ESCA studio restaurant

ESCA is a tiny, 16-seat fine dining restaurant in a quiet backstreet of District 7, Budapest’s party district. The dimly-lit interior, featuring sleek, dark wood finishes and chic, Mid-century modern chairs, couldn’t be more different from the kitsch ruin bars nearby. ESCA is helmed by owner-chef Gábor Fehér, a young local talent who's gained experience in France and Copenhagen before setting up shop here.

In-line with the New Nordic Cuisine, the tasting menu features light sauces, pickled ingredients, and plenty of vegetables. You might encounter kohlrabi, parsley, celery, artichoke, and kale variations as part of the seasonally changing 8-course tasting menu, which costs €50 per person (€85 with wine pairing). The dishes are simple yet intensely flavorful—I challenge anyone to find a more tender and moist chicken breast in Budapest.

Given the small space and the proximity to the kitchen staff, ESCA offers a more personal and intimate dining experience than other fine dining restaurants in Budapest. Note that adjacent to ESCA is TÁBLA, also headed by Mr. Fehér, a more wallet-friendly breakfast restaurant.