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Best Lunch Restaurants in Romania

Romania, with its rich cultural history and tantalizing culinary traditions, has always been a paradise for food lovers. But with so many options to choose from, where should one dine? As a traveler who has roamed its cities and dined at countless spots, I’ve narrowed down ten of my favorite lunch restaurants that offer not just food, but an unforgettable experience. From the historic alleys of Bucharest to the picturesque streets of Sibiu, let’s embark on a journey that tantalizes the taste buds.

Top 10 Romanian Lunch Destinations:

Indulge in a culinary voyage across Romania’s rich tapestry of flavors and traditions. From historic gems in Bucharest to culinary retreats in Transylvania, discover the lunch spots that redefine Romanian dining.

  1. Caru’ cu bere
  2. Hanu’ lui Manuc
  3. the ARTIST Restaurant
  4. Lacrimi și Sfinți
  5. Sergiana
  6. Casa Boierului
  7. La Placinte
  8. Manuc’s Inn
  9. La Mama
  10. Sibiul Vechi

Caru’ cu bere

Located in the heart of Bucharest, Caru’ cu bere is not just a restaurant, but a living museum. Its neo-gothic architecture and stained glass interiors transport diners back in time. Service here is impeccable, making every guest feel special. The price range is affordable, especially given the rich ambiance and quality of food. If you’re keen to experience traditional Romanian flavors, their “mămăligă” (polenta) and “sarmale” (cabbage rolls) are a must-try.

Key Information:

  • Timing: 10 am – 12 am
  • Address: Stavropoleos 5, Bucharest
  • Must Try: “Mămăligă” and “Sarmale”

Hanu’ lui Manuc

A stone’s throw away from Caru’ cu bere is the historic Hanu’ lui Manuc. The ambiance here takes you back to the days of traders and merchants with its traditional courtyard setting. The service is warm and welcoming. Prices are on the higher side but justify the authentic dishes prepared with love. Their grilled lamb and “mămăliguță” are to die for.

Key Information:

  • Timing: 11 am – 11 pm
  • Address: Str. Franceză 62-64, Bucharest
  • Must Try: Grilled lamb and “Mămăliguță”

the ARTIST Restaurant

Elegance meets gastronomy at the ARTIST Restaurant. Located in Bucharest, this place is where culinary art comes to life. The service is top-notch, making you feel like royalty. Prices are steep but worth every penny for the taste explosion and artistic presentation. The ambiance is intimate, perfect for a romantic lunch. Their tasting menu changes with the seasons, ensuring fresh and innovative dishes.

Key Information:

  • Timing: 12 pm – 3 pm for lunch
  • Address: Calea Victoriei 147, Bucharest
  • Menu Highlight: Seasonal tasting menu

Lacrimi și Sfinți

Embracing traditional Romanian cuisine with a modern twist, Lacrimi și Sfinți is a gem in Bucharest’s historic center. Its name, translating to “Tears and Saints”, reflects its deep-rooted connection to the land and its stories. The ambiance is a delightful blend of old-world charm and contemporary aesthetics. The service is attentive and quick. While prices are moderate, the taste of dishes like “Papanași” (a sweet cheese doughnut) will leave an indelible mark on your palate.

Key Information:

  • Timing: 12 pm – 11 pm
  • Address: Str. Șepcari 16, Bucharest
  • Must Try: “Papanași”


Brașov’s pride, Sergiana offers diners a cozy retreat with its wooden interiors and authentic Carpathian decor. With service that recalls the warmth of Romanian hospitality, you are bound to feel at home. Prices are reasonable, especially given the generous portions. Dive deep into their menu and savor the “Tochitură”, a meat stew that promises a burst of flavors.

Key Information:

  • Timing: 11 am – 12 am
  • Address: Str. Mureșenilor 28, Brașov
  • Must Try: “Tochitură”

Casa Boierului

In the vibrant city of Craiova, Casa Boierului stands as a testament to the opulence of boyar houses. The restaurant offers an ambiance rich in history, with portraits of nobility adorning the walls. With impeccable service and a wide array of dishes, it is a feast fit for royalty. The prices, though on the higher end, are justified by the exquisite flavors, especially the “Musaca”, a baked meat and potato dish.

Key Information:

  • Timing: 12 pm – 11 pm
  • Address: Aleea Aviatorilor 9, Craiova
  • Must Try: “Musaca”

La Placinte

If you’re venturing into Moldova’s region, a lunch stop at La Placinte is essential. Renowned for its pies, the ambiance is casual and homely, reminiscent of countryside eateries. Efficient service coupled with budget-friendly prices makes this spot a hit among locals and tourists alike. While they offer various pies, the “Plăcintă cu brânză” (cheese pie) remains unbeaten.

Key Information:

  • Timing: 10 am – 10 pm
  • Address: Multiple locations across Moldova
  • Must Try: “Plăcintă cu brânză”

Manuc’s Inn

Not to be confused with Hanu’ lui Manuc, Manuc’s Inn in Bucharest is a heritage spot that has witnessed the city’s evolution. With its spacious courtyards and balconied rooms, the ambiance is undeniably nostalgic. Service here strikes a balance between professionalism and warmth. Prices align with the historical significance and quality of food. The “Ciorbă Rădăuțeană”, a creamy chicken soup, stands out.

Key Information:

  • Timing: 11 am – 10 pm
  • Address: Str. Franceză 62-64, Bucharest
  • Must Try: “Ciorbă Rădăuțeană”

La Mama

A household name in Bucharest, La Mama offers comfort food that reminds one of a mother’s cooking. The ambiance is simple and unpretentious, echoing the essence of home. Service is swift, and staff are always ready with a recommendation. With pocket-friendly prices, this spot is ideal for a hearty meal. Dive into their “Mămăligă cu brânză și smântână” (polenta with cheese and sour cream) for a true taste of Romania.

Key Information:

  • Timing: 10 am – 11 pm
  • Address: Multiple locations in Bucharest
  • Must Try: “Mămăligă cu brânză și smântână”

Sibiul Vechi

Last, but by no means least, is Sibiul Vechi in the beautiful city of Sibiu. This restaurant captures the essence of Transylvania. The rustic interiors, adorned with vintage artifacts, transport diners to a bygone era. The service is amiable, ensuring a relaxed mealtime. Prices are reasonable, and the taste is undeniably authentic. Their “Ciorbă de burtă” (tripe soup) is a standout.

Key Information:

  • Timing: 11 am – 10 pm
  • Address: Str. Nicolae Bălcescu 16, Sibiu
  • Must Try: “Ciorbă de burtă”


Romania’s culinary landscape is as diverse and rich as its history. Each restaurant listed here offers a unique perspective on Romanian cuisine, ensuring a gastronomic journey that’s as delightful as it is memorable. So, the next time you find yourself in Romania, you know where to lunch. As for me? I’ll be revisiting these spots, savoring the flavors that feel like a comforting embrace.


  1. What are the top lunch restaurants in Romania?
    Answer: Some of the best include Caru’ cu bere, Hanu’ lui Manuc, the ARTIST Restaurant, Lacrimi și Sfinți, Sergiana, Casa Boierului, La Placinte, Manuc’s Inn, La Mama, and Sibiul Vechi.
  2. Do these Romanian restaurants serve traditional dishes?
    Answer: Yes, most of these restaurants serve traditional Romanian dishes, often with a contemporary touch, reflecting the rich culinary heritage of the country.
  3. Is Romanian cuisine suitable for vegetarians?
    Answer: While Romanian cuisine is meat-centric, many restaurants, including those listed, offer vegetarian options or can customize dishes to suit vegetarian preferences.
  4. What is the average cost for lunch in these restaurants?
    Answer: The cost varies based on the restaurant and its location, but one can expect to pay anywhere from moderate to upscale prices, given the quality and experience they offer.
  5. Do I need to make a reservation at these lunch spots?
    Answer: While not always mandatory, it’s advisable to make a reservation, especially during peak hours or tourist seasons, to ensure a seamless dining experience.
  6. Are these restaurants kid-friendly?
    Answer: Most of these restaurants are kid-friendly, offering both special menus and comfortable seating for families. However, it’s always a good idea to check in advance.
  7. What are some must-try Romanian dishes for lunch?
    Answer: Dishes like mămăligă, sarmale, ciorbă, and papanași are some of the quintessential Romanian dishes that are a must-try when visiting these restaurants.
  8. Is it customary to tip in Romanian restaurants?
    Answer: Yes, it’s customary to leave a tip of around 10% of the bill if you’re satisfied with the service in Romanian restaurants.

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