When you’re thinking of European cities that are hubs for fine food and exciting new pop-ups there are a few that spring to mind. Rome, Berlin, Paris, London, Copenhagen. One that might not be so obvious is the capital of Hungary, Budapest.
Located on the crossroads of Western and Eastern Europe, Budapest offers a delicious array of different cuisines and traditions that are celebrated all over the city. With its own currency, separate from the Euro, Budapest is also a lot cheaper than other foodie capitals in Europe. This makes it the ideal spot to go and discover the next big thing in food.
Looking for somewhere to lay your head after a long day of overindulging? Why not check out Avenue Hostel? With clever design, a bar, bike rentals and even free breakfast, it’s a great spot to recharge before taking on another restaurant. Want to know something even better? If you have HostelPass you get a 20% discount on any dorm bed or private room. It’s a bargain!
So, now that we’re saving money on accommodation in Budapest, let’s find out how many must-visit restaurants we can check off on our trip.
The 7 Best Budapest Restaurants
Want to check out a cool and hipster-friendly restaurant with jaw-dropping views of the Danube River and the Elisabeth Bridge? Then you’re going to want to head to Kiosk. With an eclectic interior that’s half industrial, half wildlife haven, it’s a great place to while away a few hours with a bowl of goulash or one of the less traditional Hungarian options on their menu.
If you’re in Budapest in the summer, then you should definitely head up to the roof terrace. Grab a beer or a cocktail and soak in the rays and views.
2. Mazel Tov
If you’ve spoken to anyone about visiting Budapest, you’ll probably be familiar with the concept of Ruin Bars. Basically they’re like dive bars, set up by friends so that young people have somewhere to go out and have a cheap drink, normally in an abandoned or ruined building. Mazel Tov is loosely based on this concept but they’ve gone more upscale with it. If you want a soft introduction to a Ruin Bar, this is the place for you.
The building has that aesthetically distressed look, but the Middle-Eastern food is anything but divey. Choose a classy cocktail or a glass of Hungarian wine and chow down in one of the nicest Ruin Bars you’re likely to find. Make sure you book though – it gets super busy!
If you’re looking for a truly authentic taste of Hungary that’s also ridiculously affordable, Menza is for you. Honestly, if there’s only one restaurant that you should visit in Budapest, this is the one. Despite being in one of the most touristy areas of the city, District 6, it’s managed to keep its charm and its rates low.
Although it does have the typical Western pastas and burgers, the Hungarian fare here is said to rival some Grandmother’s cooking. It’s that good. If you don’t mind the crowds and book in advance, head to Menza at lunchtime for its five euro, two-course fixed menu. You read that right. Five euros and two courses. Thank us later.
4. Padron Budapest
Got a hankering for some tapas? Never fear, Padron Budapest is here to ease your small plate craving. It’s a completely family-run small business which gives it a homey, comforting and authentically Spanish feel. Dive into a mouthwatering selection of tapas, washed down with some delicious Spanish wine and take in the neighbourhood.
Padron is only open for dinner and you definitely need to book, but it’s well worth it!
5. Déryné Bistro
If you’re looking to treat yourself to something a little bit more upmarket, then head to Déryné Bistro on the Buda side of the river. Featuring a delicious mix of Hungarian favourites and classic French dishes that give the menu that bistro flair, there’s something for everyone.
Feeling a little bit worse for wear after a night out in Budapest’s ruin bars? The good news is that Déryné Bistro offers an amazing and extensive brunch menu all the way until 4pm. It’s just the thing to revive you!
6. Oriental Soup House
You know a Vietnamese restaurant is going to be good when you can see into the open kitchen and Vietnamese chefs are working away inside it. That’s exactly what you get at Oriental Soup House and the queues speak for themselves. Either book a table in advance or wait your turn and settle on one of the communal tables.
Serving Vietnamese favourites such as pho, bun cha, tapioca puddings and more, it’s a crowd-pleaser that promises a flavour punch! With 11 soups to choose from and beef pho only costing six euros, it’s a bargain!
7. 101 Bistro
Looking for high-end Asian cuisine in a beautifully decorated restaurant that plays Japanese hip hop for ambience? It sounds like 101 Bistro is your kind of spot. Although a little bit on the pricey side, this Buda-based restaurant specialises in Taiwanese cuisine. Not sure what you’re going to enjoy? The good news is that it’s a small plate joint, so you can order a few and try them all!
Traveling with vegans or just trying to lower your meat consumption? There are tons of vegan options at 101 Bistro, so whatever your dietary requirement, you can have your fill of delicious food!
There are a lot of great places to eat and drink in Budapest. Whether you’re wanting to try some more traditional Hungarian food, or you’re looking for a specific cuisine to feed a craving, you’re spoiled for choice. Don’t forget to compliment whatever meal you’re having with some delicious locally grown wine or some Hungarian brewed beer.
Budapest is a massively underrated culinary destination and more people really should discover all that it has to offer. Are you going to be one of those people? Grab your passport and your appetite and find out!