By definition, Romanian food is rich and hearty, with an unmistakable homemade feel. However, as of late, chefs in restaurants around the country are exploring new ways to be creative with traditional flavours that the cuisine is famous for. Whether they offer reinterpretations of classic dishes or are experimenting with the finest local ingredients, many restaurants in Bucharest have made it their mission to bring Romanian cuisine into the fine dining world. Here are seven restaurants that are doing it best.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Kane Seasonal Bistro
In order to make it to the menu, every dish served at Kane Seasonal Bistro must meet two requirements: First, the ingredients must be sourced from farmers the chef knows personally. Secondly, the produce must be seasonal. By following these requirements, Kane makes sure that its dishes embody the spirit of Romanian ingredients and allow you to feel and taste the seasons on your palate. For a wild, earthy taste, try their mushroom-based dishes, such as ‘pan fried wild mushrooms with garden greens on toast’ or the ‘beef cheek with carrots, boletus mushrooms and marinated onions in Romanian vinegar’. These delightful mushrooms were sourced from the forests of Romania.
Mahala. The name hearkens back to life in Bucharest’s suburbs in the early days of the city. It is also the name of one of the city’s best restaurants, which takes the task of serving modern Romanian food quite seriously. Mahala brings to the table forgotten ingredients, such as sweetbread paired with veal sauce and cucumber mousse. It also creates new classics with original mixes; for instance, flounder and black truffles from Transylvania. For a truly mouth-watering experience, book an evening at Mahala.
Lacrimi și Sfinți
Lacrimi și Sfinți has built a reputation among food lovers in Bucharest for serving traditional Romanian food while seeking to innovate every dish. Their philosophy revolves around three main concepts: sustainability, tradition and innovation. While building on a solid base of traditional recipes, the restaurant’s chefs innovate by mixing ingredients using modern techniques. For instance, you can have sarmale stuffed not only with pork, but also with a special mix of veal and goose meat, and cooked in Sauvignon Blanc.
Zexe aims to redefine Romanian cuisine by adapting it to an increasingly curious and demanding audience. What makes it even more impressive is that it does so with skill and grace. Here you will be greeted by fresh renditions of all the classic Romanian dishes, such as sarmale (cabbage rolls), salads, soups and popular desserts with twists. For instance, their version of sarmale is made with wild boar meat using an ancient recipe. However, dessert is where Zexe has been most innovative, so make sure to check out the scrumptious selection.
While focusing on contemporary cuisine, The Artist, located on Bucharest’s Calea Victoriei, is the place to try highly original takes on classic Romanian dishes. Try their Mangaliță pork aspic, which elevates a classic winter dish served at Christmas by giving it a modern, refined touch. For dessert, chose between the Cozonac mousse, which delivers familiar flavours from the rich Christmas cake in a novel texture, or the Vișinată parfait, inspired by a delicious, dark red, sour cherry liquor that is often homemade.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.