No matter if you want to eat Asian like Sushi or Wok dishes, you prefer Italian food or German. For every taste there is a restaurant. Some restaurants are absolute world class in terms of the food, service or interior. Budapest offers a lot of places to eat. All kinds of nationalities are serving food from all over the world.
Contrary to widespread belief, Hungarian cooking isn’t all gulyás (goulash) and heavily spiced paprika dishes, just in the same way as Italian isn’t all pasta and Indian hot spices. Hungarian dishes have a distinctive, unmistakable character of their own, often rich with sour cream, onions, eggs, butter and wine. An abundance of good local produce, meat and fish make for dishes such as Halászlé (Fish soup), Sült libamájszelet (pan-fried goose liver), Almával töltött fácán (pheasant stuffed with apples), Szarvastokány erdei gombával (venison stew with wild mushrooms) and Fogasszelet bakonyi módra (fillet of pike-perch Bakony style).
Restaurateurs in Budapest are also realizing (not before time) that tourists and locals alike are becoming ever more demanding in their search for good food. The traditional fondness for cooking with lard seems in decline, chefs now show restraint by not going thermo-nuclear on meat, and waiter service is improving.
By law, restaurants must clearly list prices on their menus. If they don’t go elsewhere. Check the bill carefully too as overcharging in Budapest is not uncommon.
American Restaurants in Budapest / Harry J. Bean’s Bar & Grill
Szt. István krt. 13, Metro: M3 Nyugati pu.
Web site: hjb.hu
American restaurants in Budapest and around the world are not just McDonalds, Burger King and Kentucky Fried Chicken. Even though burgers, french fries and coke are seen as the typical meal of Americans there are other dishes the Americans are famous for. Steaks for example is one of the most famous food in the US and could be seen as american.
Vaci út 1-3, WestEnd City Center, Metro: M3 Nyugati pu.
Web site: tgifridays.com
Friday’s is a famous American type restaurant chain in Budapest. The interior is typical American and the food as well. Club sandwiches, Steaks, fantastic burgers, fries, cheese cake and much more are the specialties of Friday’s in Budapest. With a wide range of salads and sandwiches Friday’s offers little things for in between exactly what you need in West end City Center while you are on your shopping tour.
Bavarian Restaurants in Budapest/ Hax’n Király
Király u. 100, Metro: M1 Vörösmarty u.
Authentic German cuisine in a suitably lively setting. While the live folk music and rustic furnishings may be off putting to some, the quality of food and beer served here is excellent.
British Restaurants in Budapest/ Wins Café & Bar
Jókai u. 3, Metro: M3 Nyugati pu.
Once oriented towards to ex-pats in search of traditional English staples such as pie and chips, the menu nowadays is mostly a mix of Hungarian and international dishes.
And, along with a decision to shorten its name – from Winston’s to Wins – other cuts appear to have been made, namely in the kitchen, with mains such as Beef Stroganoff with croquettes being overloaded with potato, whilst showing very little in the way of meat. Pasta dishes were a better option though, with the salmon penn being both well-prepared and presented.
Wins, does, offer an agreeable atmosphere, with a good selection of beers, although a little bit more generosity meat wise would go a long way towards raising its popularity with the locals.
French restaurants in Budapest/ Le Jardin de Paris
Fõ u. 20, Metro: M2 Batthyány tér
Located near to the French Institute in Buda, the Jardin de Paris has a warm, friendly atmosphere in which the feel of a quiet, leafy Parisian restaurant has been successfully captured.
With a wide ranging menu including some adventurous game dishes time spent here shows that real pride is taken by the kitchen to produce well-priced, quality cuisine.
German Restaurant /Kaltenberg Bajor Kiralyi Brewery Restaurant
Kinizsi u. 30-36, Metro: M3 Ferenc Krt.
Web site: kaltenberg.hu
The influence of Austria on Hungary has brought a lot of Austrian and German restaurants to Budapest. There are a lot of places where you get traditional German or Austrian food like Kaiserschmarn, Schnitzel, Haxe, Würstchen, Kraut and so on. This tradition is also part of the Hungarian kitchen which contains of a lot of meat and kraut as well.
Greek Restaurants in Budapest/ Taverna Dionysos
Belgrád rakpart 16, Metro: M3 Ferenciek Tere, Tram 2, 47 or 49
Web site: taverna-andreas.hu
The Taverna Dionysos is a typical Greek restaurant in the heart of Budapest. Dionysos is probably the best Greek restaurant in Budapest. The menu is massive and offers all the Greek specialties you would like to eat in Greece. In nice atmosphere with quiet Greek Music the restaurant Dionysos is booked up almost every night.
Podmaniczky utca 18., Metro: M3 Nyugati pu.
Web site: zorbastaverna.hu
A popular downtown taverna that offers a good range of poultry, lamb, pork and sea food dishes. Stick to the range of domestic wines on offer though as Retsina and Domestica, affectionately known as Domestos in the UK. are both more expensive and of inferior quality to their Hungarian counterparts.
Kossuth Lajos tér 18, Metro: M2 Kossuth tér
Web site: biarritz.hu
Just a stone’s throw away from the Hungarian Parliament, Biarritz is, at the moment, one of the nicest restaurants in Pest. Intimate candlelit surroundings, coupled with some adventurous Hungarian cooking make for a great evening out. Starters such as Surumi fish with shrimp sticks, followed by more recognizable, well-prepared Hungarian main courses are very good. Perhaps, a table too many squeezed in, but a fave nonetheless.
Benczúr utca 15, Metro: M1 Bajza u.
Medieval theme restaurants seem all the rage nowadays in Budapest, with Sir Lancelot and King Arthur’s serving as competition to Camelot.
Of course, this downtown restaurant features the obligatory suit of armour, shields and faux period furnishings, accompanied thankfully by the more modern ability to serve cool beer on tap. The menu, which is traditional Hungarian, relies heavily on meat and fishes dishes with scant reward for vegetarians offering only five dishes although the quality of cooking is good.
Kis Buda Gyöngye
Kenyeres u. 34, Tram 17 from Margit híd
Web site: remiz.hu
Charming restaurant in Óbuda which roughly translated means ‘small pearl of Buda’. Elegant setting, with a warm atmosphere and turn of the 20th century feel. Well cooked traditional Hungarian specialties with a decent piano/violin duo to round things off nicely.
Október 6. u. 5., Metro: M1 Bajcsy Zs. Út
Web site: nosztalgiaetterem.hu
With decor inspired by the many Viennese style cafes and restaurants that sprung up in Budapest at the turn of the 20th century, Nosztalgia offers a first rate ambience and fine quality fare, albeit at a cost. So, what you get is Hungarian cuisine in elegant surroundings with prices, for Budapest at least, that are comparable with The Gundel.
International Restaurants / Articsoka
Zichy Jeno utca, Metro: M3 Arany János u.
Web site: articsoka.hu
One of Budapest’s newer arrivals, Articsoka is a swanky affair located just a few minutes walk away from Parliament. As you might have guessed, extended opening hours mean that the restaurant has both breakfast and lunch menus. With dishes mainly influenced by Italian and Mediterranean cuisine, the Articsoka is a welcome addition to this part of town.
Liszt Ferenc tér 4-5, Metro: M1 Oktogon
Web site: buena-vista.hu
Located in the lively nightspot of Liszt Ferenc Square, Buena Vista is a café/brasserie which boasts a modern dining room and large open terrace. Service, which has always been a bit ropey, is provided by young, chiseled jaw types who, it has to be said, look the part, but fail to deliver a competent level of service. Having made our reservation by phone, the restaurant’s maitre d’ initially had trouble finding our details, before hurriedly showing us to a table that had still to be set for dinner. Moreover, the white furnishings in this part of the restaurant were heavily soiled, immediately spoiling the ambience of what is, supposedly, an upmarket dining experience.
Podmaniczky u. Metro: M3 Nyugati pu.,
Web site: sirlancelot.hu
Medieval theme restaurant which clearly doesn’t take itself too seriously. Food and drink are served by ‘buxom wenches’ who actively encourage customers to get plastered. Entertaining, especially if you plan on going with a small group.
Italian Restaurants / Fausto’s
Dohány u. 5, Metro: M2 Astoria
Web site: fausto.hu
Although the kitsch Venetian decor isn’t to everyone’s liking, Fausto’s is undoubtedly one of the best restaurants in town. Expensive but unpretentious, it’s frequented by the type of people ‘who live to eat’, rather than ‘eat to live’. With fresh pasta and daily specials to rave about, we like this place a lot.
Arany János utca 9, Metro: M3 Arany János utca
Web site: pomodorobudapest.com
Pomodoro is definitely one of the best Italian restaurants in Budapest you can choose. The restaurant is kept in luxury interior and the food is one of a kind. Pomodoro Budapest is divided in four section. The Loft, the Bastion, the Non-smoking area and the Bar counter area. The prices are affordable, a pizza comes around 6-7€, fish dishes around 7-8€, pasta starting at 6€ and main meat dishes in average 10-12€. Therefore an excellent meal is waiting for you and you can be sure, taste and quality of the food is super. Restaurant Pomodoro hosted several celebrities from all over the world like Steven Spielberg, Calvin Klein, Lothar Matthäus, Rob Niedermayer, Jose Carreras or Ed Harris. Next to the excellent food in Pomodoro you have a wonderful wine card with Hungarian and Italian wines.
Japanese Restaurants / Arigato
Teréz körút 23, Metro: M3 Nyugati pu.
Small but impressive Japanese restaurant with a wide ranging menu selection, plus separate sashimi and sushi offerings. Lunch time specials are a real boon, while service is considered to be first rate.
Mexican Restaurants / Iguana Bar & Grill
Zoltán utca 16, Metro: M3 Arany Janos utca
Iguana Bar and Grill is a Mexican restaurant in the center of Budapest. Behind the parliament and next to the American embassy the Tex Mex restaurant offers tacos, nachos, burritos, fantastic cocktails and much more. A highlight every year is the open air party in front of Iguana with beer, cocktails, dancing and a lot of good music. On two floors Iguana is first of all a restaurant but the later the night the more people you find at the bar who are just there for drinking cocktails, shots and beer.
Thai Restaurants / Chan-Chan
Só utca 3, Metro: M3 Kálvin tér, Tram 47, 49
Heavy on Buddhist relics, high on quality cuisine, Chan-Chan is Budapest’s only Thai restaurant. Although vegetarians may struggle with a menu comprising of mainly meat and fish dishes, it’s reputation as a fine restaurant is reinforced by hearty soups and well spiced entrees.
Although you can’t go wrong with staple dishes such as chilli beef with basil, Hungarian cross-over dishes such as grilled boar’s leg in Thai sauce and fried duck with honey are particularly inspired. Service is a strong point.
New Orleans Music Club & Restaurant
Lovag u. 5, Metro: M3 Arany János u./M3 Nyugati pu.
Web site: neworleans.hu
Large restaurant/club venue that not only draws top notch music acts from the US but also offers a tempting array of Louisiana signature dishes such as chicken jambalaya together with Tex-Mex style hamburgers, steaks and burritos. Lots of cocktails and spirits, with Budweiser on tap too.
Australian Restaurants in Budapest/Aboriginal
Mátyás király u. 42, HÉV stop Csillag Hegy, Bus 42
Despite being located north of Aquincum, Aboriginal is a likeable restaurant that not only serves excellent tuck, but decent cocktails and draft Foster’s too! In fact there’s an excellent range of vodkas, rums and tequilas on offer, while to eat, try the cold lime soup, burritos or bourbon steak. Mexican influences abound.
Belgian Restaurants in Budapest / Belgian Brasserie
Bem rakpart 12, Metro: M2 Batthyány tér, Tram 19
The Belgian Brasserie in Budapest in Budapest offers at least 30 different types of beer as it belongs to Belgium. Besides beer the Belgian Brasserie of course offers food. Traditional Belgian dishes mixed with Hungarian and international kitchen. The food is very good and the price is low. The Belgian Brasserie is at the Danube shore on Buda side.
Chinese Restaurants in Budapest/ Hong Kong Pearl Garden
Margit Krt. 2, HÉV stop Margit híd
Huge dining room serving mainly Cantonese and Szechuan dishes. Good duck and seafood which is delivered daily from the Netherlands make up for the disappointing decor. The most famous Chinese restaurant in town and undoubtedly, the most expensive.
Nádor u. 5, Metro: M2 Kossuth tér
Locals “in the know” look no further than Xi-Hu which, as well as offering courteous service, provides a good selection of Cantonese favorites and dim sum. For parties of four or more, ask for a table in the larger rear dining room.
Restaurant Chez Daniel
Szív u. 32., Metro: M1 Kodály Körönd
Restaurant Chez Daniel Budapest is one of the best addresses in town. You always wanted to be treated as a guest and not as a customer? You wanted to feel like you sit in a friend’s dining room instead of a big mass service place? Go to Chez Daniel. Hidden in Sziv utca Chez Daniel in Budapest offers excellent food. Next to your food you get the perfect wine offered from the staff which fits exactly to your dinner.
The prices are above average but absolutely justified. The ambience, the service and the quality of the food are perfect.
Alkotás u. 53. Mom Park, Tram 59, 61, Bus 8, 139
Web site: paulanerbudapest.hu
Boasting a couple of large boiling coppers which produce the in house beer, the Paulaner Brauhaus is a pleasant, traditional style Germany eatery found within the modern confines of the Mom Park shopping mall. Nürnberger potato soup makes for an excellent starter, while a main of white sausages with mustard serves as a perfect compliment to a nice pint. All in all, a very safe bet for a decent meal out.
Apor Péter u. 1, Bus 16 Clark ádám tér
Decent enough Taverna with all the usual Greek offerings, plus some more adventurous ones such as shark steak and goat. Bouzouki music some evenings. Terrace in the summer.
Hungarian Restaurants/ Alabárdos
Országház utca 2, Metro: M2 Moszkva tér then Várbusz to Castle Hill
Web site: alabardos.hu
Transylvanian specialties abound at this 400 year old gothic restaurant. The largely meat oriented menu is well balanced, although a meal for two doesn’t come cheap thanks to the restaurant’s fine reputation and Castle Hill location. The outdoor terrace is particularly nice during the summer.
Váci u. 67, Metro: M1 Vörösmarty tér
Restaurant Fatal in Budapest is a rustic restaurant in the center of Budapest. The ambience is very good and exciting.
The menu in restaurant Fatal offers large wooden plates with a massive amount of meat and plenty of side dishes. The portions are extra large so many people have to their left over home. The prices are a little bit above average but for the mass of food you get it is a fair price. The restaurant Fatal is in a hidden small alley crossing Vaci utca at house number 67.
Ferenciek tere 7-8, Metro: M3 Ferenciek tere
Web site: karpatia.hu
Restaurant Kárpátia Budapest is located at Ferenciek tere, in the middle of the tourist heart of Budapest. That’s what Restaurant Karpatia is like. Folk musicians playing traditional songs singing “salamis, gulyas, paprikas” so every stereotype is served here. If you want music, nice decoration and Hungarian ambience Restaurant Karpatia is a good address but don’t expect the food to be world class and bring a full wallet. 5 persons more than 200€ is definitely expensive for Hungary and specially for the quality of the food.
Õrdögárok utca 80, Tram 56, Bus 56
Web site: nancsineni.hu
Set in the leafy suburb of Huvösvölgy, the name of this restaurant literally means Auntie Náncsi. A favorite with the locals, what you get is decent Hungarian home cooking at affordable prices. Although the live accordion music is a bit twee, dishes such as the intriguing Kamermayer’s delight (turkey breast in garlic milk, coated in ground walnuts) are a must.
Indian Restaurants in Budapest / Bombay Palace
Andrássy út 44, Metro: M1 Opera
Web site: bombay-palace.com
The Bombay’s two large dining rooms, with chandeliers and marble flooring, are suitably impressive for a restaurant just a short walk away from the Opera. An all too tempting pickle tray, a decent chicken pakora starter and delicately spiced beef rogan josh made up our meal. Finishing with a refreshing lemon sorbét we were suitably impressed. Amstel on tap helped fire fight those hotter moments during the meal, while impeccable and friendly service rounded off an excellent evening.
Kristóf tér 7, Metro: M2 Vörösmarty tér
Trendy eatery in downtown Pest, which leans heavily on French and Asian fusion cuisine for inspiration. The elegant, although somewhat sombre interior which boasts the chandelier used in the Depardieu version of Cyrano de Bergerac comes alive at night, thanks to imaginative, pleasantly colored lighting.
Well prepared, imaginative starters such as wild duck salad with cranberries, and lobster tails with melon feature. Decent poultry and game main courses, plus first rate cocktails too.
Váci u. 20, Metro: M2 Vörösmarty tér
Located in the downtown Taverna hotel, the Gambrinus is an award winning restaurant considered to be among the top ten in the country. With modern interpretations of classic Hungarian and International dishes the restaurant setting is formal, although music from the excellent gypsy trio helped lighten the atmosphere considerably.
Starters of goose liver risotto with wild mushrooms and wild boar pancakes in cream sauce, were both well executed and full of flavor. Main courses consisted of borjúfilé (veal steak) with pear and grillezett szarvasérm (wild deer).
Állakérti út 2, Metro: M1 Hõsök tere
Web site: gundel.hu
Restaurant GundelgundelBudapest is the most famous restaurant of Budapest. If Hungary is hosting a president or head of a nation the dinner is usually at Gundel. People like Vladimir Putin come to Gundel to have a dinner like in a fairy tail. Besides the fact that the big guns go to Gundel the restaurant is not better or worse than others. The prices are high and the kitchen is very good but there is nothing special in the restaurant itself. But if you want to have a candle light dinner or a romantic evening I think Gundel in Budapest is the right place.
Szent István körút 20, Metro: M3 Nyugati pu.
Web site: okayitalia.hu
Although the early 90s saw it set the pace for good, inexpensive pasta and pizza in Budapest, nowadays with a larger number of Italian restaurants around, it doesn’t quite deliver.
Belgrád rakpárt 13, Metro: M3 Ferenciek Tere, Tram 2, 47 or 49
Web site: toscana.hu
Trattoria Toscana in Budapest is a fabulous restaurant at the Danube side on Pest side next to the excellent Greek restaurant Taverna Dyonisos. On the menu Trattoria Toscana offers a variety of specialties from the Toscana. As a starter for example the tomato soup is very good but also the salads and little snacks like Bruscetta.
The main dishes are normal Italian dishes like pasta and pizza but also excellent steaks, duck or wonderful fish. For dessert typical Italian sweets like Tiramisu or ice cream are served as well as the traditional espresso witch is actually very good.
Harmincad u. 4, Metro: M1 Vörösmarty tér
No nonsense sushi and sashimi which attracts a dedicated following from both locals and tourists alike. Good value.
Seafood / Ocean Bar & Grill
Petofi tér 3, Metro: M3 Ferenciek Tere
Restaurant Ocean Bar & Grill Budapest is situated in the center of Budapest. Specialized on Seafood Ocean Bar and Grill offers a big variety of good fish dishes. The food is very tasty and average priced. Next to the restaurant it is the “Ocean deli shop” where you can buy all types of Seafood for home cooking.
Vegetarian Restaurants / Vegetárium
Cukor utca 3, Metro: M3 Ferenciek Tere
Web site: vegetarium.hu
Vegetarium in Budapest is a 100% vegetarian restaurant in the heart of Budapest. Besides vegetarian food Vegetarium also offers vegan food. The used ingredients are very fresh and high quality. To entertain you while waiting for your food Vegetarium offers logical and board games so there is no way to get bored. The menu offers nice starters such as finger food, soups, small salads or pancakes. As main dishes Vegetarium has big and tasty salads, pasta, burrito, tofu and good pizza.