Food and drink
Breakfast (micul dejun) is typically a light meal of bread rolls, butter and jam and an omelette washed down with a coffee (cafea). The most common snacks are bread rings (covrigi), flaky pastries (pateuri) filled with cheese (cu brânză) or meat (cu carne), and a variety of spicy grilled sausages and meatballs such as mici and chiftele. Menus in most restaurants concentrate on grilled meats, or friptura. Cotlet de porc is the common pork chop, while muşchi de vacă is fillet of beef.
Traditional Romanian dishes can be delicious. The best known of these is sarmale – pickled cabbage stuffed with rice, meat and herbs, usually served with sour cream – and tochitură moldovenească, a pork stew, with cheese, mămăligă (polenta) and a fried egg on top. Vegetarians could try asking for caşcaval pane (hard cheese fried in breadcrumbs); ghiveci (mixed fried veg); ardei umpluții (stuffed peppers); or vegetables and salads. Most cafés (cafénea or cofetărie) serve a range of coffee and cakes, as well as ice cream and alcoholic beverages. Coffee, whether cafea naturală (finely ground and brewed Turkish-style), filtru (filtered) or nes (instant), is usually drunk black and sweet; ask for it cu lapte or fără zahăr if you prefer it with milk or without sugar. Cakes and desserts are sweet and sticky, as throughout the Balkans. Romanians also enjoy pancakes (clătite) and pies (plăcintă) with various fillings.
Evening drinking takes place in outdoor beer gardens, cramas (beer cellars), restaurants, and in a growing number of Western-style cafés and bars. Try țuică, a powerful plum brandy taken neat; in rural areas, it is home-made and often twice distilled to yield fearsomely strong palincă. Most beer (bere) is German-style lager. Romania’s best wines are Grasa and Feteasca Neagră, and the sweet dessert wines of Murfatlar.
Everything you need to know before you set off.
Travel offers; book through Rough Guides
Planning your trip to Romania
Everything you need to plan where to go and what to do.
The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.
A first-timer's guide to Central and Eastern Europe: 10 places to visit
Central and Eastern Europe are among the culturally diverse parts of the world, preserving a plethora of deep-rooted traditions. What’s more, large tracts of …12 Dec 2016 • Jonathan Bousfield insert_drive_file Article
7 reasons you need to go to Romania now
A vast, remarkably diverse country, Romania packs in an outstanding synthesis of natural and cultural heritage, from majestic mountain ranges and Europe’s mos…25 Oct 2016 • Norm Longley insert_drive_file Article
You can now rent Dracula's Castle on Airbnb
For one night only Airbnb are offering the chance for a daring traveller and their companion to sleep in the home of Bram Stoker's Dracula – or so they say. …19 Oct 2016 • Lottie Gross insert_drive_file Article