Best Romantic Restaurants in Budapest 2019
Budapest is famous for baths and ruin bars, but did you realize it has amazing romantic restaurants? All those gardens, all the great wine and eclectic cuisine make it a special starry-eyed hotspot, be it by the royal Danube or a hidden café courtyard far from the attractions and usual activities. Think soothing live music at a charming bistro, fusion food followed by the buzzing nightlife and there you have your perfect date planned out! Our guide takes you to the best Budapest romantic restaurants – intimate bars and eateries to celebrate an anniversary or just share a few amazing hours with your loved one.
As you know by now, the downtown itself can be bustling with visitors and locals, so some of the places are a bit further out (still not too far from the center). So this just means that you get to explore more of Hungary and the city than the ordinary visitor.
Our Favorite Romantic Restaurants in Budapest
Fine dining guaranteed in the city. But where do you find the most intimate ambience?
Zany and adorable: M
Laid-back, quirky and delicious, with an ever-changing local menu – M is right next to the party district, by Király street, also close to the Liszt Academy of Music and the hurly-burly of the boulevard. Stop by if you’re looking for an affordable but really good meal served by a friendly staff in a really peculiar but loveable setting (and especially loveable drawings on the walls!). The owner is a mathematician who opened a restaurant in his own apartment 10 years ago – it’s grown into M (named for a poem by a renowned poet friend). When I go there, I feel like I’m in a French brasserie for not just the art, but also whole atmosphere – so I highly recommend stopping by in the evening even for just a coffee.
Address: 48 Kertész utca, Budapest 1073
Open Tue-Sun 6pm-12 midnight, closed on Mondays
Credit: Facebook @MRestaurant
For culture and art lovers: cooking the books at Könyvbár (Book bar) in the Jewish quarter
Last week when I last visited this place, their weekly book menu was Game of Thrones! Besides their regular a la carte, they prepare a food homage to a great book every week. The whole book menu with starters, entrée and desserts can cost 50 euros, but you have the option to pick and choose from the components, or you can go for the regular menu. It’s really close to the heart of party district, so booking is highly recommended in rush hour. The ambience is cozy, obviously lined with books but not overbearing.
45 Dob utca, Budapest 1074
Credit: Facebook @konyvbar
Italian by the Danube: Trattoria Toscana
Craving Italian wines, wood-fired oven pizzas and genuine pasta as you’re wondering on the embankment by the river? Search no more: Trattoria Toscana will transport you to Italy in a moment. It’s on the more expensive side, but good seafood and well-made original Italian specialties are hard to find. Sit outside if you can (reservations highly recommended!). Our recommendation: duck breast with foie gras with pear sauce and spinach on the side.
Address: Belgrád rakpart 13-15, Budapest 1056
Credit: Instagram @toscana.hu
Perfect breakfast/brunch place in Buda: Déryné
Looking for a spot for a romantic Sunday brunch, with great service and a really stylish but hip and cozy ambience? I recommend Déryné (which scored several Bib Gourmand recommendations over the years) so you can discover a bit of the Buda side, still very close to the river and the Castle district. They often have live music or even DJ’s (Sundays after 2), which make a simple meal into an occasion to celebrate. It’s a full-fledged classy restaurant, a bit on the costlier side – so feel free to stop by later in the day too. Make sure you try the terrace if the weather is good! Especially recommended: chicken paprikash with home-made noodles, Wagyu beef, shakshuka, túrógombóc (Hungarian cottage cheese dumplings), and since they have started playing around more with home-made vegan and vegetarian options, ask for vegetarian recommendations with rare confidence in this meat-loving city.
Address: 3 Krisztina tér, Budapest 1013
Credit: Instagram @lKristofKovacs
Venison goulash for dinner at Pierrot (with a great garden)
What’s common in Robert De Niro, Depeche Mode and Eva Mendes? They all tried Pierrot when they visited Budapest, and that probably means so should you. It’s also recommended by Gault&Millau, since the food is great, but what’s really special about it is the milieu: you get there walking through the cobblestone streets of the Castle District, and the garden part is as romantic as it gets, with ivy running over the walls and blooming flowers in summer. The building itself served as a bakery 600 years ago, fashioned into a classy contemporary restaurant – so this is fine dining in a really fitting atmosphere, with the rabbit, duck leg or the venison goulash especially recommended for dinner. For connoisseurs: scallops with figs and pumpkin risotto!
Address: 14 Fortuna utca, Budapest 1014
Credit: Instagram @PierrotBudapest
First-class entertainment at chic and classy Zeller Bistro, close to St. Stephen’s
One of the more expensive but also the super stylish places – very close to the Chain Bridge and the Basilica (St Stephen’s). The live music is usually a great to the night, with options to sit closer to the band or in a completely different dining hall-like room. Our pro tip: lamb with lentils and sausage or wild boar. You won’t regret it!
Address: 18 Hercegprímás utca, Budapest, 1051
Credit: Facebook @zellerbistro
Safe travels! ;)
Recommended accommodation: Maverick Hostel and City Lodge in downtown Budapest. Feel free to ask our staff for more information on restaurants, events and stuff to do in the city during your stay!