For those who crave la dolce vita in Romania.
Romania, a country rich in history and culture, isn’t typically the first place you think of when you’re craving Italian food. Yet, I’ve been delightfully surprised by the abundance of exquisite Italian eateries tucked away in its bustling cities and quaint towns. The romance of Italy is very much alive in the kitchens of Romania, and for aficionados like myself, the gastronomic journey is nothing short of enchanting. Here are my top ten picks.
List of Top 10 Best Italian Restaurants in Romania:
- La Mama Ateneu
- Trattoria Il Calcio
- Cucina Sophia
- Il Peccato
- Casa di David
- Da Pino
- Il Mulino
- La Cucina
- Dei Frati
1. La Mama Ateneu
Address: 9 Episcopiei St, Bucharest, 010292
Timing: 11am – 11pm
Must Try: Lasagna Alla Bolognese
La Mama Ateneu feels like a warm embrace from a loving Italian grandmother. The service is genuinely heartwarming, and you’re always greeted with a smile. Rustic wooden interiors and vintage decorations transport you straight to a cozy countryside trattoria in Italy. Taste-wise, the Lasagna Alla Bolognese stole my heart – perfectly layered pasta sheets, seasoned meat, and creamy béchamel sauce are a pure delight. Additionally, the affordability makes this a go-to spot for many, giving you the perfect blend of taste, ambiance, and value.
2. Trattoria Il Calcio
Address: 5 Nicolae Golescu St, Bucharest, 010291
Timing: 12pm – 11:30pm
Must Try: Spaghetti Carbonara
Stepping into Trattoria Il Calcio feels like being teleported to a bustling Roman street. The service strikes a balance between efficiency and warmth, ensuring every meal is memorable. Intimate lighting coupled with soft Italian melodies set the perfect romantic mood. As for their Spaghetti Carbonara, it’s a velvety dream sprinkled with crispy pancetta. The pricing is reasonable, ensuring that the experience is accessible to many, making it a favorite among locals and tourists alike.
3. Cucina Sophia
Address: 8 Erou Iancu Nicolae St, Voluntari 077190
Timing: 12pm – 10pm
Must Try: Tiramisu
Cucina Sophia is the epitome of refined elegance. From the moment you step in, the staff ensures every need is catered to, making the dining experience seamless. With an ambiance reminiscent of a chic Milanese restaurant, it boasts tasteful art pieces and soft lighting. Their Tiramisu is not to be missed – a delicate balance of mascarpone, coffee-soaked ladyfingers, and a hint of cocoa. Price-wise, it’s a premium experience, but for those special occasions, every penny is worth it.
4. Il Peccato
Address: 7 Nicolae Bălcescu Blvd, Bucharest 010041
Timing: 12pm – 11pm
Must Try: Risotto ai Funghi
Il Peccato truly lives up to its name by offering a ‘sinful’ array of dishes. The staff, always attentive, make you feel treasured throughout your meal. The ambiance is a mix of modern luxury with chandeliers and plush seating, making it feel truly special. The Risotto ai Funghi, with its creamy texture and earthy flavors, remains a standout. While it falls in the mid-price range, the quality of the food and the overall experience make it a worthwhile indulgence.
5. Casa di David
Address: 90 Herastrau Park, Bucharest 014262
Timing: 11am – 12am
Must Try: Fettuccine Alfredo
Casa di David offers an unmatched lakeside dining experience. The service feels regal, every guest is treated with utmost respect and attention. The ambiance is serene, with the gentle ripples of the lake and melodies of live music accentuating the experience. Their Fettuccine Alfredo, a creamy and flavorful treat, is a testament to their culinary prowess. While it leans towards the pricier side, the entire lakeside experience justifies the cost.
6. Da Pino
Address: 38 C.A. Rosetti St, Bucharest, 020011
Timing: 11am – 11pm
Must Try: Pesto Pizza
Da Pino exudes a homely charm, where every guest feels like an old friend. The staff, with their friendly banter and recommendations, add a personal touch to the dining experience. With wooden interiors and subtle Italian motifs, the ambiance is perfect for casual get-togethers. Their Pesto Pizza, boasting a crisp crust and fresh toppings, is a testament to their commitment to authenticity. For those conscious of their budget, Da Pino offers a flavorful experience without a hefty price tag.
7. Il Mulino
Address: 4 Bulevardul Dacia, Bucharest 020061
Timing: 12pm – 10pm
Must Try: Bruschetta al Pomodoro
Il Mulino offers a journey through Italy’s rustic charm. The service is efficient, ensuring guests feel at ease. The ambiance, with stone walls and wooden beams, transports diners to a countryside mill in Tuscany. The Bruschetta al Pomodoro, a delightful appetizer bursting with fresh flavors, sets the tone for the meal. Pricing is reasonable, making it accessible to both families and couples looking for a romantic evening.
Address: 1-3 Episcopiei St, Bucharest 010292
Timing: 12pm – 11pm
Must Try: Osso Buco
Roberto’s stands as a beacon of contemporary luxury in the Italian dining scene of Romania. The staff is impeccably trained, ensuring every guest’s experience is top-notch. Panoramic views of Bucharest, combined with modern decor, make for a splendid ambiance. The Osso Buco, tender and flavorful, showcases the culinary excellence they aim for. While Roberto’s is on the higher end of the price spectrum, the sophisticated experience it offers is second to none.
9. La Cucina
Address: 12 Ion Campineanu St, Bucharest 010031
Timing: 11:30am – 11pm
Must Try: Cannoli Siciliani
La Cucina is a delightful blend of traditional recipes and modern presentation. The service is efficient, with staff always ready to offer their recommendations. The ambiance, with its open kitchen, allows diners a peek into the culinary magic unfolding. Their Cannoli Siciliani, a harmonious blend of crispy shell and creamy ricotta filling, is a must-try. With mid-range pricing, La Cucina promises an unforgettable Italian feast without being too heavy on the pocket.
10. Dei Frati
Address: 17 Putul lui Zamfir St, Bucharest 011681
Timing: 12pm – 11pm
Must Try: Gelato
Dei Frati is where Italian tradition meets Romanian hospitality. The service is heartwarming, ensuring every guest feels like they’re dining in a familial setting. The ambiance, reminiscent of an Italian village eatery, adds to the homey feel. Their Gelato, smooth and rich with various flavors, is the perfect end to any meal. Offering great value for money, Dei Frati is a gem for those seeking authentic flavors without splurging too much.
The Romanian dining scene is a delightful tapestry of diverse culinary experiences, with Italian cuisine holding a special place. These restaurants not only serve mouthwatering dishes but also offer a slice of Italy, from the ambiance to the hospitality. Whether you’re yearning for a creamy risotto, a crispy pizza, or a velvety gelato, Romania’s Italian restaurants are ready to whisk you away on a culinary journey like no other.
1. Which is the most affordable Italian restaurant on the list?
La Mama Ateneu offers great value for money, blending quality with affordability.
2. Are reservations required for these restaurants?
While walk-ins are welcome at most places, reservations are recommended, especially during weekends or special occasions.
3. Do these restaurants offer vegetarian or vegan options?
Yes, most of these restaurants have an array of vegetarian dishes, and some offer vegan options as well. It’s always best to check their menu or call ahead.
4. Is there any dress code to follow?
While most of these restaurants have a casual ambiance, a few like Roberto’s and Casa di David lean towards the upscale side, so smart casual attire would be ideal.
5. Can these restaurants accommodate large groups or events?
Yes, many of these restaurants have private dining areas or ample space to accommodate large parties. It’s always best to call ahead and make arrangements.