The building, rather than the food, is the main appeal of Építészpince, a no-frills restaurant set on the ground floor of a stunning pre-war mansion in Budapest's Palace Quarter. Take some time to absorb the view from the interior courtyard: ivy-covered facade, inlaid stone patterns, symmetrically curved staircases. Today the building is home to the Chamber of Budapest Architects.

Most locals come here for the low-priced, two-course weekday lunch prix fixe (€5), usually consisting of a soup and a main dish. The eclectic crowd includes librarians from nearby, architects, and retired regulars. After your meal, take some time to roam around this tranquil neighborhood. For example, you could peek inside the Szabó Ervin Library around the corner, where the 4th floor features the original furnishings of yet another grand pre-war palazzo (you'll need to quickly check in at the reception and pay the €1 admission).

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