#1 - Percze (Mád; +36 20 464 2222)
Named after a first-class vineyard in Mád, Percze restaurant serves some of the tastiest food in the Tokaj foothills. The menu consists of updated Hungarian dishes paired with wines of the legendary Szepsy winery, located just blocks away (the restaurant belongs to the Szepsy family). During the warmer months, try to snag a table on the terrace with sweeping views of the whole town. A word to the wise: the €7-8 weekday lunch prix fixe is unbeatable.
#2 - LaBor Bistro (Tokaj; +36 70 883 8888)
Perched on Tokaj’s main square, LaBor is the wine region’s most upscale restaurant. The short menu consists of visually impressive Hungarian classics including Mangalitsa pork and lecsó, prepared with small twists and turns. The wine list, naturally, features the celebrated winemakers of the town, including Gizella and Zoltán Demeter.
#3 - Timári Halsütő (Timár; +36 30 388 2658)
This outdoor-only fish restaurant is well-worth the 10-minute drive from the city of Tokaj. The specialty here is whole fried fish, be it zander (süllő), catfish, or carp. The place is out of sight of civilization, nestled along the tranquil Bodrog river and surrounded by trees and greenery. Be sure to also order a side of fries, which are hand cut and made to order. Note that they’re open during the outdoor season only, usually from March to October.
#4 - Vár Vendéglő (Sárospatak; +36 47 311 370)
For old-school, traditional Hungarian fare, head to Vár Vendéglő in Sárospatak. Unfortunately, it’s about a half-hour drive from the southernmost villages (like Mád). Don’t be surprised if Slavik chatter drifts from the surrounding tables — many customers here come from Slovakia, across the nearby border. The fisherman’s soup (halászlé) and the baked cottage cheese noodles drizzled with pork cracklings (túróscsusza) are both good. As do other customers, round out your meal with a shot of pálinka, the local fruit brandy.
#5 - Sárga Borház (Mezőzombor; +36 47 369 029)
This restaurant anchors Disznókő, the French-owned winery whose vineyards blanket the surrounding hills. The dishes here are a bit hit-or-miss, but you can run into a solid bowl of bean goulash and a traditional catfish paprikash. After your meal, explore Disznókő’s nearby facilities, both the sleek winery buildings — go inside, too — and the futuristic tractor garage.
#6 - Első Mádi Borház (Mád; +36 47 348 007)
The restaurant's location isn't ideal — it's on the edge of the village — but the food more than makes up for it. They traffic in updated Hungarian dishes, like the perfectly juicy and crispy bone-in Mangalitsa pork chop pictured above with a side of cold potato salad. Most of the wines come from Szent Tamás, the local winery run by the same owner.