You’ve just checked into your room, charged your phone, and started wondering what to first tick off your must-see list. And then suddenly you remember: FOOD. I’m hungry. So where do I go to get a decent meal?
The easiest-and-tastiest way to start out is to check out Fat Mama’s, Maverick’s very own restaurant right next to the City Lodge in Kazinczy utca. Breakfast is served here, and residents get a discount on the a la carte price. The best of burgers, steaks or fish are prepared in their signature charcoal oven called Bertha, and in a unique smoker. At noon you can explore the lunch menu (vegetarian options available) or stop by for dinner.
Now what if you’d like to venture further? Here’s our definitive list of places that will make you want to come back soon. Watch out, foods in Budapest may be affordable but they are also addictive!
Traditional restaurants / Hungarian food
Don’t worry, the best places to try original, traditional Hungarian food are all nearby:
Gettó Gulyás (18 Wesselényi utca, 1077)
Did you know that pörkölt is just as vital in Hungarian cuisine as gulyás? High time you tried both – conveniently located just around the corner from Maverick City Lodge, Gettó Gulyás is simple, good and inexpensive. Get your hands greasy and have a fröccs (wine spritzer) on the side! Ask for the lunch menu if you want to save some money for their krémes pastry (one of the best Hungarian desserts).
Fülemüle (5 Kőfaragó utca, 1085)
Hungarian, Central European and Jewish classics halfway between Astoria and Rákóczi tér. Try their lecsó with sausage (for light eaters), any one of their enormous cholent selection (Jewish cuisine connoisseurs – Budapest food has plenty for you to discover) or the chicken paprikash – you won’t be disappointed!
Kispiac (13 Hold utca, 1054)
The name translates as “Little market”, and the little but loveable place uses the vicinity of the District V market hall to the best of their advantage. Meat lovers looking for traditional Hungarian food: try brassói (with home-made pickles!) or bélszín steak as local specialties.
Rosenstein (3 Mosonyi utca, 1087)
Famished for a great Hungarian meal outside the party district? This is a place you’ll never find on your own without an insider tip. The small street is off of Keleti railway station, and literally only known for this gem. The meals are original Budapest food, traditional, and on the more expensive side – but worth every Forint. Make sure you try the Hungarian desserts after your meal!
Which brings us to our expert tips for: Fine dining in Budapest (don’t worry, if you convert the prices into euros or dollars, these restaurants still won’t feel expensive!)
…because Budapest food can also be fancy (and cost a little more):
Borkonyha (3 Sas utca, 1051)
“Wine kitchen” is across the street from Erzsebet ter (where the big Ferris wheel runs). If you’re looking for rabbit rilette or mangalica tenderloin, this is your best bet! Starters start over 3000 Forints (10 euros), but you won’t have regrets, unless you drink too much.
Bock Bisztó (43-49 Erzsébet körút, 1073)
Their slogan goes, “Hungarian meals with tasteful twists”, and when you see goose foie gras sushi on the menu, you begin to believe it. Also recommended: chicken goulash soup in a red pot and cold goose liver by way of appetizer.
Fricska (56-58 Dob utca, 1073)
Every lunch is different at Fricska, where the chefs get their ingredients straight from the market. The place calls itself gastropub for a reason (hint: have some wine), and one of their strongest points is their affordable lunch menu – which is probably the reason they received the Bib Gourmand label from the Michelin guide (for “exceptional food at moderate prices”) in 2017.
Konyha (8 Madách Imre út, 1075)
Another noteworthy lunch menu deal near Deák tér. Regular main courses cost 2500-3000 Forints – if you go for dinner, try the home-made crackling cream or the potato paprikash.
Fat Mama (24 Kazinczy utca, 1075)
With the help of a special charcoal oven that’s responsible for the signature garden party atmosphere, Fat Mama is the place to go if you like high-end BBQ. Enjoy the crispy and juicy treats inside the restaurant or on the terrace.
Typical foods in Budapest don’t only mean traditional meals. If you’re looking for street food with a local taste, here’s a quick list with the best places to go:
Zing Burger (Gozsdu, Király utca and other locations)
Started out with the mission to give quality, tasty premium burgers for the masses. Accomplished.
Igen Pizza (5 Madách imre út, 1075)
Igen is Hungarian for yes. Pizza comes from Italy. @Igenitalia is still a weird name to use on Facebook, but the food is good!
Séf utcája (13 Hold utca)
Right inside the renovated Hold utca market hall with big portions of traditional Hungarian and Jewish food. They usually post photos of their lunch menu on their Facebook page.
Karaván (18 Kazinczy utca, 1075)
You know you have to try the lángos burger (a very traditional Hungarian food revamped) and the chimney cake made over embers (another of the great Hungarian desserts) when they call the place the “street food caravan”. A stone’s throw from Maverick City Lodge and Szimpla, this street food court is a long-time favorite with locals and visitors.
Bors GasztoBár (10 Kazinczy utca, 1075)
Quality street food with an original tinge – great soups and sandwiches, also known for its inventive desserts.