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Bucharest Guide : Romania Rent a Car

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Restaurants & Cafes



Str. Stirbei Voda 50
Tel: 0722 812 834
Opposite Cismigiu, this peaceful and cosy place has an olde-worlde charm and ambience – apart from on the odd occasion when the staff decide that pumping house music is the best accompaniment to your relaxing meal. But they usually oblige by changing it if you have a quiet word. Decent tucker, and a menu that helpfully relates how long each dish will take to prepare.

Amsterdam Grand Cafe

Str. Covaci 6
Tel: 313 75 80
Fax: 313 75 80
The Grand Dame of expat eateries, Amsterdam is like a little piece of the West in Lipscani. An airy, modern ground floor houses the restaurant. Faultless service, a non-smoking section – take note please, less civilised establishments – and an international, cosmopolitan menu have secured Amsterdam's longevity at the top of the pile. It's little wonder its regulars are so loyal. Open 11:00-01:00, Fri 11:00 - 02:00, Sat 10:00 - 02:00.


Str. I. Cantacuzino 8
Tel: 260 29 60
Fine restaurant offering a contemporary menu just the right side of interesting without ever going over the top. The lovely high-ceilinged indoor dining room is super but the real darw is the fabbo terrace. A real treat, especially the super sassy bellissimma who welcomes you and escorts you to your seat.


Str. Popa Savu 7
Tel: 222 67 79
A great range of salads, pastas and assorted other Italian fare, all served with cheery professionalism by the efficient staff. But the crowning draw is the great weekend lunchtime deal: 50 per cent off all food. We discovered it by accident and have been regulars ever since.

Best Chef

B-dul Magheru 5-7 (Hotel Lido)
Tel: 310 32 62
The latest attempt to create a good restaurant in the vast space of the Lido hotel's ground floor is by far the best. Real care has been taken to come up with a brilliant menu, full of enticing treats for even the most jaded foodie. Whether the chef is Bucharest's best or not is debatable, but he is in with a shout.

Bistro Arles

Str. Carol Davila 60
Tel: 410 49 20
Fax: 410 49 20
Super new bistro named for Vincent van Gogh's preferred French destination, Arles. The menu here is international, not French (the perfect creme caramel is an exception), but much of what is on offer is very good indeed. We loved the cream of celery soup, and have yet to taste a better version anywhere else in Romania. The breaded squid with curry sauce was imaginative and surpsingly good. Recommended.

Bistro Atheneu

Str. Episcopiei 3
Tel: 313 49 00
If you've been here for a while and you're La Mama-ed out, but feel obliged to give your visitors at least one Romanian meal, here is the answer. It's a touch dark and gloomy inside, but the décor has an unusual charm, with instruments on the ceiling and an indoor fountain. The food won't have you writing home but it is reliable, and the young staff friendly.

Bistro Mon Cheri

Str. Tudor Stefan 16
Tel: 231 09 08
Situated in the lucrative residential area of Dorobanti, it may wish to pick up some of the success of its neighouring restaurants and bars, but it fails abysmally. An OK interior, it serves pretentious international food which is in all truth pure Romanian. But at unacceptably high prices.

Blend Brasserie

Calea 13 Septembrie 90 (JW Marriott Grand Hotel)
Tel: 403 31 51
Sat: 10:00-22:00
Sun: 10:00-22:00
Uber-trendy café with all manner of fabulously priced juices, fruit cocktails, posh sandwiches and salads. Clean and bright, with health food books for your perusal, this is where Gwynnie and Madonna would hang out if they ever came to Bucharest. We hardly need add that the music is ambient.

Brasserie Crowne Plaza

B-dul Poligrafiei 1
Tel: 224 00 34
Fax: 224 11 26
Situated inside the Crowne Plaza Hotel, the Brasserie has the biggest and most popular Sunday brunch in town. Yes people it really is that good. The chef, Raymond Gomez, is a former winner of the highly contested Best Chef competition held each year amongst the fiercest competition imaginable - including the top restaurants listed in this magazine. For a more formal meal, see the entry for La Primavera.

Casa Capsa

Calea Victoriei 36
Tel: 313 40 38
Once the chosen venue for the beautiful people at the turn of the century, this famous place saw the greatest days in Romania's history. They also saw the worst when it degenerated into a Communist party haunt for the illiterate and intellectually unendowed party bosses. After many years of being closed it has now been refurbished but has arisen as a badly decorated Romanian restaurant offering nothing out of the ordinary.

Casa Caragiale

Str. I. L. Caragiale 21-23
Tel: 211 15 18
Sun: Closed
Since opening its elegant doors in 2000, Casa Caragiale has suffered from a misconception in the eyes of the public as being hugely expensive. This is totally untrue. Certainly they have premium priced items; such as their famous foie gras in port wine, but this is the exception to the rule. What the house has always done is to ensure the highest standards of quality both in the procurement of their supplies and in their service. Outstanding.

Casa Elisabeta

Str. Ion Neculce 63
Tel: 666 78 85
Fax: 224 55 88
The owner of this restaurant clearly wants to set a standard; a sign under a sexy Marilyn Monroe poster requests guests to dress decently. But even a huge Kevin Kostner mug shot didn't put us off the cheap and good food. Mainly Romanian food on the long menu, but also dishes from other countries.

City Grill

B-dul Primaverii 3
Tel: 233 98 18
Fax: 233 98 28
Fri: 10:00-04:00
Sat: 10:00-04:00
Sun: 10:00-02:00
Great location for what is a slightly above average restaurant, which will probably become a great success as a bar. The food is low in price, and acceptable in quality. It is the very venue here though which will save them from penury and guarantee the crowds flock morning noon and night.


B-dul Eroilor Sanitari 49A
Tel: 410 85 45
In the heart of both the residential and business sectors of Cotroceni, this charming villa conversion hits a good note. We would not travel across town to go there especially, but if you are in the locality, you should drop in. Absurdly low prices for utterly acceptable food.

La Pergola

Str. Episcopiei 1-3
Tel: 303 37 77
Fax: 315 21 21
In a city where the big hotels have a (virtual) monopoly on fine dining, there is one hotel restaurant that stands head and shoulders above all others, and it is no surprise that the Athenee Palace Hilton is the place to find it. La Pergola is a classy restaurant whose regular ethnic food weeks keep punters coming back time and time again. It is expensive - crikey is it expensive - but for what you get the value is beyond reproach. Not just recommended, this place is a must. Open 06:30 - 10:00/12:00 - 15:00/19:00 - 23:00, Sat 06:30 - 11:00/12:00 - 15:30/19:00 - 23:00 Sun 06:30 - 11:00/19:00 - 23:00. Sunday Brunch 12:00 - 15:30.

La Primavera

B-dul Poligrafiei 1
Tel: 224 00 34
Fax: 224 11 26
Another fabulous hotel restaurant famed for its ethnic food weeks, even the most jaded diner will not fail to be impressed by the adventure on display here. This is the top restaurant at the Crowne Plaza, where all the food is overseen and expertly produced by master chef Raymond Gomez.


P-ta Montreal 10
Tel: 224 27 13
Eating at Lobb's is a grand experience. From the fine dining area with its large tables and expertly thought out lay-out to the semi-terrace in the vast hall of the World Trade Centre, Lobb's is a place where food is made to be enjoyed over long, casual evenings with friends and acquantancies. Few patrons have been around the Bucharest restaurant scene as long as Bob Lobb, who owns this wonderful establishment, and few know how to make diners feel quite as welcome. Entirely recommended.


Str. Primo Nebiolo 1
Tel: 224 26 72
Fax: 224 26 74/75
This place is hugely unpleasant on a grand scale. The scale we refer to is it's size, McMoni's being more of a building complex than a single restaurant. The food was simply forgettable. Simple Romanian fare disguised as being International cuisine. If you like listening to a Gypsy honky-tonk fiddle with drums and a tinny electronic keyboard, with service by elderly scowling staff; then this is the place for you.


Str. N. Golescu 14
Tel: 312 01 43
Intricately decorated with plenty of dark wood and early 20th century objets d'art, Menuet is a good place to go after seeing a performance at the nearby Atheneum, and has a quiet, lazy French-like atmosphere. What that can also mean is that service can be a little on the slow side. As for the food, you'll find the usual international menu with nothing awe inspiring to recommend, but everything is well cooked.

Mica Elvetie

Str. I. L. Caragiale 36
Tel: 210 41 77
Fax: 211 37 81
Sun: Closed
Genuine Swiss restaurant and terrace opposite a small park, where the menu changes weekly and there are always great specialities from the cantons on offer. Try the super spargel-risotto (that's asparagus risotto to you) or bratwurst with sauerkraut. Everything served in a great setting by charming staff. Downstairs the Event Club - run by the same management - can take care of late night needs, such as live jazz. Sat 10:00-14:00 Swiss Brunch

Phileas Fogg

Calea Vitan 55-59
Tel: 327 75 10
Fax: 327 75 11
There would be little reason ever to visit this anodyne place if it were not slap bang next to the Multiplex. That said, the food is reliable, the service friendly and efficient and you'll be in and out in time for the film. Read about Fogg's journey on the place mats and learn while you eat.

Phillipe Bar & Bistro

Str. C.A. Rosetti 26
Tel: 210 29 12
For a place that pitches itself below the top tier of eateries, Philippe provides a more than decent meal, with a menu nearer to restaurant-extensive than bistro-basic. Good value grub and excellent service.

Red Bistro

Str. Costache Negri 1-5
Tel: 410 26 58
Fax: 410 26 73
Oh what a joy this place is. A fabulously designed cafe restaurant, that brings more than a hint of class to the rather dull Opera Centre office building This huge square, Piata Eroilor, has long needed a dose of life. Red Bistro and its light Mediterranean cuisine has provided it in abundance.


Str. Clucerului 19
Tel: 223 19 78
Fax: 222 90 46
The ambitious owners of the Residence hotel are very keen to promote their excellent restaurant too, and with good reason. A small but perfectly formed dining room is the setting for a tantalising menu of Oriental, Meditteranean and local dishes. A much larger conference room is a great setting for larger, formal dinners.


Splaiul Independentei 7-9
Tel: 315 04 31
Fax: 312 47 59
Huge ex-communist looking eatery by the Dambovita, that seems to be mainly frequented by people who know the management. Fortunately this doesn't seem to have affected the quality of the food. Decent, if not breath-taking, Arabian-type dishes abound. Ignore the dodgy looking guys who congregate suspiciously outside.

The Harbour

P-ta Amzei 10-22
Tel: 210 90 91
Thu: 13:00-02:00
Fri: 13:00-02:00
Sat: 13:00-02:00
Sun: 11:30-24:00
A top location, in Piata Amzei, with food to match, as well as friendly and efficient staff. The atmosphere is relaxing, the food better than average, though the real joy of this place is its great terrace with views to the market.

Uptown Bar & Grill

Str. Rabat 2
Tel: 231 40 77
Fax: 230 13 60
Impossibly popular restaurant where reservations are essential. Inside the feel is upmarket and exclusive, but the covered terrace outside is a far more relaxed place to enjoy the food, which, while winning no prizes for originality is good, excellently served and presented and reasonably well priced.


Str. Palatul Justitiei 60
Tel: 337 49 00
Not great. Situated behind the criminal law courts it is packed in the daytime with lawyers and their clients, who will eat far better food in prison should they be convicted. Open all night. Open 24hrs.

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