Padron Budapest

Padron is a tiny tapas bar in Budapest's Palace Quarter, situated on a cute side street. The restaurant exhibits the usual signs of a busy family-run enterprise, with the mother taking orders, the son serving food, and the father behind the bar on most days.

The best tapas include their staple, pimientos de Padron (fried peppers; €1.5), the garlic and chili shrimp (gambas pil-pil; €6), the notably excellent morcilla (blood sausage; €6), and, if you like lamb, the lamb shoulder topped with goat cheese and blanketed in an orange and fig sauce (espaldilla de cordero; €6). Also, don't miss the simple-but-delicious patatas bravas. Padron serves a selection of Spanish and Hungarian wines to wash down the treats. The restaurants fills up quickly—it's small and open for dinner only—so be sure to book in advance.

Once here, it's worth roaming around the neighborhood, especially Horánszky, Krúdy, Reviczky, and Ötpacsirta Streets, lined with grand buildings that housed the Hungarian nobility before WWII. Padron's street was known as "little Vatican," as many of these ornate buildings belonged to the Catholic Church. Some of them still do, that's why it's so quiet here at night.

We visit all places incognito, pay for our own meals and drinks, and write independent reviews.