BABEL Restaurant

The chef at Babel, Istvan Veres, draws on his Hungarian and Transylvanian roots in his cooking at this Budapest restaurant.
DInning Area at Bagolyvár, Budapest, Hungary


While Bagolyvar is owned by the folks behind Gundel, one of Budapest’s most sophisticated restaurants, it offers a cozier dining experience with significantly lower prices. Located in a beautiful manor house right next to its sister eatery, Bagolyvar serves upscale Hungarian cuisine that is comparable to that at Gundel. And its location in the serene City Park is delightful.

Food at Café Kör, Budapest, Hungary

Café Kör

Be sure to make a reservation at this intimate bistro near St. Stephen’s Basilica. The local favorite, which features a small dining room with a vaulted ceiling, faded peach-pink walls and wrought-iron tables, fills up fast, especially during lunch. The Hungarian-international menu runs the gamut from salads and omelets to heartier fare like beef tenderloin goulash and grilled goose liver served with roasted apples. There’s also a long list of daily specials and calorie-rich desserts, like the traditional gulácsi, a messy, delicious crêpe-like treat that’s stuffed with plum jam and served with whipped cream and poppy seeds. It’s an amiable atmosphere, with a nice mix of locals and visitors, and the food is consistently good.

Editors' Picks

Gerlóczy Cafe

I stumbled upon Gerlóczy Káveház by chance—in a desperate attempt to find an open restaurant around Váci Utca on a Sunday—and ended up returning twice in the course of my weeklong trip. Located on the ground floor of a residential building on leafy Kamermayer Square, the restaurant serves delicious Hungarian-French fare, including daily specials that are fresh and simply prepared. After returning home, I learned that Gerlóczy was featured in the Steven Spielberg film Munich, so it’s not a totally undiscovered find, but I barely heard a word of English spoken here; instead, the place drew a mix of local families, couples and groups of friends.

Editors' Picks
Dinning Area at Innio, Budapest, Hungary


Steps from St. Stephen’s Basilica lies this casual wine bar, perfect for a low-key evening with spectacular vintages and tasty tapas (each night’s menu also offers two entrée-sized options). All bites, like truffled potato mousse and paprika sausage, come with a recommended beverage from the lengthy list of international wines. While the patio is the preferred seating for a summer evening, the dining room is also chic with vaulted brick ceilings, modern light fixtures and cowhide barstools.

Macesz Huszár

From lamb goulash and goat cheese-spinach soufflé to its roast goose platter for two and a beef-laden bowl of mouth-watering matzo ball soup, Macesz Huszár fires on all cylinders. Despite the mostly traditional menu and white-lace tablecloths, international inspiration comes through in the duck with latkes and spicy plum sauce, and décor is subtly inventive (the chandeliers are decorated with stacked teacups). The Jewish-Hungarian restaurant, which serves dishes based on recipes from the chef’s grandmother, is charming and friendly, making it a staple on the Budapest dining scene.

MáK Restaurant

Touted as one of the best restaurants in Budapest, Mák serves a sophisticated degustation menu but in a rustic, relaxed setting.
Ambience : Onyx Restaurant, Budapest, Hungary - Photo Courtsey : Gerbeaud Gasztronomia

Onyx Restaurant

The atmosphere and food are both neo-Baroque at this Michelin-starred Hungarian restaurant. The “Hungarian Evolution Menu” showcases seasonal, local ingredients prepared in a traditional style with contemporary twists. The chic black, white and yellow interior is cozy and refined and the excellent service has resulted in Onyx being named the best restaurant in Hungary. Be sure to also check out Gerbeaud patisserie and coffee shop, located in the same building.

Ruszwurm Café

Located in Buda’s Castle Hill district, this venerable café—the city’s oldest—is considered by many locals and loyal visitors to be the best in the city. It’s certainly the most charming: the small patisserie has original cherry wood paneling that dates from its founding in 1827, and the adjacent tearoom looks like the pretty salon of a well-heeled Hungarian aunt. If timing and luck are on your side, you’ll claim one of the velvet fauteuils under faded photographs and beside a white tiled stove, and while away the afternoon over coffee and Ruszwurm’s famous homemade pastries.

The cakes, tarts and desserts in the multi-tiered display case look like something out of Willy Wonka’s factory: there are stacked cakes, like the walnut-filled Estherházy and marzipan-covered Mátyás torte, beside Ruszwurm Krémes (cream-filled phyllo dough) and a large assortment of strudels made with poppy seed, cherries and apples. If you fall for the café’s delicious creations, you’re in good company: during the Austro-Hungarian Empire, a courier was dispatched weekly to bring back cakes and pastries to Vienna (home of the Sachertorte, no less). Today, it’s owned by the Szamos clan, marzipan manufacturers who also have a boutique in Pest.

Editors' Picks
Food at Terminal, Budapest, Hungary


Since opening in 2014, this airy eatery in Elizabeth Square has been a go-to spot for serious foodies. Located in the Design Terminal (a former bus station turned state agency that fosters Hungarian creative industries), the spacious restaurant features streamlined, modern décor and floor-to-ceiling windows. The focus here is decidedly on the cooking, which ranges from comfort dishes like saffron risotto and mascarpone pasta to delicate cuisine like king crab piri piri and rosé duck with quinoa and pomegranate.

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