Table of Contents
- Bucharest Food Guide
- Modern Bucharest Restaurants
- Traditional Romanian Food in Bucharest
- Bucharest Cheap Eats
- Bucharest Desserts
- Bucharest Markets and Specialty Shops
- Bucharest Bars and Coffee Shops
- Bucharest Food Experiences
- Things To Do in Bucharest
- Plan Your Bucharest Stay
- Thirsty for Coffee in Bucharest?
- Pin It for Later
- About the Authors
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.
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.
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. 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).
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.
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.
Bucharest Food Guide
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
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.
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 leader in new Romanian cuisine, serves 100% local products in a modern new space. The innovative 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. He brings a combination of youthful energy and culinary excellence to the Kane kitchen.
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 the 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.
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.
Bring a credit card. Kane only accepted cash payments at the time of our visit.
Kane is located at Strada Dianei 9, București 020971, Romania.
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.
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.
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 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.
The restaurant’s chic design includes an airy dining room in a converted Bucharest A-frame attic, but the magic happens in Maize’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.
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 loaded charcuterie plate featuring locally raised dried beef and Romanian pork from both white and mangalitsa pigs.
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 epitome of casual, chef-driven dining that we love.
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.
Reserve a spot at the chef’s table for an intimate dining experience.
Maize is located at Strada Paris 61A, București 011815, Romania.
Pâine şi Vin
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.
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.
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.
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.
More than one person recommended Simbio to us as the best place to eat brunch in Bucharest. 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.
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.
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.
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 in Bucharest
We were immediately comfortable with traditional Romanian food. Much of the cuisine 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 Romanian 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). These dishes are as tasty as they are comforting.
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 serves one kind of classic Romanian food and one kind only – soup. Open since December 2016, Ciobarie now with multiple 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.
Though its 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 laid back atmosphere adds to the experience. In fact, we’d be regulars if we lived in Bucharest.
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.
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.
During our feast at Zexe Zahana, we inhaled starters like local sheep cheese, pickled vegetables and fried lardons. However, 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.
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 is an urban oasis near the Cismigiu Gardens. This traditional restaurant serves some of the city’s best Romanian food in relaxed 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.
Start your meal with a shot of Țuică, a strong yet sweet Romanian plum brandy. Not only will this popular aperitif whet your palette, but it will also enhance your mood.
Vatra Restaurant is located at 010131, Strada Actor Ion Brezoianu 19, Bucureşti 030167, Romania.
Caru’ cu Bere
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.
Though Caru’ cu Bere wasn’t our favorite restaurant in Bucharest, we recommend the restaurant’s signature dish – slowly roasted pork knuckle served with braised cabbage, mămăligă (polenta), fresh horseradish, pickles and green chili peppers.
Server Orlando Grecu advised us that this signature dish was large enough for us to share. He didn’t lie. It was so big that we took half of the meat back to our Airbnb apartment and cooked it with pasta the next night and had enough to feed four people.
Avoid potential disappointment by specifying your preference for indoor or outdoor seating when making your reservation.
Caru’ cu Bere is located at Strada Stavropoleos 5, Bucureşti 030081, Romania.
Bucharest Cheap Eats
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 when we crave fast food in Bucharest:
The team behind popular Origo has opened Trofic in a nearby sun-drenched 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.
Similar to Origo, laptops are not allowed inside Trofic.
Trofic is located at Street Actor Ion Brezoianu 29, Bucharest, Romania.
Galli, Rôtisserie Française
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.
In a rush? Order your meal to take away. Better yet, call for delivery.
Galli, Rôtisserie Française is located at Strada General Christian Tell 6-8, București 010384, Romania.
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.
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.
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.
We were less enthused about the burger’s blue cheese topping and overly sweet sauce. Accordingly, we’ll order a plain burger the next time we eat at Ză Lokal.
Ză Lokal tends to get crowded during peak dining hours.
Ză Lokal is located at Calea Victoriei 214, Bucureşti, Romania.
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. Be sure to order a dish or two with your beer.
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
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?!
Save room for dessert! Cypriot baklava is quite tasty.
Gyros Thessalonikis is located at Calea Vitan 58, Bucureşti, Romania,
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 spot for a quick meal at a reasonable cost.
La Plăcinte’s menu includes a range of sweet and savory Moldovan specialties including grilled meats and polenta. Options abound for both carnivores and vegetarians.
Since La Plăcinte literally translates to pie, you can also eat pie at La Placinte.
La Plăcinte has multiple locations in Bucharest.
Romanians have a thing for pizza loaded with toppings. And by toppings, we mean a lot of toppings. In fact, loaded slices are one of the most popular Romanian fast food options.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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
With a design reminiscent of Paris’ Eric Kayser, Rue de Pan solidifies Bucharest’s French connection with its French-inspired pastries, cakes and quiches. This artisanal boulangerie is the best place to eat Paris pastries in Bucharest.
Crowds flock for brunch in the trendy Floreasca neighborhood but brunch time isn’t the only time to visit Rue de Pan. In addition to serving eggs, salad and other brunch favorites, the café also sells loaves of bread and tempting desserts for takeaway at the rear counter.
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, 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 cherry cheesecake was that good.
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.
As hardcore Italian gelato fans, we couldn’t resist checking out Gioelia Cremeria, Bucharest’s most lauded ice cream parlor. We liked Gioelia Cremeria’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.
Don’t get discouraged by the inevitable line at Gioelia Cremeria. The costumed servers efficiently dish out ice cream and keep the line moving.
Gioelia Cremeria is located Strada Franceză 42, Bucureşti 030167, Romania.
Bucharest Markets and Specialty Shops
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
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 together at Piaţa Obor. The market’s stalls sell items like the fresh strawberries pictured here as well as spices, fish, meat, cheese and even household items.
If shopping makes you hungry, stop at one of the market’s outside stands for a pick-me-up mici, beer or pastry.
Piaţa Obor is located at Strada Ziduri Moși 4, București 077085, Romania.
Every European city needs at least one good cheese shop. Since 2017, Mesange Fromagerie satisfies this requirement in Bucharest.
Beyond selling great cheese at affordable prices, the owners of Mesange Fromagerie take 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 one of the restaurant’s cheese-friendly wines or beers.
You can only order fondue and raclette on certain nights of the week. 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
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.
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
Bucharest Bars and Coffee Shops
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.
Bucharest Coffee Shops
The Bucharest 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.
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.
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.’
Watch our video to learn more about the third wave coffee scene in Bucharest.
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.
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.
Leave the shot 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 in Bucharest
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!
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.
Bucharest Wine Bars
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?
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.
Bucharest Food Experiences
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.
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
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.
Things To Do in Bucharest
Bucharest has plenty to do beyond food. When you visit, here are some ideas on how you should spend your leisure time:
Even better, extend your stay and explore the surrounding area by taking one or more day trips from Bucharest.
Plan Your Bucharest Stay
Some businesses may revise their hours and menus due to COVID-19. Others may close, either temporarily or permanently, without notice. Be sure to check websites for updated information and make advance reservations where possible.
Pin It for Later
About the Authors
Daryl & Mindi Hirsch
Saveur Magazine’s BEST TRAVEL BLOG award winners Daryl and Mindi Hirsch share their culinary travel experiences and recipes on the 2foodtrippers website and YouTube. The married Food and Travel content creators live in Lisbon, Portugal.