The whole of Eastern Europe is certainly meat loving but Romania is surely an unexpected treat for vegetarian taste buds. Well the country’s orthodox population takes in vegan fast twice a week or six weeks a year and partly because the countryside will surely produces some of finest fruits and vegetables in the region.
Here is little guide to vegetarian food in Romania and the best places where one can sample Romanian food in Brasov, Sibiu, Bucharest and Sighet:
What to Eat
Most of the Romanian cuisine is largely based on meat; some of the vegetarian options are easily available on menus in various parts of the country. Here were my favorite veggie indulgences:
- FASULE BATUTA (Mashed Beans)
This one is sumptuous dish made up of mashed kidney beans which is topped with onions and is eaten with bread.
- ZACUSA (Vegetable Dips)
This is a popular dish which is made of dips of mushroom, tomato, aubergine and chickpeas which is served with salad and bread.
- CIUPERCI ( Mushrooms)
Mushrooms in various forms make fine vegetarian dishes. Mushrooms can be eaten in all forms right from lightly sauteed to cooked semi-dry with other vegetables stuffed with cheese.
- MARCARE DE POST (Fasting Food)
Orthodox Christians in Romania have the tradition of fasting twice a week or for nearly 6 weeks in the year during the time when they only eat vegan food. There are many local restaurants offering Menu de Post offering exclusive vegan dishes like zacusca, sauteed cabbage, stuffed cabbage rolls, rice cooked with corn and mushrooms.
Kremzil: This dish is thinly cut potatoes which are shallow fried with egg very similar to swiss rosti.
Placenta de ciuperci cu verza: this is bread stuffed with mushroom and cabbage which is sold in small street-side bakeries.
Coronite cu nuca: Sweet bread coated with nuts
Mamaliguta: This dish is corn polenta with layers of cream and cheese and is surely extremely heavy.
Cascaval Pane: This one is breaded cheese which is deep fried.
Along with these salads, soups and pizzas are easily available.
Ciuc is a popular local beer along with together with Silva Black and Ursus. You can also dare to try local plum brandy Palinka which contains 40-50% alcohol and is usually drunk neat.
Restaurants Where to Eat
Bisrto Del Arte in Brasov
Right on the quiet cobbled street right in the old town of Brasov, Bistro Del Arte is a European café by the day and wine cellar by the night with beautiful violin performances in the Soviet era. Here you can get veggie bruschetta which is topped with fascule batuta and red peppers.
Capa in Sibiu
This place is just fifteen minute walk right from the bustling old town of Sibiu. Capa is reputed to be a popular neighborhood joint which serves delicious mushroom dishes.
Casa Iurca in Sighet
Casa Iurca is a little tourist place where one can get the best local food in all of Romania with traditional music and dancing every night. Here you will get various veggie options like fasule batuta, kremzli and ciuperci paprika stew.
Torega in Bucharest
This restaurant is tucked away in local neighborhood right on Eminescu Street as local resto offering delicious vegetarian Romanian food. You must try the gustare vegetarian here.
Ana Pan Bakery in Otopeni
We ditched Bucharest to stay in Otopeni with an indulgent meal of pizzas and de post goodies right from the bakery at Ana Pan Bakery.
Things to Know
- Just get to know about some Romanian names of vegetables to make it easier to properly order food. Get things clear that Mushroom is ciuperci is known as Mushroom, peppers are paprika, tomato is rosil, cabbage is verza, cheese is cascaval, red beans are fasule while green beans are fascule verde.
- In the towns like Brasov and Sibiu, people communicate in English to get to know that you are vegetarian. Ask for food namely de post ( for fasting, so no meat, eggs, dairy or seafood).
- The sizes of portion are huge as per Indian standards so you can share a dish or two among two people.
- Where no tipping/service charged is levied, a 10% tip is quite expected.
So plan a trip to Romania and get ready to taste the exclusive vegetarian food of Romania.
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