lördag 12 april 2014

Eating your way through Budapest

If you have to name one Hungarian dish, I’m pretty sure the most people would say Goulash. The soup with a distinct taste of paprika is still frequently found on the menus in restaurants serving traditional food.

Now, you have probably already guessed that our aim was not to find the place with the best Goulash soup in Budapest, but to experience and share the diversity of this culinary city with plenty of restaurants of different nationalities and styles. There is so much to choose from, that the challenge is to actually choose! Four days filled with delightful breakfasts, luscious lunches and divine dinners. We are convinced, and the proof is there - our weight has increased dramatically….because we’re worth it!

Bistro Mak has the atmosphere and friendliness which are so important beside the quality of food. Mak offers an excellent 3-courses lunch including homemade bread and a glass of wine for the same price as a second-rated lunch i Stockholm. The interior is modern rustic bistro style, with tables in massive wood, various kinds of chairs, blackboard menu and wine bottles decorating the raw brick and stone walls. 'Mak' means poppy seed and I highly recommend you to try their special poppy-seed dessert - delish!
Address: Vigyázó Ferenc utca 4, 1051 Budapest
Opening hours: Tuesday–Saturday: 12.00–15.00, 18.00–0.00

At a small cozy square, in the heart of Pest, you find Gerlóczy Kávéház. Here you can eat updated traditional Hungarian cuisine and grilled dishes from outdoor barbeque. We had a delicious calf liver served on traditional langos (a kind of bread) and grilled mackerel. As always, the ambience and interior increase the culinary experience. I see myself in a movie dated 1940. Lace curtains, high ceilings, a harpist playing in the corner, sometimes interrupted by the singing of the canary living on the upper floor. In case you eat too much and need a rest you can rent one of the 19 rooms offered by the same owner which are located behind the restaurant. From early spring the terrace is open. One of the best spots for people watching while having a coffee or a glass a wine.
Address: Gerlóczy street 1, 1052 Budapest
Opening hours: Daily 07.00 – 23.00    

Zona is offering innovative, ambitious cooking. It is modern gastronomy in the upper class. The 5-course menu is fixed with your choice of fish or meet as main course. Trendy interior in an old building with high celings.
Address: Lánchíd Utca 7/9, 1013 Budapest
Opening hours:
Tuesday-Wednesday: 12.00–24.00, kitchen: 12.00–15.00 & 18.30–22.30
Thursday-Friday: 12.00–01.00, kitchen 12.00–15.00 & 18.30–22.30
Saturday: 13.00 – 01.00, kitchen 13.00-16.00 & 18.30-22.30

Halaszbastya means Fishermen’s bastion. It's the name of the restaurant and the location. Leave the tourist crowds outside, enter into the magnificent venue and enjoy the Hungarian-International cuisine when it is at its best. Admired the impressive chandeliers and get breathless by the marvelous view over the Parliament on the Pest-side.  
Address: Budai Vár 1014 Budapest
Opening hours: Daily 09.00 – 23.00

 Don’t let the location stop you from a visit at Bock Bisztro Buda. You will regret yourself if you miss the excellent culinary experience this restaurant is offering. I would describe the cuisine as upgraded Hungarian food with crosscooking and Asian influences. From April the terrace is open and you can enjoy the beautiful green surroundings. Have a good look at the childhood photos in the entrance and try to figure out who is your waiter? If you are on Pest-side it takes about 15 minutes by taxi to reach Bock Bisztro which is located on Buda-side.
Address: Szarvas Gabor ut 8, 1125 Budapest (XII distriktet och utanför kartan).
Opening hours: Tuesday-Sunday 12.00-23.00. Closed Mondays and holidays.

The Gundel Restaurant has passed the age of 100 years but continues to be an elegant lady who keeps up the high standard on food and service. The interior reminds of a bygone era which is immune against modern trends and I really hope it will always stay like this. On a romantic weekend trip to Budapest the brunch that is served on Gundel every Sunday is a must! PS! Be sure to save room for the desserts....
Address: Állatkerti körút 4, 1146 Budapest
Opening hours: 12.00-24.00, Sunday brunch 11.30-15.00

If you are longing for meat – beef, pork, goose, chicken or lamb you simply must go to LaciPecsenye!  Most of the beef is from Argentina and wooden-grilled. The menu is balanced and not too large. For lunch you can have a fixed menu with 2- or 3-courses for a very decent price. LaciPecsenye is located in the city center of Pest, on the square outside the basilica. The interior is relaxed, bistro-like and cool. The service i excellent and we give extra points for the Riedel glasses. The same owner will soon open (or maybe it’s already up and running) a dim-sum place next door to LaciPecsenye. Something to check out on our next visit to Budapest.
Address: Sas utca 11, Budapest 1051 – please note that the entrance is from the square of St Stephens Basilica.
Opening hours: Monday-Sunday: 12.00-24.00

We also recommend you to check out the Zsidai-family restaurants. You find the reviews HERE.

Photos by Teija

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