In August 2019 I traveled to Bucharest, Romania, and I took advantage of every single day to go out around town and see the vibrant atmosphere around the old city and other downtown areas. I had the help of some local friends to find some of the best places, so this is my turn to help others with a few suggestions. Keep in mind I was looking for relaxing outdoor restaurants, good for people watching as well.
Fabrica de Bere Buna is on a narrow sidewalk on Calea Victoriei and is one of the best places to sample flights of local craft beers. The bar is owned by the Zaganu Brewery, but they have other Romanian brands as well.
Very close by on Mendeleev St it’s Camera din Fata, recommended to me as the best coffee shop in Bucharest. It looks very trendy and the coffee is outstanding. They have a large variety of imported fresh coffee. The capuccino was amazing!
When you enter the pedestrian-only Old City, you can’t miss Caru cu Bere, one of the most famous (and old) establishments there. There’s always a huge waiting line just to get a table to have some beer, because Romanians aren’t used to sitting and drinking at the bar. I went there a few times, and every single time there was noone at the bar when I got there. And after I sat down, within minutes it was crowded. They had a few draft beer options that you can get up to 1 liter mugs.
As you get into the maze of narrow streets full of restaurant and cafe tables, you’ll see Burgeri si Scoici, owned by reputable Chef Scarlatescu. Last year I had the Suicide Burger there – the spiciest food I ever had, I could barely finish it. This year I went for the 2nd hottest – the Taco Burger. Still outstanding, and slightly easier to eat.
Around the corner you’ll find Xclusive Pub. I was there late night (or early morning) and only tried some of their shots (Kamikaze, Cozonac) – very good, as was the Long Island Ice Tea.
Nomad Sky Bar was one of my favorites – on a roof top overlooking the Old City. The indoor room upstairs (pictured below) is spectacular by itself, but I loved the small terrace on top where you can get fine cocktails and good beer.
Across from the Old City, on a small street, it’s Linea Closer to the Moon, another rooftop bar. There are actually a few levels on top of the building, and from the highest one you get nice views of Bucharest at night. They have great cocktails, including the fancy looking Cornucopia and several varieties of Gin Tonic.
Coming back to the downtown area, we had an outstanding lunch at Caju, owned by another well-known local chef – Joseph Haddad. A middle-eastern restaurant with amazing food, especially the Moroccan Shakshuka and their Lebanese bread. Nice quiet patio on a small street behind the Athenee.
Buongiorno Trattoria was another cool Italian restaurant on Bd Primaverii, where I had some craft beers and very good carbonara, also on a quiet rooftop terrace.
Nearby, Gradina Floreasca is a sprawling compound with shaded tables around a big pool. You and the kids can enjoy the pool during the day, while eating good food and cold beers. Later at night, relax with a cocktail on the pool-side lounges and listen to live ambiental music.
Vacamuuu opened in the newly refurbished Agora Floreasca and is a fancy steakhouse with outstanding meats that they’ll cook right in front of you. I was impressed by how knowledgeable the server was about the specifics of each cut, and how it should be cooked. He offered us a sampler with T-Bone and Ribeye, all of them really mouth-watering.
Finally… on a run around the Herastrau Lake on a hot day, I stopped by the old Beraria H – the city’s biggest beer hall. A few years ago I went inside, where it looks the size of a sports arena in US. This time I just had some refreshing beers outside, where the well shaded tables descending to the lake seem to occupy as much space as the indoor.
I hope this helps selecting some nice spots to go out in Bucharest. They are all reasonable priced, at least for a foreigner. And let me know if you have any other suggestions for an upcoming trip.