It appears anyone who has ever visited Bucharest has been to Caru’ cu bere; it seems no matter who you ask, they will recommend it. Caru’ cu bere, meaning “The beer wagon” , is located in a historical building in Bucharest’s old town. The building itself – and especially the interior – is beautiful, traditional, and full of interesting features and corners. The building has been classified as a Historical and Architectural monument, and entering it is like entering another era in time.
The restaurant’s site claims Caru’ cu bere is “The soul of Bucharest“, and I would have to agree. This is the place to visit for an intense induction course into Romanian traditional food, architecture and culture. The menu is large and full of traditional, hearty Romanian food to try. The restaurant’s site once again rightly claims: “You don’t have as many taste buds to match the number of our dishes and tastes.”
Two main dishes I recommend you try are Ciorbă de fasole – traditional bean soup with smoked pork – which is served in a bread bowl, and the restaurant’s signature dish – roasted pork knuckle served with braised sour cabbage, polenta, horseradish and a chili pepper. Soups are a major part of Romanian cuisine, and Ciorbă de fasole, originating in Transylvania, is as tradtional as it gets. Polenta, pork and pickles feature in many of the dishes, and you will leave feeling satisfied and very full, no doubt about it.
For starters, try a variety of traditional sausages; this will give you the opportunity to sample the delicious Carnati de Plescoi, a smoked sausage made from mutton seasoned with chilli and garlic.
No meal is complete without desert, and make sure you do not leave Romania without trying Papanasi! This traditional desert, originating from the North, is popular with all Romanians and so is luckily served in almost every restaurant. This fried doughnut served with cream cheese, sweet and sour cream, and jam really is a must – so save some space; you won’t regret it.
In addition to the amazing interior and hearty food, for a full immersion into the culture, you will also be treated to a display of traditional Romanian dancing. You may be thinking this all sounds very touristy, and it probably is, but no trip to Bucharest would be complete without a visit Caru’ cu bere; it still is a favourite meeting spot for both tourists and locals alike, and for good reason.