Hanna is a glatt kosher meat restaurant operated by the Hungarian Autonomous Orthodox Jewish Community inside Budapest's old Jewish Quarter. Since the restaurant is buried within the fortress-like edifice of the congregation, most locals have never encountered Hanna, even though the surrounding area is currently the center of the Budapest party scene and is teeming with cafés, bars, and restaurants. Orthodox Jews visiting Budapest, however, are often better informed and they fill up Hanna most evenings.
The food selections consist of traditional Jewish dishes like matzo ball soup alongside Hungarian classics (e.g. chicken paprikash and goulash soup). Although one can run into decent plates like the simple "Jewish" egg salad appetizer (egg spread with onions, goose fat, and goose liver), most dishes are prepared in that typical 1980s Hungarian style where quantity trumps flavor and presentation.
For the best experience and liveliest atmosphere, go for Sabbath dinner on Friday. It's a four-course meal with complimentary challah bread and Kiddush wine, featuring cheerful chants of blessings and singing by the patrons. Most of them are orthodox Jews, who come here after Shabbat service in the neighboring synagogue. Note that guests must prepay the Shabbat meal, €20 per person, before 2 p.m. on Friday.
As for the service, Hanna's occasionally cranky waiters are holdouts from a previous generation. Nevertheless, all of these elements together lend a unique air to Hannah that’s worth experiencing.