After a week of mountains, curvy roads, cute sheep herds and endless landscape beauty we arrived at the last stop of our Romania trip – Bucharest. I started my research a few days before we went to Bucharest and you usually find two kinds of opinions about this city. Either people love it or hate it. I think you should visit it but you don’t need to stay more than 24 hours. I love its dynamic and lively vibe. You’ll find lots of communist-era institutions paired with trendy cafes, an energetic nightlife as well as lush parks and an eclectic mix of architecture. In comparison to the rest of Romania, I loved Bucharest’s food scene.
Vegan and vegetarian in addition to healthy options are well established. Usually hip and stylish cafes and bars offer the best kind of food, drinks (like amazing cocktails) and atmosphere. I haven’t tried any of the traditional Romanian restaurants because you’ll get that kind of food everywhere outside of Bucharest and then it’s most often the only option. I simply loved exploring Bucharest’s modern and young food scene and I was pleasantly surprised. So here are my tips if you spend 24 hours in Bucharest and well, want to eat good food. So here are my tips if you spend 24 hours in Bucharest and well, want to eat good food.
24 Hours in Bucharest – A Quick Food Guide
8.30 a.m. Refresh Smoothie Shop
If you are an Early Bird like me and don’t want to wait until 10 or 11 before the first breakfast cafes open, head to Refresh Smoothie Shop. They serve a range of smoothie, acai bowls and vitamin shots. It’s the perfect place to kick off a busy sightseeing day.
10.00 a.m. Dianei 4
Breakfast culture in Romania is not as big as in other parts of Europe or the U.S. However there are a few places that serve delicious and filling breakfast portions in București. Dianei 4 is no exception. You can either enjoy your meals in the lush courtyard garden or beautifully decorated vila. Either way, the food is mostly organic and healthy.
Strada Dianei 4, București 030167, Romania
12.30 p.m. Fabrica Club
Located in a former socks factory, Fabrica started as a concert venue back in 2007 and now houses various restaurants, a vegan bakery and small design shops. It’s an ideal place to enjoy a cool beer or limonade and watch Bucharest’s hip folks. It reminded me a lot of Lisbon’s LX Factory though it’s much smaller.
Strada 11 Iunie 50, București, Romania
1.30 p.m.Trattoria il Calcio
Sometimes after a long walk in the summer heat, all you need is a shady outdoor terrace and a bowl of carbohydrates. Probably not the best place in terms of food though the pasta was more than decent but Trattoria il Calcio won my exhausted heart with its chilled and relaxing atmosphere. The service was friendly, the outside garden a nice change on such a warm day and many of the pasta and salad dishes were vegetarian and even vegan.
Strada Benjamin Franklin 3, București 030167, Romania
Ice Cream (& a beautiful bookshop)
4.00 p.m. Puro & Bio
I’ve not had vegan ice cream for such a long time or let’s say I didn’t enjoy vegan ice cream for way too long. At least, until I coincidentally discovered Puro & Bio, a cafe and ice cream shop that serves vegan but also other ice cream flavours. I loved their vegan coffee ice cream and raspberry sorbet.
Strada Ion Câmpineanu 20, București 030167, Romania
Probably the prettiest bookshop I’ve ever seen. Cărturești is a bookstore chain in Bucharest but Cărturești Verona is a real gem for every book nerd and design fan. It’s located in what seems like an old mansion and also houses a tea shop and project space. They don’t only sell books but also clothes, pottery and other crafts from local designers.
Strada Pictor Arthur Verona 13, Bucharest
8.00 pm Pukka Tukka
If you have limited time and can only choose one place in Bucharest to eat at, go to Pukka Tukka. Their menu is all vegetarian, some vegan but 100% organic meals. I loved my veggie burger which come with loads of fresh greens, exactly what I needed after a day of sightseeing
Strada Piața Amzei 13, București 010343, Romania
An alternative option if you want meat for dinner or pub-like/trendy atmosphere. The vibe is energetic, the food fresh, even healthy and delicious and the music really good. We had 3 kinds of hummus as a starter and I ordered an amazing salad that I couldn’t even finish, it was that big.
Strada Actor Ion Brezoianu 4, București 030167, Romania
9.30 p.m. M60
Probably one of the coolest places in Bucharest, M60 is a cafe by day and bar by night. They also serve amazing food, at least from what I saw on other peoples tables. So if you happen to be in the area during lunch or dinner time, I’d definitely recommend this place. Otherwise come here in the evening for a glass of wine or a cocktail and sit outside to watch the city prepare for nightlife.
Strada Mendeleev, 2, Bucharest, Romania