Öcsi étkezde

Opened in 1981, Öcsi étkezde is a teeny-tiny, lunch-only eatery in outer District 8, a bit away from the city center. The engine of this mom-and-pop restaurant is Erzsi, who runs the kitchen by herself, and occasionally pops in to the dining area with cilantro-covered hands to ask a regular patron whether he wants a schnitzel with his lecsó. Feri, her husband, sporting a white lab coat, multitasks by taking orders, serving food, and chatting with customers, most of whom he knows by name. Despite being past 60, he retained a youthful presence and handsome features.

The daily-changing, handwritten menu consists of low-priced, reliably-prepared Hungarian classics. The made-to-order dishes meats ("frissensültek") and the vegetable stews ("főzelék") are usually the best. There's nothing trendy or inventive about Öcsi Étkezde, but if you feel like taking a break from downtown and immersing yourself in a working class, salt-of-the-earth neighborhood while also eating tasty Hungarian food, it's hard to think of a better place than Öcsi Étkezde.