The bar scene in Cluj-Napoca, one of Romania’s most exciting city break destinations, is lively and varied. A student city, it offers everything from budget options to concept bars and cultural centres that provide the local creatives with great drinks and a cool vibe that make conversations take off.
Welcoming everyone with a well-curated selection of over 200 whiskeys in a relaxed, friendly and upbeat vibe, Charlie’s Pub attracts everyone who is young at heart. Here you will be greeted and served by some of the best and most experienced bartenders in town. So just in case you don’t find your favourite drink among the options listed, just ask one of the friendly guys at the bar, and they’ll concoct something just right for you.
Bar, Bistro, Cafe, Pub, Tapas, European, Romanian, Beer, Coffee, $$$
Rhédey terrace | Courtesy of Rhédey Café
In the heart of Cluj, you will find the world’s first steampunk kinetic bar, with a design that is bound to intrigue. Home to no less than seven kinetic mechanisms, it is adorned with plasma lamps and humanoid robots spread on its walls and ceiling. Nonetheless, it serves the most down-to-earth specialty drinks and traditional Romanian food, including the classic ‘mămăliguță cu brânză și smântână‘.
Bar, Restaurant, Mexican, American, Beer, Pub Grub, Wine, Vegan, Vegetarian, Gluten-free, Fast Food, Street Food, $$$
Inside the Jaxx American Restaurant in Cluj, there is a great bar serving great cocktails that will make your head spin with flavour. Decorated to evoke the the free American spirit, it features a car just above the bar and a chopper, accompanied by the music of the great North American rock bands. Drop by for a live concert, or a quiet evening on their terrace, and you will experience the spirit of Cluj.
True to another facet of the spirit of Cluj, Shto College Bar is one of the city’s student bars that is a sure hit whenever you choose to step through its welcoming doors. Here you will find great drinks, including a surprisingly varied selection of beers, as well as good wine and coffee, good music and relaxed vibe that can turn an evening out into a great experience.
Bar, Pub, Romanian, Street Food, Fast Food, Pub Grub, $$$
One of the best pubs in town, The Londoner is your best bet when looking for that classic pub feel with a local touch. Known among the locals as a friendly, relaxed bar, it draws the crowds with its great selection of cocktails and beers, served alongside their ‘signature drinks’, a hit since the pub’s opening. In the summer, try their cider, and, if popping by in wintertime, go for the cider as well, but the hot version. Sundays and Mondays host quiz nights, so that’s always a great time to pass by.
Bar, Restaurant, Wine Bar, European, Wine, Pub Grub, Fast Food, Street Food, Romanian
Located in one of the most famous squares in Cluj, Piața Muzeului, Crush Wine Bar is a great place to enjoy a glass of wine and explore what local Romanian grape varietals have to offer. True to the belief that an inviting vibe is essential when experiencing a great wine, the owners have put equal care into building a great list of labels and in decorating the interior.
One of the must visit locations in Cluj-Napoca, especially during the Transylvania International Film Festival (TIFF), Casa TIFF is the home-away-from-home for film enthusiasts. Appropriately, it serves food under a film-inspired display, with starters being placed in the category of ‘trailers’, salads as ‘short films’, burgers as ‘epic series’, and main courses, having made it to the ‘Hall of Fame’ category, occupy the main stage. As the credits roll, make sure to check out the cocktails selection and get ready for ‘show time’.
Bar, Pub Grub, Fast Food, Romanian, Street Food, Wine, Beer, $$$
One of the most popular bars on Piezișei Street, Cluj’s student street, Booha Bar is one of the places to hang out for the city’s large student population. A good fit for the young and the young at heart, the bar has managed to preserve the vibe everyone has come to expect, even as its popularity has grown. Top marks go to their friendly staff, who will make you feel welcome in a second, used as they are to the growing cosmopolitan side of Cluj.
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