If you wonder what everyday dining was like in communist Hungary, Kádár Étkezde in Budapest's old Jewish Quarter will give you the answer. Kádár opened in 1957 as a wallet-friendly neighborhood joint feeding the mainly Jewish local residents with unfussy Hungarian and Jewish-Hungarian classics like matzo ball soup, stuffed cabbage, beef stew, sweet noodles, and, on Saturdays, cholent (Kádár isn't kosher). The dishes were passable, prices rock-bottom.
Today, tourists with Lonely Planet guide in hand account for most of the customers. Despite, or perhaps because of, the buzz, Kádár stuck to its blueprint. The servers still wear outfits that have been out of fashion for at least fifty years; sticky red-and-white checkered tablecloths still adorn the tables; the food is still mediocre at best. While graying regulars still show up at lunchtime, their numbers are dwindling. The prices have begun to reflect the newfound popularity, but with €6-8 main dishes, Kádár is still cheap.
Once you're finished with your lunch, follow the local protocol and tip your server, then walk up to the friendly gentleman at the entrance to pay for your meal (he's Sándor Orbán, the owner). Note that Kádár is closed on Sundays and Mondays.