Budapest had some of the best food while I was traveling eastern Europe, which was quite surprising because I haven’t heard much about Hungarian food before. Since things were a little cheaper in Hungary, I tried out some fancy restaurants too. Here are some restaurants and dishes to try while visiting Budapest.
I chose this restaurant because it was right around the corner from the Airbnb I was staying at in Vorosmarty Square and they were open late. This was my first meal in Hungary and I was blown away by how wonderful their food and service was. I ordered the steak and my friend ordered the goulash (pronounced “gooyash”), Hungary’s national dish, which were both excellent. Although both dishes were wonderful, I wish I would have tried the chicken paprika instead because it is one of Hungary’s traditional dishes and it had excellent reviews.
I also had the best white wine I ever had at this restaurant. I wish I knew what kind of wine it was because I can’t stop thinking about it. When I asked the server for some white wine, he asked if I liked sweet or dry and I asked for dry wine. He knew exactly what I wanted and brought back the most amazing tasting wine. I’m usually not a big wine drinker but I think this restaurant changed me.
ADDRESS: Harmincad utca 4, Budapest 1051, Hungary
RECOMMENDED DISHES: Goulash, Chicken Paprika
PRICE: $13 for most entrees, steak was $23
This restaurant was such an amazing experience. It’s a fine dining restaurant, but the prices really aren’t that bad compared to some other fine dining restaurants we’ve been to. Located in the Buda Castle District, you feel like you’re walking into a palace with it’s high ceilings and stone walls.
You have a choice to select from a 3-course, 4-course or 5-course meal. My friend and I both chose the 3-course meal and really enjoyed all of our dishes. I was especially blown away by the dessert. I have never been so impressed with a dessert presentation in my life. The way they laid out the chocolate pieces, macaroons and cookies on a glass plate with the ground underneath expressing autumn was just truly a piece of art.
The service was beyond outstanding and the best fine dining experience I ever had. A restaurant that would come close to this experience would be Bern’s Steakhouse in Tampa, Florida but the meal is half the price in Budapest.
ADDRESS: Halaszbastya | Eszaki Hiradastorony, Budapest 1015, Hungary
RECOMMENDED DISHES: Their menu changes twice a year but I would recommend their steak and chocolate dessert
PRICE: $45 for 3 course menu, $60 for 4 course menu, $73 for 5 course menu
If you want to try samples of all different types of Hungarian dishes and more, Karavan is the place to go. Located right next to the popular ruin bar, Szimpla Kert, this outdoor area has a variety of food and drinks to choose from at great prices. They’ve got everything from langos to goulash to vegan-friendly dishes to smoothies to waffles and more. There’s plenty of seating and it has a fun, lively vibe.
ADDRESS: Kazinczy utca 18, Budapest 1075, Hungary
RECOMMENDED DISHES: There’s so much to choose from but I recommend trying some Hungarian dishes like goulash and langos here
PRICE: $5 - $15
Yet another excellent restaurant in Budapest with traditional Hungarian dishes. The setting was really nice and there was a band playing some Hungarian music which was lovely. I enjoyed my Stuffed Farm Chicken with Creamed Potatoes but I really loved my friend’s dish, the Angus Steak with Green Pepper Sauce, Ribbon Noodles and Ruccola. Those noodles were so addicting that I kept on taking some from my friend’s plate.
I also tried Palinka for the first time here, which is Hungary’s traditional fruit brandy invented in the Middle Ages. It has a strong alcohol content of 40 to 70 percent ABV and I could barely finish my drink as it was so potent! Hungarians can apparently handle their hard liquor.
ADDRESS: Sas utca 3., Budapest 1051, Hungary
RECOMMENDED DISHES: Stuffed Farm Chicken and Angus Steak
PRICE: $28 average for most main entrees
If you’re looking for a cafe that serves excellent breakfast or desserts, you must go to Gerbeaud. This cafe was started in 1858 and has been internationally acclaimed over the years. The interior is gorgeous with chandeliers, exotic woods and marble all around. They have light meals and desserts and we ordered the Scrambled Eggs with Cheese, Ham and Homemade Toast. The eggs were so delicious and fluffy and cooked to perfection. My friend also ordered a beautiful raspberry cake and enjoyed every single bite of it.
It is a bit expensive here compared to other restaurants in Budapest, but you’re really paying for the ambience and history. It was worth it in my opinion.
ADDRESS: Vorosmarty ter 7-8., Budapest 1051, Hungary
RECOMMENDED DISHES: Any and all dessert
PRICE: $15 for breakfast, cakes start at around $8
I didn’t enjoy this restaurant as much as the others but I thought I should mention it because it’s a top rated restaurant on TripAdvisor and and it was awarded a Michelin star.
You can choose to do a 4, 5 or 6 course menu or also choose to go a la carte. We chose to go with the a la carte menu. I ordered the steak but was really disappointed at how dry and tough it was. It also didn’t have much flavor. The chocolate dessert was pretty, but again, not much flavor. The dish that really stood out to me was the beet salad. It was so pretty and my friend said it was the best beet salad he’s had to date.
I tried one of Hungary’s best dry white wine, Tokaj Furmint, and although it was good, it still did not compare to that white wine I had at Red Pepper on my first night.
The service was fantastic but I felt like they could have loosened up a bit more. Sometimes I felt like they were too formal or robotic in their ways and it felt awkward. It was a lovely restaurant and I wish I liked more of their dishes but I may just not have the right taste palette or maybe the restaurant was having an off night.
ADDRESS: Vigyazo Ferenc utca 5, Budapest 1051, Hungary
RECOMMENDED DISHES: Beet salad
PRICE: $85 for 4 course menu, $100 for 5 course menu, $120 for 6 course menu
I wish I could have tried more Hungarian food, but my tummy can only handle so much. I hope this guide will help you in trying some of Budapest’s amazing restaurants and dishes!