Must-Try Traditional Romanian Dishes

July 5th 2024 in Travel
Must-Try Traditional Romanian Dishes

Romanian cuisine is a delightful blend of flavours and traditions that reflect the country’s history and culture. From hearty stews to comforting polenta dishes, Romanian food offers a rich culinary journey. In this blog, we will explore some of the most iconic dishes that define Romanian cuisine.

Sarmale: Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

Sarmale are cabbage rolls filled with a mix of minced meat (often pork or beef), rice, and spices. They are typically cooked slowly in a tomato sauce with smoked meats, creating a savoury and satisfying dish. Sarmale are often enjoyed during festive occasions and family gatherings, look out for traditional restaurants and local markets where you can savour authentic Sarmale.

Mămăligă: Romanian Polenta

Mămăligă is a traditional Romanian dish made from cornmeal, similar to polenta. It is cooked until thick and creamy, then served hot with cheese, sour cream, or meat dishes. Mămăligă is versatile and can be enjoyed as a side dish or as a main course. Try Mămăligă with a hearty stew such as tocăniță (stew with pork or chicken) or with fried eggs and cheese for a delicious breakfast.

Ciorbă: Sour Soups

Ciorbă refers to a variety of sour soups that are popular in Romanian cuisine. They are typically made with vegetables, meat (such as chicken or pork), and sour cream or vinegar for a tangy flavour. Ciorbă can be enjoyed hot or cold, depending on the season. Explore local eateries and restaurants to taste different types of Ciorbă, from the classic Ciorbă de burtă (tripe soup) to Ciorbă de perișoare (meatball soup).

Mititei: Grilled Sausages

Mititei are small grilled sausages made from a mix of pork, beef, and spices like garlic, thyme, and paprika. They are a popular street food and are often served with mustard, bread, and pickles. Mititei are perfect for a quick and tasty meal. Look for street vendors or visit traditional Romanian restaurants known as "căsuțe de mititei" to enjoy freshly grilled Mititei.

Papanași: Romanian Doughnuts

Papanași are traditional Romanian doughnuts made from a mixture of sweet cheese (brânză) and semolina, fried until golden brown. They are often served hot with sour cream and jam, creating a delightful contrast of flavours and textures. Visit local bakeries or dessert shops to taste freshly made Papanași. These sweet treats are a must-try for anyone with a sweet tooth.


Romanian cuisine is a reflection of the country’s rich culinary heritage and diverse influences. From hearty stews like Sarmale to comforting dishes like Mămăligă and sweet treats like Papanași, there is something to delight every palate. Rent a Car in Romania to travel across the country and experience the authentic flavours and traditions of Romanian cuisine!For more travel tips and guides, check out our Travel Blog!