In Bucharest, there are unique views over the city and the bad parking jobs are kind of fun to watch, but it was the food scene that left us wanting more. We chowed down on homestyle comfort food, meaty dishes, and melt in your mouth desserts, wishing we could stay longer. If you’re heading this way, here are our recommendations for what to eat in Bucharest, Romania.
Gulaș de cartofi cu afumătură
Soup is soul-food for me and I couldn’t get enough of potato goulash with smoked meat. It’s a classic Romanian soup similar to gulaš we ate in Czech Republic or Hungary but the Romanian version is loaded with ingredients.
Sarmale is saucy cabbage leaves stuffed with meaty goodness, rice and sometimes vegetables. They say cabbage rolls left over 2-3 days taste even better.
Moldavian Meat Pie
Romanian cuisine is a mix of influences like German, Bulgarian, Serbian, and Hungarian. Meat pies which stem from Moldavian culture, are popular with locals.
Mititei or mici is a jam packed sausage with three different types – an awesome-ness mix of ground beef, lamb, and pork with garlic, black pepper and paprika spice. It’s sometimes served with slightly hot adjika sauce.
Papanași is a traditional donut dessert served with preserved fruit jam, and soft cheese (similar to sour cream). You can also try gogoși which is a donut pocket (without the hole) filled with fruit jam.
Covrigi is the ultimate street food! They are salty-sweet, rolled up rings injected with sweet fruit jam and sometimes chocolate. How can you resist? The best ones are from Gigi near Kilometre Zero. You can watch the bakers roll them out in the dozens from their store-front window. This shop was dangerously too close to our flat.
Caru’ cu Bere in the Old Town should be the very first stop on your food list. It’s a 135-year old restaurant located in a historically-designated building from 1879. Having lunch or dinner here is nothing like you’ve experienced. This place makes you feel like you’ve entered another era!
In addition to all the dishes above, you have to try the homemade lemonade! They also serve a daily lunch menu for amazing value – 18 RON (about $6 Canadian).
La Placinte is a Romanian restaurant that serves local dishes. Normally I stay away from chain restaurants but our Airbnb host recommended this one for its home-style dishes and really good prices. He was right. Just don’t ask for tap water. It’s “impossible”.
I didn’t spend nearly enough time in Bucharest but it’s at the top of my list of places I plan to return to. If you’ve ever been to Romania, I would love to hear your suggestions for things to eat, see or do.