After training at well-known Budapest restaurants, two young, local chefs, Andor Giczi and Szabolcs Nagy, ventured out on their own, opening Fricska restaurant in 2014. Since then, Fricska has earned a reputation for serving tasty modern Hungarian dishes, and it also won a Bib Gourmand award. The restaurant is on the far end of the party district, inside a below-ground space that manages to be cozy despite the lack of natural light.
Although operating without a fixed menu, Fricska's greatest strength is its reliability—the kitchen churns out above-average, tried-and-tested dishes. Don't expect mind-boggling creativity, but many of the daily-changing plates will make you want to return. My favorites are the pan-seared duck liver, the mangalica pork shoulder with roasted vegetables, and the goulash soup. In fact, the goulash (€5) is the undisputed highlight here: the rich, dark-red-hued broth contains tender beef cheeks while chopped scallions lend lightness.
The Hungarian wines, served by co-owner and sommelier Csaba Csongrádi, come from small wineries that even most locals haven't heard of. Fricska's main dishes run €12-18. For a more wallet-friendly option, try their three-course weekday lunch prix fixe for €12. Reservations are a must.