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How to Survive as a Vegan in Bucharest

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Before I traveled to Bucharest for the first time, I did what all vegans do when traveling. I checked out HappyCow to see how many vegan restaurants there were in the city. Since I didn’t expect much, I was excited when I saw eight vegan places. I thought it would be super easy to be vegan in Bucharest.

But having been to Bucharest twice I have to say that being vegan in Bucharest is more difficult than it may seem.

I’ve only been to Bucharest to visit my friend (by the way, there are amazing things to do on a ladies’ weekend in Bucharest). So I had the help of Romanian people every time I was there. I think that made it easier for me to find vegan restaurants in Bucharest or finding vegan options. If you don’t speak Romanian it might be more difficult for you. And that’s why I put together this guide on how to survive as a vegan in Bucharest.

One of the main issues I noticed in Bucharest is that a lot of vegan places close down after a while. I don’t know if it’s because they don’t get enough business. But I’ve come back to the city only to find out that even a vegan falafel place had closed down.

So that’s why I come back to this post regularly to update it. Now let’s get into it.

Vegan Places in Bucharest

If you’re like me you prefer to go to places that are entirely vegan. In Bucharest, one of your options for that is a cat café with the fitting name Miau.

Now, I was here at a different location and before they went vegan and can’t say much about what to expect after the changes. But I have to say that it’s not near any tourist spots. So the only way you would end up here is if you plan this visit.

The purpose of Miau is to provide a home for rescued cats. Miau takes them in temporarily, takes care of them, and tries to find new homes for them. That’s definitely a cause worth supporting.

It’s a fantastic place for people who love to be around cats.
Intre Garle 7. Open Tuesday to Sunday 12 pm to 10 pm.

Another place we went to was Barca. When I went here they used honey in almost all of their desserts. But I’m happy to report that they have since gone fully vegan.

They have a lot of raw dishes on the menu, but enough cooked options as well. I had a rice and lentil dish here, but it wasn’t impressive, to be honest. The flan de coco I had for dessert was nothing special either. But the homemade lemonade was very refreshing. I’d love to go back to try something else maybe from their raw section.

Barca is located in a very nice neighborhood which makes it perfect to stop by after going for a walk.
Strada Barbu Iscovescu 19. Open Monday to Saturday 12 pm to 9 pm.

Vegan Delivery in Bucharest

On my second trip to Bucharest, I had finally found a place that I really loved. But sadly, they only do delivery now. But if you’re thinking about getting delivery in Bucharest Little Tyke is the place to try.

The burger I got from them was pretty good, probably also because it’s so difficult to find vegan food in Bucharest that my taste buds appreciated a real vegan meal. The brownie and cake we got were a bit disappointing considering how delicious they looked. It wasn’t that they were bad, but the presentation was so amazing that we found the flavors a bit bland. 

But the food was really good. So why not have a quinoa salad delivered to your Airbnb? You could even take one of their meals to the airport where it’s impossible to find vegan food.

Vegetarian Spots in Bucharest

One of the difficulties of being vegan in Bucharest is that there are several places that label themselves vegan but use honey. Obviously, honey is not vegan as it comes from animals. However, if you pay attention to this one exception, these vegetarian restaurants and cafés can be a great source of vegan food in Bucharest.

One place that I initially thought was vegan was the Sara Green street food truck, not too far from where I stayed on my second visit to Bucharest. I went there for a hummus wrap and lemonade which were both quite tasty. The lady behind the counter didn’t speak much English but she was really friendly. And as the owner herself was there, she explained all their dishes to me.

What I didn’t like about this little food truck next to a mall was that all the food came in plastic packaging. And since Sara Green is quite far from the center, I don’t think it’s really worth the trip for the average tourist.

But what was more disappointing was that I later found out that they use honey in some of their desserts. Maybe they will become fully vegan at some point. I’d love to try their other locations nonetheless.
Nicolae Caramfil 85. Open  Monday to Friday 10 am to 6 pm.

Raw Vegetarian Restaurants

As I mentioned, another issue is that some places I’ve been to have since closed down. The next place I want to tell you about had actually switched to catering at some point. But now they are back with a fixed location. Hopefully, they will stick around for a bit longer this time. And it would be even better if they even went vegan.

Rawyal was where we went for a lovely brunch one day. As you can tell from the name, it’s a raw restaurant. I’m not big on raw food, but it’s super popular in Bucharest. You can find Rawyal in a residential neighborhood. The interior is outstandingly cute. They really put a lot of effort into the decor.

me at rawyal
rawyal decor

They make everything fresh here, so don’t expect your food to arrive within mere minutes of ordering.

I had a fantastic green smoothie while my friend Dana ordered tea while we waited for our food. Dana had ordered the “spaghetti” while I went for the guacamole with crackers as well as a vegetable and “rice” dish with broccoli and cauliflower. The food was unbelievably good and tasted so healthy. It was a lot more filling than I often find raw food to be which was another plus. (Then again, I did have an entree as well as a main dish.) For dessert, I got a small cinnamon roll which was a bit misleading as the menu stated “cinnamon rolls” in the plural but I ended up only getting one.

rawyal spaghetti guacamole crackers and rice and veggies

With the incredibly friendly service and tasty food, this was definitely one of my favorite spots to eat vegan in Bucharest. But the highlight was by far the wonderful decor. I imagine that it would be even nicer there in the summer. The only disappointment is that they use honey in some of their desserts.
Strada Ardeleni 24. Open Monday to Thursday 9am to 5pm, Friday 9am to 4pm.

If you’re looking for a nicer location and somewhere to sit outside Rawdia might be for you. I ordered a fresh spinach quiche here and a burger. 

As a lot of places in Bucharest also do catering and delivery they already package everything and then send it to the actual restaurants where you can order them. From an environmental point of view, I really don’t like this at all. What I did like, however, was that Rawdia had fresh coconuts so I absolutely had to have one.

Both the burger and the quiche were decent, but nothing mind-blowing really. If you’re hungry and in the area, come by, but don’t go out of your way to eat here.
Strada Putul Lui Zamfir 50-52. Open Monday to Friday 9 am to 7 pm, Saturday 12 pm to 5 pm.

Vegan-Friendly Places in Bucharest

Given that I spent all my time in Bucharest with non-vegans, I also visited a few non-vegan places and can tell you about their options as well.

Vegan-Friendly Cafés in Bucharest

Even the café at the beautiful bookstore Cărturești Carusel in the Old Town offers raw vegan cakes as well as vegan hot chocolate. Sadly, when we asked for a vegan hot chocolate they didn’t actually have any. But I will definitely give that another try.

Tea houses are a big thing in Eastern Europe. I have always loved tea so I couldn’t be happier about this. As cold as Bucharest can get, it’s amazing to have these cozy spots to warm up.

My friend Dana took me to Bohemia Tea House when I first visited Bucharest. They offer a big selection of teas as well as some snacks. Unfortunately, the only vegan option was the tomato bruschetta which was actually toast instead of bruschetta. But it was pretty good, and we even ordered a second plate. I also ordered a walnut tea which was very flavorful.

Bohemia Tea House is a super cozy place with several rooms upstairs and downstairs. We sat on floor cushions, and the atmosphere was very calm and relaxed. Since it’s not actually a place to go out to eat the lack of vegan options is not a real issue. But it would be nice if they added some vegan hot chocolate and cakes to the menu. 
Strada Poiana Narciselor 1. Open Monday to Sunday 12 pm to 11 pm.

Vegan-Friendly Places in the Old Town

Another time we went to a pub called Distrikt 42 with a friend. I ordered a tomato bruschetta again which was really good. Although they served tons of meat dishes at this pub I actually had one of the best vegan salads ever here. It was a tofu and vegetable salad which was quite different from what vegans usually get in places with few vegan options. I have to say that I really enjoyed the food at Distrikt 42. Even though the bruschetta and the salad were the only vegan options they were really good. The menu has changed since then and has more vegan options. I definitely recommend this pub for a light dinner.
Strada Sfantul Dumitru 3. Open Monday to Wednesday 8 am to 12 am, Thursday and Friday 8 am to 4 am, Saturday 9:30 am to 4 am, Sunday 9:30 am to 12 am.

With the Old Town being one of the most popular areas for tourists you will probably find yourself there more than once. So it’s good to have options here. And Aubergine provides tons of those. As someone who loves eggplant, I didn’t need convincing to try this place. But the super cozy interior definitely won me and my friend over. Because Aubergine uses some beautiful doors from abandoned buildings in the Old Town. Not everything has to be new!

aubergine bucharest interior

We ordered hummus as a starter with some homemade bread, and the portion was actually big enough to serve one person as a main dish.

hummus at aubergine in bucharest

It was some of the best hummus I ever had, and I later found out that the chef is actually Israeli. So that’s why the hummus was so good!

I also had pasta with eggplant, which was decent but nothing in comparison with the hummus. The service was friendly, even though they seemed a bit in a rush to remove our plates.
Strada Smardan 33, Bucharest. Open Monday to Sunday 12 pm to 12 am.

Always Double-Check the Ingredients

As much as I loved these vegan options in non-vegan eateries I also had more disappointing experiences as a vegan in Bucharest.

In fact, when we visited a really lovely place with outdoor seating I was happy to see vegan pappardelle on the menu. But as a vegan, I know not to fully trust non-vegan places. So I asked my friend to check with the waitress if the “cheese” they listed on the menu was vegan cheese. And guess what? The waitress told her that the cheese that comes with the vegan pasta at this place is not vegan. We were able to order the dish without the cheese, but this goes to show that you always have to double-check the ingredients when you’re at a non-vegan place. And this is where knowing locals comes is a major advantage.

This spot has since taken the only vegan choice off their menu, by the way.

A Yummy Vegan Romanian Snack

An absolute must, for any vegan in Bucharest, is to try the traditional Romanian snack covrig. They look a bit like pretzels but taste more like a Turkish “simit” or Greek “koulouri.” They’re available with sunflower, sesame, or poppy seeds. And they’re traditionally vegan!

Conclusion

As you can see, the vegan scene in Bucharest is not very firmly established. Places seem to open up and close down again frequently. But the biggest problem for vegans in Bucharest is going to be that some places claim to be vegan but use honey.

There are few strictly vegan places and a few vegetarian ones. But if you find yourself in the center of Bucharest you may have to go to a place that serves meat. In that case, make sure to explain very clearly which ingredients you don’t eat. Having a local there to help you is worth gold.

If you get accommodation with a kitchen you might prefer self-catering. It will be easier and cheaper, and you will be sure that your food is vegan.

I will be back in Bucharest for a wedding in a few months and will make sure to update this post again so check back here.

how to survive as a vegan in bucharest pin

Which of these restaurants would you like to try? And have you ever been to Bucharest as a vegan?

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8 Comments

  • Reply
    Laura
    January 21, 2019 at 6:47 pm

    I’m glad there are more vegan places popping up around the world, it’s a shame it was a hit and miss experience for you though! Very informative, great post! Xx

    • Reply
      Nina | Lemons and Luggage
      January 22, 2019 at 5:53 pm

      I hope that it will get better in Bucharest until I go there next. 🙂

  • Reply
    HolyVeggies
    February 3, 2019 at 11:30 am

    I’ve never been to Romania but Berlin and Prague are great cities for vegans. Have you been there?

    • Reply
      Nina | Lemons and Luggage
      February 3, 2019 at 2:08 pm

      I’ve been to Berlin many times, but before I went vegan. Need to revisit soon for sure.

  • Reply
    Sheen may
    August 15, 2019 at 4:29 pm

    Hi
    I love vegan food even though I’m not a strict vegan.vegeterian. I believe everything should be done in moderation, So I do eat meat and poultry but only now and then.
    Best regards

    • Reply
      Nina | Lemons and Luggage
      August 15, 2019 at 10:23 pm

      Thanks for the comment! I’m glad that you enjoy vegan food. However, I don’t believe that even a moderate amount of killing of animals is okay, but maybe you will also change your mind on that one day.

      • Reply
        Sheen may
        August 16, 2019 at 5:35 pm

        Hi Nina,
        What do you think about the food cycle? Do you not think that everything has a role in nature bees, honey, animals eating other animals etc?

        Thanks
        Sheen

        • Reply
          Nina | Lemons and Luggage
          August 16, 2019 at 7:19 pm

          Of course, some animals eat other animals, but not all do, and we certainly don’t have to.

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