Pocakos Lakatos

Pocakos Lakatos is a lunch-only everyday eatery on the outskirts of Budapest. The restaurant revolves around Ferenc Hangos, the cheerful owner: he mans the counter in his signature white suspenders and multitasks by plating dishes, handling payments, and shouting orders to the kitchen staff. Mr. Hangos's banter with regular customers is peppered with witty personal insults (he seems to take particular joy from roasting a customer behind whom a sufficiently long line of people has formed to appreciate his verbal slap).

Speaking of regulars, Pocakos Lakatos is the type of place where most patrons are blue-collar men. Perhaps this explains why packed plates of beef tripe are consumed in larger quantities here than at snooty downtown restaurants. Stuffed cabbage, sausage, and other hearty Hungarian dishes are also popular. Order whatever seems most appetizing of the daily-changing dishes stacked behind the glass counter; most of them cost around €5.

Pocakos Lakatos takes about 20 minutes to get to from downtown, it has only six tables, and the wait at lunchtime can be maddeningly long, but if you enjoy a truly local experience, this is it. I promise you will be the only tourist here.

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