The choice is fundamental. The choice is vital. And the choice is ours.
We have good news for you: you can eat healthy and have an ethical lifestyle when in Cluj!
The concepts of vegetarianism and veganism have spread rapidly in Romania over the past years. The market has adapted and now most of the restaurants offer a varied range of options.
“More and more vegan products appear on the Romanian market daily: people started to recognize the word in restaurants and in shops. The easy access to this products are facilitating not only the lives of vegans, but also the transition to this way of life. A few years ago, veggie products were rare and expensive, but with the raise of demand we saw the creation of a generous market for new companies or the development of old ones. So many producers have expanded their activities in cruelty free, more sustainable areas.” says Cristina Ciolomic, a vegan activist from Cluj.
Here, we have designed for you the complete guide to being a vegetarian & vegan in Cluj-Napoca with restaurant recommendations, food tips and insights from both locals and travelers:
Str. Stefan Ludwig Roth nr. 5 Cluj-Napoca
+40 799 073 073
must eat: vegan carbonara pasta
Str. Andrei Șaguna 4, Cluj-Napoca
+40 749 346 731
must eat: vegan burger, tofu salad
Strada Ciocârliei 35, Cluj-Napoca
0364 111 002
+40 753 404 594
And more vegetarian options could be found in almost any restaurant. Here you have some suggestions:
- Casa TIFF (must eat: vegan burger)
- Salad Box
- Makeba (must eat: spinach pasta, broccoli soup)
Also, if you’re interested in the veggetarian/vegan traditional cuisine (it could be also found in most of the restaurants under the name mâncare de post, which means fasting food, according to the Christian tradition during which you only eat vegan food), we would recommend:
- zacuscă: dips of mushroom, tomato, aubergine and chickpeas, served with a salad and bread
- fasole bătută: mashed kidney beans, topped with onions, and eaten with bread
- cașcaval pane: hearty and satisfying little fried cheese squares with a crumb crust seasoned with plenty of garlic, to keep vampires at bay, of course!
- mămăliguță: polenta-like pudding with a topping of cheese and sour cream
- mushroom sarmale: the traditional sarmale that have mushrooms instead of meat
- and don’t skip the covrigării (bakeries) that are all around the corners: you’ll find genuine Romanian baking goods for all tastes!
FIND OUT WHAT OUR GUESTS THINK:
Romania is good for vegetarians, as you can find a number of vegetarian and vegan options. Although there might not be a large number of vegetarian / vegan restaurants, you can discover options on most of the menus. My favorite was a mushroom sarmale dish along with a side of sauerkraut. If you’re a pescatarian, there’s a wonderful fish dish called saramură. And if you enjoy cooking yourself, you should know that the vegetables in Romania are amazing (especially the tomatoes). You could also buy items that are already prepared in the supermarket (not all vegan): local cheeses from Romania that are almost like feta cheese, zacuscă, pickled peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes and breads.
When it comes to traveling, I typically try to eat local/traditional foods. Romania is an exception though, because almost all of traditional Romanian food has meat (except for some dishes, like sarmale and mamaligă). However, for bigger towns, like Brașov, Sibiu, and Cluj in particular, I haven’t had too hard of a time because of the diversity of food options. Everything from falafel to Italian to Asian is here!
We hope you find this useful and we wish you all the best in experiencing our food, the best that Cluj and Romania has to offer!
by Eva Bunici for Transylvania Hostel