On hot days, the easiest escape from the bustle and noise of the city may be to head upwards. BR has sought out the capital’s best high-rise restaurants, for both locals and tourists. Read on for our pick of the places to absorb the sights and sounds of the capital from above – in a (dining) room with a view.
Address: 2-4 Izvor Street / Palatul Parlamentului, E4 wing, entrance through Calea 13 Septembrie, fourth floor
Opening hours: Wed-Sun, 10:00-18:00, sometimes open until late
Though often dubbed a monstrosity and a monument to Ceausescu’s megalomania, the People’s Palace has its assets, one of which is a cafe-terrace for visitors to the National Museum of Contemporary Art. Unfortunately the better (city center) views are from the other side of the building – here you can see a palace garden and the construction of the Romanian People’s Salvation Cathedral – but by night the cityscape comes into its own. Enjoy the spectacle and ambience with a lemonade, coffee or beer.
Address: 48 Iancu de Hunedoara Blvd., 15th floor
Opening hours: Mon-Sun, 18:00-24:00
For an elevated view near Victoriei Square, this is the place to come, even if the sights are mostly apartment buildings. The menu, which promises both international and Mediterranean food, gets mixed reviews. Order a coffee – or something stronger – and enjoy the sunset.
18 Lounge by Embassy
Address: 3-5 Presei Libere Square, City Gate South Tower, 18th floor
Opening hours: Mon-Sun, 12:00-24:00
Looking out over the Arch of Triumph, Casin Monastery, Herastrau Park and Lake and Kiseleff Boulevard, 18 Lounge is part of the popular Embassy restaurant chain. With modern European dishes and a fine liquor menu to boot, this is a good choice for a classy evening.
Address: 155 Calea Dorobanti, fifth floor
Opening hours: Mon-Sun, 10:00-02:00
A green and light space, Skybar is popular both for business meetings, and for relaxation and escape from the city bustle. The specially designed roof can be completely closed to protect guests from rain, wind or snow, but when opened it offers a superb view of the sky – as the name suggests. Spinach risotto (RON 25), parmesan and wood shrimps (RON 50) and chocolate mousse with seasonal fruits and mascarpone (RON 20) are menu musts.
Address: 4 Nistor Ion Street, behind Bucharest Museum, ninth floor
Opening hours: Mon-Sun, 11:00-23:00
Hosted by the Z Boutique Hotel, the restaurant looks out over Universitatii Square and a clutch of major central landmarks: the National Theater, Intercontinental Hotel, Coltea Hospital and the University. On the other side is a great perspective over the People’s House, which is the cherry on the cake. The chef is Sicilian, so expect to taste fresh and authentic Italian creations such as Tagliata di tonno e sesamo and Tiramisu all’arancia. Tip: the place is very quiet in the morning.
Address: 16 Splaiul Unirii, SIF Muntenia Building, 10th floor
Opening hours: Mon-Sun, 12:00-12:00
Bucharest may not boast a Seine, Rhine or a Thames, but the Dambovita River, on view from this restaurant, still makes for a pretty backdrop. A live band and dance floor add to the jollity, and the meat and seafood are the menu’s fortes. It’s a popular wedding venue, so best to check it’s open to the public before setting out.
Address: 33 Alexandru Constantinescu Street, Residence Hotel, fifth floor
Considered the most romantic sky restaurant in Bucharest, the terrace has an extraordinary view over the verdant north of the city. It won’t be a cheap date: wine runs from RON 85 to several hundred RON, while Don Perignon champagne will set you back RON 1,090. Starters are priced at RON 16-39, salads RON 24-35 and mains can exceed RON 100. However, the money also buys you the view, which is amazing, especially at sunset.
Old Nick’s Pub roof garden
Address: Lahovari Square, second floor
Opening hours: Mon-Sun, 10:00-2:00
Pitching itself as an English pub, by the name, with traditional Italian cuisine, Old Nick’s was one on a crowded market. But the place recently opened a roof garden and the few tables up there make all the difference, offering a glimpse of Little Paris at its best: beautiful houses with ornate architectural detail.
Le Theatre roof garden
Address: 2-4 George Enescu, first floor
Opening hours: 12:00-23:00
Housed in an inter-war villa that used to belong to the son of the dictator Nicolae Ceausescu, the venue offers a chilled and relaxed atmosphere for those looking for a quiet place to eat. Some nights diners can enjoy live music, especially jazz and Latino. The menu consists of international dishes. Tip: this is one of the few restaurants in Bucharest that has vegetarian section on its menu. It’s not extensive, but at least it’s there.