The beauty of Timisoara is its unknownness; many flock to Bucharest, the capital, and leave this small city unexplored. A simple Google search shows how little there is about the place as a holiday. This had its own benefits of stumbling upon the tiniest places to eat and grab a late coffee to soak up the culture.
Timisoara doesn’t have it’s own ‘cuisine’, what with its borders being shared with so many different countries and instead has influences from Greece to Germany. However, here are a few quaint places you need to add to your list if heading to the Romanian city.
Strada Episcop Augustin Pacha, Timișoara, Romania
If I ever had a picture of how I would decorate my dream cafe, Kiosk would come close. We very nearly walked straight past it, as its unassuming front door lends no clue as to what is inside. But dare to look and be met by old doors on the walls, cheese graters and coffee grinders as lights, and bright open air windows lending the light until late into the evening. As one of the few cafes that was fairly full even off season, it was a popular place with students and young families.
We couldn’t’ resists the ‘cheese dumplings with Nutella’ and rest assured they were not as bizarre as they sound. Instead, think sweet mascarpone doughnuts and something that I devoured in seconds. It was the little touches, such as the gingham crockery and pastel interiors practically inviting you to Instagram the place, that actually meant we returned for the evening. After all, the choice of buttermilk chicken or tiny burger sliders was a hard one to resist.
Eugeniu de Savoya / Augustin Pacha, Timișoara, Romania
Whilst less a food-stop and more of a coffee-stop, I couldn’t quite bring myself to leave Mokum off. If you head there in the day, then there is no chance of being able to grab one of the four seats on offer in the tiny cafe. Try a late-in-the-day coffee and you’ll have the place to yourself. The reason I add it is because it was not just one of the most delicious coffees I had on the trip, but it also had rice and soy milk options for any travelling-vegans. You can always take it to go and grab a pastry from elsewhere.
nr.1B, Strada Mareşal Alexandru Averescu, Timișoara 300773, Romania
Whilst a fair walk out of the city, this was one of my favourite places to explore and can tell would be amazing to revisit in the summer. Tucked away in a residential street (and behind a petrol garage) is Musiu. With an open air bar and front entrance with seats and plants to perch at, you can tell instantly that the young in the city probably adore the place.
Yet dare to venture indoors and be met with an Ikea meets thrift store interior theme. Gold sheep, exposed lightbulbs, and chic Scandi tables on the top floor, it invites you to stay a while and immerse yourself in the comfort of the cafe.
Of course, the food lived up to the standard completely, with a rich walnut and halloumi salad being the highlight of my trip alongside a rich homemade pesto pasta (we only just resisted trying ‘the sexiest salad in the world’). Add in a cocktail or two alongside and it was one of the highlights of the trip.
Salad & Chic
Strada Eugeniu de Savoya 8, Timișoara 300085, Romania
Formally called See You Again (which I must admit, I prefer), the cafe offers you everything from salads and snacks to peanut butter coffees. With a platter of bruschetta, we sat, having the cafe all to ourselves, and took in the beauty once again embracing the mismatched nature. Yet take one step to the back and the white open are cafe turns into a narrow, speakeasy style room which is perfect for couples. Combined with a divine smell of cheese and pasta from the kitchen, it was one we reluctantly wished had returned for an evening.
Strada Emanoil Ungureanu, Timișoara 300079, Romania
If you want to feel like a local, then head to Suppa. We were there when it opened at midday when it was empty, and barely two minutes later the queue was out the door. What was it they were all fighting over? Suppa is quite simply, a soup kitchen. We realised it was special when it was barely a pound for a large cup of choice from broths to creamy options and a bag you could refill as often as you want with off cuts of bread. The first entrance is a dark speakeasy theme, but leave that one and go into the second front door for a modern, kitsch welcome with chalkboards and zany light fixtures. Safe to say we downed our soups pretty quickly…
It was amazing to think that we were finding places that other tourists hadn’t ventured before, and has made me realise how much I love going off the beaten track instead of the new ‘in’ city to travel to. So next time you head East, forget what Tripadvisor tells you and head to a smaller place for an untouched and authentic experience.