By Alan Clark
One of the things I love about Bucharest, is the choice of outdoor events during the Summer months. It’s often hard to choose which event to support, and since summer came early this year, the festival season is in full swing. I always check the drinks available, and if I am undecided, the availability of craft beer or cider will tip the scales for me.
The first weekend of June we got the bikes out and cycled to the “Femei pe Mătăsari”. Bucharest seemed deserted as the Black Sea resorts were reportedly full. A collection of hand-made jewellery, clothing, and other items interspersed by the occasional food truck and drinks bar, was waiting for us there. My family, and especially the kids, enjoy the creativity and quality of food trucks in Romania. So a lunch stop was in order here.
After some serious browsing, we headed off again, next stop Calea Victorie where pedestrian Sunday was under way. When I first got to know Calea Victoriei in the early noughties, it was suffering from serious neglect and decay, and there were no significant hedonistic attractions. As we cruised down Calea Victorie, I was reminded that times have changed, as we passed some of my favourite locations which are best enjoyed when the bike is left at home.
A 5 minute walk down Calea Victoriei from Piața Victoriei in the North, I recommend to stop at the elegant townhouse at number 210, current location of Bucharest’s only Absintherie Sixtina, with its excellent terrace and stunning interior. The Absintherie, formerly an art gallery, has a good selection of craft beers and cider, and its Facebook page will publicise forthcoming, and usually lively, events.
A short stagger from there, turning first left, and 20 metres into Strada Gina Patrichi (Nr3) where you can experience Re:Modelier’s legendary burgers, washed down by one of a short but well selected list of craft beers and cider. Re:Modelier’s quality was confirmed by its entry into Romania’s first Gault et Millau edition.
Next recommended stop, at number 91-93, and with one of the country’s biggest selections of locally produced craft beers with 9 beers and one cider on tap and many more in bottle, is Fabrica de Bere Bună, Romanian Craft beer Bar. Opened late 2017 by pioneering craft beer producer Zăganu, the tastefully decorated bar now has a sidewalk terrace where you should be able to find a seat if you get there early enough.
Another favourite during the Summer months is located further South, just off Calea Victoriei, turning left after the Ateneul Roman and the car park at Piața George Enescu into Strada C.A. Rossetti, is Spațiul M60 (photo left). This spacious and relaxed open-air terrace has the largest selection of Romanian craft beers and ciders and often hosts meet-the-maker events, and is a relaxing place to rehydrate after the summer sun.
It should be noted that Calea Victoriei has easily the best bike-lane system in Bucharest which gives it a permanent accessibility to cyclists. We do not, however, recommend combining cycling with exploring the above mentioned establishments.