One of the best parts of traveling is getting to try new and delicious foods that you probably would never encounter at home. Sampling street food, experiencing fine dining, and tasting new flavors you’ve never had before can be so fun and exciting! This is true in Bucharest, where you can explore everything from street food and food trucks to elegant restaurants with top-notch cuisine. Romanian cuisine is quite varied and delicious, and Bucharest has a great dining culture. Make sure not to miss these five dishes when you’re wondering what to eat in Bucharest!
First off, we have covrigi. Covrigi are baked goods that are very similar to soft pretzels, usually topped with sesame seeds, poppy seeds, and salt. While it is not known when this tasty snack was first introduced in Romania, it is thought that they may have been introduced by the Germans or Greeks. There are many bakeries that specialize in covrigi in Bucharest, ranging from very traditional to modern. Covrigi traditionally is a simple food, eaten for breakfast or as a snack, but today many bakers are pushing the limits as to what covrigi can be. Bakers are stuffing these baked goods with things like chocolate, cheese, and nuts to make them even more delicious. Covrigi are something you must eat in Bucharest to truly eat like a local, so try Gigi Covrigi, a favorite covrigi bakery!
Recommended place to try covrigi: Gigi Covrigi
Address: Bulevardul Nicolae Bălcescu, 9
Sarmale are cabbage leaf rolls that are stuffed with beef or pork and rice, and a bit of sour cream for dipping. This dish will remind you of the more famous dolmades from Greek cuisine, where grape leaves are used in place of cabbage. Sarmale are a comfort food and staple in Romanian cuisine. Try Caru cu Bere, a restaurant that calls itself “the soul of Bucharest,” for some seriously good sarmale in Bucharest.
Recommended place to try sarmale: Cara cu Bere
Address: Strada Stavropoleos, 5
Mititei, which means “small” in Romanian, is a traditional dish consists of ground meat rolls, kind of like a cross between meatballs and skinless sausage. Mititei can contain ground beef, lamb or pork, mixed with several spices. Most often, in a restaurant, mititei is served alongside a big pile of French fries and pickled veggies. Locals love the mititei at La Cocosatu, a traditional Romanian restaurant where you should eat in Bucharest.
Recommended place to try mititei: La Cocosatu
Address: Strada Neagoe Vodă, 52A
Another delicious food to eat in Bucharest is zacusca, a tasty and healthy vegetable spread. Eggplant, red pepper, tomatoes, and onions come together to make a tasty spread you can smother over some bread. It is a popular snack in Romanian homes; the word zacusca deriving from “appetizer.” You can find zacusca in many restaurants and supermarkets all over Bucharest, ready to enjoy!
Last, but not least, on our list is mămăliga, a staple throughout Romanian history. Mămăliga is a corn flour porridge that is comparable to polenta in taste and consistency. It was once the food of peasants, but now is enjoyed by the masses. You can enjoy mămăliga with some sour cream and cheese, meat, or in a bowl with hot milk. The possibilities are endless! Once again, Caru cu Bere is the place to go for some great mămăliga. Try it for yourself and prepare to delight your taste buds!
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