[Romania] The Ultimate Gourmet Guide to Sibiu
We’ve been living in Sibiu for quite some years now and we have constantly been in search of true taste. Sometimes it’s hard to find it, especially when you visit the city for just a few days, so here’s the complete guide to how and where to get your food – restaurants, bars, pubs, juice bars, markets – all already carefully tested.
At a first glance, one would say that the gastronomy in Sibiu is nothing too spectacular. And yes, most of the places prefer to keep to that “selling” menu of salads, pizza and pasta with some steaks and french fries in between and 2 or 3 soups. But still, there are other places, with personality and with chefs and owners who are willing to experiment and to bring a bit of color and taste to your plate.
We’re true gourmands, to be honest and sometimes a bit picky when it comes to what we eat. We’re even more picky when it comes to Sibiu, as we live here and we know what fresh and tasty ingredients you can get from just a few kilometers away, directly from the local farmers and producers. The area is so rich and diverse in ingredients that gastronomy should be one of the main attractions of this city.
We’ve tried quite a lot of restaurants in Sibiu and there are too many that we visited once and never went back. But forget about those and let’s talk about the ones that make us go “Hmmm, sooo delicious” when we sit at their tables.
Plai has recently opened in Sibiu (beginning of 2021), but it’s for sure something that this town has been missing. A seasonal menu based on local ingredients, on reinterpreting local traditional recipes, on creating pure art in each plate. Eating there is a true experience from beginning to the end. Every dish is cooked to perfection, each detail is taken into consideration. The quality of the ingredients is perfectly emphasized in each bite.
An extra plus for having a beautiful location just on the outskirts of the old town, with a small terrace, away from all the touristic areas, with no background noise.
Consommé is definitely an “off the beaten track” restaurant in Sibiu, but very much worth checking out. With a rather old school look, simple and elegant decorations, it’s exactly what we are looking for when talking about interior design for restaurants.
There is no “a la carte” menu, it’s all about the chef’s inspiration for the day and what he finds available at the market. It’s a mixture of the world’s cuisines so you will find here everything from Asian, to Middle East, to South American, to Mediterranean or Romanian dishes. Every time we check this place out, the culinary experience is at its best for us. We have never tried something from their menu and didn’t like it to the maximum. The dishes they prepare are quite simple, noting very fancy, but the combination of fresh and quality ingredients and the perfect mix of spices and herbs makes every dish just perfect.
La Pasaj is a place I added recently on our list of places to go out and eat in Sibiu. And the reason behind this decision was mainly that they have improved so much in terms of diversity of dishes available, ingredients they use and seasonality of the menu. They now focus more on local, seasonal dishes, with a very nice plating and mixture of ingredient, which is exactly what we’re looking for when choosing a place to eat (in Sibiu, or anywhere else we go).
It is mostly aimed to those who eat meat and want to enjoy a very well cooked piece of beef, pork or lamb, but vegans and vegetarians will also have some very tasty options like all sorts of starters with squash, all sorts of local cheeses and eggs, or a delicious plate of gnocchi with goat cheese and butter squash. Plus the deserts which I must admit (being a person who’s not really into sweets) that are just perfect. Try the walnuts tart with vanilla ice cream, it’s one of the best deserts I’ve had in years.
The interior is nice and cozy, a small room with not too many tables, with simple and elegant decorations, enough to make you feel comfortable and to enjoy a nice dinner out. Their outdoor terrace is a good option for the hot summer days, as it has a lot of shade and has a beautiful view over the upper old town.
A rather new place on the market in Sibiu (opened end of 2018) and a big up for the attention they pay to the ingredients they work with for their menu. It’s mostly local products they buy from small producers around the Sibiu county and this makes all the difference. The menu is colorful and flavorful, with local and Romanian dishes, with a bit of modern twist. Plates look and taste good, the menu is small, but changes seasonally which means that you can try new stuff every few months, based on what fresh ingredients are at that time on the market.
Two main reasons why we don’t visit this place much often are the fact that it’s a gastro-brewery, meaning that it’s quite big and noisy (and we prefer smaller, more intimate and quiet places, where you get that homey feeling while enjoying your meal) and that, although they do promote eating locally, buying from small farms and producers in the county, they don’t have any local or Romanian craft beer on the menu (I know this might sound a bit exaggerated, but yes, we’re big fans of small craft breweries in Romania). They only have international big brands, which somehow, in our perspective, doesn’t really fit with the menu. Still they do have some local very tasty spirits worth a try and a nice cocktail bar with a wide variety of long drinks and cocktails if you consider staying longer for dinner.
Weinkeller has one of our favorite summer gardens in town. It’s right in the old town, but hidden away enough to offer you the quiet and coziness needed after walking around on Sibiu’s touristic streets. Their menu is a very good mix of Romanian, German and Hungarian recipes (exactly what Sibiu is also about) and lots of fresh ingredients from the Cibin Market. So if you want to have a taste of the local cuisine, this place is a very good option. Plus, they have a wide Romanian selection of wines and other local drinks.
Crama Sibiului Vechi
If you want to try the traditional Romanian cuisine, this is the place to do it. The place looks, smells and tastes traditional. Located somewhere in the city center, expect to find a small restaurant always full of people and a big line waiting for a table. They don’t do reservations, so the only way to eat here is to wait in line.
The menu is very much Romanian traditional and very tasty. I would recommend the soups, all of them are great, and the polenta dishes. Plus the traditional desert “papanași” at the end. Everything in the menu is tasty, but expect big portions and heavy stuff that will make your stomach digest for a few hours.
Keeping it traditional, but outside the city center, Prima is a place that is very much worth checking out. Nothing fancy about this place, it looks rather kitsch and old, but for a tourist it will be for sure a true experience.
Most of the people living in Sibiu come here for one main reason: to have the famous tripe soup that this place is known for. It is indeed a local delicacy served with lots of garlic and sour cream, but it’s definitely not for the faint hearted. We enjoy it every time we go there and if there’s room for more we try the dish called “muschi sibian” (a mixture of cheese, mushrooms and beef steak) with a nice portion of french fries and a garlic dip. If there’s even more room, we also go for the “papanași” with blueberry jam.
Prima is a small restaurant and full during lunch and dinner time so you will have to wait in line sometimes. Being outside the city center, Prima is mostly a place for locals and the prices are a bit lower, but more and more tourist are discovering this hidden gem.
Initially I decided to leave the international restaurants aside, but I will still mention OSushi. It’s a Japanese place, very classy and with proper Japanese dishes. We like them as we do some events in their location and everything turns out perfect every time. The sushi passionate around the city say that it’s a proper sushi place. They also have a delivery service, so if you’re lazy one Sunday evening and pizza is not an option, you can definitely try these guys.
For us, Urban Food is a perfect option for a very lazy (read that hangover) weekends, when we want to eat something heavy, with meat and sauces and fries, that would make us even lazier working on the digestion. They have pork based stuff, like burgers, hot dogs, but also chicken wings or chilli con carne. I appreciate that they try to work with fresh and local ingredients as much as possible and that brings a lot of flavor. We normally order via the Food Panda app and in about 30 minutes we have it in front of us, on the couch. They also have craft beer on the menu, so that’s also sometimes a good companion for treating a heavy hangover.
They also have an eat-in place at the Habermann Markt, if you’re around the city center and you want to try them out.
Vegan Restaurants and Juice Bars
Not too many vegan and vegetarian places in Sibiu, but it’s better than about 3 years ago when we had nothing. The good thing is that what we have is healthy, good quality and tasty.
She’s Green is by far my favorite vegan restaurant. They normally have a daily menu with a soup and a main dish which is very tasty and diverse, but also an “a la carte menu” with all sorts of spreads, salads, smoothies and freshly squeezed juices. Not too mention the raw vegan deserts which are must try is there’s still room after full lunch.
They also have a take-away option and a delivery option for those who don’t have the time to sit in and eat.
Rawissima is the raw vegan sweets heaven. They have only raw-vegan and healthy sweets, so if you’re in search for a nice desert this is the place. The have mainly cakes, but they also have all sorts of energy bars and chocolate or fruit mouse.
This is a new place on the block opened on Sibiu’s main pedestrian street (Nicolae Balcescu) so very easy reachable if you’re downtown. They have all sorts of freshly squeezed vegetables and fruit juices, smoothies, healthy snacks and raw vegan deserts. You can have them to go, or on the spot – they also have a small kids corner with coloring books and pencils to keep them busy.
Hug the Plate
New in town, but with a super cool design and a perfect menu for a quick breakfast, lunch, dinner or any snack in between. Hug the Plate is a sort of bistro, with quiches, toasts, omelettes, fresh sandwiches, cakes and a big variety of freshly squeezed juices and smoothies, plus coffee, tea and a nice atmosphere.
Definitely worth a try if you’re looking for having a light and relaxed meal somewhere outside the crowded old town of Sibiu.
Bars & Pubs
Sibiu does have a few bars and cafes in the city, most of them in the city center and some of them have worked on their branding and image in the last years, they pay more attention to what drinks they have on the menu and on how the service is.
Flow Coffee Roasters
Flow Coffee Roasters opened somewhere at the beginning of 2019 as a specialized coffee place, where they also roast and grind coffee on the spot to have the best coffee experience. At the beginning of the summer they also opened a small outside terrace in a nice area of the old town, quite central, but a bit away from all the crowd. Besides turning into one of our favorite summer spots for its location, their summer menu is just perfect – cold brews, fresh alcoholic drinks, homemade lemonades in all combinations, Romanian craft beer (even on tap) and some very delicious homemade snacks.
Wine not? is our option when in search of quality wine, either it’s Romanian or international. They have a wide selection of Romanian wines and lots of good advice in choosing your bottle. They’re a wine shop, working also as a small wine bar. Sometimes they also do small tasting events, very much worth checking out. They also have a nice selection of other alcoholic drinks, including craft beer and craft gin (the one from Pivnita Bunicii, that we totally love). In the summer time, they also have a small terrace, perfect to enjoy a glass of wine.
We love this place for 2 main reasons – it has a very rich drinks menu (from Romanian craft beers, to a wide selection of wines, to tea and coffee, including some tasty snacks for those who want more than a drink) and they are situated in Piața Mică (Small Square) and their terrace has sun all day long. Perfect place to go for a warm spring afternoon.
Saint Andrew’s Scottish Pub
For all you beer lovers out there, this is the place! Expect nothing too fancy as a design, but do expect to find a wide selection of International beers (British especially) and a wide selection of Romanian craft beers on tap and bottled.
Lili’s got on our radar again after being completely renovated at the end of last year. They also have a restaurant, but the food there doesn’t align to our standards. Still, the place looks very good, the drinks menu is very appealing and for a night out it’s the perfect place considering the very cool interior design.
Puro Wine and Coffee
Puro is outside the city center so if you’re looking for a more quiet place, than you should try this wine bar. They have a wide selection of wines from all over the world and a fancy interior design, plus a nice summer terrace. They also offer snacks on the menu, for those who want to complement their glass of wine with some nachos or a sweet cake.
Hug the Mug
Hug the Mug is the small local coffee shop with tasty and fresh coffee and with all sorts of other small treats beside. They have two locations, one of them on the main pedestrian street in the city center. Perfect to get a morning coffee (to go or to stay) and excellent for a lunch cappucino.
Arhiva de Cafea și Ceai
Arhiva de Cafea și Ceai, situated just outside Sibiu’s main square (Piața Mare) is a nice place to go out for a good coffee and a chat. They also have a wide variety of tea from all around the world, plus for those who get their energy from a different type of drink – they have some good selection of Romanian craft beers.
Smoothies, juices, tea and coffee and a relaxed and cosy atmosphere, right in the heart of the city, in the Big Square (Piața Mare). Perfect place for a lunch break or for a long afternoon of catching up with friends.
In terms of street food, Sibiu doesn’t have too many options, excluding of course, all the fast food places that you can find basically all over the place.
La Marietto is our favorite place when it comes to street food and in the same time one of our guilty pleasures. They have 5 types of sandwiches they prepare on the spot (one of them being vegetarian) with fresh ingredients. They have a big hob that they use to cook the meat and vegetables and everything is very tasty. They have a few tables indoor and a small terrace if you don’t want to take away. Unfortunately they are open only from 11 AM to 5 PM and they are closed during the weekend.
Placintăria Deo Gratias
Deo Gratias is a hidden gem, I will tell you from the start. Not too many people know about this place, but if you checked it out once, you will do it for sure again. There is an old lady who owns the place and who wakes up every morning at 5 AM to prepare the dough. She bakes and sells traditional pies from the North-East part of Romania. The best one is the one with potatoes, cheese, sour cream and garlic, but the cabbage one, the onion one and the sweet ones are also very much worth trying.
Unfortunately it’s open only until 5 PM and it’s closed during the weekend.
We’re not really into sweets that much, but this place has the most delicious ice cream in town. They make the ice cream themselves every night, so you will get a fresh one every morning. They only have a few assortments, including some bizarre ones like coconut ash gelato, but each of them is very much worth a try.
They also have a nice small summer terrace perfect to enjoy your gelato.
Petit Patis brings France to Sibiu, in style. With fresh pastry, bread, cookies and cakes everyday. With tasty refreshing drinks, flavored gelato and specialty coffee. It’s definitely something that the city was missing and was very much in need of. Everything tastes excellent and that’s because the ingredients they use are always fresh and of high quality. Their pastry chef has years of experience and you can see that in the products they put on the table every day. I love the idea of starting the day with a trip to Petit Patis to buy fresh bread and have a pain au chocolat on the go.
They are located right next to the Cibin market, Sibiu’s main farmers market, so quite convenient for the daily shopping.
What I love about Sibiu and what I loved from the moment I moved here is that the area around it is full of local producers of anything you can imagine – from meat, to cheese, to vegetables to honey, to fruits, to all sorts of drinks. And what is even better is that you don’t have to necessarily drive through the county to get all these, you just have to go to the market and get everything fresh.
Piața Cibin (Cibin Market)
The biggest market of Sibiu you will find here everything you need – meat, cheese, fish, vegetables and fruits, bread, drinks anything. Local producers are all over the place so you can’t miss them. The market is open all year round, but it flourishes starting May until late October. It’s such a delight to do your weekly shopping here.
Piața Transilvania (Translyvania Market)
Piața Transilvania happens every Saturday from 8 AM to 2 PM in the parking place of the main sports events hall in Sibiu (Sala Transilvania). It’s the freshest market of the city and most of the people living in Sibiu visit in on Saturday. You will find meat, cheese, fresh fruit and vegetables, honey, home made bread and sweets from local producers.
Piața Vinerea Verde (Green Friday Market)
Piața Vinerea Verde happens every Friday. Although it’s smaller than the Saturday Piața Transilvania, this one is right in the center of the city in the yard of the Evangelic Church of Sibiu. It’s a bio market and small producers from around the county come here to sell their ecologically grown products. Perfect place to stop for doing your groceries after a nice walk on the streets of Sibiu.
BioCoop is an ecological peasant cooperative, a group of over 15 small organic farmers in the counties of Sibiu and Mureș organized to provide consumers in Sibiu and visitors from all over the world, healthy, local, organic products.
You can find all king of goodies at their shop in the center of the city: honey, wine, juices, cheese, eggs, sausages and other traditional products from smoked pork, oil, jams and syrups, zacusca, salt with herbs, bread and home made pasta.
Gusturi Locale (Local Taste)
Gusturi Locale is a brochure made by the Tourism Office of Sibiu and includes all the local producers of the Sibiu county with their area of expertise, name and contact info. It’s very useful for those wanting to explore the area of Sibiu more and to see from where they can get local and tasty products. Some of these producers some to the local markets in the city as well.
So this is how Sibiu looks in terms of gastronomy, from the point of view of two locals who are always searching for the authentic, local and fresh stuff. It might not be the holistic view and as new places open up they might be added to the list after a close and thorough verification.
Photo credits go to Gabriela Cuzepan and to the official Facebook pages of the places we’ve mentioned in the article.
Why is restaurant max missing from your list?
I do not know why Restaurant Max is missing from your list but I can recommend you to go there because they have the best pizza. It is a delight and is made by a real Italian chef from Napoli. You will not regret. Their lasagna, their steaks, and the deserts are wow. It is my favorite restaurant. And there is another restaurant that I really like for their see food dish Cataplana de Peixe e Marisco. Its name is Old Lisbon. A restaurant with Portuguese cuisine influences.
Hello Mihaela. I know about both restaurants and tried them both. Indeed they have good food, to be honest main reason for not including them is the quality and source of the ingredients. I don’t like to promote places that use frozen ingredients more than fresh ones and imported ingredients more than local ones. Plus, it’s a personal blog based on a personal experience and I can decide which restaurant to include and which to exclude.
Plus I don’t think that eating pasta, pizza and other Italian dishes or Portuguese ones (eating frozen sea food in Sibiu just doesn’t make sense for me) are indeed a real Sibiu/Romanian experience.
Myself as a tourist, when I travel abroad, I don’t go searching for Italian restaurants if I’m not travelling in Italy. The same with the Portuguese ones.
I did include two international places – O’sushi and Huma, but because I know they use quality ingredients and because the delivery section in Sibiu is so much based on pizza, that I thought it’s a good idea to have some other decent options.
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[…] We’ve been living in Sibiu for quite some years now and we have constantly been in search of true taste. Sometimes it’s hard to find it, especially when you visit the city for just a few days, so here’s the complete guide to how and where to get your food – restaurants, bars, pubs, juice… — Read on thechocolatesoflife.com/2018/03/15/restaurants-in-sibiu/ […]