Rosenstein Restaurant, located a bit outside the city center, serves some of the best traditional Hungarian, and Hungarian-Jewish food in Budapest. Tibor Rosenstein opened this family-run operation in 1996, which is currently helmed by his son, Róbert. Most of the long menu is a hat-tip to classic Hungarian fare: patrons can sample expertly prepared goulash soup (€5), beef stew (pörkölt), paprikash (€12), and stuffed cabbage (€9)—traditional Hungarian foods that have changed little over the generations.
The hearty catfish paprikash (€12) is another standout, arriving sprinkled with crispy specks (Rosenstein isn’t kosher). A recurring item on the menu is goose liver, whose best expression is the pan-fried foie gras paired with potato croquette and drenched in a Tokaji wine sauce (€19). Though pricey by local standards, Rosenstein shows off the brightest side of Hungarian fare.
Of the Jewish-Hungarian dishes, the matzo ball soup (€5) is a must. On Fridays and Saturdays, Rosenstein serves cholent, the signature Sabbath dish exhibiting rich flavors thanks to hours of slow-cooking. The baked beans and pearl barley are topped with different cuts of beef or goose (€12). Don't plan on doing much else the rest of the day after this hearty meal. Note that reservations are a must.