Ristorante Millennium da Pippo

Ristorante Millennium da Pippo is a reliable Italian restaurant located on Andrássy Avenue, Budapest’s most famous street that’s often compared to the Champs-Élysées. It's on the farther and quieter section, away from the noisy downtown. The trattoria-like interior pulls inspiration from the century-old subway stations located underneath Andrássy (not that patrons need much of a reminder: at the outdoor terrace they can actually feel the ground slightly shake when a train passes).

The long menu at Ristorante Millennium da Pippo includes all Italian classics, and also boasts a few items like burrata cheese and cannoli that are otherwise difficult to track down in Budapest. Pippo flaunts its Sicilian heritage with some excellently-prepared signature dishes such as the vegetarian pasta alla norma (with eggplant and tomato sauce) and the strozzapreti pasta with Sicilian pesto. The Roman-style pizzas, however, didn’t leave much of an impression. Although flavorful, the seafood risotto could use more shrimp, squid, and octopus at the expense of black mussels.

Desserts are a highlight, especially the generously-portioned homemade cannoli, this Sicilian specialty in the form of a ricotta filled fried dough. The tiramisu and the creamy panna cotta are also exactly as they should be.

Service, unfortunately, can be disappointing at Ristorante Millennium da Pippo, especially when compared to similar long-running Italian restaurants in Budapest. And the strict “no tap water” policy certainly doesn’t help endear customers. Price points are high by Budapest standards (three-courses with a glass of wine can easily run to €40 per person), although they can be justified by the prestigious location.