Transylvanians are connoisseurs of food and if you are a foodie, you are bound to enjoy Transylvanian cuisine. Their meals always end with a lovely dessert, chosen from a list of extraordinary cakes. If you were to understand what a Transylvanian typically likes to eat, you would need to think of the taste of bread, eaten hot from the oven, with a piece of smoked lard or bacon and an onion, washed down later with a glass of palinca (a fruit brandy generally made from prunes).
Transylvanian cuisine gives you many options to choose from. If you love cakes you will be spoiled for choice. All desserts are made with chocolate or cream and taste scrumptious.
Our Transylvania Restaurant Guide below tells you all about the food you will encounter whilst in Transylvania. So, after a fun day of sightseeing or shopping in Transylvania, relax in beautiful surroundings and taste a variety of dishes from the restaurant of your choice. You should also take a look at our Romania Restaurant Guide for more information on the food and cuisine of this fascinating country.
Food & Cuisine in Transylvania
The food found in Transylvania is wholesome and nourishing. The diet usually includes thick vegetable soups, meat stews and customary dishes such as cabbage stuffed with rice, and pancakes with cheese and raisins. Herring and carp are popular. Home made wines and the ‘tuica’ (plum brandy) are also produced in Romania.
The major cities also have international restaurants which serve Chinese, Japanese, Mexican, Italian, Greek, Turkish or French food. Global fast food giants like McDonalds and KFC are also present in Romania. These outlets are considered mid to high endrestaurants in Transylvania and you will find the cleanliness and quality of food served here far better than what is served in more developed countries.
Ketchup is not used in Transylvania because the local people prefer traditional region-specific sauces made out of pimento, onion and roasted flour. Fat is used in place of cooking oil.
Pork is the favoured meat in this region. The residents do not eat fish since fishing is not possible in the rivers in Transylvania. However, both vegetables and meat are commonly used in local dishes.
Transylvanian soup, renowned throughout Romania, is made with green peas, white ham, green garlic, parsley and tomatoes. For an authentic experience, you must savour this soup with a wooden spoon. Borsch (a vegetable soup), which is a preferred dish in Muntenia, is not such a favourite in Transylvania. Transylvanian people prefer pork, lamb or beef soups flavoured with vinegar or tartaric acid. Smoked bacon, sausage and tarragon are also added to enhance the taste of soups.
Cabbage a la cluj
You must try the cabbage a la cluj served during your visit to Transylvania. It is as well known as the Moldavian sarmale (meat rolls in vine leaves) or the Oltenian sausages (beef and pork mixed with garlic, pepper, salt and then stuffed into sheep gut and smoked for two hours). It is a delicious baked dish made with cabbage mixed with minced meat and light spices, served with sour cream. Usually, a few slices of bacon and mushrooms are fried on the side and then added to the meat. The dish is then served with polenta (made from boiled corn meal) and sour cream. You could not ask for a better feast.
Street Food in Transylvania
Romanian street food consists of chocolate, cheese, apple and strawberry doughnuts and pretzels. There are special places that make pretzels called “Simigerii” (singular: simigerie or mititei). Try the kebab, shawarma, or souflaki if you want non-Romanian food. “Drob” is a special dish made during Easter. It is shaped like a cake and filled with fresh green vegetables and the insides of lamb. Lamb is also the traditional Easter food in Transylvania.
Typical Romanian Cuisine
The main dishes of Romania include the following:
Sarmale – meat cooked in wine or cabbage leaves
Mici – a traditional Romanian dish made of grilled meat (minced) rolls flavoured with spices and served with mustard and beer.
Ciorba de Burta – soup made from the cow’s stomach (tripe).
Bulz – a dish found only in Transylvania, made of cheese with polenta (dish made of boiled corn meal).
Papanasi – a traditional dessert in Transylvania made of cheese dumplings rolled in breadcrumbs and sugar. Absolutely delicious!
Eating & Drinking in Brasov
Brasov has a good selection of places to eat and drink, with excellent restaurants in the main hotels, mostly with spoken English personnel.
The cafes around Piata Sfatului serve a wide range of cakes and buns, and terraces enable clients to watch the comings and goings on this lively square. The best are the opium bar (Str. Republicii nr. 2) and Casata (Piata Sfatului, nr. 13).
In addition, Brasov´s kiosks sell what is certainly the best apple strudel in Romania.
In what concerns drinking, Romanians are considered the greatest eastern European beer drinkers. The Gropa cu Bere (The Beer Hollow) is a friendly and cheap place for having a good beer.
Eating & Drinking in Sighisoara
The restaurants in the Casa cu Cerb and Sighisoara hotels are the best dining options in the citadel. La Strada have good pizzas and outdoor seating.
For drinking, try the Crama, a little locals´ bar. The Culture Pub in the basement of the Burg Hostel has live music and stays open until late at night.
No Limits, beneath the clock tower, is the most central club.
Str Universitatii, no. 2, up the stairs
13:00 to to 23:00
Hanul Dacilor is a traditional Romanian restaurant placed in Cluj. They promote the concept of slow-food. The atmosphere in the restaurant is very specific to Romanian people: the folk music is cheerful and the personnel is dressed up in traditional folk costumes. The food is served in Roman clay and wooden dishes. We reccommend you to taste the beans soup in bread.
Str. Constantin Brancusi nr.86A, Cluj-Napoca
Matei Corvin – Intim
Str. Matei Corvin, Cluj-Napoca
Cluj-Napoca, Str. G. Clemenceau Nr.2
Dracul Danes Restaurant is placed in a charming natural environment, on the shores of Tarnava Mare river, close to the medieval city of Sighisoara. The restaurant waits for its guests with 65 places and with delicious Romanian traditional meals.
Str. Principala, Nr. 804, Loc. Danes, jud. Mures
Crama Sibiana restaurant, placed in the center of Sibiu, awaits for its guests with a rustic design, Romanian folk music and a diversified range of culinary dishes and traditional drinks.
We reccommend you to taste “tochitura taraneasca”.
3, Avram Iancu Street , Sibiu
Str. Iuliu Maniu, nr. 56, Brasov
Str. Muresenilor, nr. 18, Brasov
Bdul. 15 Noiembrie
Str. Republicii, nr.10
Str. Muresenilor, nr. 4
Piata Enescu, nr. 13
Str. Baritiu, nr.14
Str. Politehnicii nr. 6