Heading to Romania for the 4th of July holiday. Will be driving all around, (except for the black sea coast). Any ideas, or must eats, must do's?
Never been there but I do know that mamaliga (polenta) and mi ti tey (the spelling is 100% wrong but that's what it sounds like) are important.
In Bucharest, for great (and not too pricey) Romanian food, try to get a table at La Mama. Very popular with the locals; I think there's now 3 locations but the original near the Calea Victoriea is probably the best. Avoid anything labeled 'Asian fusion' or affiliated with a luxe casino.
In Transylvania, definitely try Coliba Haiducilor in Poiana Brasov (the ski resort outside Brasov). The food's good and filling, the experience is ... well, an experience. :)
Sighisoara and the surrounding fortified Saxon church towns are something you really should see, even if there's nothing I ate there that was really memorable. There are some pleasant restaurants opening up onto the citadel square in Sighisoara, and a guy in town who sells some great home-brewed tuica (ask around...)
Recently traveled to Romania. In Bucharest try Balthazar and Casa di David downtown for non Romanian but fun experiences in beautiful spaces. Sibiu is worth seeing --eat at Crama Sibiul Vechi off the main square. Great traditional food for under 50$ for 2. There is a restaurant outside of Sighisoara with Dracula in its name which is traditonal and inexpensive---try the fried cheese.
Expect a lot of dairy (cheese & sour cream) in Bukovina. Must try: papanasi (very rough and unjust translation: a dish based on fried farmer's cheese with fruit and sour cream). Try the local dishes, and like the other poster mentioned, stay away from asian or middle eastern offerings (in the north at least, I had terrible experiences with shawarmas and falafel :). Two places you want to try out if you are in Vatra Dornei: Vila Iulia (a small family-run bed and breakfast - try their papanasi and afinata, a blueberry-based drink). The other one is Poiana Izvoarelor - it is right outside Vatra Dornei, they have their own fish farm, and their fish dishes are absolutely wonderful... (http://www.pensiuneapoianaizvoarelor....)
I'm not usually one for touristy gimmicks, and Romania certainly doesn't have many, but one of the best things we did when in Bucharest was go to the Count Dracula Club. And of course it was cheesy and the food was awful (although my friend did get a very interestingly presented 'tree of chicken') but I can honestly say it is the best story we've got from a very eventful trip. All my friends want to go to this place after hearing about and if you are up for a fun evening then I would recommend the dinner and a show. Also, Brasov is a very beautiful ski resort town in Transylvania that I think is worth checking out.