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Garlic Workshop - Bucharest Food Guide

Where to Eat in Bucharest Romania – The Best Bucharest Restaurants, Cafes and Market

In Europe, Food Guides, Romania by Daryl & Mindi Hirsch10 Comments

After eating and drinking our way through the Romanian capital, we’ve created this Bucharest Food Guide with all of our favorite Bucharest restaurants, cafes and bars.

Brunch at Simbio in Bucharest Romania - Bucharest Food Guide

Bucharest is a city on the verge.

Like Sleeping Beauty awakened from a long slumber, the city is emerging from the darkness of Communism and totalitarianism while embracing the modern conveniences that many Westerners take for granted. In some areas like coffee and internet, Bucharest has not only arrived but has leaped past many global cities.

We adored the city’s cafe culture with its seemingly endless variety of cafes, each serving well-roasted coffee with a side of lightning fast internet in ultra-cool spaces haunted by the ghosts of the wealthy bourgeois who used to inhabit them.

VINO Wines + More in Bucharest Romania

Vino Wines + More is our favorite spot to drink wine in Bucharest.

Despite all the coffee available in Bucharest, the wine flows even more freely. This should be no surprise considering that Romanians have been producing wine since the 1400’s in what is currently the world’s 13th largest wine producing country. At first, we were satisfied with the wine readily available in Bucharest grocery stores, but we didn’t fully appreciate the Bucharest wine scene until we drank “the good stuff” at Pâine şi Vin and VINO Wines + More (see both below).

Pâine și Vin in Bucharest Romania

This board at Pâine și Vin is loaded with some of the best local food products from the Bucharest area and nearby Transylvania.

We had a rockier start with finding cool restaurants in Bucharest. After eating more than our fair share of overcooked eggs, we started to doubt the potential of the Bucharest food scene. However, the tides turned for us and we soon discovered a number of the best places to eat in Bucharest that delighted our taste buds and left us excited to return to the city to eat more in the future.

Pancakes at Kane in Bucharest Romania

The Bucharest food scene is on the rise as evidenced by the creative cookery at Kane.

UPDATE:  What a difference a year makes! The food scene in Bucharest has exploded with exciting restaurants at different price points in the twelve months between our visits. Accordingly, we have updated this guide to include our new favorite places to eat in Bucharest.

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2foodtrippers Bucharest Food Guide

Maize in Bucharest Romania

The Bucharest food scene is on the rise. Maize is leading the movement with its modern Romanian farm to table concept and wood fired grill.

Whether you’re planning a Bucharest city break or opt to visit Bucharest for a month, you will surely want to eat great food while you’re busy exploring the many Bucharest attractions sprinkled throughout the city dubbed Little Paris. If you’re wondering where to eat in Bucharest, follow our Bucharest Food Guide to experience an ideal mix of modern cuisine and traditional Romanian food at all price points.

Bon Appetit or, as they say in Bucharest, Poftă Bună!

Modern Bucharest Restaurants

Molecular Gastronomy at The Artist in Bucharest Romania

At The Artist, Chef Paul Oppenkamp entrances diners with his ‘of place’ molecular gastronomy. Food doesn’t get much more modern than this amuse bouche enveloped by a foggy funnel of melting dry ice.

Bucharest is changing both dramatically and quickly – with the younger generation leading the way. We found this modernity in various aspects of the city including the food. Sure, the city still serves its fair share of traditional Romanian food, but that’s just part of the Bucharest food story.

Kane

 Beet Starter at Kane in Bucharest Romania

The flavors converged in Kane’s red beetroot starter with fresh goat cheese, milk jam and chips.

Tempted by the starter descriptions, we ordered three of them to begin our meal at Kane. Instead of regretting our decision, we wish we had ordered one more. They were that good.

Kane, a self-proclaimed seasonal bistro, serves 100% local products in a gorgeous, vaulted, sunlit (by day) corner space near Piata Romana. The modern restaurant prides itself on intimate sourcing as well as creative food prepared by former Top Chef Romania winner Alex Iacob. Iacob studied gastronomy at Spain’s Basque Culinary Center and brings a combination of youthful energy and culinary excellence to the Kane kitchen.

Kanfeh Starter at Kane in Bucharest Romania

Kanfeh is usually seen as a component in Turkish desserts, but the Kane team creatively incorporated kanfeh into this appetizer along with egg, crispy bacon, pickled onion, wild garlic and onion puree.

The food at Kane is creative, yet tight, as we experienced with our three starters. From beetroot salad to beef ragu and egg with kanfeh, each starter was both beautifully plated and executed with precision. If anybody doubts he quality and quantity of Romania’s food, these starters should be proof positive of it’s growing food culture.

Ironically, the simplest dish of chicken with wild mushrooms provided the greatest showcase to Iacob’s competent kitchen skills. Cooked sous vide to juicy doneness, the chicken was served with a savory combination chicken crumble, wild morel mushrooms and a welcome tangy mushroom ketchup that paired nicely with the succulent bird.

Dessert at Kane in Bucharest Romania

Unlike other versions of Baba au Rhum, Kane adds apples infused with vanilla and anise, whipped cream, yogurt ice cream, lemon verbena and mint powder.

Kane’s desserts live up to the starters. We ended our meal with an exquisite Baba au Rhum decorated with edible flowers topped with a powerful flavor punch of mint powder. Much of the food was surely beautiful at Kane but this is a kitchen that displays strong a mastery of taste. Kane is a welcome addition to a rapidly growing Bucharest culinary scene.

Pro Tip:  Don’t be afraid to order coffee at Kane. The restaurant procures its specialty blends from local roaster Guido Coffee.

Kane is located at Strada Tunari 60A, Cladirea Stefan cel Mare Building, București 020528, Romania.

The ARTIST

Starter at The Artist in Bucharest Romania

Who needs to be spoon-fed when you can enjoy a full plate of food like this Mangalitsa Pork Terrine served with Garlic, Pickles, Radishes, Parsley, Pancetta and Quinoa.

At The ARTIST, Chef Paul Oppenkamp uses his bag of molecular gastronomy tricks to take Romanian food to the next level. He does this in a historic villa just a few blocks northeast of the center of town.

As typical in many Bucharest buildings, The ARTIST’s setting is a gracefully decaying building with a grand staircase and chipped paint. In this building, the simple, white, vaulted ceiling dining room provides an elegant complement to the chef’s cutting-edge food made with local ingredients.

Spoons at The Artist in Bucharest Romania

Though we were skeptical about The ARTIST’s spoon tasting concept, we were impressed by Oppenkamp’s ability to translate a complete dish into one perfect bite.

During our meal, we shared two starters – the Mangalitsa Pork Terrine pictured above and Hot Smoked Grilled Trout. However, we diverged during our main course, with Daryl opting for the White Cod and Mindi selecting a Spoon Tasting which literally included a spoon of each of the seasonal menu’s main courses.

While we don’t recommend doing a Spoon Tasting exclusively, this fun option provides an opportunity for visitors to sample a full range of the restaurant’s menu items. You may be tempted to order an entire series of spoons for all courses and, although it’s a fun concept, we don’t condone this approach.

The food is gorgeous here and you should see and taste everything that this remarkable kitchen can do. The cutting-edge food at The Artist, while displaying a large degree of virtuosity, still feels and tastes utterly Romanian right down to the pickles served with the local Mangalitsa pork. The Artist is the kind of restaurant that, in years to come, could elevate all the kitchens in Bucharest.

Pro Tip:  Be sure to save room for dessert. Oppenkamp’s sweet endings like the refreshing Cucumber Sorbet and the whimsical Chocolate ‘Cigar’ do not disappoint.

The ARTIST is located at Calea Victoriei 147, Bucureşti 010073, Romania.

Maize

Maize is blazing trails in Bucharest with its farm to table approach to modern Romanian cuisine. Straight from his key role in the opening of Noma 2.0 in Copenhagen, Chef Alex Petricean is leading the restaurant’s culinary team with fresh approaches and innovative ideas.

Maize’s chic design includes an airy dining room in a converted Bucharest A-frame attic, but the magic happens in the restaurant’s open kitchen with its wood-fired grill and solid cooking. We can’t wait to watch Maize shake up the Bucharest restaurant scene and take it to new heights.

Charcuterie Plate at Maize in Bucharest Romania

Listed on the Fast Bites section of the menu, this board of traditional Romanian charcuterie is served with rough mustard and a side of seasonal pickled vegetables (not shown).

Maize’s menu features a selection of Romanian wines including the bottle of Domaine Ceptura Blanc from the Muntenia and Oltenia Hills region of Romania that we selected. Light and fruity, the wine paired well with our food including a killer charcuterie plate featuring locally raised dried beef and Romanian p0rk from both white and mangalitsa pigs.

Trout at Maize in Bucharest Romania

Artistically presented, Maize’s rainbow trout is cooked on fire and served with black truffle paste and two cauliflower preparations.

Silky Romanian freshwater trout was served with a swath of black truffle paste, pureed cauliflower and a charred steak of grilled cauliflower for good measure. This is the kind of modern, simple cooking that has been missing from the Bucharest dining scene. Petricean confided in us that Maize is not fine dining. We agree with him. But in our view, Maize is the kind of modern, casual chef-driven restaurant that we love.

Cheese Plate at Maize in Bucharest Romania

Though listed as a starter, we chose to end our meal with Maize’s cheese selection from local farms.

Ironically, we ended our meal with a starter. Skipping the menu’s complex dessert options, we instead opted for a simple plate of local cheese. Though the presentation was reminiscent of dishes we’ve eaten in Scandinavia with its uncluttered plating and clean lines, the flavors were pure Romania.

Maize is located at Strada Paris 61A, București 011815, Romania.

Pâine şi Vin

Paine si Vin in Bucharest Romania

The dining room at Paine si Vin is light and airy, providing the perfect setting for eating modern Romanian food.

With a menu far simpler than at Kane, The ARTIST and Maize, Pâine şi Vin features freshly baked flatbread pizzas, plates loaded with locally sourced cheese and charcuterie plus an exciting local wine list. Once we bit into the restaurant’s Mangalitsa charcuterie and savored the creamy buffalo burrata, we knew that we had to go to Transylvania where this food was produced. As an extra bonus, Pâine şi Vin’s multi-level space is sleek and buzzing with positive energy.

Pro Tip:  The dishes are large enough to share though you may want to eat every bite all by yourself.

Pâine şi Vin is located at Strada Actor Ion Brezoianu 4, Bucureşti 050023, Romania.

Mahala

Duck Leg Confit at Mahala in Bucharest Romania

Duck Leg Confit with Mămăligă at Mahala.

We had a dilemma when we arrived at Mahala – choosing to sit inside the artfully decorated restaurant outside on the restaurant’s terrace. Since the weather was favorable, we chose to sit outside. We then had to choose our food, another difficult task due to Chef Sorin Cucu’s menu featuring local dishes prepared with French techniques.

Though the food was solid at Mahala and definitely worth a visit, the service was not up to par. We were not amused when the server added a 22% tip to our check since the standard tip in Bucharest is 10% for excellent service.

Pro Tip:  Grab a drink before dinner at nearby Berăria Germana Bucuresti. This beer garden features Romanian beer as well as beers from countries like Germany and Belgium.

Mahala is located at Calea Rahovei 147-153, Bucureşti, Romania.

Simbio

Brunch at Simbio in Bucharest Romania

Brunch at Simbo includes trendy dishes like Fresh Fruit topped French Toast and Shakshuka.

More than one person recommended Simbio to us as the best place to eat brunch in Bucharest, and we enjoyed the restaurant’s weekend scene filled with multi-generational diners enjoying food in the neighborhood restaurant’s outdoor setting (pictured at the top.) Sadly, we were not impressed by the overcooked eggs in our Shakshuka. Go here for the lively backyard garden scene, but not so much for the breakfast food.

Pro Tip:  Don’t be shocked if people smoke while eating their brunch on Simbio’s outside terrace. Cigarette smoke wafted through the air during our meal, a common occurrence in Bucharest due to the popularity of cigarettes in Eastern Europe.

Simbio is located at Strada Negustori 26, Bucureşti 030167, Romania.

Energiea

Marinated Pork Ribs at Energiea in Bucharest Romania

This plate of marinated pork ribs and fried Romanian potatoes was big enough for an army. Sadly, there were just two of us dining at Energiea during this meal.

Situated in a former print shop, Energiea serves über portions of comfort foods like ribs and burgers and well as jumbo salads, smoothies and lemonade. Although owned by the same team that runs Pâine şi Vin, Energiea is not a fine dining establishment.

Instead, Energiea is the place to eat in Bucharest when you have a hangover or just ran a marathon. If you feel you want to plow down a serving platter loaded with fried potatoes, then this is the place for you.

Pro Tip:  Grab a cappuccino at Origo before or after your lunch at Energiea. Bucharest’s original third wave coffee shop is located on the same block.

Energiea is located at Strada Actor Ion Brezoianu 4, Bucureşti 030167, Romania.

Traditional Romanian Food

Garlic Workshop in Bucharest Romania

Romanian food traditions span the centuries and incorporate the various flavors from the different countries that ruled the country over the years.

We were immediately comfortable with traditional Romanian food since it reminded us of food prepared by our grandmothers, descendants of Eastern European immigrants, back in the day. Though our ancestors hailed from Poland and countries of the former Soviet Union, we felt a familiarity in Bucharest’s traditional Romanian restaurants with their influences from countries like Hungary, Germany and Turkey.

Typical dishes include Sarmale (stuffed cabbage), Cirobă de Burtă (tripe soup), Mici (caseless sausage), Papanași (fried dough topped with fruit and cream) and Mămăligă (Romanian Polenta.)

Ciorbarie in Bucharest Romania

Though not trendy, traditional food remains relevant in Romania for locals of all ages.

Locals eat traditional Romanian food at restaurants throughout the city, with most restaurants accessible to visitors who want to delve into traditional Romanian cuisine. Though we wouldn’t want to eat traditional food all day every day, we enjoyed sampling classic Romanian cuisine at the following restaurants:

Ciorbarie

Inside Ciorbarie in Bucharest Romania

The simple but stylish design adds to the dining experience at Ciorbarie.

Ciorbarie serves one kind of classic Romanian food and one kind only – soup. Open since December 2016 and now with three locations, this cheap eats Bucharest option serves eight soups each day including four standard soups (spicy goulash, tripe, sour chicken and meatball) and four special soups that rotate based on the season. Beyond soup, Ciorbarie also serves fresh bread and strudel-like pastries.

Soup at Ciorbarie in Bucharest Romania

Loaded with vegetables and chicken, this soup at Ciorbarie tasted like it was cooked by our Romanian grandmothers IF we had Romanian grandmothers.

Though their concept is simple, Ciorbarie offers diners the chance to eat traditional Romanian soups in a casual setting at an affordable price. Be warned that the Ciorbarie isn’t fancy and the seating is limited. To us, the atmosphere added to the experience. In fact, we’d be regulars if we lived in Bucharest.

Pro Tip:  Not sure what to order at Ciorbarie? The friendly staff will let you sample a soup or two to help with your decision.

Ciorbarie has three locations in Bucharest. We ate twice at the following location:  Calea Dorobanți 71, București, Romania.

Zexe Zahana

Zexe Zahana in Bucharest Romania

The most notable feature at Zexe Zahana is the ceiling that opens allowing the sun to stream into the restaurant’s dining room.

Open since 1998, the restaurant Zexe Zahana harkens back to the early 20th century, between the two world wars, with its mannered setting and time-honored recipes. This is the type of restaurant where families flock to celebrate birthdays on the weekend and businessmen dine with colleagues during the week. Though tourists are welcome at this restaurant, out-of-towners are definitely in the minority at Zexe Zahana.

Lunch at Zexe Zahana in Bucharest Romania

Our table runneth over with traditional Romanian dishes during our lunch at Zexe Zahana.

During our feast at Zexe Zahana, we inhaled starters like local sheep cheese, pickled vegetables and fried lardons, but our favorite dish was the restaurant’s Mangalitsa pork. This was our first time eating the famed Hungarian pork known for its juicy meat and sheep-like wool fleece. We toasted each other with a fine bottle of sparkling water as we savored every luscious bite of the ‘lardalicious’ pork under a ceiling that opened up to the blue sky above.

Pro Tip:  Save some room for Pastry Chef Ana Consulea’s traditional yet creative pastries including cakes, tarts and macarons.

Zexe Zahana is located at Strada Icoanei 80, Bucureşti, Romania.

Vatra Restaurant

Vatra in Bucharest Romania

Starters and Țuica at Vatra

An urban oasis near the Cismigiu Gardens, Vatra Restaurant serves some of the city’s best Romanian food in a laid-back setting. Romanian dishes like Salata de Vinete (eggplant salad), Samale (cabbage rolls) and Salata de Icre (fish egg salad) go down easily with beer. If you’re lucky, dancers festively attired in traditional outfits will perform during your meal.

Pro Tip:  Start your meal with a shot of Țuică, a strong yet sweet Romanian plum brandy. Not only will this popular apertif whet your palette, it will also enhance your mood.

Vatra Restaurant is located at 010131, Strada Actor Ion Brezoianu 19, Bucureşti 030167, Romania.

Caru’ cu Bere

Caru' cu Bere in Bucharest Romania

This Pork Shoulder dish was too big for the two of us to eat in one sitting. In retrospect, we did not need the bowl of soup or side of bread that we ordered to start our meal.

Don’t be fooled by the festive beer hall vibe in Caru’ cu Bere’s German beer hall meets interbelic building located in the heart of Europe’s newest Old City. This popular Bucharest sightseeing spot is a fine, albeit touristy, spot for sampling traditional Romanian food prepared with German influences.

The name of the century-old restaurant translates to the beer wagon, but the food served here is solid and hearty. It’s no surprise that many people consider Caru’ cu Bere to be one of the top restaurants in Bucharest.

Server at Caru' cu Bere in Bucharest Romania

Server Orlando Grecu at Caru’ cu Bere.

Though Caru’ cu Bere wasn’t our favorite restaurant in Bucharest, we recommend their signature dish – a slowly roasted pork knuckle served with braised cabbage, mămăligă (polenta), fresh horseradish, pickles and green chili peppers. Server Orlando Grecu advised us that the dish was large enough for us to share; however, it was so big that we took half of the meat back to our Airbnb apartment and cooked it with pasta at dinner the next night and had enough left to feed four people.

Pro Tip: To avoid potential disappointment, specify indoor or outdoor seating when you make your reservation. 

Caru’ cu Bere is located at Strada Stavropoleos 5, Bucureşti 030081, Romania.

Burgers and Quick Bites

Modelier in Bucharest Romania

Why eat inside when you can dine on a funky terrace like this one at Modelier, a popular hamburger spot in Bucharest.

Like most people, we sometimes prefer to dine in more casual settings. And, as Americans, we occasionally crave hamburgers and pizza. With this in mind, we’re pleased to report that Bucharest has a slew of eateries in the casual category. These were our favorites:

Trofic

Grilled Halloumi Salad at Trofic in Bucharest Romania

The grilled halloumi salad at Trofic is one of the cafe’s many healthy lunch options.

The team behind popular Origo has opened Trofic in a nearby sundrenched corner property. Open for breakfast and lunch, the tiny cafe serves a limited menu that includes Origo coffee.

Food options skew on the lighter side – think eggs, salads, sandwiches and soup. Don’t be afraid of leaving hungry though. The portions at Trofic are generously sized, plus tempting desserts like tiramisu and chocolate bars are always available.

Pro Tip:  Similar to Origo, laptops are not allowed inside Trofic.

Trofic is located at Street Actor Ion Brezoianu 29, Bucharest, Romania.

Rotisserie Galli

Rotisserie Galli in Bucharest Romania

Rotisserie Galli brings French rotisserie to Romania.

Located near Piața Amzei, cozy Rotisserie Galli serves free-range rotisserie chicken as well as other proteins like duck, pork, lamb and trout. We couldn’t help but think of the rotisseries we frequented in Lyon as we shared a heaping plate of rotisserie chicken, roasted potatoes and sauteed mushrooms in the restaurant’s cheerful rear dining room.

This approach is no surprise since owner Romania Nicolas is originally from France. Nicolas and his team also serve sandwiches on crusty baguettes from Pain Plaisir, one of Bucharest’s best boulangeries.

Pro Tip:  In a rush? Order your meal to take away. Better yet, call for delivery.

Modelier

Modelier Burger in Bucharest Romania

Modelier’s Catalunya Burger is surprisingly tasty thanks to its liberal inclusion of Gouda cheese, chorizo, jalapeno peppers and barbecue sauce.

Did we find the hamburger of our western dreams at Modelier? No, we did not. (Bucharest hamburgers have the texture of meatloaf, which is not our personal preference.)

What we did find was a fun spot with cool graffiti, tasty grub, cold beer and refreshing lemonade. We liked Modelier so much that we ate in the restaurant’s colorful outdoor terrace three times during our visit – a claim that we can’t make about many other Bucharest restaurants.

Pro Tip: Don’t fret if it rains during your meal at Modelier. In addition to its funky terrace, the restaurant’s interior is set in a gorgeous interbelic building.

Modelier is located at Strada Duzilor 12, Bucureşti 021472, Romania.

Ză Lokal

Hamburger at Za Lokal in Bucharest Romania

Za Lokal serves gourmet hamburgers with a Romanian twist.

With its open kitchen and cheerful decor, Ză Lokal is a solid choice for hamburgers and pasta near central Bucharest’s Victoria Square. Our burger’s large, crumbly patty was constructed correctly, something we can’t say for most burgers we ate in Bucharest. Since we were less enthused about the burger’s blue cheese topping and overly sweet sauce, we’ll order a plain burger here next time.

Pro Tip:  Ză Lokal tends to get crowded during peak dining hours.

Ză Lokal is located at Calea Victoriei 214, Bucureşti, Romania.

Mikkeller Bucharest

Chicken Sandwich at Mikkeller in Bucharest Romania

The spicy fried chicken sandwich at Mikkeller Bucharest is loaded with kimchi coleslaw and chili ginger mayonnaise.

Literally upstairs from BOB Coffee Lab, Mikkeller Bucharest serves Danish craft beer and elevated bar food in an upscale setting. The bar has 20 beers on tap at any given time with interesting flavors like the cherry chocolate beer that we drank during our visit. The brew pub’s eclectic food menu includes a varied collection of starters and sandwiches in addition to larger dishes.

Pro Tip:  Plan to drink just one or two beers at Mikkeller Bucharest. Though excellent, these craft beers are relatively expensive for Bucharest.

Mikkeller Bucharest is located at Charles de Gaulle 3 Square, Bucharest, Romania.

Gyros Thes Salonikis

Gyros Thessalonikis in Bucharest Romania

Unlike the gyros that we found in Old Town, the gyros served at Gyros Thessalonikis are reasonably priced flavor bombs.

After we discovered Gyros Thessalonikis across from the Bucharest Mall and near our second Bucharest Airbnb apartment, we became repeat visitors at the casual eatery with a wide selection of Greek and Cypriot fast food.

Ironically, we’re not Gyros Thessalonikis’ only fans. It turns out that many of Bucharest’s Uber drivers also love the tasty, reasonably priced gyros. Who knew?!

Pro Tip:  Save room for dessert! The baklava is quite tasty.

Gyros Thessalonikis is located at Calea Vitan 58, Bucureşti, Romania,

La Plăcinte

Mici at La Placinte in Bucharest Romania

Did we mention that we love mici? Lucky for us, this Romanian favorite is available all over Bucharest including at La Placinte.

The more we walked around Bucharest, the more we noticed the La Plăcinte chain of diners sprinkled throughout the city. We finally ate at one and found the casual eatery to be a good option for a quick meal at a reasonable cost. Menu options include a range of sweet and savory Moldovan specialties including grilled meats and polenta.

Pro Tip:  Since La Plăcinte literally translates to pie, you can also eat pie at La Placinte.

La Plăcinte has multiple locations in Bucharest.

Latin Pizza

Latin Pizza in Bucharest Romania

Latin Pizza serves Roman-style pizza in the heart of Bucharest.

Romanians have a thing for pizza loaded with toppings. And by toppings, we mean a lot of toppings. We prefer simple pies like the ones we ate in both Naples and Caizzo. This could have been a problem had we not discovered Latin Pizza near our first Airbnb apartment.

Latin Pizza serves freshly made Roman al taglio pizza with top quality ingredients like prosciutto, mozzarella di bufala and spicy sopresatta. Similar to pizzerias in Rome, the shop sells its pizza by the slice and charges by weight.

Pro Tip:  Latin Pizza is open until 2:00 am if you’re hungry after a night out on the town.

Latin Pizza is located at Bulevardul Ion C. Brătianu 34, Bucureşti 030167, Romania.

Desserts

Pastry at Piața Obor in Bucharest Romania

We ate this tasty Placinta Dobrogeana cu Branza Dulce (similar to a sweet cheese strudel) at a pastry shop outside of the Piața Obor market.

Considering Bucharest’s nickname of Little Paris, it’s no surprise that the city has an inordinately large number of shops selling sweet treats. Just like in the original Paris, it’s difficult to walk down a busy Bucharest street without passing a covrigarie (sweet and savory pretzel shop), a gogoserii (donut shop) or a patiserii (pastry shop). With so many of these shops, you might think that there were no other dessert options, but you’d be wrong.

Upscale cafes sell fancier desserts similar to those sold in France, including at Paul, the popular French pastry chain. Plus, many of the best restaurants in Bucharest serve traditional Romanian desserts like Papanași (Romanian donuts). However, if you’re in the mood for a different dessert, check out these great options:

French Revolution

Foret-Noire Eclair at French RevolutionForet-Noire Eclair

Viva la revolution! This Foret-Noire eclair at French Revolution is a flavor bomb thanks to ingredients like sour cherry, dark chocolate, milk chocolate and whipped cream.

Romanian bakers at French Revolution use imported ingredients and local style to create tiny masterpieces that are too pretty to resist. We dare you to try.

As for us, we shared a Forêt-Noire eclair filled with two kinds of chocolate (dark and milk) and topped with whipped cream and sour cherry jelly. Though salted caramel and pistachio are the most popular eclair flavors, there are no bad choices at this classic Bucharest patisserie open since 2013.

Pro Tip:  Can’t pick just one flavor? Go for a box of assorted mini-eclairs instead of one full-size pastry. Your friends will love you forever.

French Revolution has two locations in Bucharest. We were repeat visitors at the original location at Strada Constantin Esarcu 1, București 030167.

Rue du Pain

Mille-Feuille at Rue du Pain in Bucharest Romania

Rue du Pain serves an array of French pastries like this mille-feuille.

Crowds flock for brunch at Rue du Pain in the trendy Floreasca neighborhood. With a design reminiscent of Paris’ Eric Kayser, the artisanal boulangerie solidifies Bucharest’s French connection with its French-inspired pastries, cakes and quiches. In addition to serving eggs, salad and other brunch favorites, Rue du Pain also sells loaves of bread and tempting desserts for take-away at the rear counter.

Pro Tip:  Arrive early for brunch since Rue du Pain does not take reservations.

Rue du Pain is located at Calea Floreasca 111-113, București 01455, Romania.

Ceainaria Infinitea

Cherry Cheesecake at Ceainăria Infinitea in Bucharest Romania

One Cherry Cheesecake and Two Forks

Ceainaria Infinitea, a charming tea house in the Cotroceni neighborhood, is a great spot to relax with a pot of tea and good friends. For our visit, we opted to sit in the tea house’s delightful multi-level garden and share a decadent slice of cherry cheesecake. When we’re back in Bucharest, we plan to return to Ceainaria Infinitea and order the same thing. The cake was that good.

Pro Tip:  In the mood for a cold beverage? Many, if not all, of the tea selections at Ceainaria Infinitea can be served over ice.

Ceainaria Infinitea is located at Strada Doctor Grigore Romniceanu 7, Bucureşti, Romania.

Cremeria Emilia

Gelato at Cremeria Emilia in Bucharest Romania

A double dip of gelato from Cremeria Emilia Gelato is a great dessert to share on a hot Bucharest day.

As hardcore Italian gelato fans, we couldn’t resist checking out Cremeria Emilia, Bucharest’s most lauded ice cream parlor. We liked Cremeria Emilia’s vibe with its long counter, traditional gelato flavors and fanciful design. Apparently, we’re not alone with this sentiment – the Old Town shop always has a line streaming out the door.

Pro Tip:  Don’t get discouraged by the inevitable line at Cremeria Emilia. The costumed servers efficiently dish out ice cream and keep the line moving.

Cremeria Emilia is located Strada Franceză 42, Bucureşti 030167, Romania.

Markets and Specialty Shops

Mici at Piata Amzei in Bucharest Romania

The best Bucharest markets sell food to enjoy at the market or at home. We ate this mici at Piata Amzei.

Every Bucharest neighborhood has at least one market selling fresh produce and local Romanian delicacies. Locals shop at these markets weekly, if not daily, to buy the city’s freshest available produce and meat. Bucharest also has a range of specialty shops selling food items like cheese, bread and more

Piaţa Obor Market

Strawberries at Piata Obor in Bucharest Romania

Piata Obor vendors sell fresh, local produce like these strawberries.

A visit to Piaţa Obor is a must for all food loving visitors. Not only is Piaţa Obor the biggest market in Bucharest, but it’s also the biggest market in Romania. Restauranteurs and bunicas (grandmothers) shop at stalls for items like the fresh strawberries pictured here as well as spices, fish, meat, cheese and even household items.

Pro Tip:  If shopping makes you hungry, stop at one of the market’s outside stands for a pick-me-up mici, beer or pastry.

Mesange Fromagerie

Cheese at Mesange Fromagerie in Bucharest Romania

The European cheese selection at Mesange Fromagerie is varied and well curated.

Every European city needs at least one good cheese shop. Since 2017, Mesange Fromagerie satisfies this requirement in Bucharest. Not your typical Romanian cheese shop, Mesange Fromagerie sources its cheese from independent dairies in countries like France, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland and the UK.

Fondue at Mesange Fromagerie in Bucharest Romania

More than a typical cheese shop, Mesange Fromagerie has a menu featuring items like cheese plates and the fondue pictured here.

Beyond selling great cheese at affordable prices, Mesange Fromagerie takes their shop to a higher level by serving a menu of cheese-friendly dishes, like fondue and raclette, in its stylish space. Shoppers can enjoy sandwiches, salads and soup during the day or return in the evening to share decadent dishes with friends along with a tipple from one of the restaurants fromage compatible wines or beers.

Pro Tip:  You can only order fondue and raclette on certain nights of the week (currently Thursday and Saturday for fondue and Wednesday and Friday for raclette). Check the available dates when you make your dinner reservation.

Mesange Fromagerie is located at Entrance Tudor Ştefan 09, Bucharest 011658, Romania.

 Miez Brutărie Artizanală

Bread at Miez Brutarie Artizanala in Bucharest Romania

The bread selection changes daily at Miez Brutarie Artizanala.

Although Bucharest has solid French boulangeries like the aforementioned Pain Plaisir and Paul, we found our favorite Bucharest baguette at Miez Brutărie Artizanală just off of Piata Amzei. Ironically, this Bucharest bread bakery does not have any specific ties to France.

Self-taught Andrea Carețu opened Miez in December 2016 based on a “passion for cooking” and love of bread. Carețu uses all natural ingredients in the recipes that she constantly tests and tweaks to satisfy her passion.

The results are positive with locals crowding the tiny shop to buy the sweet and savory fruits of her labor. Along with terrific baguettes, Carețu’s bakery also serves a variety of boules, croissants, babka and traditional Romanian cozonac. She also sells top-notch olive loaves on Saturdays.

Pro Tip:  Stock up on baguettes at Miez Brutărie Artizanală. Not only are these loaves the best in town, but they are also a bargain.

Miez Brutărie Artizanală is located at Strada Piata Amzei 10, Bucharest 010345, Romania. They’re closed Mondays

Drinks

Cocktail at Origo in Bucharest Romania

Cheers to the Bucharest drink scene!

With so many great options for Romanian drinks, there is no need to be thirsty in Bucharest. We visited several of the best bars in Bucharest and drank it all during our visit! Though there are plenty of Bucharest pubs serving all varieties of beer, we recommend you check out our favorite spots for the city’s best beverages – coffee, cocktails, wine and lemonade.

Coffee

Cappuccino at Origo in Bucharest Romania

It was almost a shame to dip our biscuit into this expertly brewed cappuccino at Origo.

Bucharest’s cafe culture rivals or surpasses every other city we have visited including Seattle, Naples and Cape Town. We can’t call it the best coffee city in the world because we have yet to visit Melbourne, but we rate Bucharest as one of the world’s best coffee cities.

Pancakes at Frudisiac in Bucharest Romania

Topped with ricotta cheese and fresh fruit, the popular pancakes at Frudisiac provide a tasty start to the day. Add coffee for ultimate enjoyment.

As a bonus, many of the best Bucharest cafes serve food in addition to excellent coffee. Do yourself a favor and order pancakes and avocado toast at Frudisiac. Then walk 15 minutes to BOB Coffee Bar and eat a chocolate chip cookie.

Watch our video to learn more about the third wave coffee scene in Bucharest. Then follow our YouTube channel for meals and conversations with the 2foodtrippers.

Pro Tip:  Bring your laptop with you when you go out for coffee in Bucharest. Most cafes have excellent, unlimited internet available for guests and many are open late if you need to ‘burn the midnight oil.’

Cocktails

Origo Cocktail Bar in Bucharest Romania

Mixologists at Origo craft cocktails with exotic ingredients and an attention to detail.

We don’t usually drink cocktails at coffee bars. However, we were happy to do so in Bucharest since Origo (mentioned above in the coffee section) morphs into an avant-garde cocktail bar when the day turns to night.

We sampled the salty Never See cocktail crafted with Whiskey, Grand Marnier, Saline Solution and Salty Caramel as well as the layered Evolving Flavors cocktail with Whiskey, Orange, Lime and a sweet Apple Juice Foam. Perhaps because it was served in a conch, the Never See cocktail was the winner of the two.

FIX Botanical Bar in Bucharest Romania

Bartender Crismariu Alexandru crafts a Cuba Libre with rum a la Pierre, white trash cola cordial and lime soda.

Origo is not alone in its elevation of the cocktail scene in Bucharest. Other notable Bucharest bars include Gardina EDEN, FIX  Botanic Bar, Interbelic and Pure Vida Sky Bar.

Pro Tip:  Leave the shoteria bars in Old Town to the bachelor party revelers and treat yourself to a quality cocktail (or two) when you explore the Bucharest nightlife.

Bob Coffee Lab is located at Piața Charles de Gaulle 3, București, Romania.
Gardina EDEN is located at Calea Victoriei 107, București, Romania.

FIX Botanical Bar is located at Palatul Universul, Etaj 1, Strada Ion Brezoianu 23, București, Romania.
Frudisiac is located at  Entrance Bitolia 4, Bucharest 011677, Romania.
Interbelic is located at Calea Victoriei 17, București 030023, Romania.
Origo is located at Strada Lipscani 9, București 050971, Romania.
Pure Vida Sky Bar is located at Strada Smârdan 7, București 030077, Romania.

Lemonade

Lemonade at Atelier Pinion in Bucharest Romania

Lemonade is a popular drink in Bucharest. Many versions, like this one at Atelier Pinion, are served with fresh fruit and mint leaves.

We never knew that lemonade was a ‘thing’ until we visited Bucharest and drank our first glass of limonadă. We then proceeded to drink many more glasses with various fruits and flavors added to the mix. Refreshing in the summer and tasty in the winter, it’s always a good time to drink lemonade in Bucharest.

Pro Tip:  Sip your lemonade through a straw. It’s the best way to savor the popular non-alcoholic beverage in Bucharest.

Lemonade is located everywhere in Bucharest.

Wine

Laura Copil at VINO Wines + More in Bucharest Romania

Laura Copil brings her love for wine to work every day at VINO Wines + More, a combination wine shop and enoteca.

Though it’s one of the world’s largest wine producers, Romania remains a hidden gem when it comes to wine. Beyond the cheap wine sold in grocery stores throughout the city, upscale wine bars are serving solid Romanian wines including varietals like Fetească Albă, Crâmpoșie, Fetească Regală, and Feteasca Neagră.

We first experienced quality wine at the restaurant Pâine şi Vin (see above). We then found our Bucharest happy place when we stumbled into Vino Wines + More while walking around the city’s original Old Town (located Northeast of the city center).

Part wine store and part enoteca, VINO Wines + More sells hundreds of bottles of wines from Romania and around the world. Owner Laura Copil welcomed us into her wine haven and plied us with quality glasses and a plate loaded with local cheese and meat. Is it any wonder that we fell in love at first sip?

Pro Tip:  Be prepared to socialize with Romanian people at VINO Wines + More. The eclectic neighborhood crowd gets friendlier throughout the night.

Vino Wines + More is located at Strada Mihai Eminescu 71, București 030167, Romania.

Food Experiences

Garlic Workshop Snacks in Bucharest Romania

Bucharest food experiences provide the opportunity to learn about and taste local foods like these garlic-infused tapas starters.

We partook in two food experiences during our first visit to Bucharest as part of our participation in Experience Bucharest. Both experiences provided us with a fun, educational introduction to Romanian food in general and the Bucharest food scene in particular. We recommend the following experiences if you’re wondering what to eat in Bucharest.

Food Tour

Delish Experiences Food Tour in Bucharest Romania

Daryl is in his element during our Delish Experiences food tour.

Delish Experiences offers three different gastronomic tours that focus on Bucharest’s culinary scene as well as the city’s history, culture and traditions. Led by a seasoned Bucharest guide, our three-hour tour took us on a journey that included traditional Romanian peasant food, an upscale dining experience and cups of third wave coffee.

We learned, we laughed and we ate a lot of good food during this recommended Bucharest food tour. All in all, it was a good way to spend the afternoon.

Click here to book a Delish Experiences Food Tour.

Garlic Themed Meal

Garlic Workshop in Bucharest Romania

Garlic is an important ingredient in Bucharest’s cuisine, culture and history.

Once upon a time in a land called Romania, there was an evil dude named Vlad the Impaler a/k/a Count Dracula…

An exploration of Bucharest would be incomplete without a nod to Romania’s colorful past and the legends that surround the country’s history. And what better way to explore this past than through the country’s food culture?

Our My Secret Romania experience included fascinating stories about the role that garlic has played in Romanian history, Romanian food and Romanian culture. Plus, we got to eat garlic in tapas, soup, potatoes and tomato salad. Needless to say, we left the meal with a heightened appreciation for the versatile vegetable.

Click here to book a Garlic Themed Meal with My Secret Romania.

Things To Do in Bucharest

Bucharest Romanian Athenaeum

The Athenaeum is just one of many Bucharest attractions to visit.

Bucharest has plenty to do beyond food. When you visit, here are some ideas for how you should spend your leisure time:


Hungry for more? Check out our Bucharest Cafe Guide with the best spots to drink coffee in the city.

If you like taking food tours around the world, check out our favorites food tours for inspiration.


Book Your Bucharest Hotel

We stayed at Hotel Novotel Bucharest City City Centre for five days, and we highly recommend the centrally located hotel. Click here to research the best rates for hotels in Bucharest.

We also stayed at three Airbnb apartments in different Bucharest neighborhoods. This type of accommodation is a great option if you are staying for an extended time and want to cook some of your meals.

Click here to arrange car service from the airport to your hotel.

Book a Tour

There’s more to do in Bucharest than eat and drink. Click here to find an awesome Bucharest tour or try one of these tours:

Buy a Travel Guide

Check out the best Bucharest restaurants, cafes and bars in our Bucharest food guide. We include some of the best spots for traditional Romanian food as well as mmodern food choices. | Romania | What to Eat in Bucharest | Where to Eat in Bucharest | Bucharest Food Guide | Bucharest Restaurants | Bucharest Dining Guide | Europe | #Bucharest #Romania #TravelTips

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Comments

  1. All of these dishes look well… delicious! 🙂 I never thought about Bucharest but now am going to research it. 🙂

    1. Author

      Hopefully, you’ll be able to research Bucharest food in person. We highly recommend a “research” visit.

  2. Oh wow! That was a LOT of dishes! Who knew Bucharest was such a gastronomic treasure trove! I have never been – but this is another reason to go! (I loved the pictures from The Artist – such beautiful servings!)

    X Louise

    1. Author

      We’re happy to give you another reason to visit Bucharest. When you go, be sure to make a reservation at The ARTIST in advance so that you’re not disappointed.

  3. I love the look of the food board at PÂINE ȘI VIN – great mix of things to sample. What a comprehensive guide to Bucharest food. How long were you there for?

    1. Author

      You will love PÂINE ȘI VIN when you visit Bucharest! As for us, we were in Bucharest for one month.

  4. A whole month? How marvellous that you got to spend so long there! Were you there for a project or did you just fall in love and decide to stay so long? Looks like you really had time to come to grips with the Bucharest dining scene, love that you’ve covered such a wide range from fine dining to casual, from pizza to kebab, it all looks really great. We were planning to go to Bucharest later this month for their blogger experience but sadly I had to pull out as I’ve been sick recently and missed a week of work, so can’t justify taking more time out so soon after. But hope we can visit sometime in the next year.

    1. Author

      We like to spend a good amount of time in a city when we’re preparing a food guide so that we have time to more deeply investigate the local food scene. This is why we decided to stay for an extended time after participating in the Experience Bucharest project. Hopefully, you’ll get better soon so that you can visit Bucharest sooner than later!

  5. The perfect pics of food guide. I still find them inspiring., because i like cooking. I always try to find something special about food, thanks for sharing.

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