With a culinary history that takes the very best from Romanian and Russian cuisines, Chişinău is a small Eastern Europe capital with high quality restaurants and delicious local wines. Here is our selection of the city’s 10 best restaurants.
Filet Mignon with Cabernet Sauce and Spinach Courtesy View Café
The only panoramic restaurant in town, View Café & Restaurant is located on the 8th floor of a boutique hotel in central Chişinău. The splendid views over the cityscape ensure the restaurant offers one of the most refined experiences in the Moldavian capital. With a 24 hour kitchen and a menu based on Italian, French and local cuisine, View Café & Restaurant is truly an upscale treat in every way. Live piano music and high-standard of service complement the eclectic menu and unique panorama.
With a name suggestive of what’s on offer, the Beer House is a unique venue in Chişinău, and the perfect place for beer connoisseurs. With an easy to find central location on Negruzzi Boulevard, close to many parks and the city’s major landmark, the statue of Stephen the Great, the Beer House is an informal and low-key venue perfect for casual dining and drinking. Serving many speciality beers, including their own brewed brands, as well as local dishes, this is definitely a place to check while visiting Chişinău.
Bringing Uzbek and Asian food to Chişinău, Caravan is no doubt one of the top cultural culinary experiences the capital of Moldova has to offer. Opened in 2006, Caravan has become an exotic spot on the local culinary map. With warm and authentic interiors featuring traditional Uzbek elements such as organza curtains, carpets and hand-made decoration, this restaurant is one of the best choices in Chişinău for romantic dining. The menu is based on Uzbek dishes with veal, lamb, duck, chicken and fish taking centre stage, together with vegetarian recipes and traditional Uzbek brewed tea.
A must when it comes to mouth-watering and decadent desserts, Crème de la Crème is the place to go in Chişinău. Located across a three-storey building in one of the best areas of the city, this restaurant is very much designed in the spirit of an authentic Parisian-style patisserie. Crème de la Crème is locally famous for its must-try French croissants and Viennese coffees, but it also offers a tempting European menu with many fresh salads, pasta and steak dishes at affordable prices.
A required stop while exploring the culinary attractions from Moldova’s capital, Gok-Oguz is the only restaurant in Chişinău that specialises in the cuisine of the ethnically distinct Gagauz and Bulgarian groups from the Southern part of the country. With a homey atmosphere featuring many traditional elements and located in a green courtyard, Gok-Okuz is a place full of hospitality and authenticity. The menu is well-known for its delicious lamb specialities, but also consider trying their mouth-watering placinte, the Eastern Europe version of savoury pastries, as well as their exquisite Moldavian wines.
One of the most popular restaurants in Chişinău, La Taifas is the perfect place for those who wish to explore local hospitality and gastronomy. Designed as a Moldovan peasant’s house with ethnographic elements that create a museum-like experience, La Taifas was awarded TripAdvisor’s ‘Certificate of Excellence’ in 2014. The menu offers the most famous national dishes, ensuring that visitors get a real taste of Moldova’s richly flavoured gastronomy, including borsch specialities, polenta, meatballs, pork and lamb steaks, pies and of course the best local wines.
Centrally located close to the must-see Cathedral Park, Panna Cotta is an excellent choice for those in the mood to sample the familiar and irresistible tastes of Italian cuisine. Very popular among locals for its dessert specialities and dishes prepared with fresh organic ingredients, Panna Cotta also has stylish contemporary interiors that offer a much-deserved break from the hustle of the city. The menu includes a consistent selection of desserts, but also refreshing breakfasts, salads, soups and the traditional polenta with cheese as one of the most attractive main courses.
A rustic restaurant hosted in an old house, Popasul Dacilor is truly one of the main culinary destinations in Chişinău. With original décor and its own local brass-band playing live music, this traditional restaurant takes its guests on a journey back in time. Waitresses dressed in old-fashioned costumes serve popular national dishes such as the house specialty Popasul Dacilor, duck filled with meat cabbage rolls, borsch with smoked ribs, or the best treat for meat enthusiasts – tochitura moldoveneasca, a hearty beef and pork stew. As with any respectable traditional Moldavian restaurant, Popasul Dacilor also tempts diners with its home-made pies with various sweet and savoury fillings.
Vatra Neamului is a great location when it comes to mixing excellent service, culture and local culinary delights. Envisioned as a restaurant where appetite for flavour and desire for culture are equally satisfied, Vatra Neamului has luxurious wooden decor featuring portraits of some of Moldova’s greatest poets, writers and artists. Divided in different thematic rooms, the restaurant invites its guests on a culinary journey featuring both traditional and European recipes, including dishes appropriate for the religious diets typical in Eastern European Orthodox countries.
A recent addition to Chişinău’s list of top culinary venues, Vinoteca Wine Room & Restaurant is a must for wine enthusiasts. With impressive decor, this gourmet restaurant is the place to go for guests wishing to experience upscale service and a rich menu with contemporary European dishes, accompanied by the very best local and international wines. Centrally located – just steps away from the Cathedral Park – Vinoteca Wine Room & Restaurant is no doubt one of the city’s unmissable culinary attractions.