Zona Liberă Butic  

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Unlike most places in Bucharest, Zona Liberă has the same intense pulse in the week nights as it has during the weekends. Placed in the back of Cișmigiu, right next to the fold for peacocks, the kiosk is one of the most authentic artifacts of Bucharest. After more than 20 years of being in the same spot, the butic keeps most of its original features. Even the public is the same: kids that used to order cotton candy at the window are now the creatives sipping on drinks and crunching popcorn at the tables. You won’t come here for dinner, since these instant snacks are all the food you can get. But they’ll come as a blessing after you try all the drinks Zona Liberă has to offer. You’ll want at least a glass of the cheapest gin you can have in the city. Also, try an Igazi Csiki Sor, a hungarian named but locally produced beer. FIY, Igazi Csiki Sor means The Actual Ciuc Beer. The name is addressed to Ciuc makers, subtly suggesting the legal fight the 2 producers had. And then to finish the night properly, give a chance to their Stroh shots with either 60% or 80% alcohol, generously poured from their dispenser. After leaving, you have to know 2 things will inevitably happen. First, on your way home you’ll surprise yourself gratefully humming the tunes from the playlist. Make a mental note to also search for the music selected by DJ Vasile for his radio show. Bearing the same name as the bar in Cișmigiu, both have just as much personality. Second, you’ll definitely feel the need to come again during day time to check if this mesmerizing place really exists. So let me warn you, Zona Liberă is at least 2 different places jammed into the same cramped space. It’s the hypnotic blue light irradiated from inside that makes it unrealistically cinematic at night. And then discouragingly unfamiliar while it’s still light outside, because of flowers replacing empty beer glasses on the tables. But witnessing the magic of Zona Liberă together with the peacocks nearby, is what makes the boutique unique and us really lucky to have it.

Ana N.

Bucharest 030167, Romania

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