Bucharest is fast becoming a cosmopolitan city of international restaurants with prices to suit all budgets. Once the home of stodgy eastern European delights, now there are restaurants to rival London, with cuisines ranging from Spanish, French, American and Lebanese.

Be warned, don't rely on using your MasterCard or Visa as not all places accept them. Also, at first glance prices may appear cheap -until you realise they're per 100g - so you may have to double or triple the figure, depending on the size of your portion!



Basilicum (Map pp54-5; g 222 6779; Str Popa Savu 7; mains €8) A delightful rustic Italian place with proper pasta dishes, mouthwatering salads such as avocado, smoked salmon and mango, and a candlelit back terrace. Just north of the centre. Very romantic.

Paradis (Map p60; g 315 2601; Str Hristo Botev 10; mains from €1.50) Brilliant-value buffet lunch at this Lebanese joint. Aubergine stew, spicy rice and falafel for vegetarians, while carnivores can tuck into lamb stew with mounds of flat bread. A budget gem.

Trattoria II Calcio (Map p60; g 0722-134 299; Str Mendeleev 14; mains €6) Drool over fabulous antipasti or snack on a lunchtime salad. This Italian restaurant in the heart of Piata Amzei is a popular choice.

La Strada Terrace (Map p60; g 303 3777; Athénée Palace Hilton; mains€5) Hugely popular for a light vegetarian lunch of falafel in pitta bread, or sophisticated night-time dining from an international menu on the leafy, beautifully lit terrace. An expat institution.

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