#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 delicately plated, updated Hungarian dishes paired with wines of the legendary Szepsy winery, located just blocks away. During the warmer months, try to snag a table on the terrace, offering 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)
LaBor is the wine region’s most upscale restaurant, perched on Tokaj’s main square. The short menu features visually impressive Hungarian classics like 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: They’re open during the outdoor season only, usually from March to October.
#4 - Vár Vendéglő (Sárospatak; +36 47 311 370)
Vár is the top traditional Hungarian restaurant in the wine region by a long shot. Unfortunately, it’s about a half-hour drive from the southern villages like Mád. Don’t be surprised if Slavik chatter drifts from the surrounding tables—many customers here come from Slovakia, just across the nearby border. The fisherman’s soup and the baked cottage cheese noodles drizzled with pork cracklings (“túróscsusza”) are a must. As do other customers, round out your meal with a pálinka, the local fruit brandy.
#5 - Sárga Borház (Mezőzombor; +36 47 369 029)
The restaurant anchors Disznókő winery, the French-owned conglomerate whose vineyards blanket the surrounding hills. The dishes here are a bit hit-and-miss, but you can run into a solid bowl of bean goulash and a traditional catfish paprikash. After your meal, be sure to explore Disznókő’s nearby facilities, both the stately winery buildings—go inside, too—and the futuristic tractor garage.
#6 - Első Mádi Borház (Mád; +36 47 348 007)
Perhaps the restaurant's location isn't ideal—it's on the edge of the village—but the food more than make up for this. 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 here come from the Szent Tamás, the local winery run by the same owner.