Romania is a wonderful mixture of lively cities, bucolic countryside, awe-inspiring landscapes, welcoming people and mouthwatering dishes. Eating is far from being just a need, it is a patriarchal ritual with local products and centuries-old recipes transmitted from mother to daughter.
The different communities that live in the country or have passed by, enriched the traditional cuisine with an array of flavours. Trying the local food should be part of any travel experience in Romania. And as locals like to make a complete gastronomy experience of their meals, we’ve selected the tastiest Romanian food festivals in the country for you.
Eating great food, travelling to quaint villages, getting in touch with the locals: what else can you ask for?
An event organized by My Transylvania Association, Transylvania Brunch is a meeting of food lovers. The event started as a reunion of those who wanted to develop cultural, agricultural, touristic and ecologic projects in the Hartibaciu Area, in southern Transylvania. It is also an opportunity to promote the regional products. Brunches are held on the last Saturday of each month, from April to September and each has a specific theme and location and is popularizing a local project set up in the area. The location changes as well as the activities, that vary between a walk in the village, a hike on a cultural road or a local concert.
Local and seasonal products are used by the women in the village, who cook using old recipes, adding love and dedication to each meal prepared. Some of the villages where the events are held are Apos, Cobor, Ruja, Valchid, Alma Vii, Cisnadioara, Saxon villages located in the areas of Sibiu and Brasov.
Picnic in Cindrel
Picnic in Cindrel is about eating local products from the peasants of Marginimea Sibiului region, a pastoral land of villages scattered at the footsteps of Cindrel Mountains. Best known for their dairy products and cheese, the locals will take you on a hike around the Cheese Route, in Cindrel Mountains. But let’s not forget the food: you will receive a filled-up picnic basket with regional products to delight your tastebuds. The event includes the visit of an artisan’s atelier and an introduction to the local crafts.
Organized from April to October, the picnic is another event organised by My Transylvania Association. Find the dates and places on their calendar.
Flavours and Sounds of Transylvania
Taste the local flavours in the villages of Transylvania and amazing plates prepared carefully by the locals with ingredients from their own gardens. Be aware, as the food is so tempting, that you might not be able to stop before tasting every dish on the table. And the ‘worst’ part is that there are one or two such events every month from May to October, each serving different meals, depending on the event’s theme. From vegetarian plates made with medicinal herbs to sweet cakes and lemonades cooked with strawberries and rhubarb, you will feel in a gastronomical heaven.
Add to that mesmerizing organ concerts held in monumental fortified churches and lovely locals ready to tell you everything about their villages. Flavours and Sounds is also organised by My Transilvania Association.
Dinner in Nature
Do you imagine yourself taking dinner in a remote village, outside, surrounded by mesmerizing scenery, eating fabulous food cooked by the locals? Travel to Transylvania and take part in a feast in nature, meet the locals and let them tell you how they used fresh, seasonal products to cook your dinner. Take a tour through the village and discover the hidden gems of the Saxon villages of Transylvania. Rod, Malancrav, Biertan, Richis, Mosna are some of the locations where the event is taking place. Each summer, the location changes, so you’d better check it on My Transilvania’s website or Facebook page.
Full Moon Picnic
Who said that electronic music can’t match with traditional food? At Full Moon Picnic, you start the day with a hike around the picturesque villages of the Hartibaciu Valley and end it with an all-night-long party in the Electric Camping. An authentic alternative to the classic dance clubs, featuring a fire camp, fantastic food prepared in a magic cauldron and a bar with local drinks, including the local plum brandy. After taking a sleep in your tent, a hearty breakfast is waiting for you: homemade bread and jams, zacusca – a vegetable stew, local cheese and fresh vegetables. Don’t miss this culinary experience.
Street Food Festival
Eating in the street might be considered rude in some cultures but at Street Food Festival, there is a whole celebration around it. Held in several cities of Romania, like Cluj, Bucharest and Iasi, this is the first festival dedicated to street culinary experiences. From May to October, the festival travels from one city to another and the best restaurants and bars are getting on the street to serve you with their best plates. Take a tour of the restaurant’s food trucks and travel around the world, tasting various cuisines, from Romanian to Indian to Mexican.
Bucharest Food Festival – Gourmet Edition
This gastronomic and cultural event is held on the last weekend of June in the Herastrau Park of Bucharest and is the first gourmet festival in Romania. The very best restaurants and bistros in the capital come to Bucharest Food Festival to showcase their luscious dishes, prepared by the most popular chefs of the moment in the country: oysters, barbecue meat, seafood, burgers, sushi, you got them all. Good wines are not missing and neither is good music. Enjoy your meal with jazz, electro swing or blues rhythms while tasting an excellent cup of wine or sit in one of the cosy corners and relax.
Gastronomic Transylvania – Food Culture Festival
For 10 autumn days, the Sibiu area is converted into a gastronomical scene for all those who love or want to discover Transylvanian cuisine and heritage. The event aims to contribute to the preservation of local cultural landscapes and their motto is ‘Eat Local’. All the meals are prepared with fresh products from local producers. Each day brings another event, like ‘Taste of Transylvania’, ‘Dinner in the citadel’, ‘Saxon desserts’. The festival features live cooking sessions using centuries-old recipes, cooking competitions and wine tasting. During the event, you can taste homemade jams, local cheese, the amazing zacusca and savoury desserts.
Toamna la Ceaun
Toamna la Ceaun is an event held in Bucharest’s National Park over the last weekend of September and is a festive board of fully-flavoured traditional meals, mostly cooked in a cauldron. Cabbage à la Cluj, goulash, sarmale – stuffed cabbage rolls, mici – Romanian sausages are just some of the traditional dishes that you can taste. All the wonderful food is cooked under visitors’ eyes in large cauldrons and barbecues and comes with Romanian wines, traditional music and handmade objects.
International Wine Festival of Romania
A great opportunity to taste the wonderful Romanian wines, the International Wine Festival is held at the end of May in Mamaia, one of the top resorts at the Black Sea. 300 carefully selected wines from domestic and international wine producers await to be discovered. Wineries like Lacerta Winery, Cotnari House, Tohani Romania, Cramele Recas or Crama Basilescu are ready to amaze you with a wide range of tastes and flavours.