Gastronomy in Romania

Immerse yourself in Romanian cuisine


In addition to the picturesque landscapes, the customs preserved from the ancestors and the numerous tourist objectives, Romania has something more. When it comes to food, Romanians excel. If you have the opportunity to enter someone's house, you will not leave without eating. It's like an unwritten rule: the food must be delicious, filling and there is nothing left on the plate.
A loaded history

Many culinary influences

The Romanian cuisine has as a distinctive note the diversity. This is due to influences from various cultures that have twinned with the Romanian people. Thus, after improving the dishes by adding new elements, today we can enjoy complexity and gastronomic abundance. Culinary influences come from peoples such as: Germans, French, Serbs, Italians, Turks and Hungarians. But, in addition to these culinary wonders, authentic Romanian recipes have been assimilated and preserved, of course.


In order for you to enjoy a delicious mix of flavors and to be in touch with what “Culinary Romania” has to offer, we took the liberty to suggest you the following dishes:

Traditional dishes preferred by Romanians:

The list is far from exhaustive, but includes some of the representative dishes. For a perfect dining experience, don’t miss the homemade bread. You will not regret. Given that many of the dishes are based on meat, an important element in this “equation” is pickles.

Sarmale (stuffed cabbage rolls)

Is a combination of minced meat (pork, most commonly) with rice, onions, salt and other spices that are mixed and then rolled in cabbage leaves (fresh or pickled). Afterwards, the sarmale are boiled for a few good hours and are usually served with sour cream and polenta.


Is a dish adored by Transylvanians and is made from polenta, but not boiled in water, but in a fatty whey, called „jintuit”. 

Mici (minced meat rolls)

They can be associated with some grilled meatballs, but whose shape is cylindrical. They are made from minced meat (mix of beef or mutton and pork), mixed with salt and baking soda, to which garlic and various spices are added. They are grilled, then served hot, with mustard and bread or pickles, according to preference.

Varză a la Cluj

Is a preparation specific to Transylvania and is similar to sarmale. The difference is that, this time, the sarmale are “scattered”: the cabbage with the minced meat is laid in layers together with the rice and sour cream.

Tochitură moldovenească (Moldavian stew)

It is made from: pork, smoked sausages, ribs and smoked bacon. It is served with polenta, fried eggs and bellows cheese on top.

Ciorbă de burtă (tripe soup)

Is one of the most appetizing Romanian soups, whose main ingredient is beef belly. This requires more complex training, but the result is stunning. Once it acquires a creamy texture, the belly is shredded, various vegetables and spices are added, as well as sour cream. It can be served with hot peppers.

Mămăligă cu brânză și smântână (polenta with cheese and sour cream)

It is made from corn flour, boiled in water with a pinch of salt and a few drops of sunflower oil. It is usually served with traditional Romanian cheese and homemade sour cream. It is also used as a garnish for sarmale /varza a la Cluj or other preparations.

Ciulama de pui (chicken in white sauce)

Chicken with white sauce made from sour cream, whose consistency is thickened with flour. Served with polenta.

Ciorbă de fasole cu afumătură (Smoked bean soup)

It is a thick soup, made from beans, smoked meat with bone (pork or beef – pig trotter, homemade ham), vegetables, tomato broth. To give it an authentic taste, add tarragon, and apple cider vinegar if you prefer.

Authentic and delicious desserts

We could not omit the sweet dishes, loved by most of us. When it comes to the following delicacies, even if you feel that you have eaten enough, you can’t resist the sweet temptation:

Cozonac (sponge cake)

Is a sweet bread that contains milk, yeast, eggs, sugar, butter, oil and salt that are mixed and allowed to rise before baking. Depending on the region, the Romanian cozonac is filled with raisins, nuts, poppy seed cream and can be woven in two or three.


Pie filled with cheese and egg, baked in oven until brown.

Papanași (cheese dumplings)

Are delicacies in the shape of donuts with cow cheese, served hot, with sour cream and blueberry jam.

Găluște cu prune (plum dumplings)

Dumplings made from a dough based on potatoes and flour, in which the plums are dressed. Boiled, then rolled through breadcrumbs browned with sugar and cinnamon.


Is a dessert associated with a holiday that takes place on March 9th. There are some donuts in the shape of the number eight, baked in the oven and served with honey topping and walnut paste.

Plăcintă cu mere (apple pie)

This cake, although simple in appearance, is a real delight. It is a pie with an enticing cinnamon smell, filled with apples

Romanian traditional drinks

In addition to the flavorsome dishes, Romanians will “honor” you with traditional drinks that have been passed on and improved from one generation to the next. Each region has its specifics from this point of view, but the quality and passion with which these “magic liqueurs” are made is their strong point and, at the same time, common.

  • Pălincă (brandy) – If you go to Transylvania, you will notice that many people drink this drink before meals, “so that one should really enjoy the taste of food”. Brandy has a high alcohol content (52%) and is obtained by distilling and fermenting various fruits (plums, quinces, pears, apples, apricots, cherries,etc).


  • Țuică – it is a drink that is obtained in the same way as brandy. The difference is that it is produced exclusively from plums and is usually weaker than brandy.


  • Horincă – is the regionalism used in Maramureș and Ţara Oașului to refer to brandy and tuica.


  • Vin (Wine)


  • Must – it is a slightly fermented, aromatic grape juice. Plus: it stimulates immunity and detoxifies the body.


  • Afinată (alcoholic drink made of blueberries) – it is a drink whose preparation requires patience, as the fruit is covered with sugar and left to soak. Only then is the alcohol poured, and the whole process takes a month. In the same way, sour cherries and raspberries drinks are made etc.

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