Sampling the hearty Hungarian cuisine is a much as part of the Budapest city break experience as it is crossing the mighty Danube or peering from the top of Buda Castle. But with such a supreme choice of bars and restaurants, just how do you pick the best places to eat in Budapest?
It all starts with a little bit of research, which we’ve already done for you in this foodie’s guide! Simply pick the places to eat you like the sound of and remember to mark them on the map the next time you’re searching for a great restaurant. Here are ten of our top picks…
This elegant, gourmet restaurant serves up dishes inspired by local ingredients and recipes. The signature menu is highly recommended, crafted by chef Adam Mede and offering catfish stew and chocolate malt with salted caramel. There’s also a vegan menu that fuses ingredients such as white carrots, peaches and beetroots into innovative concepts.
Eat & Meet
Here’s a unique, social experience. Voted the Culinary Experience of the Year in Hungary 2019, this restaurant can certainly lay claim to being one of the best places to eat in Budapest. It describes itself as a ‘dinner party’ and that’s exactly what it seems. It’s based in an apartment by the River Danube, where you’ll be served an authentic Hungarian meal accompanied by local wine for a set price. It all takes place over a shared table with strangers, so it’s a chance to tell stories and discover more about different tourists and cultures.
For a traditional Budapest bistro experience, Kispiac is a perfect choice. It specialises in classic local dishes, where everything is crafted and cooked from scratch. Along with the popular permanent menu, the bistro features a rotating selection of six dishes that are also famous Hungarian specialities.
Café Bouchon may have a French name but you’ll mainly find Hungarian favourites on its rich and diverse menu. The polished wooden furnishings and soft amber lighting do recall the French bistros of yesteryear though. The daily menu includes classics like red pepper soup and chicken in paprika sauce.
You may have heard of the ubiquitous chimney cake before – after all, this sweet treat is served at many street food stalls across Budapest. But here, the twist is that they’re savoury. First, they’re sliced in half, then tasty toppings are piled high in the middle, including faves like Bavarian sausage, pepper stew and paprika-spiced cheese.
Comme Chez Soi
Another restaurant in Budapest with a French heritage, this characterful eatery is compact, cosy and elegantly decorated. It regularly gets rave reviews for its eclectic continental cuisine, offering specialities from France, Italy and Hungary. It’s considered one of the best places to eat in Budapest, so it gets booked up very early. You may need to book up to three months in advance!
Caviar & Bull
Featuring breathtakingly precise presentation and truly innovative flavours, this gourmet restaurant takes gastronomy to new heights in Budapest. Chef Marvin Gauci is lauded for his exceptional signature dishes such as lobster popcorn, while the menu offers up intriguing ideas like salmon carpaccio with applewood smoke notes.
Lucky 7 Burgers
Serving up highly rated fast food in a contemporary American diner-style setting, Lucky 7 Burgers is just the place for trying unique burgers in Budapest. The Lucky 7 Burger itself is two beef patties stacked with cheese, lettuce, tomato and red onion. You can also build your own meal deal with your burger, side, drink and even extra toppings.
As you may expect from the name, this grill serves up a variety of meat dishes including cooked breakfasts and a big range of burgers. While you enjoy dining in the sleek, contemporary setting, you can try favourites such as the classic burger and paprika catfish. And surprisingly, there are some vegetarian options on the menu too.
This highly original gourmet restaurant features a menu that evokes the Transylvanian roots of Chef Istvan Veres. Each dish reflects a single memory, concocted with simple, rural ingredients such as nettles and lichen. The ten-course tasting menu incorporates asparagus with chamomile and squid with pumpkin seed. There’s also a seven-course vegan tasting menu that offers carrot tartare and cucumber soup.
This French-Asian fusion restaurant has a long fine dining heritage and is now based in the grand surroundings of Dorottya Palace in the centre of the city. The delicately spiced dishes include favourites such as tom kha soup and gyoza with black rice. There’s also a suggested wine pairing for every dish, as well as a vegetarian tasting menu.
Now you’ve got a taste of the very best places to eat in Budapest, it’s time to start planning your trip! First, visit Jet2CityBreaks to find the best deal from your local UK airport, and soon you’ll be enjoying the culinary delights of the Hungarian capital.
Posted: 18th Sep 2019.