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Bucharest Guide : Romania Rent a Car

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Restaurants & Cafes



B-dul Regina Elisabeta
Not, as the name would suggest, a costly Bucharest Starbucks wannabe, but a cheap and cheerful bistro-type place, serving everything from breakfasts to lunches to alcohol. The décor and round wooden tables give it the atmosphere of a Parisian railway station café – have a wine and pretend you're waiting for Humphrey Bogart (or Ingrid Bergman as the case may be).

Café Einstein

Str. Radu Beller 1
Tel: 230 43 84
Fri: 08:00-22:00
Sun: 09:00-22:00
With its superb exposure up in the Dorobanti area, Einstein is well placed to be a top café. But instead it's yet another uninspired waste of an excellent space, badly in need of an overhaul. The German genius would doubtless be as puzzled over such underexploitation of a venue as he one was about relativity, space, time and so on.

Café Molinari

Str. Nicolae Golescu 14-16
Tel: 313 20 91
Molinari is hidden next to Byblos restaurant, with nary an outside sign to point to its existence. It's a strange marketing technique, but the result is a stylish café, of the kind that would usually be teeming with posers, but instead is quiet and relaxing. With a decent range of snacks and bigger meals, it's a good stop for a peaceful spot of lunch.

Café Royal Bistro

Str. Episcopiei 1-3
Tel: 303 37 77
Fri: 08:00-24:00
Meeting someone? Meet them at the Hilton coffee shop. This really is the Bucharest expat community's equivalent of the village pub, and one that serves good snacks, super light meals and the finest freshly squeezed orange juice in the city to boot.

Cafe Mike

Str. Eforie 2
Tel: 312 48 44
Themed café with music and movie memorabilia. But don't stop reading with a sneer and go on to the next option, because this place is nothing like as anodyne and soulless as the Hard Rock Café or its miserable peers. The food and service are not particularly memorable, but there's a good range of drinks to sip while earnestly discussing the highbrow film you've just seen upstairs at Cinema Eforie.

Caffe & Latte

B-dul Schitu Măgureanu 35
Tel: 314 38 34
Fri: 08:00-22:00
If it ain't broke, don't try to fix it, seems to be the ethos of this king of cafés. The staff, the food, the coffee and the décor all stay the same – and still they come. Particularly nice at this time of year, when you can sit outside, avoid the smoke and have a nice view of the park. Keep doing what you're doing, Caffe Latte.

Coffee & Coffee

Str. Radu Beller 8
Tel: 0788 317 538
Great coffee shop and hairdressers - entrance around the corner - opens on the coffee heaven of a strip that is Radu Beller. Outside seating a plus, as is the good selection of tasty sweet treats. And of course, you can have your hair done while you slurp. Open 24 hours.

Crem Caffe

Str. Toma Caragiu 3
Tel: 313 97 40
Fax: 313 97 48
Sat: 09:00-24:00
Sun: 09:00-24:00
A treasure of a cafe, just behind Piata Universitatii. Full of good people all of the time enjoying coffee, cakes and conversation. Impeccable service and decor only add to the joy of spending time here. The warm, fresh apple cake with ice cream is dreamy.

Da Vinci L'Inventore

Str. Ion Campineanu 11
Tel: 312 24 92
Fax: 312 17 32
Sun: Closed
From early in the morning until late in the evening this lovely cafe buzzes with the sounds of busy people chatting and relaxing between high powered meetings in the Union Business Centre above. A clubby, vibrant but always understated treat.

El Cafe de mi Finca

Str. Vasile Alecsandri 3
Tel: 212 33 04
Sat: 16:00-24:00
Sun: 16:00-23:00
Lord knows what he name means but this is a charming cafe and bar we never fail to feel relaxed in. Small rooms in pastel-ish shades are tastefully decorated with knick-knacks and pictures, and the staff are as cool as the clientele. Nice.

Fashion Cafe-Bar

Calea Victoriei 153
Tel: 0726 32 70 61
Fri: 09:00-03:00
Sat: 09:00-03:00
Sun: 09:00-02:00
If you are the kind of person who wears sunglasses whatever the season or the weather, and sees nothing wrong in doing so, then you will enjoy this place. It's as posey and - as they say in Romania - fitze as they come, but for seeing and being seen it really doesn't get much better in Bucharest. Bling bling.

High Heels

Str. Radu Beller 4
Tel: 230 70 40
A gimmicky name, but well named nonetheless as they have on display a large collection of high quality Italian shoes, all of which are for sale. They also serve Italy's premium Illy coffee. It has an attractive décor in pink, warmly offset by copious amounts of wood. A good place and a poseur's paradise.

La Gallette

P-ta Montreal 10 (Sofitel)
Tel: 202 17 22
Sat: 10:00-18:00
Sun: 09:00-16:00
Classy new cafe and patisserie at the Sofitel, a popular choice with guests and office workers from the World Trade Center.

Market Cafe

Str. Stavropoleos 8
Tel: 313 41 67
Fax: 313 41 68
Sun: Closed
Another reason why Lipscani is such a trendy place to be these days. This cafe, bar, design studio, bookstore and general style-guru hang out is a great place to meet interesting people, to browse the wares and to enjoy a uniquely sophisticated environment.

Nova Brasilia

Str. Radu Beller 6
Tel: 231 55 40
Fri: 08:00-24:00
Sat: 08:00-24:00
Sun: 09:00-23:00
Did you know that Nova Brasilia is a slum in Rio? Probably not quite the image the owners of this expat-oriented place were going for. Once a trailblazer on the café scene, NB has now been overtaken by new kids on the block. But it remains worth a visit for its wide food selection and tempting chocolates. Also on Calea Mosilor 288 (tel. 210 70 14).

Picasso Café

Str. Franceză 2-4
Tel: 312 15 76
Sat: 12:00-24:00
Sun: 15:00-24:00
Even the artist himself, who was a committed puffer, would probably have been shocked at the amount smoke in this place. But if you can overlook the heightened lung cancer risk – or, better still, go when it's not busy – Picasso is a great spot for a juice, coffee or snack, and to while away your time reading or chatting.

Pipe si carti

Str. Justitiei 23
Tel: 335 57 12
Mon: Closed
The kind of place that will surely one day litter Bucharest, though today a lone ranger, Pipe si carti does it exactly what it says on the tin: it welcomes pipe smokers who want to read books. We love the relaxed atmosphere and sweet smell of success that oozes over the place. To be enjoyed.

Planter's Cafe

Str. Mendeleev 8-10
Tel: 0723 559 908
Part of the infamous Planter's club has now been hacked off to form a seperate cafe, replete with pluche sofas and all manner of coffee treats.


Str. Ion Brezoianu 19
Tel: 312 07 14
Sat: 10:00-22:00
Sun: 10:00-22:00
Wow. This trendy little place is a real Viennese-style shop window cafe. Lay back on smooth armchairs and relax with a book or friends as you enjoy great coffee and pastries.


Calea 13 Septembrie 90
Tel: 403 35 11
Tucked away next to Salingers, this café is as good as you would expect from the Marriott, although the black and red décor replete with leather seats does make it feel a bit like a bachelor pad. Quiet place to sit and read anything you've just bought next door, with no worries that the service or product will disappoint. Open 24hrs.

Studio Cafe

Str. C.A. Rosetti 10
Tel: 315 72 98
What was the run-of-the-mill Boema has returned in a new guise, namely the trendy as you like Studio Cafe. A great spot for posing, you can be sure that the people who sip their (great) cappuccinos and espressos here are as keen on being seen as you are.

Turabo Cafe

Str. Episcopiei 6
Tel: 0726 88 72 26
Fax: 0744 73 34 44
Quite the best cafe in town. The sandwiches are great, the coffee is great, the cakes are superb. They do some pretty snazzy cocktails too, and you can even get a beer. If you are lucky enough to get a seat, then just try and work out what the guys arriving in the top of the range Merc's and BMW's all do for a living. We once saw three guys arrive in an X5, get out with mobiles clamped to their ears, sit down, order coffee, drink coffee, pay and leave without either finishing a call or saying a word to each other – amazing. Open 08:00-01:00.


Str. Bibescu Voda 1
Tel: 337 29 78
Fax: 337 29 77
Trendy and popular cafe on the southern side of Piata Unirii. Via, part of an international chain, offers really great views from its upper level, gourmet coffee and tasty French pastries. An increasingly popular night time venue, you'll find casual music and a casual crowd chilling out here until late.

Vienna Café

Calea 13 Septembrie 90
Tel: 403 19 01
The Marriott's posh flagship café, which is exactly as you'd expect: classy, enjoyable and expensive. Sit and try to read those unmanageable newspapers on a stick, while enjoying the occasional live piano music, plus the sight of business types buzzing about to conferences. What's more fun than leisurely watching others work when you don't have to?

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