Here’s a little secret: there’s hole-in-the-wall right next to and sharing a kitchen with Rosenstein, one of the top traditional Hungarian restaurants in Budapest. In fact, Rosenstein itself grew out of this tiny space back in 1989, before hoisting itself into an elegant sit-down venue. In other words, at Kürtös Ételbár you can enjoy the same goulash soup (€2), beef stew (€5), and schnitzel (€5) they serve next door, but at much friendlier price points.
Kürtös’s daily-changing menu, chalked on the blackboard, includes a couple of soups, vegetable stews topped with a sunny side up egg (€5), and made-to-order breaded meats like a pork schnitzel and a cordon bleu (€4). Palacsinta, the Hungarian crepe, is also available (get two for €1).
The only downside here is the lack of space and the occasionally unpleasant cooking smells: The space can accommodate about six people before it starts to feel packed and sweltering, and The bare, metal high-tables aren’t the least bit inviting. As a result, customers, most of whom are repeats from the neighborhood, usually take their meals to go. Things clear out a bit after the midday buzz, usually around 1 p.m.