Bucharest’s restaurants and bars have multiplied in the last two decades. Since the fall of communism, traditional Romanian food has mingled with world cuisine, giving rise to creative menus at affordable prices with many of the most interesting venues located in the beautiful historic centre, Lipscani.
Lente & Cafea
First of all, this restaurant is a rare gem in Romania, because it has a strict non-smoking policy, providing a welcome escape from Bucharests’s smoke-filled venues. The menu shows an experimental edge in its bold fusion of chicken and fish. In addition to a welcoming, comfortable atmosphere, it opens its own urban garden on sunny days, making it the perfect place to take in the sun and relax in the centre of Bucharest. In the evenings, Lente & Cafea organises jazz events and gigs.
Caru’ cu Bere
Caru’ cu Bere is a must-see destination in Bucharest. A classic among local restaurants, it is also probably the most photographed venue in town. Dating back to 1879, it offers a feast for the eyes with its stunning interior décor – the combination of dark wood, vaulted ceilings and gilt elements conjures up memories of the city’s golden age. The restaurant is a genuine celebration of the beer culture and one of the oldest breweries in Bucharest. The menu features many traditional dishes such as bean soup, mix grill and a Romanian cheese platter.
Hanul Lui Manuc
Built in 1808 as a hotel by the Armenian entrepreneur Manuc Bei, Hanul Lui Manuc is suffused with history. In 2006, the building was acquired by current owner Constantin Şerban Cantacuzino. In 2007, its doors were closed for a major renovation, only to reopen in June 2011. Hanul Lui Manuc is divided into two parts, one Lebanese, one Romanian. Both the Romanian and Lebanese menus showcase diverse examples from the respective cuisines. Interesting fact: Hanul Lui Manuc is the oldest hotel and restaurant in Bucharest.
Hanul cu Tei
Located in the historic centre of Lipscani, Hanul cu Tei (Linden Tree Inn) breathes history and eclecticism. One of the oldest bars in today’s Bucharest, it still retains its original structure. Built by merchants in 1833, it represents typically Romanian architecture and décor. Hanul cu Tei’s motto, ‘Beer is proof God loves us’, is a good description of the inn’s general philosophy: dishes are accompanied by one of the many Romanian beers on the menu. Interestingly, the venue also hosts an art gallery, where valuable pieces of art and decorative works are preserved across several exhibition salons.