Fülemüle is an old-school restaurant hiding on a quiet side street in Budapest’s Palace Quarter, which feels a world away from the neighboring party district. The relaxed vibe is just one of the things to like about this family-run place, which opened in the year 2000 and specializes in Hungarian-Jewish food.
Layered with goose fat, the “Jewish" egg salad (€6) is a tasty appetizer when slathered on toasted bread and topped with red onions. One of the signatures dishes at Fülemüle is the matzo ball soup (€6), made from crushed matzos rather than matzo meal, resulting in a coarser texture. The soup has earned raves even from the New York Times. The other standout is cholent, the hearty shabbat bean stew. There are myriad variations, some with goose leg, others with foie gras, and spicy paprika, but the classic version with smoked brisket and egg is the one to go for (€13). Note that portions are huge. If you have room for dessert, try the fried matzo cake filled with ground walnuts and showered in rum-infused hot chocolate.
There's something adorable about the interior, which is a throwback to 1990s-Hungary, featuring walls lined with PVC paneling and oversized “free wifi” signs. There are also swarms of family photos and a glass cabinet with ornate seder plates. The crowd is a mix of middle class (Jewish) locals and tourists.