Between the World Wars Bucharest was famed for its bacchanals, its gourmet cuisine and its Gypsy music – but all this ended with the puritanical postwar regime of communism. However, Bucharest’s restaurant scene has improved immensely in recent years, and while French and Italian kitchens dominate, there’s been a welcome diversification in the types of cuisines available, with fusion, Asian and South/Central American foods slowly making their mark. Al fresco dining is extremely popular, which is handy in a city that can be stifling in the summer.
Bucharest now has some genuinely enjoyable cafés, many of which offer food and alcoholic beverages, while the city’s many fine patisseries dispense freshly baked sweet and savoury pastries, cakes and confectionery. Look out, too, for the kiosks doling out gogo*s, large, elongated doughnuts that come with a choice of fillings.