Where To Find The Best Street Food In Bucharest
When looking for the best Romanian street food in Bucharest, you first need to know what you are looking for. Bucharest street food is an interesting mix of traditional Romanian food and the most delicious picks of some of the countries that have invaded Romania over the past centuries. If you travel around the eastern and southeastern parts of Europe, you might recognize some of these foods.
But first, make sure your luggage is safely and securely stored. As handy as it would be to have a traveling table with you, you don't really want to be hauling your luggage around, so store it at one of our convenient luggage storage locations here in Bucharest.
Now back to exploring Bucharest street food!
Affectionately called a Romanian pretzel, they are as if the perfect North American bagel met the perfect German pretzel. This twist of doughy heaven has got just the right amount of crunch on the crust. It has the most satisfying sound when you bite into it. And the inner texture is not too chewy and not too soft, it is just right.
Covrigi look like a common pretzel, but they are anything but. Normally, they are sprinkled with salt, poppy seeds, or sesame seeds before baking. However, if you are sitting in trendier cafes and restaurants, you may find a modern touch of Covrigi, as they are filled with cheeses, fruits, meats, jams, chocolate, or nuts. In the Dobrogea part of Romania, the local version has chopped olives and raisins in them.
You will find Covrigi at all of the street food kiosks and markets throughout Bucharest. One reason for their popularity, besides the great taste, is they are a pretty filling snack for just a little over $2.
When you go to almost any country in Europe or western Asia, you will find kebabs. Their versions can be very different. Some are served in a pita, and some are served on a stick – the version in Romania is the latter. Although frigarui can be made of different meats such as pork or beef, the most common in Romania is chicken.
The chicken breast is cut into cubes and then marinated for 24 hours. The chunks are then put on a skewer and grilled to perfection. You can get them with just the meat or vegetables like peppers, mushrooms, and tomatoes. A traditional garlic sauce normally accompanies the popular street food dish that, although very tasty, you will definitely need a mint afterward.
Simply put, cascaval pane (pronounced kashkaval pané) is breaded fried cheese. But this simple dish is a staple in Balkan and Romanian cuisine. Typically the cheese is made from sheep's milk and has a semi-hard texture, making it ideal for frying. Served around the city in pubs as an appetizer or at the street food kiosks, cascaval pane can be served with french fries, mashed potatoes, or polenta (mamaliga).
Picture a golden brown square that, when you cut into, has a gooey cheesy inside that slowly oozes out onto the plate. And when you bite it, it gives you a lovely crunchy and soft texture that makes your mouth and soul happy. So on your visit to Bucharest, you need to get yourself a dish (if not a couple of dishes) you won't be disappointed. You might feel a little food guilt, but it will pass.
We are going to put a couple of street foods in one category. Whether you like your pastries for breakfast, dessert, or just a snack, you will find some truly delicious ones in Bucharest.
Gogosi - Is there anything better than freshly fried dough hiding a delicious bite of jam or fruit inside? Gogosi are Romania's answer to American donuts. They come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and fillings, both sweet to savory. You can even get them with no filling, just a light airy deep-fried dough that is irresistible.
Kurtoskalacs - This delicious dessert is an absolute must on your trip to Bucharest. They are known as chimney cakes, and you can see why with their twisting funnel shape. Originating in Transylvania, the tasty cones of dough are cooked over an open fire for more flavor. After cooking, they are dusted in a variety of toppings such as sugar, chocolate powder, coconut, or cinnamon. They are also fun to eat. Besides the great taste, you have to uncoil them as you eat them.
Merdenele - Layers of puff pastry containing melted cheese inside, these little squares are perfect for breakfast or when you are walking around exploring the city of Bucharest. The savory baked treats are found in pretty much every corner bakery in Romania and are a popular street food as they are cheap and can be eaten on the go.
Placinta -Romanian cheese pie. Yes, a pie made with cheese. They come in a variety of different shapes and sizes, but most are just the right size for your hand. The placinta pies are made of layers of flaky filo pastry stuffed with local cheeses, normally a salty one like feta. They can come with different stuffing like potato, ricotta, or raisins. Totally delicious for just a few dollars and can be easily eaten while wandering the streets of Bucharest!
Why not venture out on a hike before enjoying your meal? Get your fill of this fabulous street food! Commonly called mici, this delicious garlicky spiced small sausage is packed with a big flavor. It is made from ground lamb, beef, pork, seasoning, and spices like thyme, paprika, black pepper, and garlic. Another staple for the people of Romania, it is a must-try when you visit Bucharest. The best and most traditional way to cook the skinless little sausage is on the barbeque.
As Bucharest street food goes, this is at the top of the list. Nothing is more street food than Mititei.
The best street food vendors in Bucharest
Bucharest, and for that matter Romania, is not exactly loaded with "street food" options, however, there are a few hidden gems that are worth checking out.
Piata Obor Market
If you want a true Romanian experience, head to the Piata Obor market. This is where the locals get their fish, cheeses, vegetables, fruits, and meats. But you are not here just to do a little shopping, you are here to try the best mititei (mici) in Bucharest, maybe Romania. You will find it served throughout the country, but if you want the best, check out Terasa Obor.
Dristor Doner Kebap
This place is consistently ranked as one of the best places to get a meal, and not just for street food. The company started from humble beginnings in 1999 and now has several locations around Bucharest. Dristor has set the bar very high for Bucharest street food when it comes to doners and kebaps.
You can get the doner as a platter or wrap. Although the wrap is better for walking and eating, the sheer amount of ingredients a wrap is filled with can make it quite messy to eat. If you wonder what the locals think of the food here, all you need to do is look at the lines at all of their locations.
Dines Fast Food
If you are looking for street food options that don't just serve Romanian cuisine, then you need to check out Dines. They have the usual suspects, pork and chicken meat grill, cascaval pane, and others, but they also have a few American comfort foods, like burgers with fries and chicken wings. This is like a European fast food place but with healthier dishes.
Dines is located on the outskirts of the Old Town district near the city center of Bucharest. It tends to be quite busy, filled with locals and tourists alike. The food is fresh and made right in front of you, and they serve more than meat. There are vegetarian dishes available as well. The servings are generous, and the prices are reasonable. It is definitely worthy of a visit.
When talking about street food in Bucharest, you can't forget about pastries and Luca is a great place to get them. This is more than just a pretzel shop. They have it all: fresh-baked bread, pretzels filled with stuff like cherries, olives, or a variety of meat. Luca has many locations throughout Bucharest and is so popular that if you are on a walking tour of the city, you will stop here for the food.
If you are starving, grab one of their chicken sandwiches on fresh pita bread or a pizza. Both are great for exploring the streets at night or sitting in one of the nearby parks for a picnic.
Animaletto Pizza Bar
Step aside from Romania's normal street food and check out this excellent pizza place. Not only has it been serving up the best pizza in Bucharest but it is ranked the fourth-best in all of Europe. Foodies from around the world have heaped praise on the Romanian pizza restaurant, and with good reason.
Animaletto is not afraid to have fun with their pizza. They, of course, have the traditional classics, but they are best known for pushing the envelope with the toppings. Different types of vegetables, meats, and even cheeses are not safe from being messed with. So if you find yourself in Old Town or near the city center, head towards Victory Square to a life-changing piece of pizza.
Where to find the best Bucharest street food spots
Bucharest is full of small food kiosks, but there are a couple of areas not to miss. The Old Town is probably the best place for finding a good variety, whether you are in the mood for fast food, local food, or something more international like Thai.
Head north to Victory Square, and you will find a plethora of restaurants and cafes that are always serving up something delicious. You will even find a couple of American fast food places like Pizza Hut and McDonald's.
On the south end of Herastrau Park near the Arcul de Triomf (Arc de Triomphe), there is a great mix of street food cafes serving traditional Romanian dishes, Korean, and some French pastry shops.
Street food festivals in Bucharest
If you are a foodie and find yourself in Bucharest in the fall, don't miss out on the largest food festival in Romania, the Bucharest Street Food Carnival. Four days of great music, entertainment, and of course, food! The streets come alive with urban rhythms, rock, and over 60 cafes & restaurants serving delicious international cuisine.
Romanian Street Food
In the country of Romania, food is a big deal. It represents family and tradition, and it also represents the changing culture. From the rise in fast-food chains to the local food kiosks, street food in Bucharest is becoming more and more popular. And with tourism exploding in a city that has so much to offer, exploring the incredible street food of Romania is not to be missed.