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, 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 in the main hall.
Head chef Márk Molnár sends out elaborate and precise creations which are as pleasing for the mouth as for the eyes. The seasonal tasting menu features the usual suspects of European fine dining, including caviar-topped oysters and flavor-rich, aged steaks sprinkled with black truffles. The highlight was the lightly grilled pike perch (fogas), sourced locally and served in a memorably rich pho broth sprinkled with pork cracklings.
For the full experience, go for the six-course tasting menu, which costs €95 per person, or €135 with wine pairing — the wine list has under-the-radar local options with a whole section dedicated to Tokaj, Hungary’s most famous wine region.
To remain unbiased, I visit all places incognito and pay for my own meals and drinks. I also never accept money in exchange for coverage. But this means I must rely on readers to support my work. If you've enjoyed this article, please consider making a donation.