In retrospect, it's strange that it took so long for someone to finally open a traditional Hungarian restaurant inside Budapest's party district, also known as the old Jewish Quarter. After all, most tourists are after local dishes before they hit the neighborhood bars. Gettó Gulyás's moniker makes its culinary priorities clear—the short menu features the heart of Magyar cuisine with staples like goulash (€4), chicken paprikash (€7), and pörkölt, which is a beef stew. (The "gettó" in the restaurant's name refers to the Jewish ghetto, which this area was turned into during the winter of 1944, the darkest time of WWII in Budapest).
Gettó Gulyás updates these Hungarian classics with small twists, for example, the veal paprikash (€11) comes with a side of baked cottage cheese noodles that are rolled into strips of bacon. The interior, featuring corrugated roofing sheet panels and a wall of hay, reflects above-average creativity compared with the neighborhood’s ubiquitous ruin-pub decor. A range of local Hungarian wines are available for pairing. Service is friendly, but not intrusive.
My only issue with Gettó Gulyás is also a compliment: these reliable Hungarian dishes have become so popular among visitors that the absence of Hungarian patrons can detract from the experience. Reservations are a must. If you need to wait for your table, grab a drink at Szimpla Kert, the world-famous ruin bar, just steps from away from Gettó Gulyás in Kazinczy Street.