Last week was our 18th wedding anniversary and we decided to do something that we have been avoiding for the past few years. Driving in Bucharest. Well, that’s not entirely true as we did spend some time in 2021 there in order to get some tattoos, but in general it is a huge headache and something that was just…ick.
But there are some tourist attractions that I really wanted to see and figured I could pull the Anniversary Card to make it happen. It worked like a charm.
The plan was simple; spend the morning sightseeing and stop at some kind of cafe for a coffee or a drink and then finish off our day of sightseeing at Ceauşescu Mansion and then a nice vegan dinner. But then we both remembered that this is Romania and things rarely work out the way you planned, especially in Bucharest.
The good news? We did manage to get in some sightseeing so you’ll have some pretty and historic sights as well as some delicious vegan food!
Let’s start with this beautiful tapestry made by an unknown Romanian artist for Ceauşescu Mansion.
The plan was to hit up Cotroceni Palace first. We checked the website and got all the details but when we arrived we were turned away because apparently they only do group tours, which was not stated on the website. The hubs and I, along with two older gentleman who had showed up at the same time were told that we could come back that afternoon or another day.
So, another day it will be.
But on the way back to the parking garage, we spotted this monument dedicated to the soldiers who fought in a war.
Instead of lingering near Cotroceni Palace, we headed back to the car to head towards Ceauşescu Mansion, but we spotted an Asian food store on the way back so you know I had to stop in for some kitchen staples.
This place was pretty cool and incredibly maddening. I mean as a history buff it was nice to see where so many historical moments in Romania went down, particularly one that culminated the death of two people.
The palace was, as palaces tend to be, over the top. Ostentatious to the point of being gaudy which was quite ironic since this guy didn’t think wealth should be concentrated like it clearly was in his palatial estate.
But there were some gems to see if you could just enjoy them without all the historical baggage.
Bucharest – Herăstrău Park
After the tour of Ceauşescu’s Mansion it was still quite early, well at least it was too early for dinner and we were both so hungry BUT the Herăstrău Park was closer to the Mansion than the first vegan restaurant we wanted to check out, so the park came first.
This is a massive park in the northern part of the city and it surrounds Herăstrău Lake. There is also–allegedly–a Japanese Garden but we never found it. We did find some art, a tribute to Michael Jackson and tons of wild mushrooms.
And finally, it was time to eat!
We stopped at Vyro Raw & Vegan Restaurant, a lovely bistro near the historic part of Bucharest. The building it sits in is gorgeous along one of those tiny European streets you see in all the movies.
It was a fun experience and being super hungry helped. The owner was a very friendly woman who spoke both English and Romanian and she welcomed us happily, explaining everything we needed to know about her delicious food.
Did I mention we were hungry?
Good, so don’t judge us for the sheer amount of food we decided to try out.
The menu changes regularly but here is what we sampled:
Asian noodles with Beyond Burger mince and vegetables
Vegan sushi with quinoa
Raw Thai veggie wraps with tahini and cashew cream dipping sauce
Raw fermented cabbage wraps with a vegan yogurt dipping sauce
Beyond vegan meatballs with Romanian white bean stew
Vegan chocolate cake and caramel cake with dates & beets to sweeten
The food was delicious and satisfying and I will definitely make a trip back the next time I’m in Bucharest….maybe Cotroceni Palace will be on the agenda then too.
That was our day, in a very long nutshell, in Bucharest.
What’s your favorite city for good vegan food?