The Romanian Food Saga: 10 Lip-Smacking Romanian Dishes You Must Try

Know where to find the best of the Romanian foods and how much they cost. These 10 must-try dishes are under-appreciated, and you must try them.

Romanian cuisine is the perfect example of multiculturalism and influence. You will find dishes like Balkan or Austro-Hungarian regimes or Russian or Turkish dishes. The confluence of different cultures imparts the uniqueness to Romanian food culture.

The Romanian Food Saga: 10 Lip-Smacking Romanian Dishes You Must Try

Here are our 10 picks from the Romanian food scene that you must try at least once.


Ciorba de fasole cu afumatura (beans soup with smoked)

  • 5$-5.5$
  • Available in restaurants all over Romania


This is the signature peasant dish of Romania. It is fulfilling, tasty, and very affordable. It is hollowed-out bread filled with soup and a piece of meat. Soups can be varied like bean soup, veal soup, pork soup, mushroom soup, and nettle soup.

The one we mentioned has a thick bean soup and smoked pork pieces. The bean imparts a nutty flavor to the dish accompanied by the aromatic smoked pork. It is a favorite in restaurants as well as homes.

Even vegetarians and vegans have options in terms of mushroom soups, beet, porcini, etc.

Traditional Romanian goat cheese with cold-cut meat

  • 6$-12$
  • Available in traditional eateries and rural mountainous areas like Transylvania, Maramures, and Bucovina

Romania has a culture of making delicious goat milk cheeses like branza de burduf in coaja de brad, telemea, and cas. These go well with smoked tomatoes and coat-cut meats.

The Romanian countryside has a tradition of preparing cold-cut and cured meats. People make their cold cuts, sausages, smoked fillet, lard, and Coppa and smoke these to preserve them for a long time. Since they are completely homemade, they don’t make it to supermarkets.

So, if you want to taste these delicacies, you need to find a restaurant that serves them, or you can get help from a guide who knows the people making them.

Zacusca/ fasole batuta/ salata de vinete

  • 5-6$
  • Available in small local restaurants and traditional farmhouses

Other than the meat-based dishes, there are plenty of vegetarian options as well.

Zacusca: It is prepared by slow-roasting eggplants and gogosari peppers over fire. They are then mashed and slow-cooked for some time to get the desired consistency. It is used as a spread for bread and as a side dish to meat.

Fasole batuta: It is a creamy, aromatic white bean dip topped with caramelized onions and a drizzle of oil. It is like hummus but obviously with a Romanian twist. It is a perfect spread for bread and a great vegan option.

Main course

Sarmale or stuffed cabbage rolls

  • 5-9$
  • Available in traditional restaurants and traditional agritourism on pre-order

Sarmale is the Romanian version of rolled cabbage rolls. It is prepared by filling the cooked rice, onions, tomato, and spices and then mixing it with pork ribs pieces and ground pork. The mixture is then wrapped into sauerkraut. The rolls are slow-cooked to perfection.

You can also find vegan/vegetarian option that uses mushrooms and is available during the orthodox fasting months.


  • Available in bucovina’s restaurants
  • 6-10$

It is a traditional Romanian pork stew slow-cooked in lard with sausages and bacon. It is served with polenta, cheese, pickles, and fried eggs. It is cooked during Igant which falls on the 20th of December. It is a celebration of pigs.

The farmers grow pigs from spring to December, butcher them, and store them for the harsh winters. Today, the tradition is not so alive but the deliciousness of tochitura stays.

Hribi cu mamaliga

  • Available in restaurants across mountainous areas
  • 5-9$

It is a simple, peasant dish in Romania prepared with porcini mushrooms and polenta. It is worth noting that porcini mushrooms are one of the most expensive edibles in Italy and France. However, their abundance in the dense forests of the Carpathians makes them a poor man’s food in Romania.

Traditionally the mushrooms are served with polenta and are a fulfilling dish. It is perfect for vegans and vegetarians.


  • Available in traditional restaurants and farmhouses
  • 8-12$

Miel or lamb is another under-explored Romanian cuisine. Romania is the third largest country in terms of sheep population in the EU. So, it is quite evident that lamb takes a prominent spot in its food culture. You can find:

  • Delicious lamb ribs grilled to perfection in restaurants.
  • Lamb stew
  • Roasted lambs in traditional farmhouses and restaurants
  • In the Carpathians, local shepherds prepare the lamb dishes on the spot. The freshly prepared dish served hot in the backdrop of the mountains is a gastronomical experience that you should go for.


  • Available in food fairs, local markets, and crowded areas
  • 3-4$(it is sold in pieces and in this price range, you get enough for 4-6 persons)

It is the go-to street food in Romania. It is like a kebab. It is prepared with a mixture of pork meat, veal, and sheep mixed with condiments and spices. It is best eaten hot just standing by the joint and gulping it down with chilled beer.

Since it is a street food; you should go for the roadside joints rather than the restaurants. Try getting help from a local for the best spot.



  • Available in restaurants across Romania but you find the best ones in Bucovina.
  • 4-6$

It is a taste-blasting dish. The typical doughnut dough is filled with ricotta cheese, deep fried, and topped with sour cream and blueberry jam. The whole taste and texture are mind-blowing.

Cozonac secuiesc

  • Available in eastern and southern Transylvania
  • 3-4$

It is such a simple yet delicious, sweet dish. The dough is wrapped around a wooden cylinder and is slowly roasted over ember after coating it with sugar. Once the sugar caramelizes it is coated with walnut. The finished dish has the crunchiness of crushed walnuts followed by the sweetness of sugar and flakiness of the dough.

Romanian cuisine is something that the world has yet to adore. If you want to experience the beauty of Romanian cuisine that exceeds these 10 dishes, contact the travel consultants and Boutique Romania. You will have the experience of a lifetime.