Kőleves is a wildly popular restaurant in the heart of Budapest’s old Jewish Quarter, today’s party district. The building, which was built in 1851, used to be home to a kosher meat processing facility and butcher shop, so it’s fitting that they honor the building’s past with dishes like matzo ball soup, and cholent, the typical Sabbath dish. They also use leftover articles from the meat plant as design pieces, including a well-worn, leather-bound ledger book and a weathered Talmud.
As other high-turnover, tourist-heavy restaurants, Kőleves aims to please all tastes with a hybrid menu. Hungarian bean goulash (€4), avocado salad (€6), ribeye steak (€17), and a New York cheesecake (€4) are just some of the options. The dishes are reliable but far from memorable, and made without much culinary flourish. You can't go wrong with the duck leg confit (€12) and the chicken breast (€10). Kőleves also serves breakfast (until 11 a.m.), where one of the unexpected Ashkenazi items is the matzo brei: matzo fried with eggs.
Although mainly a tourist destination, locals also appear during lunchtime for the €5 two-course prix fixe. In the summer months, Kőleves's backyard, Kőleves Kert, transforms into an all-welcoming outdoor bar with low-priced drinks and snacks.