Some amazing restaurants Budapest has to offer

Budapest sees millions of tourists a year, many of whom come here for the architecture, history and public baths. In recent years, however, the main draw has been another part of the city: the cuisine. The food scene has exploded in the Hungarian capital over the past decade to the point where it seems like every food magazine and blog has published a ‘where to eat in Budapest’ list. Instead of choosing a guide ourselves, we decided to ask an expert: Szilvia Magdics, the head concierge of the new Mathilde Palacewho has more than 10 years of experience in the city’s concierge service and is a member of Les Clefs d’Or.

Originally built between 1899 and 1902, the Matild Palace building has undergone extensive restorations and renovations in recent years, opening in its current form as a hotel in 2021. Before you even step inside, it’s clear that the property really cares about its century-long history. Plaques line the exterior telling the story of the palace and its famous cafe. One of the most opulent hotel bistros you’ll ever set foot in, the Matild Café and Cabaret was one of the city’s main hubs during the Belle Époque era, when café culture was at its peak. In addition, the hotel now houses Spago by Wolfgang Pucka destination in itself for locals and tourists.

Whether you’re staying at the Matild or elsewhere in the city, you’ll want to get out and explore. We’ve gotten plenty of recommendations from Magdics, whether you’re looking for local hotspots or cocktail bars with the best views in town, as well as insight into how Budapest’s food scene has changed over the past decade. .

How has the food scene evolved in Budapest in recent years?

Budapest’s street food scene has exploded in recent years as it’s inexpensive, beautifully displayed, and showcases all of the region’s best dishes. You should try things like lángos (fried bread with various fillings), chimney cake, strudel and hurka sausage. But also in the last decade, the development of Hungarian gastronomy has attracted worldwide attention. The quality of Hungarian ingredients has steadily improved and people are starting to take notice. We now have seven Michelin star restaurants, and still counting.

What about the drinking scene? What’s new?

Budapest’s nightlife has seen a major improvement in recent years thanks to the development of an upscale bar scene made up of rooftop bars, cocktail bars and wine bars, run by mixologists and industry experts. first order.

You also can’t miss the ever-growing underground bar scene, while a visit to a ruin bar is a must.

Where is the best place to enjoy non-touristy traditional Hungarian food (a place where the locals go)?

Aszu is a bistro-style family restaurant, providing modern cuisine that understands its roots, while looking from Tokaj to the world where the wine list offers many special selections.

The best place for avant-garde Hungarian cuisine?

To stay offers traditional Hungarian dishes revisited. The owners are renowned Hungarian chefs Tamás Széll and Szabina Szulló, and were awarded a Michelin star after their first year of operation. They offer tasty and well-presented Hungarian dishes, full of flavor with the perfect texture, temperature and plating, with exceptional service.

The Matild Café and Cabaret is just as opulent today as it was during the Belle Époque era.

Courtesy of Matild Palace

The best coffee?

Classic: Matild Café and Cabaret. The two-story café is a dramatic reimagining of the most popular address for the local elite and Belle Époque-era influencers, and the first café to reopen in Budapest after World War II. This iconic gem is a flawless café, bar and pastry counter offering Hungarian specialties and unparalleled service in an authentic and historic venue.

Speciality: Embassy espresso. Young and trendy, Espresso Embassy uses specific weights and brewing times with its excellent quality coffee to produce perhaps the best coffee in town. The selection includes pour over, siphon and drip coffee options at the brew bar.

Where do young, trendy Hungarians eat?

Kiosk has stunning views of the Danube and Elisabeth Bridge from the terrace, and an industrial chic interior with high ceilings. It’s a popular meeting point for locals to sit down for a drink or a quick bite to eat as well as a full night out with friends.

The best cocktail bar?

The Duchess is a secret rooftop library and liquor garden inspired by Archduchess Maria Klotild. The refuge offers a 360 degree view of Budapest. Accessed through a hidden entrance, it features incredible mixology mixed with a carefully curated soundtrack.

The best wine bar?

Kadarka Wine Bar serves more than a hundred kinds of Hungarian wines from the country’s 22 wine regions. The bar is mainly visited by locals and serves as a favorite place to try countless varieties.

The best ruined bar?

Absolutely Szimpla Kert. It’s the origin of the underground bar scene with a vibrant atmosphere, reasonably priced drinks and lots of fun ideas, from interior design to program selection.

The best spa or public bath to eat?

Budapest is known for its thermal baths and we have a great selection of swimming pools, saunas and steam rooms. Rudas thermal houses Rudas Bistrowhich offers a nice view of the Pest side of the city, and hearty food.

Where to go if you are tired of Hungarian cuisine?

Byblos Budapest, located in the heart of downtown Pest, is a Lebanese restaurant that represents the marriage of oriental and Mediterranean cuisine. It relies heavily on traditional and local ingredients.

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