"Destination: Bucharest" - Gastronomy, relaxation and live music at Bucharest Street Food Festival
On a warm weekend in September, kitchens on wheels, live music and relaxation spots for parents and children have brought hundreds of foodies to the northern part of Bucharest. Street food festivals have already become popular in the city where many people choose quick snacks and street bakeries for their daily menus.
All you have to do to find the festival is to follow the groups of smiling people and let yourself be guided by the music and colorful flags. The Bucharest Street Food Festival installed its kitchens at Romexpo, the largest event center in Bucharest - close to Casa Presei and Regele Mihai I (Herăstrău) Park.
Mexican food welcomes you from a black food truck, which seems to have been painted in a color chosen to emphasize the spicy taste of this cuisine. Of course, the menu also includes goodies for those who prefer less spicy foods, plus famous Mexican drinks such as tequila or margarita. All can be enjoyed on the generous terrace in front of the food truck.
In a shaded area, sitting on comfortable bean bag chairs on the grass, groups of foodies decide on their menus. Some eat standing up while others choose the low tables placed on grass in the relaxation area. There’s music playing in the background and it still feels like holiday.
Bordered by three stages and playgrounds for children, the food trucks lined up on the alleys in front of Romexpo’s round-shaped building bring tastes and flavors that are worth the wait. Those ready for special culinary sensations queue in front of most food trucks, as they order burgers, hot dogs, fish and seafood cooked on the spot. And it’s not just the food that abounds in mouth-watering colors: the mobile kitchens are competing to attract with their tones and designs that stand out.
Young people, families with children, groups of teenagers and grandparents together enjoy paella, barbecues, pizza and other goodies from over 10 international cuisines. Some choose to try something new from the traditional Serbian or Japanese food trucks, while others order gluten-free arepas, with or without fries with guacamole - a delicious dish from the Colombian cuisine. The burgers are also very popular: with truffle, avocado or curry sauce, from duck, beef or pork. And the Italian and Spanish dishes, as well as the American steaks, are also among the favorites.
Many choose the classic dining option: there are also long tables with benches, the kind that you usually find at beer festivals. Others go to the hammocks, and the parents stay near the area for children. Here, the kids participate in fun activities and contests, and some stand still to be painted on their faces or wait for a sticky cotton candy.
The desserts are, however, their main attraction. With an appetite stimulated by all the goodies, many try to cut some of the main courses from their menu to make room for as many sweet specialties as possible, including giant pancakes, papanasi (Romanian cheese doughnuts), chocolate cakes and, of course, the children's favorite - ice cream. Even the adults find it hard to resist the sweet bombs of ice cream combined with candies and donuts, or the pancakes filled with whipped cream, candies and chocolate bars!
The food asked to be accompanied by juices and lemonades, but also by wines, cold beer, colorful cocktails or flavored coffees.
And when you’re not eating or enjoying a cold beer, it’s time to stop by the live jukebox. People choose their favorite song from a playlist of oldies: AC/DC, Oasis, The Beatles and Queen. And the band starts to play right away, especially for you.
It’s almost dawn which means live music starts. At one of the three stages, nostalgic audiences get ready for the biggest retro party in Romania: We Love Retro.
Artists such as Nouvelle Vague, Peter Bjorn and John, and Hindi Zahra performed on the other two stages.
If you missed this year's festival, don’t worry - it happens every year. And this year there are several other events for food and fine drink enthusiasts. Between September 27 and September 29, the Parliament Palace will host the Wine & Street Food Festival 2019, and then an event dedicated to fine drink enthusiasts - SmartDrinks of Bucharest - is scheduled for October 16-17. Later this year, the Christmas Market will also bring a wide selection of seasonal goodies.
This material is part of a project under the program of promoting the touristic heritage "Destination: Bucharest", carried out by the Bucharest City Hall through the Public Monuments and Touristic Heritage Administration (AMPT).