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Entertain yourself with food in Bucharest, Romania

Entertain yourself with food in Bucharest, Romania

by George Black

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. Simple yet satisfying roasted eggplant salad is a traditional Romanian summer dish
Simple yet satisfying roasted eggplant salad is a traditional Romanian summer dish
#186 of 6109 restaurants in Bucharest
Eastern European, European, Central European
Bulevardul Aviatorilor 40, Bucharest, Romania
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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
Tripe soup is a rare but simple delicacy
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.

#11 of 6109 restaurants in Bucharest #1 of 31 restaurants in Afumați #1 of 40 restaurants in Ștefăneștii de Jos
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Strada Urziceni 28, Afumați, Ilfov County, Romania
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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
Enjoy a hearty, healthy bean <span>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.

#1 of 267 steak restaurants in Bucharest
Eastern European, Italian, Central European, Steakhouses
Calea Victoriei 26, Bucharest, Romania
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 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, Noa Restoclub includes tender smoked pork for plenty of extra mouthwatering flavors.

Noa Restoclub offers both traditional and contemporary food.

4. Mamaliga is the Romanian polenta
Mamaliga is the Romanian polenta
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.

#75 of 3710 pubs & bars in Bucharest
Eastern European
Strada Poenaru Bordea 2, Bucharest, Romania
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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
Cozonac is the local sweet bread
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.

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Șoseaua Mihai Bravu nr. 47, Bucharest, Romania
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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. Ciorba is for sour dish lovers
Ciorba is for sour dish lovers
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.

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Strada Mihai Eminescu 114, Bucharest, Romania
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Good food in Bucharest is everywhere, but most of your meals should include some form of ciorba. In Romanian, "ciorba" 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 ciorba is the ciorba 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 ciorba at Ciorbărie.

7. Taro is perfect for a meat soup
Taro is perfect for a meat soup
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.

#23 of 3471 cafes in Bucharest
American
Şoseaua Pavel D. Kiseleff 32, Bucharest, Romania
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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
Stuffed peppers are spicy and exotic
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.

#6 of 6109 restaurants in Bucharest
European, Contemporary
Calea Victoriei 147, Bucharest, Romania
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Romanian stuffed peppers (ardei umpluti) 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. Placinte is for flaky, tasty pie enjoyers
Placinte is for flaky, tasty pie enjoyers
Placinte

This dish is an authentic Romanian and Moldovan recipe. Placinte are delicious fried pastries 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.

#597 of 6109 restaurants in Bucharest
Eastern European, European, Central European
Bulevardul General Gheorghe Magheru 26, Bucharest, Romania
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Placinte are traditional Romanian pastries. It is often filled with a wide variety of ingredients, most placinte start with a flaky dough. In Bucharest, placinte 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 are placinte to enjoy at any time of day!

Pastry becomes the basis of nearly every delectable dish at La Plâcinte, which even translates to "the pie."

10. Jumari is a traditional pig broth
Jumari is a traditional pig broth
#69 of 3710 pubs & bars in Bucharest
Asian, European, Thai
Str. Theodor Aman 36, Bucharest, Romania
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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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Entertain yourself with food in Bucharest, Romania