To be honest, Budapest was a very foodie trip 🙂 It’s not a country for starting a low-fat diet and even while ordering a salad, you’ll notice that most ingredients are anything, but vegetables. This is traditional Hungarian cuisine, you can definitely find Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, Mediterranean or any other restaurants in Budapest, but I always prefer to eat the most authentic things a country has to offer. Don’t you? Below I’ll reveal my best selection of where to eat in Budapest.
Két Szerecsen Bisztro – the first restaurant we popped into in Budapest and one of the best after all the food eaten all around the country! They combine international cuisine with Hungarian, so be sure you can find it all here, whether you’re fancy for an English breakfast, French croissants or Hungarian gulyás. Besides that their staff is very attentive and they do have a nice shady terrace for warmer days.
Budapest Bisztro – classical restaurant in Budapest city centre
The first restaurant we dined in, recommended and even booked by our kind guide. It’s a beautiful fine-dining place with great live music, which doesn’t disturb, but somehow accompanies your food. In our case it was a piano evening and we enjoyed some worldwide famous pop music covers. But returning to food! Budapest Bisztro is one of those popular places in the Hungarian capital where they offer the traditional cuisine in classical execution, focusing on local ways of preparation of mainly duck, chicken and beef. They have an impressive wine-cellar on the top floor, and you can enjoy tasting some greatest wines of Hungary there. By the way, did I tell you that it’s just next to the Parliament? For us it was decisive, since we ended our tour there and after 3 hours of crawling we were in need of Hungarian calories!
Where to eat lángos ↓
Fantázia Étterem – one of the best restaurants in Szentendre, especially when it comes to lángos
One side of the restaurant is a Danube-facing terrace with traditional local meals, then of course pizza and all kind of drinks (the terrace is glassed, so you can enjoy the view on cold days as well). The other side is a a window in a wall, leading to an extremely hot kitchen where oil is boiling and women are running around to manage all the orders of the famous lángos – deep fried dough with cheese, sour cream, bacon toppings.
So it’s up to you to chose whether you want to stay at that unique kitchen window with comic streetart on the walls and sit on cheap white plastic chairs (an experience in my opinion!), or you prefer to go behind the corner, facing the river, and have a table at the very same establishment’s terrace with knitted chairs, blankets and all the nice stuff. The Lángos will be the same :}
Konyha – where to eat in Budapest modern Hungarian cuisine
They position themselves as a sophisticated Hungarian cuisine promoters, and what can I say, they do it great. I don’t remember the exact meals we had, but I know that our group ordered all the main courses they had in the menu, so lets say we did a broad tasting at Konyha. By the way, they only have daily menus, so it’s actually just a page of choices and that’s it. Besides the food I loved the interior a lot! The restrooms’ walls are covered with old yellowish book pages, the hall is full of plants greenery and wood, there is a lot of natural light and on the top floor you can sit on a sofa which faces, which turns its’ back to everyone in the restaurant and faces the lively street behind the window.
Pepita Macska – where to eat on your way to Tokaj
I impressed my foreign guests by, finally!, real Hungarian cuisine at a roadside restaurant, in a village leaving Tokaj, at Szerencs village. So the real Hungarian cuisine means: various potato side dishes, porc-wheel-chicken-vegetables all deep-fried in a ‘schnitzel’ way, large pieces of bread, and salads including anything but vegetables. No surprise that I was quite ‘big’ in childhood 😀 They have a parking place at the restaurant, and will impress you by the sizes of portions!
If you are about to try this for the first time in your life, be ready – it’s a lot of food, and you better come with friends who are famous for having more than healthy appetite ?
Let’s have a look at the menu together and try to make clarifications:
- Any plate (see last page) for 2 is actually for 4, and plate for 4 is for 8 people (otherwise you’ll overeat, believe me)
- Although the plates are huge it’s much more fun to order them, than single meals, because this way you’re getting a change to try almost all their menu
- The service fee is included in the bill, but I’m sure you’ll be happy to leave more tips, and I’m about to tell you why.
The restaurant is far not only about food. You’ll see belly dancers, fire dancers, fire eaters, medieval dancers, sword fights, and actually anything anytime. So, whenever you come (and do come only by reservation, they are mostly full), you have a guarantee of a show. And a tip: if your reservation is at 9 pm for example, come on time, or even a bit earlier to get a table closer to the stage. Otherwise they are placing everyone on first come first served basis.
Well, I guess you can imagine that on the day after no one was fancy for breakfast ? And the day after was the departure time for most of us, while only me, the lucky one, managed to squeeze in the schedule the coolest ever dinner in Budapest!
Café New York – the most exclusive restaurant in Budapest
I’ve never seen that many people just passing by on the street to stop in front of a restaurant and starting to take photos like hypnotized! Thanks god they don’t know how much more photogenic it is inside))
The New York Palace first opened in Budapest in 1894, at that time it was the most beloved coffee house in Budapest, a very artistic place, gathering famous editors, writers, composers. Unfortunately, the golden era of this sophisticated palace ended with the WW II – it was functioning as a sporting goods shop, and, of course, was very much neglected. Even though in 1954 it reopened under ‘Hungaria cafe’ name, it was really reborn in 2006 with its’ original name and proper reconstruction to its’ very best look.
Today New York Palace is a hotel, a café, a salon restaurant, and a bar. It proudly keeps its’ original Italian renaissance style, serving traditional meals of Austro-Hungarian Monarchy.
Why is it worth coming to Café New York? Far not in every city (even within the ancient European continent where we are spoiled by ‘old stones’) you can visit a restaurant or café within a luxurious, but at the same time elegant, palace, with fine cuisine (but delicious that you want to leak your plates), intelligent waiters for having a meaningful conversation. I was so fascinated by our waiters knowledge in Hungarian wine, that I couldn’t stop asking him questions, he actually had to delicately turn my attention to drinking wine, rather than continuing bombing with questions about Tokaji Aszú (maybe he was afraid that at some point he won’t be able to give an answer))
Other great restaurants in Budapest which we didn’t have a chance to visit
Where to eat traditional Hungarian food in Budapest?
Kisharang Étkezde – old countryside cooking within Budapest centre, how do you like it? A budget restaurant with traditional menu and genuine service, only keep in mind that they do not serve alcohol.
Oktogon Bisztró – another budget restaurant in Budapest with all you can eat buffet service.
Where to dinner in Budapest? High-class restaurant below 🙂
Bock Bisztró – another restaurant recommended by our guide as a place to try traditional Hungarian gourmet cuisine. They have two restaurants in Budapest – one on Buda, one on Pest side, and the third one on Balaton lake.
Aurum Bisztró – high class fusion bistro cuisine based on traditional recipes. Located on a street connecting the St Stephen Basilica and the Chain Bridge, in a historical building which used to be the restaurant of the old Officers’ Casino.
Kollázs Brasserie & Bar at the very luxurious Four Seasons Hotel. A creative dining space where food is combined into a collage (kollazs in Hungarian). The restaurant is overlooking the Danube river and the Chain Bridge.