Ngon Street Food

If you're on the fence whether it's worth trekking out to a Budapest outskirt for a Thai meal, here's a little encouragement: Ngon Street Food is easily accessible by public transport (take bus #9 from Astoria) and it's among the top Thai restaurants in Budapest. Also, once here, you can catch a glimpse at one of the city's two Chinatowns (it actually has more Vietnamese than Chinese vendors these days). This one—consisting of rows of repurposed industrial buildings—is a little run-down, but that's part of the experience.

Don't let Ngon Street Food's moniker confuse you. The place is an indoor-only, sit-down restaurant with a service staff. But the vibes do evoke a bit of Southeast Asia: The makeshift building is outfitted with bare tables flanked by long benches and low plastic tools, and giant flames often leap from the cast iron woks, as seen through the open kitchen. The spicy green papaya salad with sticky rice is freshly made, and comes drizzled with mini dried shrimps and roasted peanuts (€8). Also good is the soupy coconut green curry, laced with pea eggplants and guava, and imparting a manageable chili heat (€8). The stir fried noodles here pack more flavor than your average pad see ew or pad thai (€8). The only disappointment was the indistinct pork neck salad, a signature dish from the Isan region, but I ended the meal on a (sugar) high note with the unctuous mango sticky rice.