Amazing Flavours of Hungary
At the end of the 1930s, the New York Times wrote that the restaurants of Budapest brought greater fame to the city than a whole stack of tourist brochures. That statement remains true today, since there is a real gastronomic revolution taking place in the country, with classic Hungarian dishes undergoing major and minor transformations and being presented at the table in reconceptualised ways that still represent our traditional roots. It is not easy to book a table in the city's four Michelin star restaurants (‘Borkonyha', ‘Costes', ‘Costes Downtown' and ‘Onyx'), and the bistros, wine bars and trendy street food outlets are also most often full to the brim. Of the latter, the stand of the Downtown Market in Hold Street, where the Bocuse d'Or cooking competition European Final Winner, Tamás Széll, opened a bistro, is outstanding. Everyone's favourite, ‘The Wine Bar Tour', includes 30 stops around the city and provides the opportunity to become acquainted with the products of a hundred Hungarian wineries.
‘Borkonyha' is a Michelin star restaurant we can go to without being stressed. It is a cross between a French bistro and a contemporary Hungarian restaurant, made complete with the representative Hungarian wines on offer.
Master of flavours, artistic presentation, attention to detail, polite service and out-of-this-world flavours, not to mention a world-class environment. In short, this is ‘Costes'!
‘Viator' which means ‘traveller', is a gastronomic docking place for both tourists and pilgrims. The prism-shaped, light, contemporary building, with glass walls on Kosaras Hill in Pannonhalma offers a perfect view of the monastery buildings.
‘Onyx' is an incredibly high standard workshop in this small, intimate restaurant that offers a real feast. Its space radiates the lavishness of aristocratic saloons.
The ‘Kistücsök Restaurant' in Balatonszemes was named after the crickets chirping in its garden. The chef offers dishes made of seasonal vegetables, fruit and herbs and makes a point of putting together the menu with seasonal products readily available from local farmers.
The first grand coffeehouses opened in Budapest more than a century ago and were the watering holes for the great thinkers and artists of the era. Many poems and world famous novels were born in these buildings next to the steaming black coffee and a slice of the walnut and vanilla flavoured ‘Esterházy Cake'. Today, this kind of clientele is attracted to the smaller, new wave coffeehouses, where the baristas will converse with anyone truly interested in their coffee's origin, the age of its plantation and the processing and grinding of the coffee beans. ‘Printa', ‘My Little Melbourne' and ‘Tamp & Pull' are the pioneers of the new wave coffeehouses, though ‘EspressoEmbassy', ‘WarmCup', ‘DoubleShot' and ‘Stremhouse Café' are also part of the coffee revolution.