Heading to Brasov I contacted the local branch of Urban Adventures. I have worked with them in Philly and also numerous times in New York. I have never been on a tour I didn’t enjoy with them. They use local guides and give you unique experiences. They show you things you might not find on your own.
I was so excited to go to Transylvania and had little idea what I was doing when choosing cities to visit. There is always so much to explore and so little time.
I met up with Tavi and Tudor early in the morning of my second day in Brasov. We were starting the day with heavy history. I had never been to a formally communist country before. Although I had heard stories about what life under communist rule was like it was very different to hear it first hand. Our guides did a wonderful job of bringing to life the neighborhoods and the stories that came from those times. Hearing about food rationing and revolution from people who were the same age as me living completely parallel lives from mine.
We wandered thru the sheets to see more off the beaten path places. Bullet holes from the resistance movement. New tech parks popping up in the city. A country rewriting its history.
In between history we ate. We had mici which is a sausage made of beef, pork and lamb. It became popular after a butcher ran out of casings and decided to use baking soda to fluff it up and hold it together, Now it is served with mustard and best with a light beer.
You can also have a “Home Cooked Brasov” experience. Mixing the walking tour and loading up on information then experiencing real Romanian food while sitting in the mountains overlooking the city was perfect.
When we sat down there were plates filled with cheeses, tomatoes, radishes, fried pork bites,and Zacusca ( an eggplant dip). I thought this was our lunch. It was refreshing and filling. Then came out dishes of pork and beans and Samarle ( stuffed cabbage) I barely had room for dessert but where there is a will there is a way.
If you are interested in trying traditional Romanian food and not sure what you will like this is the perfect way to sample things without having to worry about being hungry from dislike. I constantly worry about that, I love trying new foods and local dishes but when you go to a restaurant and you order a meal you don’t like it is very disappointing. This way you can try some of everything and you are bound to like something!
The Sweet Life
Although I am generally partial to ice cream I am not one to turn a blind eye to other sweet treats! Brasov has a number of sweet shops and loads of popular desserts.
One of the stores we dessert shops we stopped at, all the displays were made out of marzipan. Remarkable clocks, animals and, of course, pastries. It is worth stopping in this shop for the displays alone but grab a treat while you are in there,
Give me all the sweets
We stopped at one of the oldest pastry shops in town, La Vatraarielului, where we settled into a trifecta of desserts.
We tried Amandine, Joffre and Diplomat cake. All staples of Romanian desserts. Diplomat is a fruit and custard dessert. It is surrounded by a wall of lady fingers. It is a lighter dessert opposed to the dense chocolate of the Amandine, I always prefer chocolate but this was still tasty.
Notable mentions for desserts : Papanasi
If you go to Romania this is the one dessert you HAVE to try. I mean it, don’t skip it. It is sour cream and fruit toppings (dependent on the season) in between deep fried dough. I know, it sounds amazing and it is amazing. Run, don’t walk to the nearest place that serves it.
Because Tavi and Tudor are such wonderful people they hung out with us nearly our whole time in Brasov. We went on an abridged version of their craft beer tour. I love trying beers all over the world. I always enjoy a well crafted dark beer.
We went to Tipografia to start. A cafe and gourmet food house. We went for their selection of craft beers. The local Zaganu was on tap. Clearly they offer different kinds but I always choose dark. This place is perfect for a chill night.
The Urban Adventures craft beer tour takes you to two other bars for beer sampling and a few stops for snacks a long the way. If you want to know it all you have to take the tour yourself!
I always recommend taking Urban Adventures tours in any city you go to that they provide them. But for me this felt like hanging out with friends. It went way beyond the normal tour experience and I could not have asked for more.
I mentioned four different tours that you can take. Three of which are brand new!
Home Cooked Brasov, Sweet Tooth Explorer, Communist History Tour, and Brasov by Beer. If you would like to check out there full listing check out the website here!