Welcome to this melting pot of Eastern Europe. This capital city of a country in between so many diverse realities cannot welcome you in any other way than with an oh so colorful local cuisine that breathes diversity through its every pore. We won’t focus here on all that the Bucharest gourmet scene has to offer, but rather zoom into the place where all action happens, including some of the most savory dishes: the street.
Street food in Bucharest offers and explosion of tastes. It is affordable and accessible, and it is a statement of the many influences we got over time, mostly from the ottoman influence, present in the are for more than 500 years, as well as from the more well off neighbors from the west, the French.
Ladies and gents, let us introduce you to:
1.The Romanian Mici. If you’re unsure how to spell that, go for the American name Mitch. You’re there! The mici or mititei is the Balkan interpretation of the Turkish kebab, variations of which you will come across all over Eastern Europe. You will find a great number of local terraces in all neighborhoods across Bucharest, but probably the most authentic place to go is Terasa Obor, across from vegetable market with the same name.
2. A world in a bagel. The Romanian bagel, locally known as covrig, is the embodiment of the influences the empires around us had. It has the shape of its German brother, but the dough is much sweeter, in the fashion of its Turkish relative. Get it hot at every street corner, where you will also find cheesy pies, strudels with many fillings and many other pastry products.
3. Is it a bagel? Is it a hotdog? Covriluca is the Romanian version of the hot dog. They wrapped a sausage in bagel though and there you go: a sweet – salty combo that will send fireworks to your brain!
4. Yet another influence from the east, the shaorma. Take a flat bread and throw in there all the chopped meat you can find. Add sauces of all kinds and colors, pickled cucumbers and fries and you have a calorie bomb that will put you back on track after that night of crazy partying you just had in the old town. Dristor Kebab is one the most alive places that run 24/7 in Bucharest, just 1 metro stop away from the Old Town.
5. French Revolution is something that happens nowadays in Bucharest. Liberation of the senses is brought to you by a former corporate who went to explore in France for 4 years, the art of crafting the best eclair in the world. You must try this haute couture collection of French pastry, 100% locally made in Bucharest, in one off the 2 shops opened by the Atheneum and in the Victory Square.
Photo credit: Our colleague Mara