I’ve been reminiscing over my photos from Romania. I miss it so much, and I decided I would get around to posting a few reviews. This may or may not have been a good idea, lol. I am now very hungry and longing to see those beautiful Carpathian Mountains.
Okay. Deep breath. Here we go.
There doesn’t seem to be any shortage of good food in Romania, especially Brasov. If ever we ventured into Centrul Vechi (the medieval part of the city), all we had to do was google places to eat near me. The search results always produced a plethora of highly rated restaurants.
Brasov. The Paris of Transylvania?
Maybe. If Paris were known for incredible Bavarian food, palinca (strong fruit liquor), and six-lei ($1.50 USD) glasses of rosé wine.
For real, though. Brasov is one of my favorite places in the world. I love it almost as much as Bucharest, if you can believe that (I love Bucharest a lot), and one big draw to Brasov (at least for me) is the wonderful food and drink.
Our tour guide, Diana Lupa, suggested we eat at a place called Albert Bistro. They have a lovely outdoor patio area, and the restaurant is down in a cellar. We stopped in during what appeared to be a slow lunchtime and made dinner reservations. They didn’t have availability for later that evening, so we made it for the following evening.
The following evening, we arrived and were very excited and hungry. To our chagrin, however, they didn’t have us listed for a reservation. Thankfully, they accepted us anyway. Good, I thought. Because this place is probably going to be-
I would have finished that sentence with “packed,” except that when we arrived there weren’t any other guests. At all. We were told there were only two reservation slots available for dinner that evening, but…where was everyone?
We were early. That’s what I told myself. But as the evening unfolded, only one other guest arrived. This was very confusing for me. It was like they were severely limiting their reservations.
That was okay by me, because the food was INCREDIBLE. They had decent prices on drinks, too. We had the Romanian red wine (Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot), and Chris had a beer. The music was good – hard rock and heavy metal songs covered acoustically and sung by a female vocalist in a jazzy style. This plus the avant-garde artwork/decor made for a chill but also unique atmosphere, which I loved.
I had the beef filet (perfect with the red wine). Our friend Jacque had a curry chicken dish. Chris had pasta. All-in-all with aperifs, dinner, wines, and digestifs, Chris and I spent about fifty USD for both of us (that’s including tip). It’s more than we normally pay when we travel (you know me – give me mici and a bere, and I’m good!), but we got a lot for what we paid. And the food truly was delicious.
By the way, no other guests showed up. It seemed that our table and the table across the restaurant were the two reservations I mentioned.
FYI for anyone on a budget: the pasta dishes fell in the 20-something lei range, but the main dishes were significantly more (35-50 lei). I believe the food is worth it (a real treat after a long day). But if you aren’t able to make reservations or if you need something for a shoestring budget, you’ll want to check out some of the other places around Strada Republicii.
number of Backpacks is based on a scale of 1 to 5
Food: 4 Backpacks – delicious
Atmosphere: 4 Backpacks – would’ve been a 5, but the lacking crowd diminished the atmosphere for me
Service: 3 Backpacks – was a slow considering there wasn’t really anyone else there, and the waitstaff rarely checked on us (this is pretty common in Romania, though)
Price: 3 Backpacks – was a little more than I expected, but it would’ve been more back home
Overall Experience: 4 Backpacks
When Kay’s not writing, you might find her cruising around the streets of Bucharest in Ubers that may or may not be legal. She loves eating mici, dancing with elderly Romanian chaps, and…did she mention the mici? She’s a Texas gal whose heart never left Romania after that very first visit.