Costes Downtown is a 2015 offshoot of Costes, the first Michelin-starred restaurant in Budapest. Downtown is a slightly more casual version of its sister location: instead of a classic fine dining decor, here a sleek, modern design sets the tone with an open kitchen and wooden tables stripped of tablecloths. The restaurant, which has had its own Michelin star since 2016, is helmed by Portuguese chef Tiago Sabarigo.

The seasonal menu features the usual suspects of European haute cuisine, including foie gras, scallops, quail, and venison loin. I enjoyed most the cured and lightly-grilled mackerel with beetroots, and the flavor-rich, aged Angus, which came with a homemade BBQ sauce and chopped green beans. For the full experience, go for the 7-course tasting menu, which costs €130 per person, or €190 with wine pairing—head sommelier Péter Pongrácz favors superior under-the-radar Hungarian wines. The dishes at Costes Downtown are refined and burst with flavor, although there's more room for the type of creativity its sister location is known for.

Note that the restaurant occupies the ground floor of the posh Prestige Hotel, meaning that the dining area closest to the lobby can feel like a hotel restaurant, so try asking for a table by the windows.

We visit all places incognito, pay for our own meals and drinks, and write independent reviews.