1879 is the year when Caru cu bere first opened the doors to greet its lively customers with what is suppsoed to be the best beer in Romania.Once you step in, you'd expect to be welcomed by a kind gentleman with a top hat.
Built in a Neo-Gothic style by Zigfrid Kofczinsky ( Austrian architect) , Caru cu bere is not a restaurant but a page in Bucharest's history. The structure and details created the ambiance of a German Beerhalle.
It was used as a set for many classical Romanian movies. I.L.Caragiale and George Cosbuc were among the personalities that marked it as a favorite place to go to.
Caru cu bere has, besides the restaurant itself, also a wine cellar where you dinner is served on live "taraf" music (musical gender typical for parties) or accompanied by cafe singers. And if u're lucky enough as to be there on a night with dancers, u'll be initiated in Romanian basic traditional dance steps.
------DO NOT MISS IT!------
Make sure you book in advance as it is a "hot spot"
May I add that Isa (Belsaita on VT) enjoyed the time we took her there.
Favorite Dish: Sausages under any form :P
And "Tigaie Picanta' (trans: Spicy Pan): chicken and pork mixed with some vegetables and many spices (take a look at the pictures)
Hanul Manuc is also a hotel. To eat, you can either sit below in the square where some barbecues produce nice grilled meats, or you can sit on the balconies surrounding the inner courtyard.
Favorite Dish: Food I described in the previous tip. In general a softdrink (0,33 or 0,5 litre) is about 30.000 lei (80 eurocent approx.).
5 min from Tineretului underground station, on the lake shore in the middle of the park.
Opened recently, good food and most lively atmosphere in the evenings and all along the week-end. Going there is one of the best ways to get under the skin of the young average-income class in Bucharest.
La Mama (the Romanian version of "chez mama") it's the fastest growing network of Romanian restaurants. Highly appreciated for the services and tasty food, it's the perfect place to go to if ur tummy is asking for a delicious soup or a fine barbecue.
A soup is about 3 Euros.
Main dish: 5-7 Euros
Favorite Dish: I advise you to try "Sarmalute cu mamaliguta" (smashed pork and beef, rolled in cabbage with a traditional kind of pudding- typical Romanian dish, it's a MUST ;) ) : 5.5 Euros
Caru cu Bere is a beautiful old German-style restaurant which servers plenty of Romanian specialties, wines, beers and of course and continental menus (if you like). There are also daily folklore entertainment witch starts at 7 PM.
Trattoria Il Calcio is a football-themed restaurant serving Italian food. They have two locations, one close to Piata Romana and Piata Amzei and the other close to Herastrau Park. The one close to Piata Romana is very popular, crowded day and night and a bit of waiting is involved (we once went there at 11.00 at night and still had to wait ten minutes for a table). The food is good, and the same goes for the prices (maybe a little above the average by Romanian standards, but very convenient by Western standards). The service is attentive or at least it was in our case; I've heard some complaints from friends so I guess it depends on the waiter. They serve the usual Italian fare, pastas and pizzas and a number of salads and stakes. The dessert was also good. Expect the noise level to be high.
The restaurants are located at:
Str. Mendeleev 14. Phone no. 0722 134 299
Sos. Nordului 7-9. Phone no. 0724 706 665
If you're searching for a place where good taste meets refinement, come to The Harbour. That's what it's written on the site's intro page.
A lively popular restaurant among ex pats, situated in the heart of Bucharest, The Harbour offers a delightful atmosphere. The waiters are very friendly and can always advise you on what's THE THING to eat.
When we went there last night, I was wondering how come there's a trip playing music from the Mediterranean region, in a place with an English name. But after all...who cares? It's the mood that they created what matters after all.
You can surf on their site. It's in Romanian but click on the menu and then on the names there: everything's translated into English with prices too.
Favorite Dish: Pork tenderloin knitted with beef tenderloin covered with bacon - all 4 of us agreed to go there again just for this dish.
If you are really hungry and with a limited budget, definitely go there. for less than 8 euros you can eat enough for 2 and drink for one whole day.
Favorite Dish: various chicken dishes, special salade, french fries with lods of cheese
This is one of the best places in Bucharest for great atmosphere and great beer! It is a very popular meeting place where people come to hang around and have a good time. The atmosphere is very casual! The restaurant was opened in 1879. There are great decorations inside: columns, arches, chandeliers, a wooden staircase, furniture and murals on the walls and ceiling.
This is not about a single place. Bucharest - and Wallachia for that matter - hosts many small pastry shops (Ro. patiserie) and pretzel shops (Ro. covrigarie / simigerie); usually the farther you go to the North and West in Romania, they are fewer.
A piece of notice is needed here however: a few years ago a company from Timisoara brought a Fornetti franchise system in the country. They pretend they sell pastry. Actually it is frozen dough with (very little and often tasteless) filling that they unfreeze and bake. This has nothing to do with traditional pastry. Even though they spread more and more, with a good marketing campaign against independent, small pastry shops, I vote against them. This has nothing to do with real pastry and here for one Bucharest with its traditions wins at points. Romanian pastry is based on dough made on the spot and baked shortly afterwards, hence its being crisp and tasty. A similar piece of warning goes for the Gogoasa Infuriata chain. Inspired by Dunkin Donuts, their donuts have little, if ever, in common with the bigger and tastier local ones.
One of the best shop for baklava in the city lies on Vatra Luminoasa Street, 200 m. East of the crossing with Mihai Bravu Avenue; but one can find baklava also in La Fourmi and Mega Image supermarkets. As for pastry shops, there are many of them, but I give a special thumb up for the one on Selari Street (on the crossing with Smardan Street) or for the one on Calea Dorobantilor, near the crossing with Slatineanu Street. Or for the ones near Bucuresti Nord railway station (the one on Calea Grivitei 50 m. NW from the crossing with Duca Avenue is great). As for pretzel shops, there is a very good one on Bratianu Avenue, on the ground floor of Cocor Store (on the Raiffeisen Bank side), but there is another just as good one on the corner of Franceza and Selari streets.
Favorite Dish: There can be salty pies (pastry filled with salted cheese, mushrooms, minced pork, spinach, cabbage and even sausages), as well as sweet ones (they are very diverse here, from pastry filled with apples, peaches, berries, sweet cheese, vanilla cream or chocolate, and all the way to the baked apple in dough or to various baklavas). Some places also serve delicious donuts (Ro. gogosi) or langosi (donuts filled with cheese, chocolate, jam). Then there are the "covrigarie"s, selling only large, fresh (i.e. hot) pretzels baked on the spot in special ovens. These are fewer and fewer unfortunately.
There used to be many of these places in Bucharest and generally in the South. Unfortunately there are fewer and fewer. Called "berarie" or "terasa", they used to provide a great, warm atmosphere where regular people used to meet, eat some mici and pickles, drink draft beer in the smoke created by the grill where they cooked the mici. Then they used to debate forever over the eternal topics: politics, women and soccer. There were just a few options and there used to be no menu (or the menu was just a piece of paper in the window). Nowadays there are not so many places like that in the old quarter and I think these too will disappear soon.
The two places of this kind I know in the old quarter include a Berarie on Lipscani Street (50 m. to the East from the National Bank, on your right side) and Columbia, on the crossing of Selari and Franceza streets, just before the Old Court. Mind you they are neither fancy, nor quiet. They shouldn't be so anyway.
For the mici lovers, one can also find them in a few traditional restaurants; the mici at Vatra Restaurant (see my special tip for it) are especially recommended. Otherwise, all Bucharesters know La Cocosatu', a place that started with a berarie just to end with a big restaurant. They have their own butcher shop, preparing the mici meat themselves, and they lie on Str. Neagoe Voda nr. 52A, near Bucharest Baneasa Airport.
Favorite Dish: The mici (minced pork and mutton, mixed with garlic and spices, then grilled and served with mustard), the pickles coming from a large jar, and the draft beer. For there usually is not much more than that anyway.
The first time I was introduced to this establishment was by a friend meeting friends of hers. It's literally the place where people go to relax and meet people. It's a small, smoky, often busy place to relax. Named after the popular beachside location "Vama Veche," it attempts to recreate it by its wooden paneling and seaside decor. Reminiscent of a Red Lobster restaurant in terms of ambiance. Aside from its somewhat tacky decor, it hosts a much younger, hip, friendly university-aged group.
A good place to meet up with friends before or after hitting the discos and club scene.
I would reccomend this only in summer time, when you eat directly in the street. Otherwise, the interior is small and smoggy.
Dishes are good and large for the money you pay (about 30 lei for soup, main dish, desert and a beer or coffee). Because of the quantity, I could never finish dishes there, no matter how hungry i was when starting.
Favorite Dish: gulas and papricas. immense salads
It has been established that I LOVE THE HARD ROCK CAFE - this cafe is the 36th one I have visited. We went at 3pm on a Monday, and it was mostly empty - but it would likely feel that way anyway, since this location is the largest in Europe. After going a little crazy in the Rock Shop, one of the employees, Dana, gave me a tour of the memorabilia. She was a hoot - and we had many laughs. This location has a Michael Jackson Thriller jacket, and a large display of John Lennon memorabilia, including an original Bag One case to carry his artwork. Very cool.
Since we had just eaten mici, we were not hungry, so we did not eat here this time.
Our guide brought us here on our last day, telling us they had the "best mici in Bucharest". We hadn't tried mici yet, so we thought it would be fun. We sat in the outside terrace area and could smell the meat cooking on the grill - it smelled so good! He brought back four plates with 2 sausages each, plus a plate of bread and a plate with mustard. I am not a fan of sausage, but this tasted really good, even though I had to use the bread to take out a lot of the grease. Very inexpensive - I think each piece was 3 RON = $1.
Drinks were more expensive though - my bottle of still water (apa plata) cost 5 RON, where the most I had paid for one the entire week I was in Romania was 2.5 RON.