Padron is a small tapas bar within Budapest's Palace Quarter, situated on a charming side street. The restaurant exhibits the usual signs of a busy family-run enterprise, often with the mother taking orders, the son serving food, and the father behind the bar. Apart from a selection of dry-cured Spanish hams, there are two dozen or so tapas, which is what you're here for.
The best ones include the namesake Padron peppers, the garlic and chili shrimp (gambas pil-pil), the blood sausage (morcilla), the piquillo peppers stuffed with cheese-infused béchamel, and the lamb shoulder topped with goat cheese (espaldilla de cordero). A selection of Spanish wines and beers are available. €35 or so will buy you a full meal with a drink.
Once here, it's worth roaming the neighborhood, especially Krúdy, Reviczky, and Ötpacsirta Streets, lined with beautiful pre-war buildings. Padron's street was known as "little Vatican," because the Roman Catholic Church owned real estate here before the communist era; this is once again the case today, that's why it's so quiet here at night.
To remain unbiased, I visit all places incognito and pay for my own meals and drinks. I never accept money in exchange for coverage. But this means I must rely on readers to support my work. If you're enjoying this article, please consider making a one-time payment (PayPal, Venmo) or becoming an Offbeat Patron.