Macesz Bistro is a trendy restaurant smack in the middle of the city’s old Jewish Quarter, and today’s party district. The menu, which is free of pork, is a hat-tip to the neighborhood, featuring dishes that were once popular among Budapest’s numerous Ashkenazi Jewish residents. (The building across the street is still home to the Hungarian Autonomous Orthodox Jewish Community).
The highlight and also the most economical choice here is the five-course “Jewish” tasting menu for €30, or €50 with the Hungarian wine pairing. Both the egg salad starter and the matzo ball soup are good, although, annoyingly, the soup comes only with a quarter of a matzo ball (outside the tasting menu, they serve a more generous portion). Best of all is the cholent, the classic shabbat bean stew with eggs. The dessert is flódni, a Hungarian-Jewish pastry layered with walnuts, poppy seeds, apple, and plum jam. Not part of the tasting menu, but also good is the updated “ludaskása,” a plate of risotto normally just studded with duck gizzards, but here also topped with goose leg confit and foie gras (€17).
Macesz Bistro's high-traffic location and relatively steep price points make the restaurant especially popular among tourists.