Top 5 restaurants in Bucharest
The way to a tourist’s heart is through his stomach!
Some of my best city breaks memories are those related to delicious food. And I have to say that Bucharest conquered me forever with some of its finest restaurants.
1. Vatra Neamului – authentic Romanian food
Three words are describing best this restaurant: classy, intimate and foodilicious! The restaurant is located outside Bucharest, near Otopeni Airport but is very easy to get there. The interior is spacious, cozy and the decorations are meant to induce you into the past of Romania, making you dream about royalty and medieval times. Nothing kitschy, just a very smart updated traditional style. The cuisine is mainly Romanian and Moldavian but you can find there almost anything you please. Traditional music is played by popular artists and the service is flawless. My advice is to come here without eating before as the portions are generous and incredibly tasty and fresh. The menu offers a great selection of Romanian wines but you should also try Purcari, one of the most famous wines from the Republic of Moldova.
2. Zexe – the taste of the Romanian boyars’ cuisine
The boyars formed in the past the most important social and political class in Romania and they had a quite interesting way of living. Originating from a mixture between old Romanian noble families and other nationalities, especially Greek and Macedonian, the boyars were known for their Oriental-Western habits in terms of fashion, interior design and, of course, food. At Zexe restaurant, in an authentic interwar atmosphere, the owners thought to revive the old, long-forgotten boyar’s recipes. The dishes are in fact, an interesting combination of peasant food and fine stylish cuisine which I’m absolutely convinced that will please the most exigent customers. Great location, nice staff, incredible dishes – definitely a stop!
3. Cherhanaua Ancora – lovely seafood dishes
Maybe you wonder why I chose a seafood restaurant in this top, considering that Bucharest is not a seaside city. But, well, seafood restaurant Ancora is probably one of the best non-sea located restaurants I have ever tried! The location is charming, Herastrau Lake playing nicely the role of the sea. They have some small issues with the staff as the serving is quite slow but the food is excellent. Almost 80% of the fish originates from the Black Sea and the menu is well framed with both Romanian and Mediterranean fish dishes along with other non-fish specialties. The atmosphere is perfect for a nice, relaxing evening and I strongly recommend you the fish borscht – a tasty sour fishy soup!
4. Rawdia Restaurant – vegan and raw vegan delights
It was impossible for Bucharest not to be aligned with the new vegan trend and Rawdia restaurant is the best in town in this branch! Very well-balanced dishes, great seasoning, good-sized portions and fair prices. I tasted here the best raw almond milk ever and the raw desserts were simply heavenly! Guilty-free dishes, no sugar added, no preservatives, fresh ingredients, friendly staff and nice location, though too small for all the city’s vegans.
5. Lounge 18 – dining with a view
Lounge 18 is a great sky restaurant, located at the last floor of the City Gate South Tower building, very close to Herastrau Park. The view is spectacular, very nice valued by the large windows. The menu is not very thick but fairly diversified. I highly recommend the deserts and the cocktails, served late in the evening while admiring the charming city lights. The location is simply decorated but very tasteful, letting the view to capture all the attention. Nice staff, good serving, in short, an inspired location for both business meetings and romantic encounters.