Menu Filter Here the food is not just incredibly tasty. It is healthy and most importantly, prepared with love!

5 Chernomen Str., Sofia
+359 88 616 8377
7:00 - 19:00 (Mon - Fri);
8:00 - 14:00 (Sat)
  • Kind: Bakery, Pastry Shop
  • Multi Kulti Recommended

Tags: caramel, french bakery

Cakes, French croissants, quiches, pies, breads, sweets, snacks, sandwiches… Imagine what it smells like in Caramel! These are the creations of Lebanese Hany Tawk, who is a French culinary graduate. They are prepared using only ingredients of the highest quality because he believes that what we eat matters and that only by eating the right foods a person can develop physically and spiritually.

(scroll down for the interview)


Labenese Hany Tawk came to Bulgaria for the first time as a tourist in 1997: “Friends of mine invited me for two weeks. I was impressed – it’s hard to find such untouched nature, such tasty water, such good food – I work with food, so I appreciated it immediately – peppers, hot peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, apples, savory, beans, milk… I immediately wanted to make something here!”, Hany remembers and says how important it is to like the place where you live and to do what you love. In the beginning he opened a workshop with another Lebanese. They used to make frozen cakes without preservatives for London, Albania, Serbia… “When I started here it wasn’t easy – there were no ingredients such as quality flour, real vanilla…”

Even though Hany got a degree in architecture in Lebanon, at one point he decided to turn his love for culinary arts into a profession. “I lived in France for 7 years – first I studied pastry, then bread, then I went to Italy to study ice cream. Now I visit France every year to see what’s new. Then I come home to Bulgaria and do things my way – I like working with local ingredients and creating my own recipes, for example I’ve made croissants with pumpkin.”

Hany is very keen on healthy food. “The power of food is amazing. Our organism is perfect –  we are god himself on Earth. A person can develop spiritually only by eating the right food. We have skewed our perspective and have started eating differently. Meat, for example, is not food for man, meat is corpse. Everybody asks me: How come you don’t eat meat? Do you have energy? How do you obtain protein? I’ve got energy – I work 15-18 hours a day and in the evening I go for a walk for 1-2 more hours.” Hany isn’t secretive about this: using carefully selected quality products is the most important factor. Then comes the way of eating and preparation – the simpler and more natural food is, the healthier it is. Raw foods and foods that are in season are the healthiest: “In my work I only use vegetables that are in season or that I myself have frozen”. Hany personally tastes everything in Caramel, except for the meat. “I very rarely eat at other places because I really do believe: what we eat matters”.

Caramel opened in 2008. Hany is the owner of the building and it’s built according to his ideas. In the basement he and his team prepare their fantastic baked goods in front of the customers. On the first floor there is a cafe with tables and chairs, where various events are often held. On the next floor there is a room for yoga and dance. Hany himself lives a few floors up. He chose the name Caramel because he wanted a name that’s in both French and Bulgarian, and says: sweet. Since 1997 he has been offering several types of special cakes with caramel, pears and apples that customers love.

It is worth visiting Caramel, because food is real and natural. Every day Hany takes care that everything is prepared in a way that is healthy for our body. In the basement everything is transparent, everything is visible – the products, the way of working… “The staff does everything with love and desire. On top of that prices are good. I don’t work for money. If I wanted money, I would live and work in London. Sometimes it’s very difficult here, but I prefer Bulgaria, because life is beautiful, man can live spiritually, there are many nice people and even when it is difficult, you can go in nature, go to Rila, to Vitosha, and recharge your batteries. “

His customers are “people who know what they eat.” Most of them are Bulgarians, and fewer foreigners. Hany works successfully with various pubs, restaurants, hotels, and also does catering.

Hany likes Bulgarian cuisine a lot. As a vegetarian he eats bean soup, lentils, roasted peppers with olive oil, garlic and parsley, chilli peppers with marinade, sarmas, pickles, Shopska salad. He remembers his favorite childhood dishes, that he now also offers in Caramel – hummus (paste with chickpeas) and Baba ghanoush (paste with eggplant).

What he misses the most from Lebanon are his parents. “I go back there 2-3 times a year. We are from northern Lebanon, where the cedar forest is, it is thousands of years old. There are about 2 million Syrian refugees now in Lebanon and there are lots of robberies, but before the war was it completely different. You could leave your house and car unlocked and nothing would be stolen, nothing. People used to be very open, generous, positive – towards foreigners as well. It’s different now because of the large number of refugees.”

Interview: Bistra Ivanova
Photos: Stefan Suchev
Translation from Bulgarian: Boyan Boychev
Illustration: Mila Lozanova for
Compote Collective
14 November 2014