Budapest for the Hungry
The Hungarian Tourism Quality Award is a qualification system established for hotels and restaurants. It is based on self-assessment, examining the applicant service establishment according to professional and guest demands. Applicnts of this European standard award will be judged once a year and successful suppliers can use the title for 3 years.
On the hunt for Magyar flavours? Look no further - we've gathered the best traditional restaurants in town for you.
Museum Café and Restaurant is located next to the National Museum, where the most important events of 19th century Hungarian history took place. "Historic" is the keyword when it comes to the restaurant itself, as it has been the place for elegant dining Magyar-style since 1885. Before you lose yourself in the menu, make sure you checked out the marvellous fresco of Károly Lotz and the beautiful works of world-famous Zsolnay tile manufacture. In the evening, the softly tinkling piano provides a really relaxing atmosphere.
Set in an 18th-century inn literally at the foot of Castle Hill, the over 300 year-old Aranyszarvas, or ‘Golden Stag' is particularly strong in game dishes. If you're strolling round the castle area, make sure that you won't miss out Alabárdos, as it's one of the best restaurants in the city for getting a taste of Hungarian gastronomy. The location is exceptional (it is situated just in front of Matthias Church), the vibe is elegant with a historic interior and the menu is based on the broader traditions of Hungarian gastronomy with the aim to re-establish some forgotten flavours.
The so-called Hundred Year Old Restaurant is not actually 100 years old – it's much older than that. The restaurant was the very first to open in Budapest in 1831. The tiny Baroque palace hasn't changed too much since then. Enjoy a hearty Hungarian dinner at candle light accompanied by some fiery Gypsy music. Mátyás Pince is located on the ground floor of a beautiful house built by the Dreher brewery and offers good old-fashioned Hungarian cuisine side by side with some contemporary creations.
Do you want to taste the modern Hungarian cuisine?
First up: Bock Bistro, the creation of an award-winning chef and an appreciated sommelier. The bistro was awarded the "Bib Gourmand" qualification by Michelin Guide and is among the favourites of foreigners searching for Hungarian flavours and provides an impressive seleciton of great wines.
For a breathtaking panorama, head to Icon, located in Hotel Hilton up in the castle of Buda – the whole city will lie at your feet.
If you'd like to navigate towards international waters, you'll have plenty opportunities as well. Luxurious Costes is aspiring to be the best in town – and indeed, it was the first to gain a much-desired Michelin star in 2010..
The runner-up in the best restaurant in town-category is Onyx, another Michelin starr restaurant . Its dishes combine the traditional Hungarian flavours with the most modern, international culinarty techniques.
Budapest has a great tradition of home restaurants as well. These tiny little places are often operated by families which are the descendants of the oldest restaurant keepers of the city. One of them, Repeta will take you back to the hall of your grandparents' house by its old family pictures on the wall, the lace-covered coffee tables and the antique wooden furniture. However, it is only the atmoshpere which is historic - all the materials are fresh, carefully selected and prepared following the greatest trends.
KitchenArt is the place to go for those who are into exclusive dining. Its chef, József Bernáth wokrs for London's Robouchon but spends four a few days at home every year to provide an insight to his internationally respected work in Hungary as well.