I'll be going to Bucharest in a few days. This is a travel I do because of my job. As in this case, I often get ready at the last minute and when I'm there I remember that I want also to enjoy the place, and especially the cuisine.

Well, this time I'm going to Bucharest. I know only some of the traditional dishes, basically meat-based, but I was wondering what else may this country offer.

Which is a very typical "must taste" Romanian food I can get in Bucharest?

  • This is Russian and I don't even know the origin of Shashlik (Shish) – Karlson Sep 22 '15 at 3:29
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  • Realize that everything you eat while in Bucharest will be "typical Romanian cuisine", in a way. Even if you ate at a French restaurant, it will still be very Romanian.... – CGCampbell Sep 27 '15 at 3:30

The Romanian dish I can recommend is the soup, "Ciorbă" (pronounced like 'chorba'. It's described in the Wikipedia as...

Ciorbă (Romanian pronunciation: [ˈt͡ʃorbə]), from Persian shorba (شوربا), via the Turkish word çorba, is a general Romanian word describing sour soups consisting of various vegetables and meat. Most Romanians differentiate between "supă" (soup) and "ciorbă" by the fact that supă has no added acid and is usually clear

Generalization: Regional variants on this soup are ubiquitous across eastern Europe. I use the Russian word, "солянка" (pronounced 'solYANka' in speech) regardless of where I am and admit that the word may be subject to regional interpretations, but is always immediately understood and always delivers up the same basic recipe. My own favourite variant includes black olives. In addition to being a great food, it's a powerful remedy for hangovers. However, if you require localised precision, it's best to stick to the Romanian word, Ciorbă.

Some of variants to this dish which are claimed by Romania as a national dish are listed in a scan I made of Lonely Planet Romania & Moldova...

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Source: Scan from 'Lonely Planet Romania & Moldova, 1998, Lonely Planet Publications, Nicola Williams (Author), David St. Vincent (Author), fair use

The other food I recommend is Frigărui, described in the Wikipedia as...

Frigărui1 (Romanian pronunciation: [friɡəˈruj], singular: frigăruie) is a Romanian dish consisting of small pieces of meat (usually pork, beef, mutton, lamb or chicken) grilled on a skewer, similar to the kebab. Often, the pieces of meat alternate with bacon, sausages, or vegetables, such as onions, tomatoes, bell peppers and mushrooms. It is seasoned with spices such as pepper, garlic, savory, rosemary, marjoram and laurel.

Again, this dish is ubiquitous across eastern Europe and nearly every country stakes a claim on it as a national dish. For example, it has the singular distinction of being pictured on a postage stamp in Tajikistan. Families head for the forest on weekends, prepare a fire, and cook it out in the open. The English equivalent is 'kebab', and Russian is "шашлы́к" (pronounced 'shashlik'). Both English and Russian work equally well for this food in Romania.

Turning once again to the Lonely Planet, there's a restaurant recommendation...

enter image description here

Source: ibid

If you have the opportunity to mix with locals and weather permits, I recommend joining a family for an excursion to the forest for 'kebab'. Along the way you will have a wonderful chance to learn about mushrooms because these are collected along the way (by experienced family members who know what they are doing) and used as ingredients.

Obiter dictum: If you are flying in to Bucharest, insist on finding your own taxi to your hotel.

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    the bus can be better if you want to immerse yourself a bit more – Alex Sep 23 '15 at 9:42

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