It’s always a worry travelling somewhere new and wondering if you’re going to struggle sticking to a particular diet (as in vegan, allergies etc). But it was surprisingly easy to eat vegan in Romania, mainly due to the fact with how religious the country is.
My boyfriend explained to me that Lent is particularly important over there, so in supermarkets it’s really easy to find meat free/vegan products not just during Lent but all year round too – and products are labelled really clearly as well.
We travelled all around the country but luckily my boyfriend is really great at finding places and relies on apps like Happy Cow a lot. Before we set off on our travels, we also made sure to stock up on tons of vegan goodies and snacks for the long car journeys too.
Here’s some of our favourite vegan/vegan friendly finds just in case you ever find yourself in Romania.
MONDRIAN EVENTS & GARDENS
This place was actually just off the road side and we stopped here for lunch during our first day. It was a really lovely place, very spacious, with a beautiful outdoor terrace and seating area. We chose to sit in one of the three wooden chalets things and there’s also unique swinging egg chairs dotted around too. The menu was varied with lots on offer. My boyfriend chose roasted aubergine with wedges whilst I went with a veggie option which was melted cheese in bread crumbs (with a side of garlic sauce). We also had a side of salad and bread and it was all absolutely delicious.
Caramfil 85, Bucharest
I wasn’t too impressed with this place but this was through no fault of the restaurants. First of all, what we didn’t realize was that it was actually just a food van as opposed to a restaurant – but we didn’t mind! It had a nice seating area outside and was pretty quirky, but this meant the menu was limited. As it goes, the menu changes daily and there wasn’t really anything on the menu that really stood out for me (plus I wasn’t very hungry). In the end I chose a wrap which was filled with vegetables, a sauce and gherkins and I don’t even know why I ordered it as I don’t even like gherkins. Vincent went for a filling burger which was nice when I tried a bite and he was really impressed with the food. He’s full on vegan, so his opinion is legit, and I would give the place another go myself.
Strada Emanoil Ungureanu 13, Timișoara
This is a cute little gem of a place which is definitely underrated. Unlike your traditional restaurant, it instead provides a set menu which is entirely vegan. We had a tomato soup and croutons for starter, a curry with rice, a samosa and a bread roll and a giant coconut brownie for desert…all for about £4 (when comparing it to pounds that is). Though the menu mostly consists of vegan food, it’s filling and delicious.
Strada Ștefan, Cluj-Napoca
This was possibly one of our favourite restaurants as everything was veggie and 85% of the menu was vegan too. We were really gutted that we missed eating there on the evening we arrived in Cluj as we arrived so late, but we made sure to stop by for a filling lunch the following day. Not only was the place really beautiful and boutique with a stunning outdoor terrace, but there was so much to choose from on the menu. Like, we were actually spoilt for choice for once. My boyfriend went for a mushroom soup with a generous helping of croutons, whereas I choose sushi (vegan sushi!!!), which honestly tasted like the real thing. Vincent’s soup was creamy and with tons of flavour, and I honestly couldn’t fault the sushi (nor could I work out how they made it taste exactly like actual sushi but y’know, without any fish) Because we always order too much ‘to pick at/share’ and never correctly predict the size of portions, we also ordered bruschetta and a small pizza as sides. These also hit the spot; the restaurant also offered a lot of raw vegan products so the pizza was raw mushroom topped with large tomato slices, olives and herbs and was served on raw almond bread. Yum yum.
Strada Republicii 62, Brașov
I absolutely loved this place. Set in the heart of Brasov, Festival 39 is themed around the 1930’s with awesome decor, live music and a welcoming atmosphere. Despite being super glam, the food was actually affordable too and each menu was themed like a newspaper! I can’t for the life of me remember what Vincent chose for starters, but for main he had a vegan burrito, whereas I chose to wager my veganism for the evening (Vincent insisted I didn’t go fully vegan for this holiday so that I could try traditional Romanian foods and his mother’s cooking!) and settled for pate on toast for starters and breaded chicken for main. Although I’d say this place is worth a visit just for something light or for a few drinks as it was so unique.
There were a few other places we visited but overall it was a lot easier than I thought it would be. I think the only issues we had were when we arrived to some cities quite late at night and struggled to find places open at that time; therefore from then on we researched places on the go (well Vincent searched while I drove) so that we were faced with a lot of choice.
Our final other issue was when we visited a cabin in the mountains one evening. Though the location was unique, it was pretty damn remote of course. But we thought ahead and stocked up on lots of vegan snacks from ALDI beforehand. As explained before, everything is labelled really obviously with big green labels. In fact, even though I haven’t travelled loads before, I’d say Romania is one of the easiest places to be vegan in my experience!
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