Traveling, we’ve eaten a lot of really delicious menu items and had an equal share of truly terrible restaurant fare. Some cities were better than others for offering a selection of great places to eat, Bucharest, Romania was one of those delightful destinations!
In a lot of cities we’ve visited, restaurants served up local specialties done well but really sucked at preparing dishes not native to their country. Great pizza has been particularly hard to find! But not so in Bucharest, we enjoyed great Romanian food and international dishes we had really been missing, even pizza.
Here are five of our favorite spots to enjoy excellent food in Romania’s capital. We loved Bucharest for many reasons including the great food at these places. They were all so good we still crave their delicious offerings at least a few times a week!
Pizza- a “Petite” hole in the wall
Literally a tiny hole in the wall, Petite is so small the only reason we noticed it was the delicious smell wafting from the order window. Squeezed between two businesses, Petite is more a kiosk than a store front. It is a bakery that offers bread, pastries and some pretty epic pizza, all baked fresh daily. Located on the South side of Piata Rosetti, Petite always has people standing at the order window until they’re sold out. Make sure you visit early (between 11 am and 1 pm) to ensure a good selection. Prices are very cheap, 3 lei ($0.76 USD) for a good sized piece of pizza.
Shawarma- Maybe the best in the world, Shaorma Baneasa
Shaorma Baneasa was by far our favorite place to eat in Bucharest. It was located far from where we were staying in the city, but their food came highly recommended by a foodie friend. The shawarmas they serve were so good we traveled over an hour on the bus to eat some at least once every week we were in Bucharest! The shaorma mare (large shwarma) were huge and very cheap at 13 lei or$3.50 USD. Shaorma Baneasa is located in the North end of Bucharest on Strada Gratioasa. Make sure you get garlic sauce on your shawarma, it is absolutely outstanding!
Mexican- Almost like being in Mexico at El Torito
It was cold and snowy the night we walked into El Torito with a group of friends. The atmosphere was warm and bright it almost felt like we weren’t in Romania anymore! The food was fresh and tasty and the excellent margaritas definitely helped us all feel festive. Live mariachi music and a marionette performance made the experience even more fun. The menu had everything you’d expect to find in a Mexican restaurant and all the meals we enjoyed were so good! Prices were as excellent as the margaritas, the most expensive item on the menu is 39 lei, that’s $10 USD!
Indian- Great Flavor at Haveli
The decor and the cuisine at Haveli were impressive! This was another restaurant suggestion from our foodie friend and Haveli did not disappoint. The food was was excellent quality, very tasty and the presentation was lovely. The night we visited it was very quiet in the restaurant. That always makes me nervous about the food, especially when we’re the only ones in the restaurant. There was no need to worry, in this case, the food, the service, and the prices were all surprisingly great. Average price for chicken and lamb dishes is 35 lei ($9 USD).
Steeped In History- Caru’ cu Bere
Circa 1869, Caru’ cu Bere is still drawing crowds in search of great beer and delicious Romanian fare. Bucharest’s oldest brewery, Caru’ cu Bere is considered by some to be a bit of a tourist trap. Having heard this, we had planned to avoid the popular restaurant and bar.
An invite for dinner by our Airbnb hosts changed our minds and we’re so glad we gave Caru’ cu Bere a chance! The experience was amazing. The architecture was stunning, the atmosphere was sophisticated and warm and the food was authentic and excellent.
There are a lot of really great restaurants in Bucharest. These five were definitely our favorite but just a small sampling of what’s available.
Have you had good luck eating a wide variety of delicious food while traveling? What city is your favorite for food?