If this is your first time in Budapest, you might find that when it comes to eating, there are too many places to choose from. But don’t worry, we’ll help you. Whether you are looking for a fine dining experience, a modern, urban bistro or a high-quality fast food eatery, we’ve collected where to go to enjoy the best of Hungarian cuisine. Think of goulash soup and chicken paprikash as you explore our list to some of Budapest’s best Hungarian restaurants.
Located just a few steps from Budapest’s “ruin pub street” Kazinczy utca, Stand is one of Budapest’s latest fine dining kitchens. Run by the award-winning master chef duo Szabina Szulló és Tamás Széll, Stand recevied its first Michelin star just 9 months after its opening. The restaurant combines modern elegance with refined simplicity while their mission is to show the diversity of Hungarian gastronomy by finding and using the finest Hungarian products and wines. Anything they prepare in their cutting-edge kitchen – let it be the simplest tomato soup – is creative, intense and delicious. The whole staff is passionate about great food which makes Stand one of the best restaurants in Budapest.
What you should try: their 4-course dinner menu includes an exceptionally tasty goulash soup and an excellent duck liver
Opened in 1910, the award-winning Gundel Restaurant is perhaps Budapest’s most well-known restaurant. In fact, the restaurant’s founder, Károly Gundel is one of the leading names in Hungarian gastronomy as it was his pioneering work that put Hungary on the gastronomic map of the world. Expect nothing less than excellent service and culinary highlights combining modern gastronomy with traditional Hungarian flavors in an elegant, 19th century setting. On the menu you’ll find the all-time classics such as goulash soup, fisherman’s soup and goose liver, but modern, seasonal dishes as well.
What you should try: Gundel’s crepe or the Hungarian Trifle, Somlói galuska
Bock Bisztró Pest
Located on the ground floor of 5-star hotel Corinthia and owned by the well-known and highly successful Hungarian Bock winery, Bock Bisztró aims more at the younger crowd, offering high quality gourmet dishes, and serving them with style and passion in a relaxed, modern, urban bistro-like atmosphere. Their continuously renewed menu contains a variety of traditional Hungarian meals as well as modern dishes. According to its chef Lajos Bíró: “every chef needs to be able to cook a good traditional Hungarian meal and then twist it.” Perhaps this philosophy is what makes Bock Bisztró this excellent of a choice for a dinner or lunch. A Michelin guide recommended restaurant since 2007 and a must visit when in Budapest.
What you should try: their Grandma’s Sunday menu including a farm chicken stew with fresh potatoes and green walnut pancake with wine foam
Szegedi Halászcsárda (Szeged style Fisherman’s Inn)
Located right on the Danube riverbank between the Elizabeth and the Liberty Bridge, Szegedi Halászcsárda is a traditional Hungarian fish restaurant awaiting visitors with Hungarian fish dishes characteristic of the Szeged region as well as authentic Hungarian meals. The restaurant features live Gypsy music every evening for an even more traditional, folk-style atmosphere and has an open terrace in the summertime with stunning views over the Buda Castle. There’s a wide variety of meals on the menu, so it’s best to ask the waiter for recommendations. The food is not gourmet, but portions are fairly large and service is friendly and attentive.
What you should try: their Halászlé (traditional Hungarian Fish Soup)
Located just a few steps away from the beautifully renovated Kossuth Square and the Parliament, Budapest Bisztró is a modern, urban style place with great attention to sleek design and detail. Offering one of the richest breakfast varieties in the city center, a show kitchen, handcrafted desserts, a home bakery, a wine tavern and a piano bar, the bistro awaits guests who appreciate impeccably prepared, gourmet food as much as they do. While meals are slightly pricey, their delicious 3-course lunch menu costs only 2650 HUF/person (ca.8 EUR)
What you should try: traditional Hungarian beef stew with egg barley
Opened on the ground floor of a baroque palace in the heart of Budapest, Százéves Étterem (meaning Hundred Year-Old Restaurant) is one of Budapest’s oldest Hungarian restaurants offering traditional meals and great Hungarian wines since 1831. In the evenings, candlelight and traditional Hungarian Gypsy music makes the gastronomic experience even more memorable. If you arrive in a group, upon request, you can be seated in a separate room called the Hunter´s room, where 25-30 guests can be catered for at the same time. Thanks to its central location near the Danube riverbank, it’s a beloved place of both tourists and locals. Great quality food, attentive staff. A great place to try the famous Hungarian dessert wine, the Aszú of Tokaj.
What you should try: Their goose liver with fried apple rings and mashed potatoes and their Rosé duck breast with green pepper sauce and princess potatoes are both exquisite.
Pozsonyi Kisvendéglő Restaurant
Located in the 13th district not far from the Pest foot of the Margaret Bridge and mostly known and loved by locals, Pozsonyi Kisvendéglő is a small, old-fashioned Hungarian restaurant with checkered tablecloths and simple, but friendly atmosphere. Don’t expect anything fancy, just a large selection of delicious and budget-friendly local meals prepared the traditional Hungarian way. Large portions, good value for money. You won’t leave this place hungry and disappointed, that’s for sure.
What you should try: Jókai bean soup, Wiener Schnitzel with parsley potatoes, and a nice Strudel for dessert.
Located halfway between St. Stephen’s Basilica and the Danube riverbank, Lóca is a small, traditional Hungarian restaurant with a relaxed vibe, lovely, folk-style atmosphere and kind waiters. If you value a nice big portion of traditional pörkölt (Hungarian stew) over an orgy of flavors in a fine dining restaurant, then this is your place. To add to the authentic Hungarian style atmosphere, they organize Gypsy music performances on several evenings. Prices are fair, but make sure you have some cash with you as you can’t pay with card.
What you should try: Their Chicken paprika with egg dumplings
There aren’t a lot of places in Europe where you can have a nice beef stew under 10 EUR, but the new-wave Gettó Gulyás is one of them. Located just a few steps from the Dohány Street Synagogue, Gettó Gulyás is a unique, urban, hipster style “pörköltöző” (stew-place) with vintage cutlery and old family photos. There’s a total of 14 different types of stews on the menu of Gettó Gulyás including gizzard stew and rooster testicle stew (both very delicious, not kidding), but they make excellent bean and mushroom stews and many other Hungarian delicacies as well. Moreover, their lunch menu only costs 1450 HUF/person (ca. 4,5 EUR) which includes one drink.
What you should try: their Lamb Paprikash with Butter Noodles as a main dish and Homemade Curd Cheese Dumplings with Cinnamon Sour Cream for dessert
Located in the party district of Budapest at the corner of Kazinczy and Dob Street, this classy fast food place resembling an old butcher shop offers high-quality Hungarian style comfort food to quickly ease your hunger. Meat lovers will find themselves in heaven as they can choose from a nice variety of savory dishes – among them ribs, sausages, crunchy duck legs and knuckles and of course, Hungarian stew – all prepared in front of their eyes. Nothing fancy, just a cool, relaxed place where you are encouraged to lose the fork and eat with your bare hands.
What you should try: the Cupákos plate with spare ribs, pig rolls confit, pork chop in garlic & flour coat, potato