Hungarians would tell you that there are only 3 essential styles of cooking: French, Chinese and Hungarian. This, of course, might be a unique opinion of the locals, however Hungarian cuisine has undoubtedly been the shining star in Central and Eastern Europe in the past years. Also, we do have one thing in common with French and Chinese: we are driven by food.
For whatever reason you are visiting the Hungarian capital from spending a long weekend to searching for the best nightlife spots in the city there is a restaurant for you to kick start your stay with delicious local food you will love. Our extensive list of restaurants showcases places for the ones who’d like to try the traditional flavours, who like a bit of cheekiness, the wine and gourmet-lovers and for the ones who long for a Michelin-star experience.
Hungarian cuisine and its revolution
Budapest’s food scene is technically a metaphor of the city itself: authentic, spicy and sprinkled with plenty of surprises as a new generation of Hungarians turned the traditional cuisine into an avant-garde dining experience whilst staying true to real local flavours. Hungarian food will take you far away from what you know by serving you unexpected flavours and hearty, quality wines.
In recent years a younger generation of chefs and food lovers transformed Hungarian food into a creative art form, exchanging the carbs- and meat heavy traditional dishes into healthier alternatives, exploring unexpected ingredients and flavours. Cool restaurants in Budapest await with incredible chefs’ remarkable fusions, traditional Hungarian food or Hungarian with a modern twist.
Duck-breast, goose liver and grilled sausages are the key players on the city’s food scene where you also find World-famous cafes and wallet-friendly Michelin-star restaurants. Traditionally meat heavy, but both vegan and vegetarian options are spreading like wildfire.
Goulash, the most commonly known Hungarian dish, is actually not eaten very frequently, it’s a traditional food. Other famous Hungarian meat stews include paprikás, a thicker stew with meat simmered in thick, creamy, paprika-flavored gravy, and pörkölt, a flavorful Hungarian stew with boneless meat (usually beef or pork), onion, and sweet paprika powder, both served with nokedli or galuska (small dumplings). In old-fashioned dishes, fruits such as plums and apricots are cooked with meat or in piquant sauces/stuffings for game, roasts and other cuts. Various kinds of noodles, dumplings, potatoes, and rice are commonly served as a side dish. Hungarian dry sausages (kolbász) and winter salami are also an integral part of Hungarian cuisine.
To find out more about Hungarian dishes or willing to try some of them yourself check out our latest selection of local recipes.
Traditional Hungarian restaurants
Tradition and evolution at Gundel Restaurant could stand for the history of modern Hungarian gastronomy and hospitality. You can discover the country by its unique taste invented by a Bavarian born genius Károly Gundel who tamed the Hungarian cuisine. Gundel is the restaurant where you can find traditional dishes based on original recipes, served in an exceptional ambiance.
Whilst creating the menu, newly appointed Executive Chef, Zsolt Litauszki aimed to keep the 120 years old recipes true to their traditions founder Karoly Gundel created. Goose liver in all its variations, The Gundel Pancake that is well-known around the Globe, a traditional Goulash or Hungarian fish soup are all on the menu for you to experience the taste of real Hungary.
Where to find them? Gundel K. út 4., 1146 Budapest,
Phone: +36 1 889 8111, +36 30 603 2480
E-mail address: email@example.com
Café Astoria Restaurant
Café Astoria Restaurant brings the classical coffee house back to life where the offer includes a quality à la carte menu. Café Astoria has become a restaurant where the guest can simultaneously enjoy the comfortable atmosphere of a café in a place that it is also suitable for social events and experience the tempting culinary adventures of a restaurant. During the day they welcome guests with their special Astoria Breakfast, Astoria Snacks, Astoria Afternoon Tea and Astoria A la carte offers. It is worth dropping in here any time of the day!
Where to find them? Kossuth Lajos u. 19-21., 1053 Budapest
Phone: +36 1 889 6022
E-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Gellert Brasserie
One of Hungary’s most famous hotels, Hotel Gellert has been accommodating guests since 1918. The hotel houses the newly refurbished Gellert Brasserie that has been serving generations since its own separate kitchen opened in 1960. Full of tradition this place is everything you need after a long day.
The chef truly believes that the ingredients speak for themselves, so the food always has true character. They offer handcrafted beer, the best Hungarian wines and a creative cuisine for old and young who crave a bit of history.
Where to find them: Szent Gellért tér 2., 1114 Budapest
The word Vakvarju literally means „blind crow” in Hungarian and it is the common name of a simple yet delicious country food (oven-baked flatbread with a wee bit charred, serrated black edges). You will find this delicious statement snack on the menu which is perfect for a hot summer night to accompany a pint of ice-cold beer. If you prefer more sophisticated, more elaborate dishes, you are in the best place too: browsing through the menu you will come across specialities that you would not find anywhere else. You are also made sure you will find the right selection of wines, to make every mouthful even more delicious.
The Head Chef has always got something to come up with that will make you go WOW. His creativity is unlimited, his skills are devilish, and his dishes are delicious. It may be Halloween, St. Martin’s Day, Christmas or New Year’s Eve, he always succeeds to design something new or elevate something traditional to a new level.
Vakvarju has different locations all around the city, so simply follow the link to find your preferred location.
Bistros – The ones with an attitude
Yellow Bistro & Bar
Yellow Bistro & Bar’s selection includes healthy and quick meals, delicious sandwiches and pastries, but also a great soft drink and wine selection, specialty coffees, and for those with a sweet tooth, the newly introduced bright Yellow Cake. Additional choices include coconut-prawn soup, pumpkin pappardelle, Norwegian salmon fillet, and the recently re-invented cottage cheese pockets, to name just a few of the tastes
The bistro is found in the lounge area on the ground floor where you can stretch out on comfortable sofas and armchairs whilst being served by the very kind and professional staff.
Where to find them? Kárpát u. 62-64, 1133 Budapest
Chic, sexy, cosmopolitan, yet utterly local – Déryné opened on a street market, far away from the tourist crowds in the heart of a quiet Buda neighbourhood on the summer of 1914. It has been the café to hang out and the spot to be seen ever since. Artists, authors, movie stars, designers, ballerinas, the rich and famous shared the space with local crowds over coffee, drinks, food and the decadent magic lingering around its walls ever since.
This bustling corner of the city attracts hedonists, foodies and a cool young clientele with charm, smile and amazing food. They serve morning café, breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner and snacks till late. There is even a bakery on the premises, just to make sure the sourdough is always fresh and crunchy. Deryne is the place where you can start the day in style with a glass of prosecco.
Where to find them? Krisztina tér 3., 1013 Budapest
Reservation line: +361 225 1407
E-mail address: email@example.com
Zsolnay is a little oasis on the busy Teréz körút, located in the Radisson Blue Beke Hotel. It’s the perfect place for a warm-up hot drink, a romantic bottle of champagne or even a late-night cocktail with friends. The pastry assortment takes the place to another level which also includes lactose- and sugar-free options. Just recently refurbished the café with a gorgeous interior is open from 8 am to midnight catering for all meals and drinks of the day. What’s even better is they offer 50% discount during Sunday lunchtime!
Where to find them? Teréz körút 43., 1067 Budapest
E-mail address: sales.budapestradissonblu.com
Spíler is Baltazár’s little adventurous brother, a guy from a Guy Ritchie movie – a ladies’ man, a joker with many stories, with style but using his fist if needed. Like James Bond mixed with Johnny Quid. Spíler was born some time at the end of the 19th century in Budapest and is still one of the go to places to kick off a Friday night with a real cool atmosphere, flirty waiters and the one of the best burgers in town.
This iconic gastropub offers high-quality street food, excellent wines and a wide variety of local beers served in a laid-back urban locale in Gozsdu Udvar in downtown Budapest. It’s the great pub menu that sets Spíler apart – each dish is expertly made from scratch from super-fresh ingredients, like grilled chicken sausages, perfect cheeseburgers, and potato jackets loaded with delicious toppings.
Where to find them? Király utca 13., 1075 Budapest,
E-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Wine bars for the gourmet lovers
St. Andrea Wine and Gourmet Bar
St. Andrea Wine Bar is bringing a little piece of the vineyards, the colours, the emotions, the thoughts to downtown Budapest to convey what Dr. Gyorgy Lorincz and his family truly represent, while also letting the land and the grape speak for itself.
They provide an outstanding service to their guests in a comfortable, warm but also elegant environment. The wine list features specific wines and champagne that are only available in the Bar, while also providing delicious gourmet snacks to complement the vintage.
The Bar opened its doors in Eiffel Palace, in one of the most prominent locations in the heart of Budapest, reflecting its significance both in terms of architecture and oenology. Dr. Gyorgy Lorincz, the estate manager and wine maker of the St. Andrea winery, strongly believes that the Eiffel Palace and the St. Andrea brands perfectly complement each other, as their core values are based on common beliefs. Today, both names are synonymous with prestige, superior quality, respect for historical values, the celebration of the joyful present and future care.
Where to find them? Bajcsy-Zsilinszky út 78., 1055 Budapest
E-mail address: email@example.com
Doblo Wine Bar
Doblo is the most beautiful wine bar in Budapest, they say. Not only beautiful but serves the best wines from Hungarian wineries. The large assortment offers sparkling wines, Prosecco and Champagne too, so everyone can find what they like. If you’re adventurous you can taste Pálinka, Hungary’s no1 weapon – also known as the local’s favourite fruit brandy/spirit.
To complement the wine assortment, they serve a traditional selection of meats such as ham, sausage, salami and even crispy goose skin as well as home-made cheeses, breads and pickled zucchini offering the best downtown cold plate experience.
Where to find them? Dob utca 20., 1072 Budapest
E-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
The ones with a touch of luxury
Modern and elegant, the stunning Icon Restaurant embraces the future and yet pays homage to the history of the Royal Castle District. Icon has introduced a contemporary décor of warmness to create a relaxed, friendly and informal atmosphere located in Hilton Hotel in a truly premium location right next to Mattias Church.
Featuring an upscale 240-seat restaurant with a private saloon and 16 panoramic windows, guests of the Icon can choose from a distinctive Hilton breakfast to an extraordinary a la carte lunch and dinner menu as well as a sumptuous weekend brunch.
Hilton Budapest offers complimentary parking within the Castle District for its guests and offers a secure, 24-hour underground car park with check-up and manual cleaning services available for a small charge.
Where to find them? Hess András tér 1-3, 1014 Budapest
Kollazs Brasserie and Bar
Vibrant and inspiring, yet casual and affordable, KOLLÁZS – Brasserie & Bar is a contemporary brasserie in a landmark Budapest location, overlooking the Chain Bridge and the Danube River.
The Hungarian word for “collage,” Kollázs highlights creative combinations in all aspects of the dining experience. The interior design and décor are a fusion of old and new, luxurious and simple, representing the history of Budapest. The menu features a blend of local and international flavours, as well as traditional and modern dishes. The service is relaxed for the casual diner and professional for the formal diner. In addition, a timeless selection of music ranging from French, Hungarian, international songs, exclusively selected for Kollázs – completes this unique experience.
The interior was designed by the San Francisco based interior architecture and design company, EDG. The space represents the artistic era of the 1910s and ’20s, the coffee house culture, as well as the Art Nouveau style. Artwork is contemporary and consistently changes, complimenting and balancing the historic interior design.
As Budapest begins to emerge as a modern city without forgetting the past, Kollázs will complement the city perfectly and allow it to be defined by the needs of the guests that enter.
Where to find them? Széchenyi István tér, 1051 Budapest
Borkonyha – Winekitchen Restaurant
Winekitchen is a Michelin-star blend of a French-style bistro and a contemporary family restaurant offering the best of Hungarian cuisine. The name Winekitchen speaks for itself. The concept is based on the wide and diverse wine list, the delicious food and the personal and relaxed service.
The wine assortment includes 200 different, mostly Hungarian wines that represent not only the well-known wineries, but also small and yet-to-be-discovered cellars. They offer 48 wines by the glass at a time and have a temperature-controlled wine shelf with 1200-bottle-capacity so that you could buy wine by the bottle at a reasonable price for either take-away or drinking it on spot.
Their cuisine is based on fresh, even daily purchased ingredients and on the weekly-fortnightly changing offers written on the black board. Head Chef Ákos Sárközi has been with the owners from the first moment and he’s highly appreciated for his knowledge and genuineness, professionalism showed while working in Restaurant Alabárdos, his continuous success in the Tradition and Evolution competition, and the experiences he gained as a stage in the Portuguese two-Michelin-star Restaurant Villa Joya.
Where to find them? Sas utca 3., 1051 Budapest
E-mail address: email@example.com
Hungary is a paradise for foodies and everyone who is looking for a unique dining experience. The locals are creative and ambitious and as all Hungarians, love food. We express our love and care through our flavours so don’t be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone and try something new when visiting the Hungarian capital.