Top 3 downtown institutional cheap and nostalgic restaurants and terraces in Bucharest

Top 3 downtown institutional cheap and nostalgic restaurants and terraces in Bucharest

This top is made for those searching the nostalgia of between-wars period in Bucharest, as well as for those who are curious how things were in Bucharest before the Revolution, before modernity applied to day-to-day life and before the international brands and habits came over.

The places we selected and recommend here are all historical buildings kept as such in the communist era by the authorities. They still have the charm of the rich period of Bucharest, but they also have layers of communism, such as the traditional menus and setting (some of the plates are made especially for the establishments, tens of years ago), the waiters (some of them being employed there for over 30 years!) and the overall feeling that the time just neglected those place, as elements of modernity are not at all present.

If you are looking for a place to eat well, cheap and safe, but also want to live some Bucharest history and maybe enjoy a sunny day on a terrace, here is our top three places downtown Bucharest you won’t find in any guide. It’s our secret, as locals J, but Bucharest Tips is used to sharing this valuable information for tourists…

Even if everything looks imposing, don’t panic! Those places are cheaper than most of the restaurants in the city centre (you can eat with EUR 5- EUR 10, including drinks). Plus the waiters and the services are old-fashioned in the good sense of it: nice decorations in your plate, kindness and politeness. You won’t feel hurried up to make room for the next client, which is the case of many places in Bucharest, especially in the old centre (Lipscani area).

The menus are traditional and international, but you should not expect anything fancy, just tasty food, carefully prepared!

1. Scientists’House (Casa Oamenilor de Stiinta)

Situated only 2 minutes from Romana Square in a small square named Lahovari, the Scientists’House is an important architectural heritage, built in 1906-1914. The building was the property of George Assan, an important businessman which name is related to the first steam mill in Bucharest. Currently, the building belongs to Romanian Academy, but it is opened for public (Except for the first floor, which hosts protocol apartments for the institution).

The villa, built in French style, will impress you with its mirrors, stained glass, Cordoba leather and a veritable Edison lamp! The ground floor is used for large events and the restaurant is in the semi-basement.

In the backyard of the house there is a beautiful green garden with kiosks where you can order your meal while enjoying a sunny day.


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2. University House (Casa Universitarilor)


Hidden behind a green large garden (well, mostly a wild park or a small downtown city forest), the terrace of this interesting monument of architecture will welcome you with chill vibes during hot summer days in Bucharest. The building is situated in the beautiful area of villas, downtown Bucharest, 5 minutes from Romana Square, towards Universitate Square.

The building, one of the few Romantic style monuments of architecture in Bucharest, also known as the Librecht-Filipescu House, was built around 1860 and was designed by the architect Luigi Lipizer, for the banker Cezar Librecht. In 1866, Librecht left Romania and the building was purchased in auction by G. C. Filipescu, marshal of the Palace.

Stone lacings, crenels, imposing columns and Bohemian crystal windows and a spectacular fountain, those are few of the design details which remember a period of good taste and luxury.

Currently the building belongs to the University of Bucharest, hosting a public restaurant, one of the small hidden gems Bucharest has to offer to its tourists looking for authentic ancient vibrations of the city.

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3. The Military Circle (Cercul Militar)


Walking down on Calea Victoriei (one of the most well-known roads downtown Bucharest), you will find on your right an imposing building with a fountain in front and lots of stairs (!) which is called the Military Circle.

This building, officially inaugurated in 1923, was designed especially for the Army. The works started in 1911with 80 percent of the funds representing donations made by the officers in the Romanian army.

It still is, ever since, the natellyplace for events of the Army, also hosting a gallery, offices and more.

The restaurant, open for public, with a huge terrace (unfortunately not that green), but with a nice view over Calea Victoriei, is situated in the first floor of the building and has a wide stairy entrance.

It is a interesting experience for tourists so we warmly advise you to take a break from your Bucharest tour, over a pint of beer and a plate of traditional meal. You can reach it in 2 minutes from Universitate Square.

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