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

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

Are “tikva” and “tikvichka” the same thing? Where to put stress in the word "krastavitsa"? Are “kambi”, “kapii”, “piperki” all “chushkas”? Let’s try to choose a vegetable salad or side dish in restaurants in Bulgaria. How not to get lost while reading the names of vegetables and spices in Bulgarian?

Fruitful Bulgarian land fills the counters of markets and shops with different seasonal vegetables throughout the year. The choice is always great, and prices are traditionally low. Vegetables, along with meat, occupy a significant place in traditional Bulgarian cuisine. Therefore, in Bulgarian restaurants vegetable dishes, salads and side dishes are well-deservedly popular.

Gourmets know that the best company for  meat and fish dishes is certainly vegetables. In Bulgarian restaurants they are skillfully prepared - grilled, deep-fried, stewed, baked, pickled and, of course, served fresh. They always come in combination with traditional greens and spice.

One of the most popular vegetables is, of course, the red sweet pepper. Only few can explain why residents of the former Soviet Union habitually call it "Bulgarian". The birthplace of the "Bulgarian" pepper is Central and South America. And in Europe, it first appeared thanks to the colonizers and began to grow in Portugal and Spain. Then it settled down in Turkey, from where it came to Bulgaria, where it absorbed the local gentle sun, the fresh mountain wind and the hard work of Bulgarian farmers. At the end of the 17th century, the pepper continued its spread from the territory of Bulgaria to the southern regions of Moldova, Ukraine and Russia, where the locals called this unusual and tasty vegetable "Bulgarian pepper". And this name is already 300 years old!

So, in the restaurant you’d like to choose the vegetables on the menu and find out what spices the dish is seasoned with, but don’t know what they are called in Bulgarian? Or maybe you are visiting the market to buy ingredients for your special stew or fantastic minestrone soup but you don’t know how to explain to what you need to the seller? There is a solution! Just look at our tables with the translation of the names of vegetables, herbs and spices.

Vegetables (en) Зеленчуци (bg) Zelenchutsi (translit.)
Asparagus Аспержи Asperzhi
Beetroot Цвекло Tsveklo
Black radish Черна ряпа Cherna Ryapa
Broccoli Броколи Brokoli
Brussels sprouts Брюкселско зеле Brukselsko zele
Cabbage Зеле Zele
Carrot Моркови Morkovi
Cauliflower Карфиол Karfiol
Celery Целина Tselina
Corn Царевица Tsarevitsa
Courgettes Тиквички Tikvichki
Cucumbers / Gherkins Краставици/Корнишони Krastavitsi/Kornishoni
Eggplant Патладжан Patladjan
Garlic Чесън  Chesan
Green beans Зелен фасул Zelen fasul
Gumbo Бамя Bamya
Hot Peppers Люти чушки Lyuti chushki
Kohlrabi Алабаш Alabash
Leek Праз Praz
Onion Лук Look
Parsnip Пащърнак Pashtarnak
Potato Картофи Kartofi
Pumpkin Тиква Tikva
Radish Репички Repichki
Sweet Peppers Чушки/Камби/Пиперки/Капии Chushki/Kambi/Piperki/Kapii
Tomatoes Домати Domati
Turnip Ряпа Ryapa
Zucchini Тъмни тиквички Tamni tikvichki
Greenery (en) Зеленолистни и билки (bg) Zelenolostni I bilki (translit.)
Basil Босилек Bosilek
Chinese cabbage Китайско зеле Kitaisko zele
Coriander Кориандър Koriandr
Dill Копър Kopar
Green onions Зелен лук Zelen look
Green salad Маруля Marulya
Nettle Коприва Kopriva
Parsley Магданоз Magdanoz
Rosemary Розмарин Rozmarin
Ruccola Рукола Rukola
Sorrel  Киселец Kiselets
Sorrel Spinach dock Лапад Lapad
Spearmint Мента Menta
Spinach Спанак Spanak
Spices (en) Подправки (bg) Podpravki (translit.)
Anise Анасон Anason
Bay leaf Дафинов лист Dafinov list
Capers Каперси Kapersi
Caraway Ким Kim
Cardamon Кардамон Kardamon
Chili Чили Chili
Clove Карамфил Karamfil
Cumin Кимион Kimion
Curry Къри Kari
Estragon Естрагон Estragon
Fenugreek Сминдух Sminduh
Garlic Чесън Chesan
Ginger Джинджифил Gingirfil
Horseradish Хрян Hryan
Marjoram Майорана Mayorana
Nutmeg Индийско орехче Indiysko orekhche
Oregano Риган Rigan
Salt/Spicy Salt Сол/Шарена сол Sol/Sharena sol
Thyme Мащерка Mashterka
Thyme Чубрица Chubritsa
Turmeric Куркума Kurkuma


And even for those who adhere to the principles of vegetarianism and veganism, it is not at all necessary to cook for yourself constantly. Sometimes you can go to a restaurant! In the large cities of Bulgaria - in Sofia, Plovdiv and Varna - vegetarian/vegan restaurants are opened for guests. Their dishes and desserts are very healthy, tasty and varied. Many of them have food delivery service. Interesting? Here is a list of such restaurants.

Read also:

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

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

Japanese, Indian or Israeli? Kitchen of different countries and continents in the restaurants of Sofia

Back to news