A Bulgarian film producer shares her secrets about Sofia

City guide: Sofia

Izabella Tzenkova is a film producer of Bulgarian origin. While Izabella grew up in Los Angeles, she now resides in New York. She is the producer of Lily, a beautiful film about a cancer-survivor, and the new, much buzzed-about documentary, The Wolfpack. In this interview, Izabella takes us to her favourite haunts in her motherland, Sofia.

What type of traveler are you?

I love adventure. I don't like to plan in advance too much because I want to discover places. I like good food, beautiful scenery, unexpected situations.

What are your 5 travel essentials?

  • A pair of jeans
  • A pair of booties
  • Little black dress
  • High heels
  • My leather jacket

As a filmmaker and producer, how does travel influence your work?

I am always looking for stories that are unique. Certain destinations ted to give an authenticity to those stories and travel can make them much more real. Travel with a purpose is always more fulfilling than just leisure travel. It gives you a chance to really get to know a place and the people who inhabit it.

Izabella's recommendations in Sofia

Lunch at the Czech Club.

They have a daily menu of 4 dishes and everything is delicious. A favorite of the local businessmen.

Classic Bulgarian fare at Checkpoint Charlie.

This place is great for dinner. I recommend sitting in the garden.

Good Italian food in Sofia

I recommend both trattoria Forno Cipollini on Oborishte, and La Bottega on Han Asparuh and Vitoshka.

Late night bar

Hambara is a local favourite. In Sofia, be prepared for the absurd, unusual and unlikely.

Tell us more about your vacation home in Bulgaria.

It looks like a narrow Dutch house. I find it wonderfully charming. It's located on the old harbor in Sozopol - a 5,000 year old town on the Black Sea. The home is on the very marina where my grandfather built his yacht. Now, my daughter spends her entire summer there in pur childish freedom.

summers by the Black Sea

Where to stay in Sofia

Live like a local in this bright and colourful apartment in Sofia

Relax with your family and friends in this spacious Sofia apartment

Traveling to Bulgaria? Here are more accommodations in Sofia to check out.