The culinary scene in Budapest has really boomed in recent years with a seemly endless parade of restaurants catering to every budget and taste, both local and international. New places pop up each season while others fail to set the world on fire and fade away… but we have few firm favourites that have stood the test of time and we recommend them to you.
Budapest restaurants start filling up around 7 pm, earlier in the summer, and the good ones are usually packed by 8 pm. For this reason, making reservations is highly recommended. And when it comes to tipping, if a service charge hasn’t already been added to your bill then it’s customary to leave between 10 – 15% if you’ve had great service.
Where are the best places to eat in Budapest?
As you’ve probably already seen there isn’t exactly a single downtown area in Budapest. Rather different neighbourhoods have different styles and different types of restaurants to go with them. Ráday street is packed with cafés and restaurants, and nearby Baross u. and Mikszáth Kálmán tér offer a great variety of pubs and eateries as well – even if the quality can be a little hit and miss. One of the most popular spots is Liszt Ferenc square which becomes one giant drinking and eating terrace in Summer.
On the Buda side hit Lövőház utca, behind the Mammut shopping centers, it is jam-packed with pubs and small eateries. And if you’d like to combine a little hard drinking with dinner then don’t rule out some of the bigger ruin pubs in the 6th and 7th districts. Many now have kitchens putting out food much better than you might expect from typical pub grub back home.
Some of the top restaurants in Budapest:
Every day we’re finding new places we love, so this list is by no means exhaustive. If you’ve heard of somewhere from friends or you’’ve got a craving for something in particular then let us know and we’ll do our best to help you.
Klassz – This place looks like it’s been in the midst of a renovation since the day it opened. But it is definitely one of the best wine restaurants in Budapest, with a great seasonal menu and a really wonderful selection of wines. Downside – can’t make reservations, so get here before 7 pm.
Két Szerecsen – Cute little bistro, been around forever, great food, great location and really good service. They do breakfast too.
Café Kör – Hungarian/International bistro, a favourite with locals, great location (by the basilica), fabulous seasonal menu, they do goose liver really well if you’re looking to try the Hungarian version of foie gras.
Trofea – For those that like to get the most for their money – this all you can eat restaurant chain is perfect. There are 3-4 of these throughout the city. Food is really good and great value. Reservations are a must for dinner.
Gerloczy café – Our favourite, especially when the weather gets warm. Great for breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner, tea, coffee… any time. Really friendly service.
Vian café – There are three of these cafés scattered around the downtown area, our favourite is the one on Liszt F. square. Huge terrace, nice menu, good food, great cocktails. This is also where we do some of our wine tastings and cocktail making lessons.
Nobu – The famous Michellin-starred restaurant has made quite the splash in Budapest since it’s opening.
Aranykaviár (Gold caviar) – Russian restaurant, really pricey, THE place to go for caviar and really good vodka – if that’s your bag, baby.
Trattoria Toscana – Our favourite Italian restaurant right next to the Danube. Great service, amazing food.
Restaurants we use for our set dinner
When we send you to a set dinner we want to know you’re going somewhere where you’ll get great food and great service. These are some of the places we use: