Wednesday, 29 October 2014

The Best Restaurants in Budapest.

If you love fresh vegetables and fruit on a daily basis, do not go to Hungary. However if you love all other types of food, book a flight right now. We found it so difficult to find restaurants in Budapest that had vegetables, most places serve carbs on carbs with meat alongside. We did however, find one place that served excellent fish and somewhat questionable veggies (but it was better than nothing), so I thought I'd put together a guide on the best places to eat and drink (and go out dancing!) in Budapest.

The great thing about Budapest is how cheap everything is. We ate out at two really nice restaurants for less than £20 each for three courses and wine with each course, and at a Ruin Bar we paid just £3 for huge cocktails, and around £1.50 for spirits.

Bigfish seafood restaurant black gateaux

There are of course the tourist traps to avoid, so keep on reading and note down the restaurants for your trip to this ancient and breathtakingly beautiful city!

Aszú Étterem

We stumbled upon Aszu quite by chance. In fact, we stumbled upon both of the wonderful restaurants we ate at by chance. We knew that we didn't want to eat at a restaurant advertising a 'tourist menu' - aka, a tourist trap, and we knew we wanted Hungarian food. After searching for quite a while, we ended up going back towards our hotel and found Aszú Étterem near St Stephen's Basilica. We looked at the menu, and as soon as I saw 'cold soup', I knew we'd hit the jackpot. 

No. I don't like cold soup, but it's quite a well known Hungarian dish, so I knew they served traditional food. The restaurant had outside seating which was perfect as it was a warm balmy evening, and it looked fresh, modern, and really quite classy. It was also busy, which is always a good sign.

Aszú Étterem restaurant budapest

Please excuse the photos, the lighting was so orange and no matter what I did to my camera the white balance just did not want to work properly! The photos came out quite orange so I've had to edit them quite a bit :/

Bella started with a salad, but I wasn't overly hungry so decided to save myself for dessert. Even the salads in Hungary are coated in salad dressing, but she said it was still lovely...

While deciding on our mains our waiter helped us choose a Hungarian wine to go with what we were having. It was the perfect choice, and we loved it so much we bought some at the airport to bring back to the UK with us! I had the Pork tenderloin with pickled cherries (another Hungarian favourite - cherries!), while Bella opted for the Neck beef. The wine was Oremus Mandolas, from the famous Tokaji wine region in Hungary.

Aszú Étterem restaurant budapest lamb

Aszú Étterem restaurant budapest beef

Now, these photos do not do this food justice. It was really incredible, so delicious, the meat was so tender and flavorful! And at just 4900 Forint (about £12), it was more than half the price of what you'd pay for this standard of meal in London. 

Aszú Étterem restaurant budapest

For dessert Arabella had the Aszú Somlói, and I had the Plum Dumplings, which were potato dumplings with plum, cinnamon cream, and salted nut ice cream. To be honest mine would have been delicious without the dumplings - having potato for dessert was just plain weird, but the rest of it was lovely. Bella's dessert was much better, I can't for the life of me remember what it was now, but it was some sort of cheesecake in a glass tumbler. If you go to Aszu, get it!

Aszú Étterem restaurant budapest Aszu Somloi

Aszú Étterem restaurant budapest plum dumplings

The Bigfish Seafood Restaurant

The Bigfish seafood restaurant is where I finally got some healthy food inside me. The restaurant is light and airy and had a huge display counter full of fresh seafood. You choose your seafood, and can but it by the gram or kilo. After much deliberation, I settled on a Swordfish steak with vegetables and chips (I know I know, carbs right). I also got a homemade lemonade to drink, and ordered a Black Forest Gateaux for dessert. This whole meal cost me less than £15. 

Bigfish seafood restaurant budapest hungary

Bigfish seafood restaurant budapest

Bigfish seafood restaurant budapest
Bigfish seafood restaurant lemonade

Bigfish seafood restaurant budapest swordfish

The swordfish was really yummy and fresh. The veggies weren't the best, but were still surprisingly good - they weren't over-cooked or soggy which is the main thing. Bella had the mussels, and she loved them! For dessert my Black forest gateaux was sensational; the flavours and textures were wonderful, and Bella's lemon meringue tart was apparently really refreshing and zesty. Yumsk! 

Bigfish seafood restaurant budapest black gateaux

Bigfish seafood restaurant budapest black gateaux

Bigfish seafood restaurant budapest lemon meringue

Szimpla Kert Bar

Romkocsma's, also known as Ruin Bars, are super popular in Budapest. If you want a good night out with cheap drinks, ruin bars are the place to go. They're cool and funky and like no other bar you'll have ever been to before. Szimpla Kert is in the Jewish quarter of Pest, and is the oldest ruin bar in Budapest. Ruin Bars are bars in abandoned and dilapidated old buildings, and I certainly felt as though the walls would crumble around me when gingerly stepping up the stairs to the second floor! 

Szimpla Kert budapest ruin bar

Szimpla Kert budapest ruin bar

Szimpla Kert is huge, and made up of lots of different rooms with different themes. There's a wine bar, a cocktail bar, a spirits bar, as well as various other bars within the building. You can sit in an old soviet jeep in the outside courtyard sipping on a Mai Tai, or sit on some garden furniture in a room full of old computers on the walls while guzzling a Cuba Libre. We did a mixture - after all, we needed to test out every room and type of drink! 

Szimpla Kert budapest ruin bar cocktails

Szimpla Kert budapest ruin bar jeep car

There was also a DJ playing some good tunes, and after a few too many cocktails I had a great time singing and dancing along. Sadly we didn't try the Shisha, I was far too British and was worried about how clean the pipes would be :/ we also didn't try the carrots they were selling. Yes. You read that right. They were selling carrots....

Szimpla Kert budapest ruin bar carrots

Szimpla Kert budapest ruin bar

Cafe Gerbeaud

Going from one extreme to another. Cafe Gerbaud is one of the most famous coffee houses in Budapest. It's glamorous, classy, and they do the best hot chocolate I've ever had after Angelina's in Paris

Cafe Gerbaud budapest

I had a cheesecake and hot chocolate, the cheesecake was the perfect size; not too big and not too small, and it was lovely and creamy and the perfect combination of fruit and dairy! It also had a really lovely thin base rather than a thick one that makes the entire mouthful taste of biscuit.

Cafe Gerbaud budapest cheesecake

Cafe Gerbaud budapest cake

Cafe Gerbaud budapest coffee

Cafe Gerbaud budapest hot chocolate

As it was such a lovely day we sat outside, however the inside is the draw for most people, it's so beautiful. Naturally Cafe Gerbeaud is a complete tourist trap, but it's one of those that I think is definitely worth visiting and getting a coffee (or hot chocolate!) and cake it. You can also buy boxes of perfect little macarons, which are so much cheaper than Laduree!

Cafe Gerbaud budapest

So there we have it, my top places to eat/drink/coffee at in Budapest! My next post is going to be non-travel related so I don't bore you all, and then I'll start my Vienna ones before one last Budapest one (and the most epic breakfast ever)! Hope you're enjoying all of these and finding them useful :)



  1. I found the same thing in Prague, it was all heavy meats and dumplings! Impossible to get a salad or anything for vegetarians looks like you found some gems though.
    Lots of love,
    SilverSpoon London

    1. Yes, it was so weird being in a country that has hardly any salad and veggies! We were very lucky with the restaurants we did find though.

      C x


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