The Transylvanian citadel of Sighisoara is famous for being the birthplace of Vlad Tepes (Dracula, anyone?), a still inhabited Medieval stronghold (UNESCO World Heritage Site), and for its Medieval Festival that happens every year in August or September. Yet beyond the culture, the history, and the Goth passion for vampires, there are restaurants, cafes, and cool summer drinks to explore.
On my recent trip to Sighisoara, I explored quite a few of them. Others I chose to skip, because I didn’t have the time or inclination to wait for too long, or to make a reservation. Let’s explore the delicious, the not-so-delicious, the complete lack of cider, and the places where you can grab a quick snack.
Before we begin, here are a few things you should know:
- Sighisoara is a small place, the historic center with the Medieval citadel is even smaller. You don’t have to walk too far to find a restaurant. In fact, you might have to pick one out of 5-6 just by turning around and looking at everything you see
- The restaurants are overall pricier than other touristic on non-touristic places, like Brasov or Ploiesti. Sometimes even Bucharest. But that does not mean they’re still not affordable. The most we’ve paid was 35 US dollars for two adults, so it’s still pretty cheap.
- Even in high touristic season (we visited in July), you won’t find food late at night. If you’re lucky, you can order till midnight. Most places don’t take food orders after 11 p.m.
This place is the best to have lunch at. It’s got tasty food, the quality of service depends on who you get, and the ice cream is fantastic. Portions, word of caution here, are huge! There are even huge pizzas that you can share with 2-3 more people and still have a hard time finishing them.
But the pest place about Jo’s pub is that they have water sprinklers all around the terrace. And as it gets really hot during the summer, this was pretty much the only place we could eat at lunch time without self-combusting.
This terrace is right across the alley from Jo’s Pub. We went there once, and never returned. While the food at Jo’s Pub is slightly better, eating at Concordia was just too much. Lunch is important to us, and if we feel like we are melting, then there’s no point in staying. They have great coffee though, and their cappuccino alone is worth a meal there.
This was the first restaurant we had a meal in. We were starving, it was the closest to our hotel (and yet only a stone throw away from the citadel, and right off the Central Park. We ordered burgers because we craved them, and while the meat and fries were great, that was the worst burger bun ever. The taste was passable, but it was pretty much disintegrating as I tried to eat my burger.
As it was the first restaurant, La Perla was where I got introduced with the local lemonade. I am used to the freshly squeezed, honey sweetened variety that is quite popular around Romania. No such luck, they had the canned/bottled variety which is okay, but I don’t love. I became less disappointed with this when I realized most restaurants in Sighisoara serve the same kind.
This is where you go for your sweet tooth-induced cravings. The cakes are amazing, and a cookie, or a slice of cake costs about a dollar. The mouse varieties, the cakes (especially those with fruit), the eclairs, they are to die for! We couldn’t decide on what to try, so we shared three different types, one mouse and two cakes. They were delicious, but we couldn’t finish them. It felt like such a waste!
Casa Vlad Dracul
This is perfect for all those who want to see where Vlad Tepes was born, then enjoy a meal in that same building. It’s super crowded, we were told to come back in a few hours when we visited. But you can find their details on Google Maps and make a reservation, or at least call ahead to know how busy they are.
While the building is great, it’s right next to the Clock Tower (Turnul cu Ceas), we didn’t feel like it was worth the wait. Or the effort of a reservation. Then again, we grew up in Romania, we’re sort of fed up with all the Dracula stuff. The rustic décor and their menu are appealing and, had we been less famished, we’d have gone for more than admiring the architecture. You can also pay 2 lei (50 cents) and visit the room where Dracula was born.
This was unfortunately a very late find for us. They barbecue their meat outside in the evening, and it all smells delicious. Plus, when it comes to drinks, especially lemonade, they rock! I had a delicious passion fruit lemonade there and it made up for all the bottled varieties I’ve been given in Sighisoara.
As we didn’t get enough time to inspect their menu (we discovered it after midnight on our last evening in Sighisoara), this is at the top of my list the next time we go there.