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Food and Drink, Budapest

Budapest cuisine is not only delicious but affordable, too. Enjoy tasty and authentic Goulash – a rich stew made up of meat and vegetables, available anywhere and everywhere. Or, tuck into flavoursome dumplings at the famed restaurant – Fáma Étterem. Afterwards, wind down on an evening at one of Budapest’s famous ruin bars, where you can enjoy a glass of red in an abandoned factory in the Jewish Quarter, and take in the true culture of this chic city.


There are is an array of appealing cafes in Budapest, all of which have great coffee, a fine selection of desserts and a fantastic atmosphere. One of these little gems is Café Frei on Vaci Utca, which has a vibrant and colourful feel to it. It offers the option of plant milks and has vegetarian options amongst its selection of decadent sweets and cakes.

Walzer Café is in the heart of the Buda Castle district, so is the perfect place to stop off at while sightseeing. On a cold day, you can sit by outdoor heaters, wrap up in blankets and drink mulled wine with some excellent hospitality. The coffee and sweets served here make it the perfect place to rest while exploring the city, and holidaymakers can learn plenty of local knowledge from the friendly staff.

If you’re after a cafe serving delicious brunch, Spot should be at the top of your list. This great eatery is famous for its eggs, (which you can have in Sicilian or Hungarian style) and has a fresh and laid-back interior.

Central Budapest bars

Discover the amazing central Budapest bars in beautiful Hungary. Be sure to explore ruin bars during your holiday, which are quintessentially Hungarian. From the outside, they do not look like bars, but once you go inside they really come alive. One of the most famous ruin bars is Szimpla Kert, which is located in an abandoned factory and has a thrifty, run down, but quirky feel.

Good Spirit Bar will be your go-to place if you’re a whisky connoisseur. Sip on cocktails in this modern and intimate bar, or taste the diverse range of whiskies available here. This bar actually houses over 500 spirits and often has guest bartenders to keep their drinks menu fresh and imaginative.

You can’t visit Budapest without trying the vast selection of local wines Hungary has to offer. Doblo Wine Bar is a great place to start; they have over 100 wines for you to taste, in a warm and welcoming atmosphere. Try and taste Palinka – a Hungarian fruit brandy, while enjoying traditional Hungarian hams and cheeses on the side.

Fáma Étterem

Fáma Étterem is an up-and-coming fine dining restaurant in Budapest, giving the rest of the Michelin starred restaurants in this city a run for their money. This tasty restaurant is a popular choice for business trip travellers, offering a creative selection of locally sourced cuisine.

Fáma Étterem serves traditional Hungarian cuisine with a unique twist, incorporating flavours from Asia and Eastern Europe. If you have tried most of Budapest’s popular dishes on your trip, then Fáma can be a refreshing choice to taste something new. When you spend an evening here, you can taste the Vietnamese goulash or beef short rib, followed by the chicken stew, dumplings, cucumber salad and for dessert – dark chocolate cocoa beans with blackcurrant.

This exquisite restaurant is situated right at the bottom of Buda Castle’s District, so a trip here can be easily incorporated during a day of sightseeing or exploring the city, where you can try their sumptuous lunch menu.

Hungarian cuisine

Budapest has an array of food for you try, and is as rich and varied as other European countries. Hungarian cuisine consists of spicy and flavoursome dishes, with an emphasis on dairy and meats, much like its neighbouring countries.

One of the dishes you must try when visiting Budapest is goulash, which derives from the word for ‘the herdsman’. Each region has its own take on this traditional dish, which is essentially a stew with root vegetables, potato and beef, seasoned with paprika.

Langos is another Hungarian favourite, this deep-fried flatbread has been inspired by Turkish cuisine and can be served with garlic sauce, cheese or sausages. This is typical street food here, so be sure to look out for langos sellers when out and about for some no-nonsense comfort food.

There are a host of healthier dishes available, too, if you want something a little bit lighter. Fozelek is a thick vegetable stew that can be found in many bars across Budapest, consisting of carrots, peas, lentils and beans – a staple dish of Hungarian cuisine.

Live music bars

Discover a host of live music bars and venues in Budapest, where you can watch a local band playing while eating dinner. At Potkulcs, travellers can listen to folk bands and violinists, since live music acts play here every single day. The night gets started a little earlier at this bar, so it’s perfect for an older audience.

If you’re after a trendier vibe, then head down to the Jewish Quarter, where you’ll find Mazel Tov. You can enjoy Mediterranean cuisine at this cultural club while listening to acoustic music. Mazel Tov host plenty of music events and have recurring performers playing jazz and swing, amongst other genres.

If you’re looking for variety on your Budapest holiday, then Liebling could be the spot for you. This club and wine bar welcome live music a couple of times a week. Liebling offers acoustic shows and some piano performances, too, yet it is also famed for hosting funk, Afro, Latino and hip-hop music.

Mak Bistro

Mák Bistro is a restaurant in Budapest, offering fine dining for everyone in a youthful, quirky and unpretentious atmosphere. The chef, Mak is a 24-year-old rising star who has already embarked on a promising culinary career, which is why this bistro should definitely be considered (alongside the other fine dining and Michelin restaurants) in Budapest.

Travellers will be treated to Hungarian food influenced by French and Scandinavian cuisine, with fresh locally sourced ingredients. The menu at Mák Bistro can include two or three-course meals as well as a tasteful lunch menu. Why not try the wild boar consommé, followed by the rump of beef, onion and sloe, then finish with a poppy seed brioche?

The food here is famed for its colourful, imaginative appearance, as well as the experimental textures and flavours; it’s perfect for a date night or an exciting evening out. If you don’t fancy going for dinner in the evening, pop in for some lunch while seeing the sights of Budapest.

Meatology Budapest

Meatology in Budapest is exactly what it says on the tin. The ethos here is to slow-cook meats, then serve them up quickly. The owners actually pride themselves on serving meat, with meat on the side. This hearty Hungarian restaurant is run by the Pataky brothers, who grew up catching and cooking meat together. The two bothers have now gone on to train with the greats, so you know their food will be succulent and delicious.

The menu at Meatology consists of tasty fry ups, a range of juicy burgers and authentic Hungarian dishes. Try the homemade pork debrecziner sausage with mustard and horseradish, a six-week dry-aged Charolais bone-in ribeye, or a full Hungarian breakfast.

Whether you’re having the meatiest dish on the menu or the veggie burger, Meatology has on-tap wine or beer for you to enjoy along with your chosen meal. The service here is famed for being friendly and attentive, and the welcoming and sophisticated setting makes for a perfect evening, for any occasion.

Onyx Restaurant

Onyx is a Michelin star restaurant nestled in the centre of Budapest, offering an exquisite fine dining experience. This restaurant has a cosy and lively atmosphere and is a great place for romantic dinners, business trips or to celebrate a special occasion.

Each item on Onyx’s menu is presented as a piece of art for you to taste, making this perfect for avid food lovers and food connoisseurs visiting Budapest. Meals here can last up to three hours, purposely done so you can truly explore all the sensations and flavours that you’ve been served.

When you visit Onyx Restaurant, you can try two different kinds of six-course meals to completely indulge your senses. Try the water buffalo tartare, shallots and mushrooms or the Hungarian-Jewish desert – flodni, with poppy seed, apple and walnut. If you can’t make it there in the evening then try the delicious lunch menu; you can taste rooster consommé, trout roll or shrimp and mushroom for your main dish.

Rooftop Bars

One of the most enjoyable things about going abroad in the summer is the promise of good cocktails, good people and balmy summer evenings on rooftop bars. Budapest offers just that, with an array of rooftop bars to choose from, where you can take in the scenery and lounge around sipping on your drinks.

If you want somewhere upmarket, the St Andrea Wine and Sky Bar is a great place to start. This bar and restaurant is filled with delicious gourmet food, and the upstairs sky bar is entirely encased in glass, meaning you are surrounded by scenic views from all angles.

The 360 Bar in Budapest is a brilliant choice if you are holidaying here in the colder months; you can keep warm and enjoy the rooftop bar in the igloo garden. Each igloo has a chic look and stylish furniture for you to lounge on and socialise.

Alternatively, Leibling bar, which translates to darling in German, has Brooklyn vibes and is the perfect spot if you’re looking to kick back and have a pizza at a quaint rooftop bar.

Ruin bars

Budapest’s ruin bars started as underground bars in the Jewish Quarter, before becoming popular with locals and tourists alike. There is an array of ruin bars dotted throughout the city, all of which have been a staple of Budapest’s culture ever since. These types of bars emerged out of abandoned buildings and stores, and to this day they keep up this derelict, underground feel that so many people love.

The first ruin bar was Szimpla Kert, which opened in 2001 and can still be visited today. This bar sells tasty pizza and has a charming courtyard where you can sit back and relax in during the warmer months. Each room has a different theme well suited to this abandoned factory.

Inside, the furniture is strange yet unique; you are likely to find graffiti art on the walls. If you’re looking for something fun and off the beaten track on your Budapest holiday, then visiting one or a few ruin bars is definitely a must.