Romania is one of the most populous countries in southeastern Europe and has a rich history of culture and cuisine.
As a result, it often makes its way onto a lot of travelers and tourists’ must-visit locations – but what kind of foods await you in Romania?
If you want a taste of Romania, then here are 23 different foods that you need to try. Whether you want to cook them in your own kitchen or try them while visiting the country, here are the best Romanian foods for you to try!
Salam is a type of Romanian salami, made from pork meat and fat. While it can be enjoyed as a cold meat in all kinds of dishes, it also shares its name with a popular dessert in Romania – biscuit salam!
Biscuit salam is nothing like its namesake and is instead made using rum, cocoa powder, and buttered biscuits.
The reason why these two foods share a name is due to the appearance of biscuit salam as it’s long and thick, just like a salam sausage! If you want to try this dessert for yourself, then check out this easy recipe right here!
Pies are a staple food in Romania where they are often eaten during meals, but one type of pie stands above the rest as the most favored flavor – placinta!
Placinta is basically a type of cheese pie that is savory yet bread-like in texture. It’s light, deliciously cheesy, and super easy to make in your own kitchen! So, if you want to make your own placintas, then check out this simple recipe!
Although your results may look more like a thick pancake than our common idea of a pie, placintas are still super filling thanks to all the ingredients used to make it.
This dish’s name translates roughly to ‘Pig’s Alms’ and it’s easy to see why – Pomana Porcului is Romania’s resident pork dish!
Made from cubes of pork from any part of the pig, Pomana Porcului is actually a popular dish consumed at Christmas but it can be enjoyed at any time of the year.
It’s a rich, filling meal mainly consisting of pork and is often served alongside a serving of garlic fries.
Although it may seem a bit simple, it’s a favorite of many Romanians and easy to find in restaurants and cafes all across the country.
Pork is a popular ingredient in many of Romania’s cuisine as it is also the main ingredient in another popular dish – mici! Mici is Romania’s version of sausages but they’re more than just that.
They’re classed as street food, filled with the flavor of garlic and barbecue, and cooked quickly on a fire until each sausage is tender and juicy. You can even give this Romanian sausage a go at home by following this recipe right here!
Sarmale is a great vegetable side dish to serve alongside your meaty main, but this type of cabbage roll is far more versatile than first meets the eye! Some versions of sarmale are also stuffed with meats including pork (again), beef, and bacon.
As a result, sarmale are super popular in Romania as they can be enjoyed by a variety of diets and serve as a snack, a lunch, and a side all in one. You can even adjust the fillings to suit your tastes! So, give them a try!
This type of fried cheese hails from Transylvania and makes for a super tasty side dish that is perfectly seasoned.
To truly get an authentic taste of cascaval pane, you will need to try and get your hands on some cascaval cheese – but this ingredient can be tricky to find if you are cooking in the States.
So, provolone cheese is a good alternative to use. Serve alongside some romaine lettuce to make a traditional Romanian snack!
Romania’s version of pork greaves is known as Jumari – it’s just fat fried in fat and sprinkled with salt. Despite this, Romania has managed to turn this into a delicious version of pork crackling.
Jumari is traditionally served as an appetizer but can also be enjoyed as a casual snack. They are super crispy and sometimes seasoned with paprika for a slight kick of heat. So, why not try serving some Jumari of your own alongside some snacks?
Another dish hailing from Transylvania is fasole batuta – a type of vegan puree made from white beans and served as a dip or side.
It’s sweet and sticky thanks to the caramelized onions it is made with, and goes amazingly well with meats such as sausages and pork, and vegetables such as onions and peppers.
You can even spread your fasole batuta over a piece of fresh bread and enjoy it as a snack for lunch! So, fasole batuta is a super versatile dish that you can even try out at home.
Telemea is one of the best known cheeses to come from Romania and thus, it is included in a range of recipes from the country. It’s a super light cheese with a soft texture and leaves a tangy aftertaste on your taste buds.
True telemea is also slightly salty, and sometimes contains spices such as cumin seeds for a more nutty flavor. However, telemea can be tricky to find for sale in the United States, so why not try making your own?
Follow this recipe to try making your very own telemea cheese – or you can just try it yourself the next time you visit Romania!
One of the most famous dishes to come from Romania is papanasi. Papanasi is Romania’s signature dessert dish and shares a lot of similarities with a fried donut.
It is served alongside a generous helping of sour cream and fruit jelly, helping enhance the sweetness while contrasting against it.
It is the classic dessert that can be enjoyed after a meal or as a sweet treat, so check out this recipe to try it out for yourself at home!
Another sweet dessert from Romania is cozonac – a type of sweet bread that closely resembles marble cake when cut into slices. It is a mixture of chocolate swirls in a thick bread making it just as beautiful to look at as it is to eat!
Cozonac is traditionally eaten during Easter in Romania but you can follow this very easy recipe to make your own at home.
This way, you can enjoy the buttery texture of cozonac for yourself along with all the zesty, sweet flavors that help make this dessert a nutty, complex treat to love.
12. Salata De Boeuf
Another popular holiday dish in Romania is salata de boeuf – or beef salad!
It’s an unusual dish that you would rarely find here in the States as it is a complex combination of different root vegetables such as potatoes, carrots, and parsnips, as well as pickles, all mixed with beef and mayonnaise.
Some variations of the recipe even include boiled eggs and olives!
One of the best things about salata de boeuf is how it can be eaten again and leftovers for the next few days, served as a cold type of salad. So, you can eat it as a side long after you have made it!
13. Salata De Icre
A variation of salata de boeuf is salata de icre which is closer to a typical fish roe salad. It’s thick and creamy, made using carp or pike roe instead of the beef used in salata de boeuf.
Despite the similarities in name, salata de boeuf and salata de icre are quite different in texture and flavor.
Salata de icre is far more like a spread and usually served as a kind of ‘sauce’ for potatoes or spread onto slices of bread. It’s lighter but still just as delicious.
Another spread that is popular in Romania is zacusca. Zacusca is a vegetable spread that is mainly made using roasted peppers and eggplant.
Variations of this spread include spicier versions that utilize different kinds of peppers, and others that are sweeter with the addition of honey.
Therefore, you can adjust heat and flavors based on your preferences. Although zacusca is usually served on bread, you can also try using it as a sauce to serve with noodles or pasta – or as a dip for tortilla chips!
Branzoaice is a type of sweet Romanian pastry that combines the flavors of lemon and soft ricotta cheese, making it a delicious tea time snack or dessert.
By following the above recipe, you can make your own branzoaica and serve them up as a sweet treat. You can even enjoy this filling-filled pastry as a sweet breakfast alternative!
They’re easy to make and they’re also very decorative with a special folding pattern that helps make them appear like flowers – so give them a try!
16. Plescoi Sausages
Plescoi sausages are a special type of sausage which originated in Romania. Unlike most sausages, they are made using mutton instead of pork and are stuffed with chili peppers and garlic. This helps them become more tasty and flavorful.
You will be hard pressed to find plescoi sausages on sale in the United States, but you can try to make your own using mutton, garlic, and chili peppers.
However, if you want a taste of authentic Romanian sausage, you will have to visit the country itself to truly try out this food for yourself.
For vegetarians who want to get into Romanian cuisine, this version of bors is definitely a recipe you will want to try out.
Bors is a traditional sour soup served in Romania (and other surrounding countries) that usually contains meats like chicken or pork – but this vegetarian recipe allows you to enjoy traditional Romanian cuisine that is in line with your diet.
This soup is filling and nutritious, and unlike any soup you’ve had before!
18. Drob De Miel
Also known as Romanian’s answer to ‘lamb haggis’, drob de miel is a unique dish that combines all the entrails of a lamb into one delicious loaf filled with protein and nutrients.
At its center is a huge egg – which shows why drob de miel is a traditional Easter dish in Romania!
There are also variations you can try to incorporate other ingredients such as chicken rather than lamb – so check out the recipes above to find the right one for you!
19. Salata De Vinete
A great Romanian side dish to serve as a summer salad or spread is this recipe for salata de vinete! Salata de vinete is a type of eggplant salad that is made using grilled eggplants, onions, and plenty of zesty lemon juice.
It’s a very versatile dish as it is sometimes served alongside main meat dishes, or simply spread across some bread as a light snack. You can even enjoy it on its own as a salad with an additional dressing made from mayonnaise, garlic, and parsley.
Nutritious and delicious, it’s easy to see why so many opt to make salata de vinete as their first venture into Romanian cuisine! If you want to try it out for yourself, then just follow the easy recipe above to make your own salata de vinete.
Do you like meatballs? Do you like soup? Then this Romanian dish will blow your mind!
Ciorba de perisoare is a liquid soup from Romania that is made using vegetables such as onion, pepper, carrots, and celery – combined with delicious meatballs!
There are a range of different ingredients in this single broth, ranging from beef to pork, rice to egg, lemon juice to tomato paste!
Although you will have to source a lot of ingredients, the result will be a delicious hot broth filled to the brim with flavor and vitamins.
It’s definitely the kind of feel good food you want to eat when you’re feeling a little under the weather – so check out the recipe to try it out for yourself!
21. Ciorba De Burta
Another popular soup in Romania is ciorbă de burta – otherwise known as tripe soup! Made from garlic, sour cream, eggs and – of course – beef tripe, ciorba de burta has a delicious creamy texture that makes it a super unique dish to try out.
Once you have all the ingredients, it’s super easy to make and every spoonful contains tons of nutrients and flavor. This makes it a great feel good food to tuck into whenever you’re feeling low!
As for beverages, one of the most popular spirits in Romania is palinka – a type of brandy made with wine or fruit, and is sometimes called plum brandy.
Although bottles of palinka can be found at most liquor stores, here is a recipe for a great cocktail that contains palinka.
This way, you can indulge in a delicious fruity cocktail that perfectly complements the traditional Romanian brandy it takes its name from.
Finally, the last recipe on our list is one of the most commonly eaten dishes in Romania – polenta! Romanian polenta is usually eaten for breakfast as it’s super easy to make due to its lack of ingredients and short cooking time.
So, it’s very easy to whip up at home for a quick Romanian breakfast. If you want to try polenta for yourself, then check out the above recipe – it’s super easy!
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is A Typical Romanian Breakfast?
The everyday breakfast in Romania can vary from household to household, but some traditional dishes you will often find includes polenta, bread with jelly and butter, eggs and veggies, and even cold cuts of meat.
Most rural Romanians eat whatever they grow in their farms and gardens, while breakfasts in more metropolitan areas can look more similar to what we find in the US.
Does Romania Have Good Food?
Every country has its signature dishes and cuisine – and Romania is no different. Just check out the many recipes we have listed above!
These are just a sample of the foods you can try out in Romania so take a look at all the delicious meals on offer from this one country!
What Is The Most Popular Dessert In Romania?
Many Romanians will tell you that the best dessert is papanasi (check out the recipe above!). They are beloved by both locals and tourists, hence why you can easily find them in all kinds of cafes and restaurants in Romania.
As a result, they are on the must-try list of every cuisine tourist – so try them out for yourself!