Fausto’s Ristorante and Osteria

Fausto’s Ristorante, which opened in 1994, is a classic fine dining restaurant in Budapest specializing in northern Italian fare. Forget pizza and Caprese salad and instead think of meticulously plated dishes made from expensive ingredients like foie gras, scallops, flatfish, and venison loin. A couple of egg-based pasta and risotto options are also available, made with rich sauces.

The decor is old-school fine dining: soft background music is playing in the background of the dimly-lit dining room, which has only a dozen or so tables, all set with heavy linen tablecloths. Under the vigilant eyes of owner Fausto Di Vora, always dressed in a chef's coat, an army of waiters quietly scurry around the tables that tend to fill up on Friday and Saturday evenings with well-heeled tourists and local business people.

Be sure to bring a full wallet as you can easily rack up a bill for the equivalent of €60 per person for a three-course a la carte meal, even without wine (both local Hungarian and Italian wines are available). This makes Fausto's particularly pricey compared with other tasting menu restaurants in Budapest, whose dishes are often more nuanced. Osteria, on the other side of the dining room, is a cheaper, more laid-back alternative, serving a €12 three-course lunch prix fixe.