Oriental Soup House is a hopping Vietnamese restaurant in Újlipótváros, a residential neighborhood a bit outside the city center. An army of Asian cooks stands behind the open kitchen, preparing one of the eleven types of soups, of which the traditional beef pho (pho bo) is the best I've had in Budapest – with a gleaming, flavorful, steaming broth in which flot thinly sliced cuts of tenderloin.
The bun cha, grilled pork patties with springy rice noodles and a profusion of fresh herbs and vegetables, is wonderfully refreshing. Round out your meal with a Vietnamese chè dessert, a luscious tapioca pudding with mango and pomegranate seeds. Try booking in advance otherwise you may have to sit at one of the long communal tables in the middle of the space on backless wooden stools.
After your meal, roam the neighborhood, known for its modernist buildings from the 1930s and 1940s, especially those along Pozsonyi út, the main artery of the area. Note that Oriental Soup House has another location in downtown, but this one, in Balzac utca, draws more locals.