23 Traditional And Popular Food In Romania – You Shouldn’t Miss!!

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As a cultural crossroads between Eastern and Western Europe, Romania has a diverse culinary tradition rich in flavor and history. It’s no surprise that Romanian cuisine has gained popularity worldwide because of its unique blend of spices and ingredients.

Romania is a country that boasts of its rich cultural heritage, and Romanian cuisine is no exception. When it comes to food, the country has a lot to offer, ranging from hearty stews to delicious pastries.

Here we will take you through some of the most popular food in Romania that everyone should try at least once in their lifetime. From Ciorbă (Sour Soup) to Sarmale (Cabbage Rolls), Mici (Grilled Minced Meat Rolls) to Cozonac (Sweet Bread), we have listed down 23 must-try dishes that are sure to leave you craving for more. Whether you’re planning a trip to Romania or want to experience the taste of authentic Romanian food, this blog is for you.

Popular Food In Romania

23 Popular Food In Romania That Everyone Should Try

Introducing the culinary delights of Romania, one cannot miss out on the traditional dishes that are popular across the country. From sarmale to mici and ciorba, Romanian cuisine offers various flavorful options for food lovers.

These dishes bring together Eastern and Western European flavors in a unique way that reflects the country’s history and geography. In addition to these classic staples, Romania boasts various regional specialties with distinct ingredients and cooking techniques. Whether you are a meat lover or prefer vegetarian options, Romanian cuisine has something for everyone to try and enjoy.

1. Ardei Umpluţi (Stuffed Bell Peppers)

Stuffed bell peppers or Ardei Umpluţi is a popular Romanian dish rooted in Ottoman cuisine. The dish is made by stuffing bell peppers with ground meat, rice, and spices. It’s a delicious and satisfying meal that’s perfect for any occasion.

The unique combination of sweet bell peppers and savory meat filling makes it a favorite among locals and visitors. Ardei Umpluţi can be made with different types of meat, such as beef, pork, or lamb, which allows it to suit every palate. This traditional Romanian dish is often accompanied by sour cream and tomato sauce, adding flavor to the delicious dish.

2. Salată De Boeuf (Beef Salad)

Introducing Salată de Boeuf, a traditional Romanian dish that will tantalize your taste buds. This creamy and flavorful salad consists of boiled vegetables and beef mixed with mayonnaise, making it a perfect appetizer or side dish for any meal. Salată de Boeuf is commonly served during holidays in Romania and is loved by locals and tourists alike for its delicious taste and ease of preparation.

The best part? This highly customizable dish has various recipes featuring different meat, vegetables, and seasonings. Whether you’re looking for a classic rendition or something more adventurous, Salată de Boeuf is a versatile dish that can be tailored to your preferences. So why not give it a try and experience the flavors of Romania for yourself?

3. Salată De Vinete (Eggplant Salad Spread)

Introducing a delicious and easy-to-make Romanian dish, Salată de Vinete is a traditional salad spread made with roasted eggplants, onions, and mayonnaise. Its creamy texture and smoky flavor make it a favorite among locals. This dish is typically served as an appetizer or side dish, often alongside other Romanian dishes such as sarmale (stuffed cabbage rolls) and mici (grilled minced meat rolls).

With its simple preparation and irresistible taste, Salată de Vinete has become a popular food in Romania that everyone should try. Whether you’re looking for a new appetizer idea or want to add variety to your meal plan, this eggplant salad spread will impress your taste buds.

4. Ardei Copți (Roasted Bell Peppers)

For generations, roasted bell peppers have been a beloved staple in traditional Romanian cuisine. This classic dish is prepared by roasting the peppers over an open flame until they’re charred and then marinating them in oil, vinegar, and garlic.

Besides being a tasty appetizer or side dish, ardei copți is also a healthy option, low in calories but rich in vitamins and antioxidants. With its versatility, this dish can be customized to fit different tastes and occasions with various spices and flavors. Its popularity in Romania shows how even the simplest dishes can become beloved classics when made carefully and with attention to detail.

5. Varză Călită (Sautéed Cabbage)

Sautéed cabbage, known as Varză Călită, is a staple in Romanian cuisine. The dish comes with simple ingredients such as cabbage, onions, and tomatoes but has a unique taste due to the addition of vinegar or lemon juice that provides a tangy flavor.

This dish is often a side dish or filler for stuffed cabbage rolls. However, They can enjoy independently and paired with meat dishes like grilled sausages or pork chops. Varză Călită is an affordable and easy-to-make dish passed down through generations in many Romanian families.

6. Zacuscă (Vegetable Spread)

Romanian cuisine considers Zacuscă as a delightful vegetable spread that is a staple. This dish comes from roasted eggplant, red peppers, and onions and season with garlic, tomato paste, and various spices. They can enjoy serving cold or hot as an appetizer or side dish. The versatility of zacuscă makes it unique.

You can pair it with bread or crackers, use it as a vegetable dip, or even add it to pasta dishes. The best part about zacuscă is that it’s typically vegan and gluten-free, making it an excellent option for those with dietary restrictions.

7. Mămăligă (Polenta)

Mămăligă is a versatile and beloved traditional Romanian dish enjoyed for centuries. Made from boiled cornmeal, it is similar to Italian polenta and can be cooked plain or flavored with cheese, sour cream, or bacon. You can serve this dish as a side or base for other dishes. Mămăligă’s popularity lies in its ability to complement different flavors and textures while providing a filling and nutritious meal. Many restaurants and homes in Romania enjoy it.

8. Covrig (Pretzel)

Covrig, a traditional Romanian pretzel, is a beloved snack nationwide. With its soft and chewy texture on the inside and slightly crispy exterior, it’s no wonder why it’s so popular. Often sprinkled with salt or sesame seeds, Covrig pairs perfectly with coffee or tea for breakfast or as a mid-day snack. Covrig lovers can also stuff it with cheese, ham, or other fillings for a heartier option. People have enjoyed this simple yet tasty treat for generations in Romania, so it’s easy to see why.

9. Plăcintă (Pie)

Plăcintă, a traditional Romanian pastry, is a must-try for anyone visiting Romania. You can find this dish in bakeries and markets nationwide in various shapes and sizes. One can fill Plăcintă with savory ingredients like cheese, potatoes, or meat or sweet fillings like apples or pumpkin.

People traditionally baked it in outdoor ovens during important celebrations and festivals. However, Romanians now enjoy it all year round and have made it a staple food. So, don’t forget to indulge your taste buds in this delicious delicacy during your visit to Romania.

10. Brânzoaice (Cheese Pastry)

Brânzoaice is the perfect pastry for you if you have a sweet tooth. This pastry is a popular dessert or breakfast option in Romania, made with sweet dough and filled with cheese, sugar, and raisins. People can find Brânzoaice in bakeries and cafes nationwide and often enjoy it with a hot cup of coffee or tea. The cheese filling can vary depending on the region, making each bite a unique experience. So if you’re looking for something deliciously sweet in Romania, add Brânzoaice!

11. Ciorbă (Sour Soup)

Introducing the Ciorbă, a traditional sour soup, is like taking a bite of Romanian culture. This soup’s refreshing and tangy taste makes it one of the staples in Romanian cuisine. This soup is made with sour cream or vinegar, meat, and vegetables, with variations such as chicken, beef, or vegetable-based versions depending on the region. Served hot with a dollop of sour cream and fresh herbs, this soup can stimulate digestion and help cure hangovers.

For those unfamiliar with sour soups, Ciorbă might take some time. However, its unique flavor profile should be reason enough to try it. This delightful dish is worth tasting at least once during your visit to Romania.

12. Supă (Soup)

Introducing Supă, a traditional Romanian soup that locals and tourists love. People typically enjoy this hearty dish as an appetizer, and they can make it with various ingredients such as vegetables, meat, and noodles.Sour soups like Ciorbă are a popular variation of Supă in Romania, known for their tangy taste and refreshing qualities.

Whether you’re looking to warm up on a chilly day or enjoy a delicious bowl of soup, Supă will satisfy your cravings. So why not try this classic Romanian dish and experience the rich flavors of the country’s cuisine for yourself?

13. Gulaș (Goulash)

Gulaș, a hearty stew in Hungary, has become a staple dish in Romania. Made with tender beef and flavored with paprika and other spices, Gulaș is a favorite comfort food for Romanians. This dish is often served alongside polenta or bread and can be found on the menu of most traditional restaurants in Romania.

The warm and comforting flavors of Gulaș are perfect for cold winter nights, making it a top choice for locals and tourists alike. With its rich flavor profile and hearty ingredients, it’s no wonder that Gulaș has become such a beloved part of Romanian cuisine.

14. Sarmale (Cabbage Rolls)

Sarmale is a traditional Romanian dish that has become a beloved part of the country’s cuisine. Made of cabbage leaves stuffed with ground pork, rice, and spices, it is typically served during special occasions or holidays.

The dish varies throughout Eastern Europe, but the Romanian version often includes sauerkraut or tomato sauce for added flavor. People often serve Sarmale with sour cream and polenta on the side. It’s a must-try dish for anyone visiting Romania or looking to experience authentic Romanian cuisine. The combination of tender cabbage and flavorful filling makes this dish unique and delicious.

15. Mici (Grilled Minced Meat Rolls)

When it comes to traditional Romanian cuisine, Mici is a must-try dish. These grilled minced meat rolls are flavorful and typically made with beef, lamb, and pork. The seasoning sets Mici apart, with garlic and other spices added to the mix. You can find Mici at many outdoor markets and street vendors in Romania, often served with mustard or bread on the side. If you’re looking for an authentic and delicious Romanian food experience, add Mici to your list of must-try dishes.

16. Zacusca (Vegetable Paste)

Zacusca is a traditional Romanian vegetable paste that locals and visitors love. Roasting eggplants, red peppers, and other vegetables like onions, garlic, and tomatoes make this versatile dish. The ingredients are then mashed together to create a spreadable texture that can be used as a dip or spread.

Many families have unique recipe variations, making it an essential part of Romanian cuisine. Whether you enjoy it as an appetizer or side dish, to a meat dish, Zacusca is a must-try for anyone looking to explore traditional Romanian food.

17. Tochitura Moldoveneasca (Moldovan Stew)

Tochitura Moldoveneasca is a traditional Romanian stew perfect for warming up on a cold day. They combine pork, onions, garlic, and spices to make a hearty meal with a rich and savory flavor.

This dish has quickly become a popular staple nationwide, served with creamy polenta and topped with a fried egg. Originating in the Moldavian region of Romania, Tochitura Moldoveneasca is a must-try dish for anyone visiting the country looking to experience authentic Romanian cuisine.

18. Chiftele (Meatballs)

Chiftele, a traditional Romanian dish of ground meat and spices, is a beloved comfort food in Romania. Many homes and restaurants nationwide serve these delicious meatballs. The dish is usually served hot with mashed potatoes or pickles on the side and is known for its hearty flavor.

You can enjoy chiftele as an appetizer or pair it with other dishes for a satisfying meal. With various herbs and spices such as parsley, dill, and garlic added to enhance the taste, chipotle is one of Romania’s popular foods that everyone should try.

19. Cozonac (Sweet Bread)

When it comes to traditional Romanian desserts, Cozonac is a must-try. This sweet bread is a staple during holidays and special occasions and represents the warmth and hospitality of Romanian culture. Bakers make the dough with flour, sugar, eggs, milk, butter, yeast, and various fillings such as nuts or raisins, braid it, and bake it until it turns golden brown with a soft and fluffy texture.

The delicious aroma of freshly baked Cozonac will undoubtedly make your mouth water. Whether enjoyed with a cup of coffee or tea or shared with friends and family, Cozonac will surely leave you satisfied and content.

20. Iahnie Cu Ciolan (Beans With Hocks)

Iahnie cu ciolan is a hearty and flavorful dish showcasing beans’ versatility in traditional Romanian cuisine. Generations have enjoyed this beloved dish slow-cooked for hours with pork hocks. Iahnie cu ciolan is a filling and satisfying meal, often served with crusty bread or polenta.

Beans are important to Romanian cuisine, providing vital nutrients and fiber. This dish is a perfect example of how a humble ingredient such as beans can be transformed into a delicious and nutritious meal that brings people together to celebrate their love of good food.

21. Carnati De Plescoi (Plescoi Sausages)

Plescoi sausages are an iconic part of Romanian cuisine that has become increasingly popular recently. We make these sausages from ground beef and pork and carefully season them with garlic, paprika, and other spices to create a unique flavor profile.

Plescoi sausages set themselves apart through ageing, during which they air-dry for several weeks. This results in a distinctive texture that has helped make them a beloved delicacy in Romania. Whether enjoyed alone or as part of a larger meal, Plescoi sausages offer a rich and satisfying taste that will delight any food lover.

22. Parjoale Moldovenesti (Meatballs From Moldavia)

Meatballs are popular in many cultures, and the Parjoale Moldovenesti is no exception. This traditional Romanian recipe hails from the Moldavia region and has been popular in generations as a hearty and savory meal.

Typically, people serve these meatballs alongside mashed potatoes or polenta and a side of pickles. They use a mixture of ground pork and beef, along with onions, garlic, and spices, to make them.  The rich and satisfying flavors make it a great choice for those who love meat-based dishes. If you want to try something new and delicious on your next culinary adventure, try Parjoale Moldovenesti!

23. Placinta Cu Branza Dulce Si Stafide (Fried Dough With Sweet Cheese And Raisins)

Indulging in traditional Romanian cuisine is an experience every food lover should have, and Placinta cu branza dulce si stafide is a must-try dish. This delicious pastry perfectly combines sweet cheese and raisins wrapped in fried dough.

Romanian culture deeply embedded its roots into the popular snack found in bakeries and street vendors nationwide. The unique flavors make Placinta cu branza dulce si stafide both savory and sweet, making it an ideal choice for breakfast or a mid-day snack.


Romanian cuisine is rich in flavors and traditions passed down through the generations. From soups to pies, stews to sausages, there is something everyone can cherish and enjoy. To truly experience the culture of Romania, it’s essential to explore its culinary specialities.

You can try out some of the famous Romanian dishes like Ardei Umpluţi (Stuffed Bell Peppers), Salată de Boeuf (Beef Salad), Mămăligă (Polenta), Ciorbă (Sour Soup), and many more. Don’t just take our word for it; indulge in these delicacies by planning a trip to Romania or visiting a Romanian restaurant near you.

These dishes are delicious and represent the country’s rich cultural heritage. If you’re planning a trip to Romania or looking for new culinary adventures, try this popular food in Romania. You won’t be disappointed.

Frequently Asked Questions

1.What Is The National Dish Of Romania?

Ans: The national dish of Romania is “sarmale,” which consists of ground pork mixed with rice and spices wrapped in boiled cabbage leaves.

2.What Are The Main Foods In Romania?

Ans: Traditional Romanian cuisine includes dishes such as sarmale, mici, and ciorba. People in the country commonly consume pork as it has a strong meat-based cuisine. Other popular foods in Romania include mititei, mamaliga, and tochitura.

3.What Is A Typical Romanian Breakfast?

Ans: A typical Romanian breakfast usually includes bread, cheese, butter, and jam. Eggs with bacon or sausage are also popular breakfast options. You can enjoy mămăligă (polenta) served with sour cream and cheese for a more traditional option.

4.What Is Popular Romanian Street Food?

Ans: Some popular Romanian street foods include mititei, which are grilled minced meat rolls, covrigi, which are soft pretzels; and langos, a deep-fried dough topped with cheese or sour cream. You can also find placinta, a savory pastry filled with cheese, potatoes, or meat. For something more filling, try sarmale and stuffed cabbage rolls.

5.What Makes Romanian Food Special?

Ans: Romanian food is special because of its unique blend of flavors and techniques influenced by various cultures and regions. Traditional dishes often feature hearty meats, vegetables, and dairy products. Soups, stews, and savory pastries are also common. Using fresh, locally sourced ingredients is an important aspect of Romanian cooking.

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