Gyuri bácsi konyhája

This self-service, utilitarian eatery (“étkezde” in Hungarian) a bit outside the city center in District 9 may not be for everyone. Even within Budapest’s affordable eatery genre, Gyuri bácsi konyhája is positioned toward the lower end when it comes to comfort and interior design. In fact, the “decor” could only be alluded to in ironic terms. I’m nonetheless including Gyuri bácsi here because the food is excellent, and it's an authentic representation of the type of everyday dining that most tourists are unlikely to experience in Budapest.

The daily-changing lunch options are presented behind the glass and include an array of traditional Hungarian foods. Beef or pork stews (pörkölt) are usually available every day, as is a vegetable stew (“főzelék”). The soups can include delicious and uncommon varieties, like the paprika-laced egg soup. If you’re feeling adventurous, try the tripe stew with egg dumplings. You can't go wrong here - if uncertain, pick whatever looks best for you. The three-course lunch prix fixe runs €5 and includes a soft drink too.

If you question my judgement, take comfort in knowing that Gyuri bácsi konyhája gets packed with locals at lunch time. In fact - another stamp of approval - the owner of a well-known Budapest étkezde often eats here on Saturdays (unlike other étkezdes, Gyuri bácsi stays open on Saturdays and closes only on Sundays).