Caru’ cu Bere
This is the perfect spot for lunch or dinner if you have spent hours roaming Lipscani, the old district of the city, and now feel like savouring the Bucharest of the good old times to the maximum. The history of Caru’ Cu Bere can be traced back to the late 1800s (it is housed in an 1875 building) and used to be a legendary beer hall. The decadently opulent neo-Gothic interior was designed by the Austrian architect Zigfrid Kofczinsky: a painted ceiling so incredibly high that you almost feel as if you were in a cathedral, pillars with woodcarvings and a second-floor wood balcony. As you walk through the wood revolving door, the first thing that springs to mind is: this is Dracula’s castle… The place is shocking with its magnificence and sheer size. Caru’ Cu Bere is said to have been the favourite meeting place for Romanian intellectuals; however, it lost a significant part of its charm during the Ceauşescu era, becoming a mere tourist attraction. Now, re-opened in 2006, the renovated restaurant has recovered its lost splendour. Everything you see has been preserved from the good old times: chandeliers, paintings, wood panelling, even the chairs and an 1879 clock (still in working order). The clientele is a mixture of locals and tourists. Perhaps the cuisine does not belong among the finest in the city, and yet the place is definitely worth paying a visit, if only to feel the aroma of the old Bucharest.