Our idea and purpose:

We would like to make the local Bulgarian wine varieties popular again, as well as the classic wines and their blend with our local and other varieties which have received a new and hospitable living place in our country. By establishing a chain of small wine bars and shops under the BALABAN brand – countrywide and anywhere in the world, one day hopefully, and the people who love wine, we would like to achieve this goal. In these Bulgarian wine community centres you will find us – fellow wine enthusiasts and believers in the Bulgarian wines!

Bulgaria has rich and century-long traditions in the wine making thanks to the incredible terroir* and the new wave of wine makers who have revived the old fame and are making some of the most interesting vine varieties in the world!

The wine bar

In 2018, Maya, Kalin & Kaloyan set out to create a neighborhood family bar with a focus on elevating the wine bar experience. Cultivating relationships with their patrons is central to their vision. Their hard work and creativity resulted in a unique establishment where locals and out of town visitors can unwind with the best wine, craft beers and tasty food, all served in an inviting atmosphere without pretense.
Located in the heart of Sofia’s art District, Balaban is a wine bar appropriate for just about any occasion. It has both a contemporary and vintage feel, where you can enjoy wines by the glass and on tap found locally from all over the country’s wine regions. We have more than 60 different wine varieties. Balaban wine bar also offers a selection of innovative craft beers on tap with a variety of delicious bar bites to keep you satisfied. You will be able to make a one of a kind wine tasting, whether you are alone or with friends – three wines of your choice from entry, medium or premium selection of Bulgarian cellars supported by meze(bites) for 20, 30 and 40BGN respectively. We also have vouchers which you could buy on our website just click on the “vouchers” sections and follow the few easy steps.

We are delighted to offer special wine events and private parties for a group or a company with indoor and outdoor seating. Please email us at: office@balaban.wine or call us+359889453356. We are open from Tuesday to Sunday 16:00-22:00.
Every day between 16:00-18:00 we have a happy hour with 10% off on all products.
Welcome to our first wine bar in Sofia at 22 Krakra Street. Discover Bulgaria by the glass!


Wondering what Balaban means? This is actually the old surname of Maya, Kalin and Kaloyan, the people behind the most cozy family wine bar in Sofia – Balaban Wine.

The etymology of the word ‘balaban’ has several meanings, the most common being ‘tall, big, talkative person’. In some parts of Bulgaria, “balaban” is associated with the craft – falconry or the cultivation of falconry. In addition to hunting, these birds are considered guardians of the wine and the vine.

There were numerous clans of Balabans and they have have historically bred the Sultan’s falcons during the Turkish rule in Bulgaria. In this way, they were exempt from taxes and were one of the leaders in the Otoman empire at that time 1300s and 1800s. Wealthy and generous, the well-known brothers Todor and Costa Balabanov donated to a number of causes, such as the April Uprising, the construction of new buildings after the Liberation of Bulgaria, financing the building of the first railway between Pernik and Radomir cities. Furthermore they provided the financing for the construction of the Lion’s Bridge in Sofia.

Balaban, however, means a lot more to us – family memory, continuity, love for all that we call Bulgarian and, above all, a return to the roots of Balabanov clan. Respecting our family’s covenant,we created this place, a small wine bar – Balaban wine bar, with the idea of reviving the forgotten Bulgarian varieties such as Dimyat, Rubin, Mavrud, Gergana, Bouquet etc.

What critics say about us?

Janice Robinson – world renowned wine critique has written about us:


Adam Centamore world famous cheese and wine expert included a few words in his impression of Sofia’s hidden gems


Bacchus – wine and food website for Bulgaria


Urban Life – web podcast and local guide for venues and activities in Sofia


Go guide Bulgaria – a guide about Sofia’s restaurants and bars


Madame Bulgaria – Marie a French lady who is in love with Bulgaria and has chosen our country as her home.


Attractions Bg by Alexandra Tosheva


Vesti bg – a news website




  • star rating  Awesome place! Great hoster, great cheese, and great wine. We will definitely visit there again. Recommended!


    star rating  Balaban Wine is a must visit for everybody truly interested in Bulgarian wine culture. The wine list & platters are amazing, always served with special personal attention to the customers... read more

  • star rating  Having spent so many great hours in Balaban, i can assure everyone, that this is the place to be if you want to relax and unwind with family or friends.... read more


    star rating  Nice bar, I’m not even a fan of wine that much but there is something for everyone. The staff are helpful and friendly. The prices seemed reasonable; if I’m back... read more

  • star rating  The perfect place to relax after a long day of work. The owners are lovely and the atmosphere is just amazing. If you want to enjoy some quality Bulgarian beverages... read more


    star rating  It's ok to take a suggestion from the host, but make sure to ask for the price beforehand.
    Otherwise you'll be surprised to pay more than 100 leva for a... read more

  • star rating  Lovely wine tasting evening held at Balaban. The owners were super friendly, and communication beforehand to finalise the group booking was fast and easy. The wines were delicious and accompanied... read more


    star rating  Lovely wine tasting evening held at Balaban. The owners were super friendly, and communication beforehand to finalise the group booking was fast and easy. The wines were delicious and accompanied... read more

  • star rating  Kalin and his wife are great hosts. They are extremely friendly and helpful. We did a wine tasting and discussed everything about the wines and more. I highly recommend the... read more

    Angel B

    star rating  If you would like to enjoy bulgarian wine and understand the Bulgarian wine spirit this is the place!

    Maria B
  • star rating  If you would like to enjoy bulgarian wine and understand the Bulgarian wine spirit this is the place!


    star rating  The slogan this amazing wine shop and bar has is Bulgarin in a glass and it can't be more true - the owners are really friendly and would gladly answer... read more

    Gergana M
  • star rating  A great atmosphere - the owners make you feel like at home! They visit wineries all over Bulgaria and make a selection of the very best ones. They can even... read more


    star rating  I can't recommend this place highly enough. Every excellent review is spot on. A fantastic range of delicious Bulgarian Wines y the glass which you won't find anywhere else. Kalin... read more