Bucharest, a Surprising Foodie Destination

This post was originally written for my old travel blog Dream Explore Wander on 13 July 2016.

We’re talking about one of my favourite topics this week: Foodie Paradise! Who doesn’t love to eat during travelling?! For me it is one of the most essential things to do while travelling. Trying out new cuisines is a must so I always make the time, but it also doesn’t mean that I splurge all the time. I also cook (if I stay at an apartment) and make simple sandwiches too, it really depends on my mood. It is important for me not to get hangry (hungry and angry)!

When I moved to Bucharest in 2012 to study there for several months, I was a little worried about the food scenery. I know very little of Romania, I know absolutely nothing of the food there. I was a little nervous when I arrived but also curious of what I would find. I just hope the city/country wouldn’t leave me hangry all the time.

I was pleasantly surprised from my second day in Bucharest.

I lived at the university dorm, and near it was a shopping complex called Carrefour Orhideea. I spotted a restaurant called La Mama and was told they serve homecooked-like food. So I went and tried it. I loved their simple dish with its familiar taste. They had the perfect rosemary oven baked potatoes that I can still remember its taste until this day, and the chicken schnitzel was just the perfect combination with the potatoes. I also ordered their homemade iced tea lemonade which was refreshing. To top it off, the cost of my meal was not expensive (compared to Western Europe where I resided before).

Soon enough my friends and I discovered that eating out in Bucharest was not too expensive so most weekends we went out to try out new food. It was really surprising that I found many different kinds of food from different parts of the world and of course, Romanian food too.

My favourite place for Indian food is a restaurant called Haveli. Though it was located in Obor, quite far from where I lived, it was worth the trip each time (I was quite a regular there!). They have the most delicious fried goat cheese and mint chutney. Their butter chicken was one of the best I have ever tasted (though it has a close competition at my favourite Indian restaurant in Singapore!) eaten with its glistening garlic naan bread. I was surprised to find such amazing Indian food in Bucharest!

Naan bread at Haveli

Before the winter started, I made sure I got the most of Romanian summer by eating out at Cafe Verona. Its outdoor place was bright and cosy, they usually have special food offers each week and I enjoyed sipping its ice cold lemonade while savouring their undeniably good food (like potatoes with onions and bacon..hmmmm) and dessert (tiramisu was my favourite!).

As an Indonesian who eats a whole deal of Indonesian Chinese cuisines, I always try to find food similar like my mum’s cooking back home. I was so lucky to have stumbled at an Asian food counter at AFI Palace Cotroceni Mall‘s food court who served up a selection of Asian dishes like fried rice and scrumptious spring rolls. I never learned of its name (I was just never aware as it was located at a corner and its yummy food allured my attention oops!), but I got to know one of the people working there and she is an Indonesian woman! What a lovely coincidence! I was a very regular customer since the place was near my university. Other dishes at this mall are also worth trying!

My friends and I couldn’t resist trying the city’s most touristic restaurant, Caru’ cu bere (or Beer Cart in English). They served Romanian dishes, like zucchini stuffed with meat and of course the all favourite papanasi. Plus the restaurant’s building is stunning, it is such a great place to eat! During busy hours, you may need to call first for a reservation though.

Stuffed zucchini

Another favourite restaurant in the old centre is called Hanul lui Manuc, which is home to two restaurants, traditional Romanian and Lebanese food. I settled for the Lebanese food and chose a big selection of food including delicious hummus, a selection of grilled meat and also baklava. I couldn’t be happier!

And not just that, I also found some other interesting foodie places in Bucharest:
El Torito (a Mexican restaurant), a great choice if you’re ever craving for burrito or tacos.
Divan is an Turkish restaurant located in the city centre. It is a little bit pricey but the food was so good!
Beer O’Clock, they have several outlets and is an awesome hang out place with a great selection of beer.
Paul, yes there is Paul in Bucharest and I came here whenever I missed France and its patisseries.
– Christmas markets, if you are ever in town during Christmas, do check out the Christmas markets and try the dishes there, this was where I tasted my first Kürtőskalács (a type of sweet bread that has the shape of a log, popular in Romania, Hungary, Czech Republic and some other countries)

Turkish restaurant

Bucharest definitely was a surprising foodie place for me! So many great food to try and at a great budget too. If you are ever in Bucharest, get your stomach ready for some culinary delights!

La Mama
There are several outlets around Bucharest, including:
– Barbu Văcărescu 3
– Delea Veche 51
– Episcopiei 9
– Carrefour Orhideea

nr, Strada Episcopul Radu 3

AFI Palace Cotroceni Mall
District 6, Bulevardul Vasile Milea, No. 4

Caru’ cu bere
Stavropoleos str. No. 5

Hanul lui Manuc
Strada Franceza 62-64

El Torito
Strada Iancu Capitanu 30

Sector 1, Calea Floreasca 111-113

Beer O’Clock
– Gabroveni 4
– Villacrosse passage

Cafe Verona
Strada Pictor Arthur Verona 13-15

Bulevardul General Gheorghe Magheru 28-30

Don’t forget to check out my friend’s post for this week’s #CeritaJalanAsik!

Febby of Jalan2Liburan talks about enjoying French cuisines! Olalala!

While Noni of Nyonya Sepatu takes you to Budapest on her “Meat is the Gypsy Vegetable” post! Interesting!


#CeritaJalanAsik is a weekly travel theme where we share our travel stories based on a certain theme by Jalan2Liburan, Nyonya Sepatu and Dream Explore Wander. Check out our posts every Wednesday!

This week’s theme: Hello Foodie Paradise


12 thoughts on “Bucharest, a Surprising Foodie Destination

  1. Heeeey ku jadi rindu Rumania baca tulisan kamu ini Aggy :)) gak sempet ke Caru cu Bere itu tahun lalu. Dan aku juga pernah ke mall AFI karena iming2 restoran sushi (udah sakaw makan nasi), taunya ditengah2 mall, kecil juga tempatnya udah gitu rasanya biasa aja.


    • Caru cu bere itu touristy banget sih cuma gw ama temen2 pingin banget ngicipin mumpung tinggal di Romania hahaha. AFI itu deket banget sama kampuskuuuu jadi sering buanget ke sini utk beli makanan hehehe. Pingin euy ke Bucharest lg walaupun yaaa sebel2 cinta 😆😆


  2. Dulu sebelum ke Romania aku baca posting ini Gy, hahaha. Membantu banget, dan akhirnya aku makan Caru’ cu bere dua kali, huahaha 😆 . Gelo ya itu restoran, mereka rame banget tapi restoran-restoran di sebelahnya pada sepi!!


    • Wah seneng kalau bermanfaat! Aku pindah ke sini soalnya yang DEW mau discontinue aja. Masakan Caru’ cu bere sebenernya enak yah tapi kalau pas weekend/high season harus reservasi dulu. Iyaaa betul resto2 lainnya sepi yak aneh 😂😂


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