Best Restaurants in Craiova: Great Food, Affordable Prices

My latest visit to Craiova had one major goal: to find the best restaurants in the city. So we (my wife, my son, and I) spent five days in the city eating out for this greater good.

Check out our findings and recommendations below, if you want to eat like a king in Oltenia’s unofficial capital, Craiova. And don’t forget to sprinkle in some of the city’s main attractions in between the meals.


Restaurant Perinita chicken with mushrooms
My favorite dish from their menu

This is usually the first restaurant I visit whenever I am in Craiova. It’s true, it’s more of a habit than it necessarily being the best of the best… but I never had any complaints in regards to the food served here.

It’s more of a place visited by older locals, with plenty of food options – most of them being traditional Romanian dishes, but many International cuisine options too. It’s an affordable place with tasty food and not much more. And sometimes, that’s exactly what you need.

Photo of sarmale with mamaliga and smantana at Restaurant Perinita
Try their sarmale with sour cream & polenta. Delicious!

I always get the chicken breast with mushrooms and sour cream, but my wife insists on recommending her favorite – the “tochitura cu ou si mamaliguta” (fried pork bits with egg and polenta).

Finish your meal with the “Papanasi” – the traditional Romanian dessert consisting of donuts with blueberry jam and cream and you’re all set:

Romanian papanasi at restaurant Perinita.

It’s also located close to the city center – like all my recommendations in today’s article – and it should be visited if you’re looking for hearty, tasty and budget-friendly food.

Facebook page: Click here. Location on Google Maps.

Casa Ghincea

casa ghincea menu
Some of the main food items [via the restaurant’s official website]

I’m recommending Casa Ghincea (Ghincea House) first, because I think it’s the best choice for those looking to eat traditional Romanian food in Craiova.

It has all the staples you need to try and the presentation is perfect for taking mouth-watering photos. Get the bean soup served in a bun, one of their platters or, my all time favorite, the meat selection served in a sword – called “Casa Ghincea specialty” which is for four people:

The place looks really good and is located close to the city center in a very safe location. The staff speaks English and they’re really polite, being capable of making solid recommendations.

All in all, this is one of the best restaurants for traditional Romanian food that I have ever visited – with the main bonus coming from their original way of serving their main dishes.

Official website: Click here. Facebook page: Click here. Location on Google Maps.

Related reading: Check out the best Romanian foods here.

Pho chanh

Pho Bo Chanh Miam Miam soup
Pho Bo Chanh Miam Miam… the Yum Yum soup we shared.

I was surprised to find a real Vietnamese restaurant in Craiova (ran by people from Vietnam). The best part? The food is authentic, delicious and the prices are decent too.

Located in the heart of Craiova, in the Old Town area, it offers all the delicious Vietnamese dishes you can think of, from the delicious duck served on a hot plate to Pho, Bun Cha and even sushi, as well as fried ice cream (I LOVED it!) and much more.

Fried bananas at Pho chanh
My son preparing to ravage the fried bananas. They were good!

We had a really good time at the restaurant – which is relatively small, but with personality.

Official website: Click here. Facebook page: Click here. Location on Google Maps.

Quick pub recommendation: Delicious food and craft beers (plus plenty of Romanian beers to choose from) – all in a perfect place: Curtea Berarilor Craiova.


Photo of eggs benedict dish at Iberico restaurant in Craiova
I had the salmon eggs benedict. It was out of this world!

Again a surprise to me! There were quite a few tapas restaurants in Craiova. Iberico was the one that stood out with truly delicious dishes that are perfect for a quick meal.

Tacos from Iberico Craiova
The Tacos were not the best, just OK.

They’re not hearty, full dishes for the most part, but for a dinner with friends, the tapas and dishes here are perfect for a long chat, paired with some Sangria or any beverage of choice.

Restaurant Iberico Craiova: Photo of chicken Quesadilla
My son got the chicken quesadilla. It was good!

Apart from the delicious food that we ate there, we really enjoyed the vibe and the design of the outdoors terrace. You really felt like you were in Spain… and that’s always a bonus. Really good place, although a bit pricey.

Instagram: Click here. Facebook page: Click here. Location on Google Maps.

Planning to visit nearby cities? These are the best restaurants in Drobeta (although locals call the city “Severin”)

Downtown – Contemporary Bar & Food

Another great choice when it comes to eating well in Craiova, Downtown serves a host of international dishes, as well as some Romanian options.

IMPORTANT: We almost missed it and entered into a different place – make sure to actually enter Downtown from the Fratii Buzesti street, as the corner restaurant (which appears to be the Downtown restaurant) is actually a different thing. I’m marking the entrance below:

The actual entrance to the Downtown Restaurant

Now that we got this out of the way, let’s talk food! The biggest surprise – and a pleasant one, too – was the burger that my son ordered. It was not one burger, but two. A bit smaller than your usual humongous burger restaurants serve nowadays, but one was still enough for him. So great for sharing!

Burgers menu at Downtown - Contemporary Bar & Food restaurant in Craiova

I had the gorgonzola chicken which was really good (although, truth be told, I couldn’t really feel the gorgonzola taste). But it was very good and satisfying.

Tasty chicken with gorgonzola dish at Downtown - Contemporary Bar & Food

My wife had some pork dish with mushroom sauce, and it was the softest, tastiest, melts-in-your mouth pork we’ve ever tasted. Really good!

Yummy pork with mushroom sauce

All in all, the food was delicious here, the place itself is really nice and the staff OK (although they don’t seem to do their best to impress). The bathroom of the place is a design masterpiece – but I’ll let you discover it by yourself when you visit.

Facebook page: Click here. Location on Google Maps.

Best coffee in the city: If you want a great coffee, I really liked Coffee Story (link to map here), but also the Bad Habits Coffee Shop (on the map here).

Roata Bistro

Restaurant Roata Indoor Garden

Located in a semi-central location, Restaurant Roata (The Wheel) lures you in with a beautiful indoor garden/area. It’s really special with all those plants and jars of pickles… great design!

The food is pretty good, too. They focus on traditional Romanian dishes, but you also have international dish options. The highlight is, in my opinion, the Roata Skewers (amazing presentation, great selection of meat), but there are various other goodies on the menu (from the perfect tripe soup to mititei, sarmale… anything, really).

They also offer a high-value daily menu (with various options to choose from) and overall is one really affordable restaurant. We’ve been visiting it since 2013, and even though the menu has changed a bit, the overall quality of the food hasn’t. Highly recommended!

Official website: Click here. Facebook page: Click here. Location on Google Maps.

Looking so good that you’re starting to consider moving to Romania? First, make sure to read my previous article where I discuss whether or not Romania remains a good destination for living on a budget.

La Remorca

This is the best fast food place in Craiova, in my opinion. It’s a fast food truck serving amazing burgers, mainly, but also hot dogs and crispy strips. But you go there for the burgers!

A menu (burger + fries) is around 11 Euros, but definitely worth it.

Facebook page: Click here. Location on Google Maps.

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Craiova Burgers - Image for Pinterest

Yum! I got REALLY hungry writing this article and probably you did too. So if you’re in Craiova, pick your favorite from my list above and try it out – I’m sure you will love it. Don’t forget to let us all know how it went!

If you have a favorite restaurant that’s not listed above, let us all know in the comments section below.

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