Tasting Romania: A Vegetarian’s Guide to Romanian Food.

In meat-loving Eastern Europe, Romania was an unexpected treat for my vegetarian taste buds. Partly because the country’s orthodox population goes on a vegan fast twice a week or six weeks a year, and partly because the countryside produces some of the finest vegetables and fruits in the region.

This is my little guide to vegetarian food in Romania, and the best places to sample Romanian food in Bucharest, Brasov, Sibiu and Sighet:


Though Romanian cuisine is largely meat-based, atleast a few vegetarian and de post (for fasting, so vegan) options feature on menus in most parts of the country. These were my favorite veggie indulgences:

FASULE BATUTA (mashed beans)
A sumptuous dish of mashed kidney beans, topped with onions, and eaten with bread.

Romanian dishes, fasole batuta
A hearty bowl of Fasule Batuta. Yum!


ZACUSCA (vegetable dips)
A popular dish comprising dips of mushroom, tomato, aubergine and chickpeas, served with a salad and bread.

Romania vegetarian dishes, Zacusca romania
Zacusca at Torega, Bucharest.


CIUPERCI (mushrooms)
Mushrooms in all forms – in a creamy stew, lightly sauteed, cooked semi-dry with other veggies, stuffed with cheese.

Vegetarian food Romania, Romania vegetarians
Ciuperci de pardura (mushrooms cooked with onions and peppers).


MARCARE DE POST (fasting food)
Orthodox christians in Romania have a tradition of fasting twice a week, or for 6 weeks in the year, during which time they only eat vegan food. Many local restaurants offer a Menu de Post, featuring vegan dishes like stuffed cabbage rolls, zacusca, rice cooked with corn, sauteed cabbage, mushrooms and more.

marcare de post romania, Romanian food, Romanian culture food
Romanian fasting food at a homestay in Magura.



Kremzli: Thinly-cut potatoes shallow fried with egg, somewhat similar to a Swiss rosti.

Placenta de ciuperci cu verza: Bread stuffed with cabbage and mushroom, sold in small street-side bakeries.

Coronite cu nuca: Sweet bread coated with nuts.

Mamaliguta: Corn polenta with layers of cheese and cream; extremely heavy!

Cascaval Pane: Breaded cheese, deep fried.

Salads, soups and pizzas are easily available.


I loved Ciuc Radler, for its lemony, beery taste. Ciuc is a popular local beer, together with Ursus and Silva Black. If you dare, try the local plum brandy – Palinka; it contains 40-50% alcohol and is drunk neat! I thought I could pass out after a single sip.

Romania beer, Ciuc Radler Romania
Ciuc Radler with a view of Sibiu from Cafe Wien.


On a quiet cobbled street in the old town of Brasov, Bistro Del Arte is a quintessential European cafe by day and a wine cellar by night, complete with live violin performances reminiscent of the Soviet era. They do an awesome veggie bruschetta, topped with fasule batuta and red peppers.


CAPA in Sibiu
A fifteen minute walk from the bustling old town of Sibiu, Capa is a popular neighborhood joint that serves up delicious mushroom dishes.


Though a little touristy with live traditional music and dancing every night, Casa Iurca has the best local food we found in all of Romania, with plenty of veggie options. I loved their kremzli, fasule batuta and ciuperci paprika stew.

David’s Pub came a second close, especially for their extensive breakfast menu; try the egg and cheese burgers.


TOREGA in Bucharest
Tucked away in a local neighborhood on Eminescu Street, Torega is a typical local resto and marked the beginning of my love affair with vegetarian Romanian food. Their gustare vegetariana (vegetarian snacks) are a must try!


On our way out of the country, we ditched Bucharest to stay in the much quieter Otopeni (near the airport), and had an indulgent last meal of pizzas and de post goodies from the bakery at Ana Pan Bakery.

Bistro del arte brasov, Romania best cafes
A night at the wine cellar with a live violin performance, at Bistro Del Arte.


  • Familiarize yourself with the Romanian names of some vegetables to make it easier to order your food: Mushroom is ciuperci (pronounced chiu-per-chi), peppers are paprika, cheese is cascaval, tomato is rosii, cabbage is verza, red beans are fasule, green beans are fasule verde.
  • In popular towns like Brasov and Sibiu, most people can communicate in enough English to understand you are vegetarian. In offbeat villages, ask for food that is de post (for fasting, so no meat, seafood, eggs or dairy).
  • Portion sizes in Romania are HUGE by Indian standards, so you might want to share a dish or two among two people!
  • A 10% tip is expected when no tipping / service charge is levied.
Romania restaurants, Brasov photos, Brasov Romania
Bistro Del Arte by day.


What food are you most looking forward to try in Romania?


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  1. Awesome post and glad to know that atleast somewhere in the Eastern Europe, vegans like me will not die of hunger 😛

  2. Your ‘delectable’ post makes me crave for more food now. Very informative and full of yummy veggie food. Glad that you had plenty of options in Eastern Europe and surprisingly in Romania. Thanks for sharing the post.

    BTW, I attended Chipotle Cultivate Festival of food and music today in Minneapolis. Had wide variety of veggie dishes. Will share my blog on tryst with food soon 😉

  3. Sounds like a lovely treat! Romania is my kind of a place – I love mushrooms!

  4. Very interesting to find a wide variety of mouth watering vegetarian options available :).

  5. Pingback: Travel Guide | Travelguide
  6. Nice post. Informative and interesting. Encouraging for veggies like me to travel to this part.

  7. Discovered your blog through blogadda (newbie there) … I am glad I did. Great blog!

  8. Chaitali Patel says:

    Gorgeous photos… the food looks so yum! Bookmarked for future reference.

  9. Looks wonderful! How did you book your homestay in Magura?

    1. Call Pensiunea Pepino and book directly with them 🙂

  10. Amazing, we have just arrived to Sibiu and are looking for some place to eat here. Yesterday an old lady invited us for a traditional Romanian cabbage pancake. We had it with some cream, cheese and garlic. It was so good.

  11. I’m planning to go to Romania the week before easter and this post has brought me (a vegetarian) so much happiness, Multumiri!

  12. Always nice to hear fellow vegetarians being taken care of, especially in the Western world 🙂

  13. Thanks for this! Romania’s next on my list, come September, so definitely bookmarking this 😉

    1. Zota Vali Andrei says:

      Is not just food…. And the best city in Romania is Brasov, please don’t miss this town.

      I work here ( Brasov ) at a *** stars hotel ( PENSIUNEA LAURA ) .

  14. I just ate, but I’m hungry again! 🙂

  15. I’m in Sibiu right now and mostly cooking in our Airbnb but will try some of your suggestions tonight! Thanks, J

  16. Bianca Mogos says:

    Good morning! I love this article! Even though I see it has been written a while ago, I found some mistakes, if you would like to correct them: it is “fasole” not “fasule” and “mancare de post” not “marcare”, “placinta de ciuperci cu varza” not “placenta de ciuperci cu verza”. Also, we use the word “ardei” for pepper more than papika. That’s more like a condiment (a red powder made out of roasted peppers).

  17. That is a wonderful post! Glad I’m reading this now, tomorrow is when i’m gonna be there 🙂

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