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Budapest Restaurants Introduction
It used to be the case that to eat really well in Budapest, you either had to do some homework in advance, pay top whack at a fancy restaurant, or stay with a local family to enjoy the authentic taste of a Hungarian kitchen. However, our ongoing reviews tell a different story. Nowadays, every major world cuisine is represented in the city. So, as well as hearty traditional feasts, you can go Italian, Chinese, Mexican or even Russian. 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). Vegetarians fair less well though with a Hungarian diet that's traditionally meat heavy. Although vegetarian restaurants do exist here, they're largely sombre affairs which compare unfavourably to those in London or Paris. Most traditional restaurants will offer fried mushrooms (rántott gomba), Trappista sajt (Trappist cheese in breadcrumbs) or egg dishes, but that's about all. Surprisingly, you'll stand a better chance of success with hotel food, albeit at extra cost.
Restaurateurs in Budapest are also realising (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. There are still places that serve up stodgy, unattractive dishes with sky high calorie counts, but they are very much in a minority.
Mercifully, menus are usually printed in German and English, while major credit cards are widely accepted (there's still a significant number that don't though, so check in advance). 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
V. Szt. István krt. 13, Tel/Fax: 302 3101, Open: Sun-Fri noon-midnight, Sat noon-2am, Metro: M3 Nyugati pu.
Web site: www.hjb.hu
Okay, so naming a main course 'Pamela Anderson's Turkey breast' isn't perhaps the smartest move (especially as Pammy's boobs were once silicon enhanced), but then again, if you're after a cheap but plentiful dish then perhaps it's an apt description. Prices are extremely reasonable, with a good selection of cocktails, whisky and tequila. Live salsa and blues music in the evenings.
New Orleans Music Club & Restaurant
VI. Lovag u. 5, Tel: 268 0801, 268 0802, Open: 6pm-2am daily (for gig details Tel: 451 7525), Metro: Metro: M3 Arany János u./M3 Nyugati pu.
Web site: www.neworleans.hu
Large restaurant/club venue that not only draws top-notch music acts from the US (and around the world) but also offers a tempting array of Louisiana signature dishes - such as chicken jambalaya - together with Tex-Mex style hamburgers, steaks and burritos (including vegetarian options). Lots of cocktails and spirits, with Budweiser on tap too.
VI. Vaci út 1-3, WestEnd City Centre, Tel: 238 7001, Open: Mon-Fri 11.30am-11pm, Sat 11.30am-12am, All major credit cards, Metro: M3 Nyugati pu.
Web site: www.tgifridays.com
The ubiquitous TGI's has gone down a storm in Eastern Europe despite there being far better dining options in both Budapest and Prague. That said, food quality is consistent, the cocktails fun and service first rate. Be warned though, this WestEnd City Centre restaurant suffers from being both noisy and crowded.
Australian Restaurants in Budapest
III. Mátyás király u. 42, Tel: 388 8749, Open: 12pm-12am daily. All major credit cards, HÉV stop Csillag Hegy, Bus 42.
Despite being located north of Aquincum (you'll have to travel by HÉV to Csillag Hegy), Aboriginal is a likeable restaurant that not only serves excellent tucka, 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.
Bavarian Restaurants in Budapest
VI. Király u. 100, Tel: 351 6793, Open: Mon-Fri 12pm-12am, Sat 12pm-1.30am, All major credit cards, Metro: M1 Vörösmarty u.
Authentic German cuisine in a suitably lively (and enjoyable) 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.
Belgian Restaurants in Budapest
I. Bem rakpart 12, Tel: 201 5082, Open: noon-12am daily, No credit cards, Metro: M2 Batthyány tér, Tram 19.
With draught Hoegaarden and bottled Chimay on offer, fans of Belgian beer will have reason enough to visit this likeable restaurant in Buda. Of course, the food here is none too bad either, with traditional Belgian staples (such as moules mariniere) cooked with some aplomb. Not too pricey and well-worth considering if you're in the vicinity of Batthyány Square.
British Restaurants in Budapest
Wins Café & Bar
VI. Jókai u.3, Tel: 331 1955, Open noon-12am daily. All major credit cards, 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 penne being both well-prepared and presented.
Wins, does, offer an agreeable atmosphere, with a good selection of beers (being a mix of British, Irish, Czech and other European brews), although a little bit more generousity meatwise would go a long way towards raising its popularity with the locals.
Chinese Restaurants in Budapest
Hong Kong Pearl Garden
II. Margit Krt. 2, Tel: 212 3131, Fax: 212 5521, Open: 12pm-11:30pm daily. All major credit cards, 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 décor. The most famous Chinese restaurant in town and undoubtedly, the most expensive.
Paradise Chinese Restaurant
V. Szabadsajtó út 6, Tel: 266 4541, Open: 11.30am-11.30pm daily, Metro: M3 Ferenciek tere, Bus 7.
Reliable (and reasonably priced) Chinese eatery which, although lacking the flair of contemporaries such as the Hong Kong Pearl Garden (see above), nonetheless provides good quality fare. Stick to well-known dishes and you won't go far wrong.
V. Nádor u. 5, Tel: 337 5697, Open: noon-12pm daily, 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 favourites and dim-sum. For parties of four or more, ask for a table in the (larger) rear dining room.
Czech/Slovak Restaurants in Budapest
VI. Király u. 59/b u. 16, Tel: 322 3278, Open: noon-11pm daily, Tram 4 or 6 from Nyugati pu.
Matching the quality of many good restaurants in Prague, this long established Czech haunt provides hearty fare in friendly, laid back surroundings. Potato dumplings, pork knuckle, Prague ham and horse radish abound, while on tap top-notch Czech brews leave all of Budapest's popular Dutch and German imports trailing.
French restaurants in Budapest
Le Jardin de Paris
I. Fő u. 20, Tel: 201 0047, Open: noon-midnight daily, 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. The entree of homemade pâté was a treat, while puddings including their signature Jardin de Paris pancake are excellent.
German Restaurants in Budapest
Kaltenberg Bajor Kiralyi Brewery and Restaurant
IX. Kinizsi u. 30-36, Tel: 215 9792, 218 1063 (Reservations Tel: 218 1099), Fax: 215 8528, Open: noon-midnight daily, Metro: M3 Ferenc Krt.
Web site: www.kaltenberg.hu
Traditional Bavarian meat dishes (including crispy roast knuckle with horse-radish and shank of pork with bacon) feature neatly alongside beer-friendly Hungarian food in a cavernous venue close to Üllöi út. A fun, enjoyable atmosphere, live music and excellent draft Kaltenberg all make the Bajor Kiralyi a local favourite.
XII. Alkotás u. 53. Mom Park, Tel: 224 2020, 248 1000, Fax: 225 3723, Open: 11am-1am daily, with live music at 7pm, Tram 59, 61, Bus 8, 139.
Web site: www.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.
Greek Restaurants in Budapest
V. Belgrád rakpart 16, Tel: 328 0958, Open: 11am-11pm daily, Metro: M3 Ferenciek Tere, Tram 2, 47 or 49.
Popular Greek Taverna with famed cuisine and an infectious, lively atmosphere. Surprisingly cheap food, a good wine selection and terraced dining during the summer all go towards making Taverna Andreas a winner.
I. Apor Péter u. 1, Tel: 212 1612, Open noon-midnight daily, All major credit cards, 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.
VI. Podmaniczky utca 18. Tel/Fax: 332 7900, Open: noon-midnight daily, Metro: M3 Nyugati pu.
Web site: www.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.
Hungarian Restaurants in Budapest
I. Országház utca 2, Tel: 356 0851, Open: noon-4pm and 7pm-11pm Mon-Sat, Sun closed, Metro: M2 Moszkva tér then Várbusz to Castle Hill.
Web site: www.alabardos.hu
Transylvanian specialities 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.
V. Kossuth Lajos tér 18, Tel: 302 3945, Open: 9am-11pm daily, All major credit cards, Metro: M2 Kossuth tér.
Web site: www.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 recognisable, well-prepared Hungarian main courses are very good. Perhaps, a table too many squeezed in, but a fave nonetheless.
VI. Benczúr utca 15, Tel: 351 9472, Tel/Fax: 352 1742, Open: noon-midnight, 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. With a small but well-chosen wine list, a nice selection of brandies/liqueurs and some yummy puddings, Camelot is a decent - but reasonably expensive - foray into the world of Hungarian medieval kitsch!
V. Váci u. 67, Tel: 266 2607, Open: 11:30am-2am daily, No credit cards, Metro: M1 Vörösmarty tér.
Although it may seem strange to have a country-style restaurant just off Váci utca, Fatâl is a decent enough place, serving up rural sized portions of traditional food at average prices.
In Hungarian, the restaurant's name actually means 'wooden platter', which unsurprisingly is how most dishes are presented to a mainly tourist clientele. Not that you'd guess from the building's faceless façade though (which gives few clues as to the type of cuisine on offer here). Service has been reported as ropey in the past, but was okay when we visited. Essential to book ahead.
V. Ferenciek tere 7-8, Tel, 317 3596, Fax: 318 0591, Open: 11am-11pm daily, Metro: M3 Ferenciek tere.
Web site: www.karpatia.hu
Although the sudden lunch-time downpour that led us in the direction of the Kárpátia was rapidly ruining our day, 11 hours and three courses later, we emerged from this traditional downtown eatery feeling suitably satisfied following an excellent, reasonably priced meal*. Our starters of Caesar's salad and Mozzarella with tomato and basil were attractively presented, hinting at even better things to come.
Main courses of Flekken (belly pork) served with onion potatoes and a mixed salad, together with batter coated Turkey breasts in a rich tomato and Jasmine sauce were succulent and well-prepared. The best, however was still to come. The glorious vaulted ceilings of the Kárpátia were fitting surroundings for our first-rate puddings of cherry/poppy seed/apple rétes (strudel) along with a mouthwatering apple and custard pastry served with vanilla ice-cream and a hot Morello cherry sauce. Although most guide books on Budapest seem to have forgotten about the Kárpátia, you'll be hard pressed to find a better alternative in the neighbourhood.
I. Táncsics Mihály u. 25, Tel: 212 9891, Fax: 212 8566, Open: noon-midnight daily, All major credit cards, Metro: M2 Moszkva tér then Várbusz to Castle Hill.
One of the Castle District's better restaurants, the Király serves mainly Hungarian fare in relaxed, elegant surroundings. Starters such as roast goose liver in Tokaji jelly and Hortobágy palacsinta (stuffed meat pancakes) are both nicely balanced, while steaks and game dishes are also well-prepared. Unless you're loaded though, steer clear of the Californian, French and vintage Tokaji wines which are frighteningly expensive. Puddings are a strong point - the chestnut strudel in particular is recommended.
Kis Buda Gyöngye
III. Kenyeres u. 34, Tel: 368 6402, 368 9246, Fax: 368 9227, Open: noon-midnight daily, All major credit cards, Tram 17 from Margit híd.
Web site: www.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 specialities with a decent piano/violin duo to round things off nicely.
II. Őrdögárok útca 80, Tel: 397 2742, Open: noon-midnight daily, All major credit cards, Tram 56, Bus 56.
Set in the leafy suburb of Huvösvölgy, the name of this restaurant literally means Auntie Náncsi. A favourite 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. Couples get a free glass of champagne each. Book ahead if you can.
V. Október 6. u. 5. Tel: 317 2987, 318 9000, Open: Mon-Fri 12 pm - 1am, Sat-Sun 6 pm - 1 am, Metro: M1 Bajcsy-Zs. Út.
Web site: www.nosztalgiaetterem.hu
With décor inspired by the many Viennese style cafés 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. Obviously, any restaurant opening - especially one that has involved significant investment - has to be recoup costs fairly quickly. So, what you get is Hungarian cuisine (with a contemporary twist) in elegant surroundings with prices, for Budapest at least, that are comparable with The Gundel. And let's just say the wine (and Champagne) list is not for the feint hearted either...
Indian Restaurants in Budapest
VI. Andrássy út 44, Tel: 332 8363, Open: 12pm-2.45pm, 6pm-11.15pm daily (including Sat/Sun Brunch), All major credit cards, Metro: M1 Opera.
Web site: www.bombay-palace.com
Self proclaimed as 'India's culinary ambassador' to the world, the Budapest branch of this international chain doesn't disappoint. Although it's mainly Brits and Americans that eat here, locals are now also coming in greater numbers. 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.
International Restaurants in Budapest
VI. Zichy Jeno utca, Tel: 302 7757, Fax: 302 7758, Open: noon-midnight daily, All major credit cards, Metro: M3 Arany János u.
Web site: www.articsoka.hu
One of Budapest's newer arrivals, Articsoka (meaning Artichoke) 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.
VI. Liszt Ferenc tér 4-5, Tel: 344 6303, Open: 11am-1am daily, Metro: M1 Oktogon.
Web site: www.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. Way back in 2001, we praised the establishment's "fine attention to detail" with "lunches, pasta dishes and club-sandwiches that were well above the norm". Our most recent visit, however (July 2005), was anything but rewarding, with an end to the evening that won't see us returning any time soon...
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 (as we'll see below) 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.
Starters, which included tárkonyos csirkeraguleves (tarragon/chicken soup) and füstült pisztráng krémleves (trout fish soup), were of a good standard, although slightly undersalted. Mains ranged from a decent salmon in mustard sauce to a heavily overdone steak, with cognac and gorgonzola sauce. It was clear standards had dropped a little from when we last dined here, although in Budapest, that's often the case for a long-established eatery.
VI. Mozsár u. 12, Tel: 331 8942, Open: 12pm-midnight daily, All major credit cards, Metro: M1 Oktogon.
Upmarket theme restaurant, where staff dress in period costume and serve dishes based on 17th-century recipes. Nicely kitted out in a downtown cellar near to Oktogon, Barokk is fun but expensive.
VI. Dalsínház utca 8, Tel: 269 3101, Open: 6pm-2am daily, All major credit cards, Metro: M1 Opera.
Web site: www.belcanto.hu
Charming restaurant situated a few yards away from the Budapest Opera. Specializing mainly in pasta and seafood dishes, Belcanto is best known for it's singing waiters (downstairs only), who'll take any opportunity to form a chorus line as they emerge from the kitchen. Service swings along nicely too. Fairly expensive, but a good time almost guaranteed.
V. Kristóf tér 7, Tel: 266 3096, Open: 11am-2pm, 6:30pm to 12am daily, All major credit cards, 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 coloured 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.
Dominican Restaurant (Hotel Hilton)
I. Hess András tér 1-3, Open: 7pm-12am daily, Tel: 488 6757, Várbusz from M2 Moszkva tér.
With one of the finest views of Budapest from any restaurant in the city, the Dominican serves first-rate modern cuisine in elegant formal surroundings. Under the tutelage of Head Chef István Juhász, beef, lamb, game and fish dishes are prepared to exacting standards, with delicate sauces and well-combined flavours. The excellent foie gras and goose liver terrine are dishes well-worth sampling, while our personal favourite was the exquisite baked pheasant. For dessert, the choice proves all too difficult with a mouthwatering selection of fresh pastries and gateaux. If you can, reserve a window table to enjoy a truly unique dining experience. Expensive.
V. Váci u. 20, Tel: 485-3100, Open: 7pm-midnight daily, All major credit cards, 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. Our starters of goose liver risotto with wild mushrooms and wild boar pancakes in cream sauce, were both well-executed and full of flavour. Main courses consisted of borjúfilé (veal steak) with pear and grillezett szarvasérm (wild deer). Again, each had a good combination of subtle flavours, although the deer was very slightly overcooked. Accompanied by an excellent Villány red from an extensive wine list, we finished our meal with two delicious - palinka laced - Kecskeméti apricot puddings. The attentive service (from waiters wearing tail coats and white gloves) and the quality of cuisine left us suitably impressed, although at over 8000 HUF per head an evening at the Gambrinus does not come cheap.
XIV. Állakérti út 2, Tel: 468 4040, Open: midday-3pm, 7pm-11pm daily, All major credit cards, Metro: M1 Hősök tér.
Web site: www.gundel.hu
Reawakened from its slumber by Hungarian-American restaurateur George Lang in 1992, the Gundel is without doubt the city's finest restaurant. With millions of dollars invested into recreating the original turn-of-the-20th-century atmosphere, the cuisine in this fine Art Nouveau establishment remains faithful to the ideals of founder János Gundel. Masterchef Kálmán Kalla's menu is well-executed, with innovative personal touches such as goose-liver parfait with Tokaiji Aszu gelée and smoked trout will dill crayfish. Although a meal here costs around 12,000 HUF per head (unless you take advantage of the fixed price special lunch menu), the expense is borne out by the fact that both the Prince of Wales and Queen Elizabeth II have dined here.
VI. Podmaniczky u. 14, Tel: 302 4456, Open: 12pm-1am daily, All major credit cards, Metro: M3 Nyugati pu.
Web site: www.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. Not the best place for vegetarians though...
V. Magyar u. 23, Tel: 318 6804, Open: Mon-Sat 6pm-midnight, All major credit cards, Metro: M3 Kálvin tér.
Old time restaurant in a stately drawing room setting with antique furniture and Herend porcelain. Owned by the Légradi brothers who also run the Antique restaurant (see below).
Le Légradi Antique
V. Bárczy István u. 3/5, Tel: 266 4993, Open: Mon-Fri 12pm-3pm and 7pm-midnight, Sat 7pm-midnight, All major credit cards, Metro: M1, M2, M3 Deák tér.
Hidden away behind the window display of a quaint old antique shop, the restaurant is very much a journey back in time to a bygone era. Service and food are first-rate, with both the foie gras and steak tartare prepared to perfection. If your budget doesn't quite stretch to the Gundel try here instead.
Irish Restaurants in Budapest
V. Bajcsy-Zsilinszky út 72, Tel: 311 1033, Fax: 311 1034, Open: Mon-Thu 5.30pm-11.30pm, Fri/Sat 5.30pm-midnight, Metro: M1 Bajcsy-Zs. Út.
Web site: www.becketts.hu
Disappointingly non-Irish in the menu stakes, although mains and desserts are both good value. The lively bar atmosphere guarantees ex-pats a good night out, with Murphy's and Guinness (on tap) to help smooth things along.
Italian Restaurants in Budapest
VII. Dohány u. 5, Tel: 322 7806, Open: 12pm-3pm, 7pm to 11pm daily, All major credit cards, Metro: M2 Astoria.
Although the kitsch Venetian décor 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.
XIII. Szent István körút 20, Tel: 322 6960, Open: midday-1am daily, No credit cards, Metro: M3 Nyugati pu.
Web site: www.okayitalia.hu
Disappointingly for us, Okay Italia did little more than live up to it's name. 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. Apart from the excellent tiramisu dessert, our main courses of cannelloni and lasagne were distinctly average.
VI. Mozsár u. 12, Tel: 331 8711, Open: 12pm-3pm, 6pm-12am daily, Metro: M1 Opera/M1 Oktogon.
Having read some complimentary reviews about the (then newly opened) Krizia, we expected the restaurant to be fairly full on the Tuesday lunchtime that we visited. However, it seems Budapest's populous have yet to take the plunge and we were greeted instead by the sight of a completely empty restaurant. So, with the place to ourselves, we set about choosing from the many home made pastas and daily specials on offer. And delicious they were too! Our main courses of spinach and ricotta ravioli, home made cannelloni and risotto of langoustines were all a cut above the norm.
Finishing off with equally impressive caramelized fruit pancakes and a chocolate torte, we're happy to be among the critics who rave about this place. Recommended!
Japanese Restaurants in Budapest
VI. Teréz körút 23, Tel: 353 3549, Open: Mon-Sat noon-11pm, All major credit cards, 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.
XIII. Visegrádi u. 1, Tel: 340 5223, Open: 11.30am to midnight daily, All major credit cards.
Generous portions, functional décor and friendly service neatly sum up Miyako. Offering both noodles and sushi, the restaurant offers a wide-ranging menu together with sake and imported Japanese beers. Very good.
V. Harmincad u. 4, Tel: 317 4239, Open: noon-3.30pm, 5pm-10pm, daily, All major credit cards, Metro: M1 Vörösmarty tér.
No-nonsense sushi and sashimi which attracts a dedicated following from both locals and tourists alike. Good value.
Jewish Restaurants in Budapest
VII. Kazinczy u. 31, Tel: 322 1834, Fax: 342 4585, Open: 12pm-11pm daily, All major credit cards, Metro: M2 Astoria.
Web site: www.carmel.ini.hu
Located near to Budapest's Central Synagogue, the Carmel Pince is a non-kosher restaurant with a solid menu of Hungarian Jewish specialities, including shalet with stuffed goose neck. A good choice for a hearty meal in the centre of town, the restaurant is only a few minutes walk away from Deák tér station.
Mexican Restaurants in Budapest
Iguana Bar & Grill
V. Zoltán utca 16, Tel: 331 4352, Open: 11:30am-1am daily (3am some weekends), Brunch Sat/Sun 11:30am-5pm, AmEx, Visa, Metro: M3 Arany Janos utca.
Tex-Mex restaurant on two floors, opened in 1997 by American expats. Lively atmosphere, coupled with a decent sized menu make for a fun night out. Sangria and Tequila (which flow freely until the early hours) can be soaked up by any one of Iguana's nine starters or four chillis. Burritos, fajitas and enchiladas also abound. Tables on the balcony upstairs are recommended.
VII. Wesselényi utca 35, Tel: 267 5056, Open: noon-1am Mon-Sat, 6pm-1am Sun, Metro: M1 Astoria, Tram 4, 6.
Situated near to Astoria metro station, La Bodega is a warm, inviting Latin-American restaurant which mixes the flavours of Spain, Mexico and Argentina. All the usual spicy favourites are here, along with some excellent salads and a number of more adventurous dishes. With a good selection of South American wines to accompany your meal, plus a bewildering number of Tequilas (22 in all) the atmosphere is livened still further by live salsa on Friday nights. Our only gripe is that vegetarian choices are limited.
Middle-Eastern Restaurants in Budapest
VII. Király utca 17, Tel: 352 1422, Open: Mon-Sat 11am-11pm, Sun 1.30pm-11pm, No credit cards, Metro: M1, M2, M3 Deák tér.
Syrian restaurant with a fine reputation for in-house pocket breads and grilled meat specialities. Fine kibbeh (minced lamb) and sharwarma (thinly sliced chicken or lamb) are followed by first-rate baklava and other wonderfully sweet desserts. Very good all-round and exceptional value for money.
Mongolian Restaurants in Budapest
XII. Márvány utca 19a, Tel: 212 1859, Open: noon-12pm daily, All major credit cards, Metro: M2 Déli pu then bus 139.
As with Mongolian Barbeque restaurants in the US and UK, diners choose their lunch/dinner (with an appropriate sauce) and then watch it being cooked before their very eyes. Sure, it's not haute cuisine, but prices are good and the food plentiful.
Spanish Restaurants in Budapest
VIII. Csengery u. 24, Tel: 267 9290, Open: 12pm-midnight daily, All major credit cards, Metro: M1 Vörösmarty u.
Good soups, the very freshest seafood and flavoursome meat dishes characterize cooking at La Tasca. A good selection of fine Spanish reds on offer too.
Thai Restaurants in Budapest
V. Só utca 3, Tel: 318 4266, Open: 6pm-11pm daily, All major credit cards, Tram 47, 49, Metro: M3 Kálvin tér.
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 entrées.
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. Expensive.
Vegetarian Restaurants in Budapest
V. Vigyázó Ferenc u. 4, Tel: 269 4944, Open: Mon-Sat 10am-11pm, All major credit cards, Metro: M3 Arany János u.
One of the few vegetarian restaurants in Budapest to successfully provide a combination of good value, well-cooked, main meals, soups and salads. The décor is fun too, with an array of gurus on display.
V. Belgrád rakpart 18, Tel: 318 1144, Open 12pm-9pm Tue-Sun, No credit cards, Tram 47, 49.
Great location by the banks of the Danube, compensates for the distinctly average vegetarian cuisine at Govinda. Set meals lack adventure, although prices are very reasonable.