I recently spent a month living in the Transylvanian capital, which quickly became one of my favorite cities in Romania, developing this list of the best Cluj restaurants.
Cluj restaurants have a great variety of choices to offer. Here you can find everything from traditional Romanian food to fine dining, incredible vegetarian spots and mouthwatering burgers.
My 20 Favorite Cluj Restaurants
Strada Napoca 8A // +40 732 155 177
Easily my favorite restaurant in town, Baracca is fine dining in a contemporary setting. Most locals agree this is the one of the best Cluj restaurants.
The menu features both local and international dishes. They use only the highest quality ingredients and opt for local whenever possible.
Can’t miss dishes include the beef tartar starter with black garlic and herbed butter,
the Angus beef cheeks over pureed parsnip or the duck breast with a beetroot, black cherry and thyme reduction.
Reservations are suggested (especially on weekends). Finally, be sure to save room for dessert, as their tiramisu is famous!
Strada Inocențiu Micu Klein 6 // +40 264 593 220
While Via is my second favorite Cluj restaurants in town, I probably visited it the most often. The restaurant is phenomenal, but not quite as fine dining as Baracca. (Which means the prices were lower!) Via’s menu is small but well executed. The best dishes include the roasted duck, spicy lamb soup, and the Mangalista roasted pork over root vegetables with herbed potatoes.
You’ll likely need a reservation here too. If the weather isn’t nice enough to sit on the outside patio, ask to be seated in the downstairs dining room off the kitchen. I found that spot nicer than the main dining room.
Bulevardul Eroilor 4 // +40 749 995 545
Roots was our go to breakfast spot. There, you can pair the best coffee in Cluj with a great breakfast/brunch menu.
If you have a sweet tooth, be sure to check out these chocolate and red berry pancakes.
I rarely want a sweet start to my day, so this breakfast toast with smashed avocado, cured salmon and poached egg was my favorite.
Strada Napoca 16 // +40 755 080 777
We were surprised by Zama. When you walk in, the place feels pretty upscale, but the prices are very reasonable, especially given their high quality food.
Zama serves upmarket versions of traditional Romanian fare. If you’re dining with a group, be sure to order one of their impressive starter platters for the table.
We also loved Zama’s house wine, which was very good quality for the price, especially the white wine. I found the rosé to be too sweet for my liking, but they served better rosés by the bottle.
Are you also planning a visit to Bucharest? Check out this guide to Bucharest restaurants!
Strada Iuliu Maniu 34 // +40 734 414 414
Several locals recommended Casa Boema when they found out I was writing about food in their town. The restaurant was great, and they have one of the nicest patios in Cluj.
When rain hit, we retreated to the upstairs dining room, which was large but somehow still cozy. I enjoyed perfectly cooked duck served over pureed carrots with roasted vegetables, while my friend had an impressive-looking lamb burger.
Weather permitting, definitely try to be seated on the patio.
Eggcetera is a newer restaurant in Cluj, but it’s already quite popular — there’s almost always a wait to get in.
The menu is mostly made up of different breakfast toasts, both sweet and savory, that seem designed for Instagram.
I also love that nearly all the seating is centered around a large communal table. This proved a great way for me to chat up locals and field other great suggestions about things to see and do while I was in town.
If you’re not in the mood for designer toast, don’t worry. Their other options include breakfast tacos, French toast and even shakshuka.
Old & Tasty is another favorite of the Cluj restaurants. They have a small menu of about 5 burgers, but you can build your own. Even though the menu is small, everything is well thought out. The enthusiastic employees happily went over each burger with us and helped us make our choices.
We each tried different burgers that day, but the avocado burger with feta won easily — I would go back again just to have that burger!
We had a really great brunch one morning at Bujole — all three of us ordered different dishes, and we all thought they were great. The brioche brunch item was delicious and a nice change from the usual eggs Benedict.
Their desserts also looked gorgeous, so be sure to leave room if you enjoy a sweet end to your meal.
Strada Alexandru Ciurea 6 // +40 264 592 022
Roata is one of the best places in Cluj to try authentic, homestyle Romanian dishes. The menu features soups, grilled meats and several Transylvanian specialties.
This is also the best place in town to try papanasi, a Romanian dessert of fried pastry with cheese and sour jam made with local fruit.
Strada Ștefan Ludwig Roth 5 // +40 799 073 073
Samsara Foodhouse, not to be confused with Samsara Teahouse, was recommended to me by locals over and over again. The vegetarian restaurant features many vegan and raw choices as well. Samsara does some really creative things with their menu, including raw vegan gazpachos, salads, pastas, and this Moroccan rice dish.
Samsara has also become quite well-known for their dessert menu. Many of their dessert options are even raw vegan choices.
Bulevardul 21 Decembrie 1989 14 // +40 770 163 152
Bistro 1568 was another of my go to places in Cluj. With their specials, the menu is varied enough that you can always find something new — but it’s also not so big as to be intimidating.
I appreciated their wine list, which while not the largest, had many great options. Some of my favorite dishes included the coffee-crusted beef cheeks or this roasted pork with savory pancakes.
Str. Brâncusi Constantin, 86A // +40 264 443 094
Locals mentioned Hanul Dacilor several times when asked where to find the best authentic Romanian food. The portions here are large and great for sharing, and the prices are reasonable, though the service could have been a bit better. Overall, I found it a good option for trying authentic fare.
Will you also be visiting Brasov? Click here to learn about the best Brasov restaurants.
Strada Bolyai János 9 // +40 264 596 430
Although best known for their pizzas, this cozy Italian eatery also serves pasta dishes. I never tried anything other than the pizza, which was quite nice. While perhaps not authentic Italian, it’s a great option for when you’re having a pizza craving.
The place becomes quite full during peak hours. Also, be sure to check out their 17 lei ($4.25 USD) lunch specials, which are one of the better deals in town.
Strada Gheorghe Marinescu 5 // +40 759 020 024
You may not think of coming to Cluj for really good Japanese food, but this place was highly recommended by other food bloggers before I even arrived to Romania!
The restaurant has literal white-glove service, and many of the servers are decked out in kimonos. The food was good — really good — if not a bit expensive.
You absolutely must visit if you find yourself in Cluj and are craving sushi or ramen. They also had an impressive looking chef’s tasting menu that I plan to try on my next visit.
Strada Observatorului 82-86, Cluj-Napoca 400000, Romania // +40746535499
Very cozy place with amazing burgers. The staff is extremely friendly, talkative, and polite toward the customer. The prices are solid, and the portions are significant.
The best part about this place is that anything you’ll order from their menu will be the best food you’ve eaten that day! Their noodles are hands down, the best noodles in town, not to mention the burgers. I would also recommend taking advantage of the deserts; they are amazing!
Their dishes have a well-balanced flavor and a little bit of fantasy. You can genuinely feel they cook with passion!
When I asked for dessert(lava raspberry cake with pistachio ice cream and raspberry sauce, a true delight), I was pleasantly surprised to hear some good advice. The contrast between hot and freezing cold was heaven, and the bittersweet combination of brownie, ice cream and raspberry sauce.
Speaking of heaven, the menu is split into “Food Heaven” and “Food Hell,” and it’s a great idea, in my opinion.
Strada Universității 8, Cluj-Napoca 400091, Romania // +40734881010
The authentic Italian vibe in Cluj. Delightful and cheerful staff, delicious food and charming ambiance. Their ingredients are top quality, and taste and presentation are also their priority. Bonus points for being able to order a glass of almost all their wine bottles.
The menu is an extensive menu with delicious food and good portions. The tagliatelle with fresh seafood (available Thursday – Sunday) is a must-try, same for the pasta with fresh tuna. It is so flavourful and delicious, and the pasta is homemade.
There is breakfast, many kinds of pizza and pasta, seafood, meat and other Italian Classics on the menu. I have to mention their lasagna, too. So juicy and rich with cheese it will melt your heart.
Strada Cardinal Iuliu Hossu 25, Cluj-Napoca 400029, Romania // +40745393333
Great place, especially for groups with indoor and outdoor seating as well. It has an extensive menu selection with burgers, fish, ribs, pasta, pizza, salads, and sumptuous desserts. Service is fast and convenient, and the ambiance is chill.
The menu has a lot of options, not limited to certain food types. When it comes to the food, everything is intensely flavored and very carefully cooked. You must be hungry before going there as you cannot have just one dish.
Everything was delicious, from a pizza with melting dough to some chicken breast with mozzarella. The chocolate soufflé was delicious: it was hot and melting inside with some walnut and a scoop of vanilla ice cream topped with crushed pistachios.
Pizza, Pasta, soups, sandwiches, desserts, a wide wine selection, crafted beer and many other beverages are also available on their menu. This place will never disappoint you!
Strada Sindicatelor 4, Cluj-Napoca 400000, Romania // +40731653653
Good place for a fine dining experience. The waiters are knowledgeable and helpful if you are unsure what to choose or select a wine that goes well with your meal. The ambiance is charming and romantic.
The prices are high, as you might imagine, but the food is worth it. A pianist plays live music on weekends, which is really lovely. In addition, they have an interesting tasting menu, all paired with international or Romanian local wine.
We each picked a soup with a 2nd course and split a tapas and dessert between us. The tapas was Saint Jacques scallops with some carrots cooked in 3 different ways, and we really enjoyed it.
The soups were good. We had Vichyssoise and Potato Cream soup, which was very creamy and delicious. For the second course, we had the duck and octopus, which was super good too. With the help of the waiter, we picked an excellent white wine.
We tried ice cream (sorbet style) for dessert, and it was the best thing I ever had.
The wine selection was excellent the waiter was attentive. Creative dishes with lots of flavors. The interior is inviting & contemporary, which I personally liked a lot.
Strada Avram Iancu 12, Cluj-Napoca 400347, Romania // +40364736479
If you want to try unique and extraordinary dishes, “Ciao New York” is the right place for you. The indoor settings and the design are inviting, and the overall atmosphere is cozy. The chairs are comfortable and the service is exceptional.
We ordered salmon with risotto and mustard sauce, fettuccine with seafood and pollo parmigiana. Everything was delicious and served rapidly. They also have an excellent wine pairing menu with a wide choice of domestic and international wines.
Also, I liked the salmon risotto with asparagus. It was well cooked, and the Dijon sauce and oranges combination really did the trick.
If you are a fan of classic Italian dishes there is excellent bolognese pasta, the trendy penne a la vodka, fried calamari and delicious tiramisu.
Overall a good experience and an ideal place for a romantic dinner!
Bistro Viena, Strada Matei Corvin 3, Cluj-Napoca 400394, Romania // +40757082590
Bistro Viena is the place to go for the best Austrian specialties in Cluj. This restaurant is, above all, an oasis of truly irresistible flavors.
You will be fascinated by this incursion into their Viennese world of antiquities, flower-decorated windows and delicious food.
The place serves traditional fare, meat and potatoes if you’d like, but more exotic items can be found on the menu as well. The decor is oldish and bohemian, and the food makes you lick your fingers.
The Crispy Pork Knuckle, marinated in 10 different spices, brought from Vienna and cooked after a French recipe on a special stove, is a delicious and mouthwatering experience.
I also liked the Austrian sausages, the pork ribs and the Schnitzel. Everything was cooked to perfection, not too oily, and you could feel the meat was fresh and prepared with love. The Schnitzel was served with french fries on the side, and I could feel they were homemade.
For dessert, do not hesitate to try the one and only “Apple Strudel.” It smells like home, and it tastes like heaven!
What are the most popular restaurants in Cluj-Napoca?
Bistro Viena, Baracca, Via and Ciao New York are one of the most popular restaurants in Cluj-Napoca.
What are the best restaurants in Cluj-Napoca for families with children?
Boema House, Old & Tasty Burgers and Roata are one of the best restaurants in Cluj-Napoca for families with children.
While in Cluj don’t miss out on activities that will help immerse yourself with the city (hurry while they’re hot!):
- Cluj-Napoca: 2.5-Hour Guided Walking Tour
- Cluj-Napoca: Turda Salt Mine & Alba Carolina Fortress Tour
- Cluj: Medieval City Exploration Game and Tour
Which of these Cluj restaurants do you most want to try? Let me know in the comments section below!
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Travel writer and owner of the blog. My work has been featured on Fodors, Eater.com, International Living, and Great Escape Publishing, among many others. My story? Nearly six years ago, I left my job at an Oklahoma City law firm and embarked on a journey around the world. At the time, I thought I would only be gone for 6 months, but the more I traveled, the longer my bucket list became. Flashpacker describes how I travel. Rather than traveling as the normal world wise backpacker and staying in hostel dorms, I prefer a more comfortable experience, and typically stay in private rooms, take Ubers instead of taxis, and now use a suitcase instead of a backpack. Foodie, on the other hand, describes one of the key reasons why I travel. I love to pick a central “base camp” and then explore the surrounding area, really immersing myself in the culture and interacting with the people, and enjoying and exploring the food of an area is an essential part of this experience.