#1 - Tokaji Kávépörkölő Manufaktúra és Kávéház (Tokaj; +36 47 552 008)
This spacious café in downtown Tokaj is the main place for specialty coffee in the wine region. Need anything more be said? Morning pastries are also available if you get there early.
#2 - Dereszla Bisztró (Bodrogkeresztúr; +36 30 678 2273)
This snug, timber-clad restaurant perched right along the Bodrog River serves delicious dishes within a modern setting. Fish soup, túrógombóc, and other local standouts share the menu with international options such as an Angus tartar and a duck burger. Sit by the windows or at the outdoor terrace, which overlook the gently flowing river and the peaceful ancient woodland behind it.
#3 - Vár Vendéglő (Sárospatak; +36 47 311 370)
For old-school, traditional Hungarian fare, head to Vár Vendéglő in Sárospatak (it’s about a half-hour drive from the southernmost villages like Mád). Don’t be surprised if Slavic 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.
#4 - Sárga Borház (Mezőzombor; +36 47 369 029)
Sárga Borház anchors Disznókő, a leading winery whose sweeping 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 and the biomorphic tractor garage.
#5 - Első Mádi Borház (Mád; +36 47 348 007)
The restaurant's location isn't ideal — it's a bit outside 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 Mad Wine, the local winery run by the same owner.
#6 - LaBor Bistro (Tokaj; +36 70 883 8888)
Perched on Tokaj’s main square, LaBor is a higher end 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 Zoltán Demeter and Gizella.
#7 - Anyukám Mondta (Encs; +36 46 587 340)
The owners put the small town of Encs, located in a faraway corner of Hungary, on the map of local gastronomes. This Italian-Hungarian restaurant serves excellent Naples-style pizzas and a range of beautifully plated meat-heavy dishes like braised rooster cooked in white Tokaj wine. Price points are steep for the area, the service excellent. Anyukám Mondta is located a half-hour drive from the wine region and advance booking is a must.
#8 - Timári Halsütő (Timár; +36 30 388 2658)
This outdoor-only fish restaurant is well-worth the ten-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 nature. 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.