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Entertain yourself with food in Bucharest, Romania

Entertain yourself with food in Bucharest, Romania

by George Black
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Table of contents

  • 1. Roasted eggplant salad is a traditional Romanian summer dish
  • 2. Tripe soup is a rare but simple delicacy
  • 3. Enjoy a hearty, healthy bean soup
  • 4. Mâmâligâ is the Romanian polenta
  • 5. Cozonac is the local sweet bread
  • 6. Ciorbă is for sour dish lovers
  • 7. Taro is perfect for a meat soup
  • 8. Stuffed peppers are spicy and exotic
  • 9. Plăcintă is for flaky, tasty pie enjoyers
  • 10. Jumari is a traditional pig broth
  • Conclusion
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Bucharest is not only the capital and the largest city of Romania but also its cultural, industrial, and financial center. Tourists, investors, cultural researchers, students, teachers, and people from all walks of life visit this bustling city in pursuit of business and pleasure. Romanian food is famous worldwide, but the street food and traditional eats served at Bucharest restaurants will intrigue even the most seasoned foodies. Here are some mouthwatering local dishes worth checking out while in Bucharest.

1. Roasted eggplant salad is a traditional Romanian summer dish
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Zexe
#106 of 4734 restaurants in Bucharest, Romania
Bulevardul Aviatorilor 40, Bucharest, Romania
Open until 10PM

Here, you can expect to find a vast array of the most authentic Romanian foods, including a Romanian classic: roasted eggplant salad.

Typically served cold, roasted eggplant salad is a simple, staple summer dish eaten in Romania to satisfy appetites while beating the heat. Traditionally made with fresh roasted eggplant, sunflower oil, diced onions, lemon juice, and garlic, this dish is similar to the Mediterranean eggplant dip, baba ghanoush.

Often served as part of an appetizer platter or atop toasted bread with cheese or tomatoes, this hearty roasted eggplant salad is light, nutrient-dense, and all-around satisfying.

Start your exploration of Bucharest's food scene at Zexe.

2. Tripe soup is a rare but simple delicacy
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La Nuci
#9 of 4734 restaurants in Bucharest, Romania
Strada Urziceni 28, Afumați, Ilfov County, Romania
Open until 10PM
Tripe soup
Tripe soup

It's something between a soup and meat stew. No surprise, the dish is made of thin strips of beef tripe. Rich taste, very nourishing. This soup is very popular in Central and Eastern Europe.

Around the 1800s, nearby nations began to influence the ingredients and dishes eaten in Romania. One delicious new introduction from Greece was tripe, the edible lining of a cow's stomach. As such, it provides a savory, fatty flavor and a distinctly chewy texture thanks to the abundance of muscle and tissue in this part of the animal's body.

Tripe soup (or ciorba de burta) is a beloved traditional food in Romania — a delicacy typically reserved for holidays or special occasions, but those who know where to find it will eat it as often as they can. Usually made by boiling beef bones to extract the fatty, tender flavor of cartilage, this soup includes tender cooked tripe, hot peppers, plenty of fresh garlic, and sour cream to make it rich and creamy. It's a salty, savory soup simmering with bold flavors. Enjoy it as a comfort meal on a chilly day or as a hearty dinner you'll want to have again and again.

Restaurant La Nuci is the right spot for food like tripe soup.

3. Enjoy a hearty, healthy bean soup
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Noa Restoclub
#77 of 4734 restaurants in Bucharest, Romania
Calea Victoriei 26, Bucharest, Romania
Open until 12AM
Bean soup
Bean soup

The main ingredients are beans, tomatoes, celery, and carrots. The soup can be served both hot and cold. A cold version of the dish is seasoned with a lot of lemon juice, which makes the soup more light and refreshing. And to the hot bean broth, you can add black ground pepper and a little more tomatoes that have a warming effect.

When it comes to local cuisine in Bucharest, you probably won't find a restaurant that doesn't serve up steaming bowls of fresh bean soup all day Iong. Bean soup or ciorbâ de fasole is a hearty soup featuring beans and plenty of vegetables like carrots, parsnips, onion, celery root, and red peppers. With the aromas of fresh thyme, this comforting soup is a staple on most menus.

At Noa Restoclub, all the cuisines are raved about, but you won't meet anyone who doesn't love their bean soup. A perfect starter or side to a wholesome, healthy lunch, the restaurant includes tender smoked pork for plenty of extra mouthwatering flavors.

Noa Restoclub offers both traditional and contemporary food.

4. Mâmâligâ is the Romanian polenta
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Hanu' Berarilor Casa Oprea Soare
#234 of 4734 restaurants in Bucharest, Romania
Strada Poenaru Bordea 2, Bucharest, Romania
Open until 11PM
Mamaliga
Mamaliga

Traditionally being a peasant food, mamaliga is very popular nowadays in Moldova, Romania, Georgia and other countries. It's known as polenta in Italy and Switzerland. This porridge is cooked from cornmeal or yellow maize flour boiled in water.

Centuries ago, polenta (known in Romania as mâmâligâ) was a dish eaten by peasants and travelers due to its simple ingredients and even simpler cooking methods. Though it is now made in various ways across the globe, polenta is traditionally a dish made by boiling cornmeal and water into a paste-like consistency.

In Romania, mămăligă is often made with cornmeal, water, and salt, while some variations include butter, sour cream, or a pinch of hot pepper. At Hanu' Berarilor Casa Oprea Soare, the flavorful and hearty polenta is often served with sour cream, egg, and cheese. This dish works well as an appetizer or as a side. In fact, the national dish of Romania is actually sarmale cu mamaliga si carnati, and polenta is served alongside pork and stuffed cabbage.

Hanu' Berarilor Casa Oprea Soare is perfect for a serious meal.

5. Cozonac is the local sweet bread
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Cofetaria Vanilla
#112 of 726 restaurants with desserts in Bucharest, Romania
Șoseaua Mihai Bravu 47 Parter, Bucharest, Romania
Open until 8:30PM
Cozonac
Cozonac

It's a Stollen alternative, a Romanian and Moldovan sweet leavened bread. It's traditionally cooked for important events and served at Christmas and Easter. The main ingredients are milk, yeast, eggs and sugar, they are mixed with nuts, raisins and candied fruits.

There are plenty of savory Romanian foods, but a delectable world of traditional Romanian sweets will satisfy any pastry-lover. For example, cozonac is a thick, sweet leavened bread that has been a classic treat in Romania for centuries. Often called Romanian Easter bread, this baked good is simple to make and has a fancy appearance thanks to the swirls of nutty almond paste or cocoa throughout the loaf. This makes it popular for holidays like Easter and other special occasions.

On a basic level, cozonac is made with yeast, butter, and eggs, but most variations include citrus zest and dried fruits, nuts, or chocolate for the swirly filling. At Cofetaria Vanilla, the beloved cozonac is doughy and decadent, featuring the lovely flavors of vanilla, lemon, rum, nuts, raisins, and cocoa.

The best option for sweets would be Cofetaria Vanilla.

6. Ciorbă is for sour dish lovers
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Ciorbărie
#232 of 4734 restaurants in Bucharest, Romania
Strada Mihai Eminescu 114, Bucharest, Romania
Open until 10PM
Ciorba
Ciorba

It's a kind of sour stew or soup made from pork, chicken or beef, vegetables and sauerkraut or lemon juice. Noodles, eggs and sour cream can be added with herbs.

Good food in Bucharest is everywhere, but most of your meals should include some form of ciorbă. In Romanian, "ciorbă" refers to sour, vegetable-based soups with plenty of variety, as you might imagine. These soups are typically flavored with tangy lemon juice, vinegar, borscht, or other local ingredients to give them their sour tang.

A common ciorbă is the ciorbă de perisoare, Romanian meatball soup. Locals in Bucharest likely grew up eating this soup often, as it contains easy-to-find ingredients, plenty of nutrition, and lots of comforting flavors. At Ciorbârie, you can expect to find a meatball soup (and plenty of other traditional soups) that deserves five stars. Flavored by borscht, salt, and parsley, this soup simmers with onion, carrot, celery, tomato, pumpkin, red pepper, and rice, with hearty beef and pork meatballs to top the whole thing off.

You can always find good ciorbă at Ciorbărie.

7. Taro is perfect for a meat soup
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Hard Rock Cafe Bucharest
#136 of 2462 cafes in Bucharest, Romania
Şoseaua Pavel D. Kiseleff 32, Bucharest, Romania
Open until 12AM
Taro
Taro

Taro is a root vegetable that has a nutty taste when cooked. It’s a well-known dish in the Cypriot cuisine and is generally cooked in tomato sauce with pork or chicken.

Local cuisine in Bucharest often includes taro root, a common ingredient in Asia. Like potatoes, taro root is a starchy vegetable with lots of nutrients and a subtly sweet taste. It is commonly used in stews, including traditional meat soup and ciorbä de vâcutä.

Even though taro soup is not the most common food in Romania, its exotic flavour adds to the city's atmosphere if you're willing to explore new options.

Venues like Hard Rock Cafe have taro on the menu.

8. Stuffed peppers are spicy and exotic
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the ARTIST Restaurant
#14 of 4734 restaurants in Bucharest, Romania
Calea Victoriei 147, Bucharest, Romania
Temporarily closed
Stuffed peppers
Stuffed peppers

Stuffed peppers are a dish of Bulgarian, Moldovan, Romanian, Georgian, as well as Azerbaijani and Kosovan cuisine. It is prepared from the sweetened pepper, which is purified from seeds and filled with minced meat, rice, and grated tomatoes.

Romanian stuffed peppers (ardei umpluți) are an all-around great dish for any occasion. Packed with a variety of nutrients and plenty of bold flavors, these spiced peppers are satisfying and hearty. Typically using sweet Hungarian peppers or red bell peppers, locals use ground pork filling to make this dish, often including rice, sour cream, a tomato-based sauce, onions, and herbs in the mixture.

ARTIST  has some of the best-stuffed peppers with original Balkan recipes and some decent international dishes.

9. Plăcintă is for flaky, tasty pie enjoyers
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Trattoria Mezzaluna
#3 of 4734 restaurants in Bucharest, Romania
Strada Crăciun 3, Bucharest, Romania
Open until 10:30PM
Plăcintă
Plăcintă

This dish is an authentic Romanian and Moldovan recipe. Plăcintă is a delicious fried pastry filled with cheese or bryndza. The word means a cake in Latin and originated in Ancient Rome where these pastries were made of fine flour, cheese, honey and bay leaves.

Plăcintă is a traditional Romanian pastry. It is often filled with a wide variety of ingredients, most plăcintă start with a flaky dough. In Bucharest, plăcintă usually refers to popular street food, a simple cheese-stuffed pie commonly made with flaky filo pastry. At Bucharest restaurants, you can find more than just cheese fillings — although they offer a huge, fluffy cheese-stuffed pie that is sure to satisfy. From shallow, round pies stuffed with a fresh cabbage or sweet cherries to hand-held pastries filled with tangy saurkraut or a hearty mix of meats, there is plăcintă to enjoy at any time of day!

Pastry becomes the basis of nearly every delectable dish at Trattoria Mezzaluna. Moreover, this place is a hidden gem for pasta lovers.

10. Jumari is a traditional pig broth
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Rocca by The Jar
#216 of 4734 restaurants in Bucharest, Romania
Str. Theodor Aman 36, Bucharest, Romania
Open until 10PM

Pork is a common ingredient in traditional Romanian food, and every bit of the animal is used and enjoyed. Pork jumari are known as "pork cracklings," made by deep-frying bits of fatty pork belly or pork rinds. The result is a greasy, salty, tender bite of crispy pork.

Eating these crunchy fried pork bites on holidays or as appetizers is typical, often served alongside bread, raw onions, and a strong shot of Romanian plum brandy to wash it all down!

Check out broths and other meat dishes at Rocca by The Jar if you want to do it in style.

Conclusion

Bucharest is one of the cities that preserves the spirit of old Europe. So if you take a day out of your busy schedule looking for Dracula, try some of the best local food.

What is your favourite Romanian dish?

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1 comment

J
Jackson Mitchell (Guest) 8 months ago Request content removal

Wow, I am definitely adding Bucharest to my foodie travel bucket list! The roasted eggplant salad sounds like a must-try for me, especially with the combination of sunflower oil, onions, lemon juice, and garlic. It seems like a refreshing and healthy dish that would be perfect for a hot summer day. I can't wait to check out Zexe and start my exploration of Bucharest's food scene.

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