not on the seashore? Usually in such places the fish menu is very fresh, diverse and inexpensive. And it is not surprising, because its basis is the daily catch of local fishermen.


How can you find your favorite fish in the menu if it is not translated into your language? The Bulgarian names are very picturesque and specific, but do not coincide with those that you see in the menu at your home.

We present you a table with the translation of the names of the most popular fish and seafood, which are served in restaurants and sold in shops in Bulgaria.


Bulgarian English trasliteration Latin English Inhabits in the Black Sea or in freshwater in Bulgaria
Акула akula Squalus acanthias Spiny Dogfish, Cape Shark yes
Барбуня barbunya Mullus barbatus Red Mullet yes
Галия galiya Gaidropsarus mediterraneus Shore Rockling, Mediterranean Rockling yes
Зарган zargan Belone belone Garfish, Needlefish yes
Калкан kalkan Scophthalmus maeoticus Black Sea Brill yes
Карагьоз karagyoz Alosa immaculata Black Sea Shad yes
Кефал kefal Mugil cephalus Black Mullet, Flathead Greymullet yes
Лаврак lavrak Dicentrarchus labrax European Seabass yes
Меджид mejizh Merlangius merlangus European Whiting yes
Паламуд palamud Sarda sarda Atlantic Bonito yes
Попчета popcheta Gobiidae Gobies yes
Пъстърва pastarva Salmo trutta Вrown Trout (freshwater) yes
Сафрид safrid Trachurus Atlantic Horse Mackerel yes
Скумрия skumriya Scomber scombrus Atlantic Mackerel yes
Сьомга syomga Salmo salar Atlantic Salmon no
Хамсия hamsiya Engraulis encrasicolus Black Sea Anchovy yes
Херинга heringa Clupea harengus Atlantic Herring no
Цаца tsatsa Sprattus sprattus European Spratt yes
Ципура tsipura Sparus aurata Gilt-head Seabream, Dorade no
Чернокоп chernokop Pomatomus saltatrix Bluefish yes
Шаран sharan Cyprinus carpio Wild Common Carp (freshwater) yes
Миди midi Mytilus galloprovincialis Blue Mussel  yes
Октопод oktopod Octopoda Octopus no
Калмари kalmari Teuthida Squid no
Скариди skaridi Caridea Shrimp yes
Рапани rapani Rapana venosa Veined Rapa Whelk yes


So, we found out what the name of the Black Sea fish is in Bulgarian. And learned that not all the fish and sea food that are on the menu are found in the Black Sea. Now we cam imagine that we will be served in the restaurant, and we approach the fish showcases in Bulgarian supermarkets with confidence.

For your convenience, we present a list of places located directly on the beaches of Bulgaria. There you will certainly try fresh fish and other delicacies of the Black Sea.

Bon Appetit!

Read also:

What are the Bulgarian words for the vegetables, greens and spices in the dishes that you try in a restaurant?

Meat and meat dishes in the Bulgarian menu. Vegetarians, close your eyes!

Where to find real steak in Bulgaria?

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