The West End’s Bulgarian food secret: Acacia Fillo Bar (Vancouver, BC)

Acacia Fillo Bar Cafe (6) (Custom)Bulgarian banitza from Acacia Fillo Bar, a pastry made from eggs, cheese, spinach and fillo. — Mijune Pak

The West End’s best kept secret: Acacia Fillo Bar

Mijune Pak — Westender
I’m rooting for these guys. Please don’t let them close.

I mentioned Acacia Fillo Bar in my very first article in Westender “The Forget-Me-Nots” of Vancouver’s restaurant scene” in May 2013. I called it one of my favourite mom-and-pop restaurants flying under the radar downtown. The sad thing is, is I haven’t written about them since then, and word around town is that they’ll only survive a few more months with the rise of rent and general cost of business. It is already a local favourite in the neighbourhood, but they need more support.

It sounds like a typical restaurant story in Vancouver, but if a restaurant is dedicated to serving good food, I’m all for promoting it – and Acacia Fillo Bar is worth promoting.

The small 20-something seat café opened in 2006 in the West End and it is easily overlooked. It is owned and operated by Vera Eftovska-Ivanova and her husband Ziggy Ivanov and they specialize in house-made Bulgarian banitzas, fillo, and homestyle baked goods. I don’t even know them, but I actually feel like they’re cooking for me in their home when I eat here.

First off, how many Bulgarian restaurants have you tried in Vancouver? Exactly. The market for it is already so small, so hold on to the limited amount available.

Although this isn’t a Bulgarian-specific eatery, they offer some Western dishes and oven roasts. It’s one of the few places in Vancouver serving banitza – a traditional Bulgarian pastry filled with a whisked mixture of eggs, sirene cheese (sheep milk feta), and other fillings like spinach, in between sheets of fillo. It’s typically served for breakfast with yogurt, but it’s available all day here. They also serve a variety of savoury fillo pastries alongside delicious roasted potatoes and yams. The

Morning Glory Muffin with apple, carrots, walnuts, coconut and raisins is my favourite baked good, so don’t miss that either.

It’s nothing fancy, very homestyle and simple, and the prices are reasonable and affordable. It’s a charming place and not because of its ambiance, but the honesty behind the food. I appreciate their efforts and hope that it won’t be my last time writing about them.

So please, help these guys out, it’s a few minutes walking distance from English Bay beach and an excellent option for picnics.

• Find out more about Mijune at FollowMeFoodie.com or follow her on Twitter and Instagram @followmefoodie.

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