Budapest recs?

Will be taking a river cruise that starts in Budapest and ends in Regensburg (Germany) in early/mid June.

We’ll be staying Budapest for 2 nights prior to embarking and will probably spend a day or two in Munich afterward (unless folks strongly recommend staying in Regensburg for that period).

There’s some Munich eats here:

We’re just starting to look into places to eat in Budapest. New York Cafe (on a blog or something) got good reviews b/c of the stunning interior (but maybe it’s more of a place to enjoy a snack or dessert, as opposed to a full meal).

Any recs for Budapest? We don’t need “expensive” or “fancy.”



This is the best meal we’ve ever had. Ever. And at the time it wasn’t expensive. Didn’t do the conversion here. Do you like foie gras? There’s was so good we had a second portion for dessert with little dabs of pureed fruit. Super nice people. Oh, and it had just gotten a Michelin star which I didn’t know when I made our res. I wrote it up on Chowhound, long out of business, and everything from there is gone.



That looks great. 1000 forint = about $3.

Yes, saw you mention it on another thread!

I love foie gras. Need to run Google translate since I couldn’t find an obvious English version for the website. :wink:

Interesting. I got a ‘drop down’ asking to translate. I’m so old that I don’t understand the internet, I just use it. (Turning 76 soon!)


It was one of my ‘heroes’ on CH who recommended it. But of course I can’t find that either.

Not quite:

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Although it can get a bit touristy, Gundel is actually quite good.


Oh my goodness, how did you find that? There’s a lot that I’d like to find - most not mine :slight_smile:

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It was in a roundabout fashion. I did an internet search for the “Borkonyha Chowhound.” There was no direct link to anything on CH (since it no longer exists), but some random person on another website had apparently posted a link to your review!

So then I used the “Wayback Machine” and entered the URL for the link.


I love having smart people in my life! Thanks. It was a terrific evening in every way. Thanks again.

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I can second Borkonyha–I went there twice a lifetime ago. (Realistically 8 or so years ago.)

I also liked Mak Bistro–and my aunt went recently (within the last two years) and came back raving about it.


A post was merged into an existing topic: Germanyyyy

Re Borkonyha, maybe seven years ago we were in Bangkok at a recommended restaurant. Got to talking to a woman who works for the US in Antarctica (during their summer). She was going to to Budapest and I recommended the place. We hooked up on FB and she did go there and love it. And recommended to her mother who subsequently went there. Small world.

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Love the way back machine. Fun to go through the old Lucky Peach website

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Pic dump:

Good grief, the wifi connection on the cruise ship stinks. It’s going to take forever for me to post pics of our few days in Budapest (we did make it to Borkonhya, @catholiver!). And I forgot about the 5-pic upload max. Argh.

At any rate, the eating here is INSANE. You can get throw a stone w/o hitting some sort of eatery, and everything we had was so, so good.

The time change and just navigating the city has been tiring (the latter, not in a bad way), and I’ve never been the best at writing taking menu pics and writing down details of all we’ve been eating, so…

At any rate, the meal above was our first in Budapest (dinner). I had actually meant to navigate us to a cheaper, down-home restaurant on the Pest side (we stayed in Buda), but I got my restaurants mixed up, and we stayed on the Buda side . No loss, b/c the food at the restaurant above (21 Magyar Vendeglo) was delish. The paprika here seems so… smooth? Subtle? My bread pic won’t upload, but it just so good that it almost made me cry (and I imagine finding such a loaf here isn’t difficult). Who would’ve thought that pork meatloaf + sitting in something similar to tzatziki would be tasty??? Not me. But it was yummy.

2 portions of foie gras for (IIRC) $17??? Insane. And this is supposedly on the more expensive side (per Rick Steve’s)??? QPR in Budapest for food seems outrageous.


Damn! can’t wait to hear more, sounds great! Enjoy your trip!!

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Here’s the pic of the bread from the first dinner. Not a good pic, but I’d love my homebaked stuff to turn out like this. It’s not as if it’s the most amazing bread I’ve ever had, but it’s just “right.” Thin crusty that isn’t too sharp, the right amount of chew. Not too sour. And they served a huge portion of it w/ the goulash.

We stayed at an upscale hotel (Hotel Clark), and the breakfast was quite good. Not picture is the plain yogurt, which was exceptional. So smooth, which just the tiniest hint of tang. Not sure if we can get stuff like that in the US, and even our homemade Instant Pot yogurt (which is still way better than store bought stuff) can’t touch this. Sausages were a smoky delight.

Pastries from Lisboa (the name of the bakery). They also have bagels, IIRC (and bagels seems strangely popular here). We were just randomly walking by, and the display looked so good we had to stop in.

The egg tart may be a bit controversial for a purists (didn’t realize I was one until I had this) b/c there is a hint of some sort of warming spice. That spice tastes “fine” but was a bit of a surprise. Having said that, the tart was objectively excellent, which a truly thin, flakey, shattery crust and a nicely baked custard.

Pistachio croissant was fine. I think I just don’t like filled croissant since I think it sort of misses the point of a croissant.

Wouldn’t have minded trying more of their goods. :slight_smile:


Belvarosi Lugas Etterem. Described by a local expert on the Rick Steve’s forum as “GOOD BASIC HUNGARIAN FOOD IN A NICE LOCATION.” I’m not knowledgable enough to know what constitutes “Hungarian food,” but thought this was pleasing, quite affordable, and indeed a nice location. Dark, cozy, and intimate on the inside, and a nice place to retreat from the warm sun.

My romaine lettuce was… bizarre. To be fair, the menu mention mayo… But I was not expecting the salad to basically be dressed like a potato salad (which I guess sort of makes sense, given the relatively proximity to Germany and Austria??? And I think there was actually potato in the salad). Chicken was nicely seasoned but the flesh itself was nothing to write home about.

Not pictured: the fish soup special of the day. Not sure how interesting a picture of a red-colored broth would be. DELICIOUS. Again, that same subtle, sophisticated seasoning. Deep umami. Some nice chunks of fish. Partner said that pike perch seemed common in restaurants, so that’s what he assumed this was. I have no idea what pike perch tastes like, but the flesh of this fish was every so slightly sweet. Really homey and comforting.

Partner ordered the “egg dumpling,” which was essentially spaetzle w/ some scrambled egg. Again, really weird, but tasty (but too heavy for a lunch meal, IMHO). Cucumber salad tasted a lot like a japanese picked cucumber salad w/ less pickling juice.


Many thanks to @catholiver for the rec. Located down a charming side street w/ many eateries. Interior is really quite lovely.

The menu is a bit odd b/c they list some of the ingredients and that’s it. The tasting menu included a ton of pigeon (incl a pigeon ragu). We went a la carte.

Bread: I often think squid ink is a bit of a gimmick, but here it added some nice salinity to the bread. The smoked butter was SO DELICIOUS. I could eat that stuff all day long. The red topping was some sort of eggplant and maybe some pepper? Very tasty.

Partner’s salad was nothing particularly special (some of the greens were kind of “stringy” – I think by design).

Foie gras was FANTASTIC. Partner thought it was too fatty, but I thought it was just perfect. :slight_smile: One of the best bites I’ve had. Side of pickled pepper and onions were a nice way to cut the fat.

After the foie gras, most everything else we had there was merely very good. It’s not a knock on the restaurant; the foie gras was really that good.

Amuse bouche of kohlrabi and… ? Can’t remember. There was a lot of kohlrabi floating around the entrees that night (is it a common veg in Central Europe)? Tasty enough.

Partner had the red perch. The terragon dressing was DIVINE. I had the lamb, which was a piece of saddle and… something else (I couldn’t quite understand what the server said). I don’t know if I’ve had lamb saddle b/f. It was a bit dense to cut, but tender enough when biting. Flavor was quite muted. The other piece had a gamier flavor, which I enjoyed. There was pistachio in the various places dish, I think including the green squirts on the right side. Unknown lamb part + acidic pistachio cream (which tasted more like pesto to me) was really, really good.

Beans were soy and something else, plus rhubarb and more kohlrabi. I think I might’ve enjoyed the beans + veg more than the saddle (which was a bit too subtle for me).

Dessert was trying a bit too hard to me. A stiff-sh chocolate mousse w/ tapioca pearls and a matcha cream. Can’t recall what flavor the ice cream was. The chocolate had a curious tang to it that I think I’ve also tasted in a chocolate bar at the Turkish grocery store near us in LA (Agora). Flavors didn’t quite meld for me.

Some free petit fours to end the evening. One was a half macaron w/ fruit; the other was… chocolate and hazelnut? (but a “dry” preparation). I very much liked the chocolate and hazelbut.

Partner had 2 Hungarian wines (both white). I cannot recall the vineyard, although I’ll try to get partner’s pics of that. For me, the first one was more pleasant (crisp and light and quite fruity).

An excellent meal overall and well worth visiting. Our food (incl 1 glass of champagne, 2 glass wine, 1 glass of carbonated grape juice, all of the food pictured above, and 15% service fee) was $198. That seemed like a very good deal to me, given the service (which was wonderful).

Having said all that, I would’ve have minded if the food was a little less clever. But I wonder if chefs feel like they need to do that get Michelin stars.


I found our before we went that Hungary is the second largest producer behind France!