If you’re wondering where to eat in Bucharest and you’re looking for something cheap and affordable you’ve come to the right place.
In this post I’m going to go over the best places to eat in Bucharest if you’re on a budget. Now, don’t get me wrong, just because these are budget options doesn’t mean they’re terrible – quite the opposite actually.
The following restaurants, bakeries and eateries are all in the top 150 or so on TripAdvisor’s list and are definitely worth checking out, even if you’re not on a budget.
Where to Eat in Bucharest
Bakeries and Desserts
All around Bucharest you’ll find countless bakeries and patiserie’s. You can easily grab a covrigi (pretzel) or a fruit-filled strudel for less than 2-3 lei. The options at these places are somewhat limited and the quality is lacking but if you’re in a rush and can’t be bothered to look for somewhere else then they are perfectly suitable options.
Here are 2 bakeries that offer high quality and delicious choices from local breads and homemade desserts to complete sandwiches and soups. They’re popular with locals in Bucharest and are within walking distance of the Old Town and other popular tourist sights.
Boutique du Pain
28-30 Strada Academie
- To reach this bakery simply walk along Calea Victorei until you reach the Pasajul Victoria. Walk through the passage and turn left on Strada Academie. You’ll see the bakery on your right about 100m down the street.
Boutique du Pain offers a small, but well-crafted, selection of bakery goods, breads, rolls, sandwiches, hot drinks and salads. They also have a lunch-menu if you’re looking for an inexpensive lunch.
For between 4 and 15 lei you’ll be able to enjoy anything on the menu. They have an outdoor patio that’s open in the summer and the inside is quite nice as well. It’s a mix of a bistro and bakery so you can just as easily sit down for a quick lunch as you can grab something on the go.
This is the first bakery I visited in the city and arguably one of the best I’ve ever been to.
1 Barbu Delavrancea
- This bakery is located right beside Parcul Kiseleff and is a great place to stop by for a quick snack on your way to relax in one of the many green spaces in Bucharest. It’s about a 15-minute walk from the Old Town but a few trams stop right out front.
Pain Plaisir is one of the best bakeries in all of Bucharest. Surprisingly, considering how popular and busy it is, the prices are quite agreeable and definitely affordable, even if you’re on a budget.
You’ll be able to enjoy some homemade, fresh bread along with a wide selection of delectable pastries. The pastries and fancier desserts cost a bit more but are still affordable, especially for how delicious they are.
Taking on a French twist, Pain Plaisir has a selection of quality cheese and good wine if you’re looking for something more romantic or you don’t feel like any bread or sweets.
They don’t have a website but you can check out their Facebook page here.
Cremeria Emilia Romania
38-42 Strada Franceza
- Emilia is located right in the heart of the Old Town only a few steps away from Strada Lipscani.
If you’re looking to beat the summer heat or you just feel like a cool dessert then you’ll want to head to Cremeria Emilia. At Emilia you’ll find some of the best ice cream in Bucharest for a reasonable price.
All of their ice cream is homemade with the freshest ingredients and you’ll find that they always offer seasonal and local options when it comes to their flavors. They have over 15 different flavors you can choose from.
They also serve small cakes and other ice cream related treats. Check out the small fridge near the cash register to see what they have available.
It costs 12 Lei for an ice cream but there is a 2-scoop minimum and they pack the cup up to the top. The place itself is quite nice with a large terrace and a private upstairs sitting area. If you’re eating in you’ll be served in a fancy glass bowl but you can get it to go in a paper cup as well.
Strada Puțul lui Zamfir 60
- If you’re near Piata Victorei or you’re catching a match at Stadionul Dinamo then this is the perfect spot for you. It’s about a 30-minute walk from the Old Town but there are a ton of things to see and do along the way, making it the ideal choice for a late breakfast or lunch.
It’s always hard to find a good bagel no matter where you are in Europe. The further East you travel the less likely you are to find anything remotely similar to a Canadian bagel. Well, look no further, Bagel Brunch offers up some of the best bagels and breakfast in all of Bucharest!
They have a selection of different bagel types including plain, sesame seed, everything and whatever other kind of bagel they feel like baking. All of the ingredients are fresh and the bagels are cooked daily so you know you’re always going to get something delicious.
Choose from a selection of spreads or sandwiches, depending on what you’re in the mood for. When it comes to breakfast in Bucharest you don’t want to pass on Bagel Brunch.
Regardless of the city you’re visiting you shouldn’t leave without trying something regional and local. Classic Romanian food can be hard to find in Bucharest if you don’t know where to look. Many of the options aren’t that great but there are a few places that stand out.
General Berthelot 37
- A fast-food style of Romanian cuisine located close to Gara de Nord train station
I was told of this place by another travel blogger who told me that I had to check it out if I was looking for some delicious and classic Romanian food. Well, I love getting helpful hints from other travel bloggers so of course I went to see what they had.
The selection is quite large. You can find a wide range of classic Romanian cuisine options including cabbage rolls, soup (ciorba) of all kinds, small sausages (mici), rolls, salads and more. It’s a great place to stop by for lunch or if you’re on your way to the train station.
The plates and choices are reasonably priced. You’ll be able to fill yourself up on a full meal at La Mara for between 8 and 20 Lei depending on how much food you get. It’s not as fancy as some of the places in the Old Town but it’s definitely good!
Caru cu Bere
Strada Stavropolous 5
- You’ll find this restaurant right in the heart of the Old Town. It’s impossible to miss – look for the packed terrace and line-up out the door.
If you’re looking for a popular and affordable Romanian restaurant then you’ll love Caru cu Bere. It’s popular with both tourists and locals for good reason, they offer huge portions and great beer for a reasonable price.
Since 1879 the restaurant has been serving up a variety of typical Romanian dishes and they pride themselves on the quality of food the serve.
Some of their popular dishes include roast pork knuckle, soup from Bucovina, a local fish platter, braised veal, fried carp and an assortment of Romanian desserts. They also have a huge selection of beer so if you’re not hungry and you just want to relax and people watch then head to Caru cu Bere.
For the Old Town and the restaurants popularity its prices are still quite affordable. You’ll be able to get a drink and a starter for less than 20 Lei and an enormous meal will only cost you around 40-60 Lei. You can spend up to 200 Lei per person if you’re looking to live large but for budget travelers it’s still a great choice.
I love looking for mediterranean and Middle Eastern food whenever I’m in Europe and Bucharest is no exception. No matter where you are in the world you can always find high-quality and tasty Middle Eastern food. If you like kebap, falafel, hummus and shawarma than you’re in for a treat because Bucharest has quite a few options for you.
Strada Șelari 19
- You’re bound to stumble across this place on your walk through the Old Town. Once you start smelling some delicious grilled meat and you see a line up out the door you know you’ve reached Calif.
There simply isn’t a better place in the city to find a kebap or chicken wrap. Not only is Calif located right in the center of the Old Town they also have a decent selection and competitive prices. For 10 Lei you can get a chicken wrap and a lemonade and for only 12 Lei you can get a huge chicken kebap.
Dristor is right across the street but the prices are higher and it never seems to be as busy as Calif. There is also a small outdoor patio right on the sidewalk so you can enjoy your meal while watching the large crowds of people walk by.
Calif is, by far, the best place to eat in Bucharest on a budget, especially if kebap and Middle Eastern influenced food is your preference. It costs twice as much at McDonald’s for a smaller and much more unhealthy meal so why not save some money and enjoy something delicious at Calif?
Strada Franceză 17
- You can find Dristor along Franceza street, one of the main thoroughfares in the Old Town. Coincidentally it’s right around the corner from Calif so the choice is yours where you want to eat.
Dristor Kebap is another one of the best kebap options in Bucharest. The prices are a bit higher than at Calif but they offer a lot more seating room and an enormous outdoor patio. The focus here seems to be more on dishes so you can order a dish of nearly any kind of traditional Middle Eastern kebap style of food.
At Dristor they serve beef, lamb, chicken, hummus, falafel and quite a few other options like fresh salads and small desserts. It’s not as busy as Calif but that also means it’s not as crowded so you can grab your meal, sit down on the terrace and enjoy it in peace.
It’s right behind Calif when it comes to the quality of food and amount of options available. If you’re looking to eat somewhere with a more relaxed atmosphere then definitely check out Dristor Kebap.
Calea 13 Septembrie 85
- You’ll find La Oriental right beside the Palace of Parliament. If you’re walking from the Old Town simply take the street on the left of the Palace. Once you reach the intersection at the end of the block you’ll see the restaurant in a small plaza across the street.
La Oriental is a Lebanese restaurant with an enormous selection of food. It’s more of a sit-down type of place but they’ll definitely be able to prepare something for you to take-away if you’re not interested in eating at the restaurant.
The prices here are extremely reasonable. Starting at 10 Lei you’ll be able to get some classic Lebanese soups, salads and appetizers like hummus and baba ghanoush. They have plenty of mains and you can choose from chicken, beef or lamb. Platters are how they serve the food here at La Oriental so along with your main you’ll get a nice serving of rice and fresh veggies.
The mains start at around 20 Lei with their most expensive option, beef tenderloin, only costing a measly 60 Lei. The quality and presentation here is incredible and it’s surprising that this random restaurant is so delicious and highly rated.
It’s about a 15-minute walk from the Old Town but for most of the way you’ll be able to enjoy an incredible view of the Palace of Parliament.
Western Cuisine (American, Mexican)
When you’re far from home it’s quite probable you’re going to get a craving for something that’s not very popular in Europe. Well, American and Mexican food is usually what I crave and if you’re like me you’re going to want to check out a few of these spots!
Parked somewhere in Bucharest
- The Burger Van will be familiar to tourists visiting from Canada or the United States. It’s one of the most popular food trucks in Bucharest, which in itself is a very unusual sight.
The Burger Van is just that – a van that drives around serving up hot, huge and delicious burgers. If you check their website you’ll be able to find out where they’re parked for a certain period of time but if you’re lucky you’ll catch it out on the street.
For 10-30 Lei you can get yourself a huge burger from the Burger Van with every topping imaginable. Whether you’re looking for something classic or a burger with a random assortment of toppings you’ll definitely be able to satisfy your burger craving at the Burger Van.
Strada Iancu Căpitanu 30
- El Torito is a bit far from the Old Town so take a metro and get off at Obor or use Uber.
I don’t know if El Torito is the only Mexican restaurant in Bucharest but it’s definitely the best. Even on TripAdvisor it’s one of the highest rated restaurants in the city and for good reason.
The servings are enormous, the price is reasonable and the service is amazing. Locals rave about El Torito and many claim that it’s here where you can get the best burrito in Bucharest!
Compared to European standards your jaw is sure to drop when they come out with your plates. The burrito itself probably weighs nearly 1KG and is served steaming hot in a large baking dish. They also have a good selection of tequila and other Mexican spirits so if you’re looking to get drunk or have a fun night out you’ll want to try some of their cocktails and liquors.
The appetizers are reasonably priced around 10 to 30 Lei with the mains, including the burrito, priced from 30 Lei and up.