Rosenstein is an iconic restaurant in Budapest, serving some of the best traditional Hungarian and Hungarian-Jewish dishes in the city. Tibor Rosenstein started this family-run operation, which is located a bit outside the city center and is currently helmed by his son Róbert (at lunchtime, you'll likely see the senior Rosenstein chatting away with regulars). Most of the long menu is a hat-tip to classic Hungarian fare: patrons can sample expertly prepared goulash soup (€7), beef stew (pörkölt), paprikash (€12), and stuffed cabbage (€9) here—traditional foods that have changed little over the generations.
The catfish paprikash is another standout, arriving sprinkled with crispy specks (Rosenstein isn’t kosher). An oft-seen item on the menu is goose liver, whose best expression is the pan-fried foie gras paired with potato croquette and drenched in a Tokaj 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 very good. On Fridays and Saturdays, Rosenstein also serves cholent (€13), the signature sabbath dish. The baked beans and pearl barley exhibit rich flavors thanks to hours of slow-cooking and come topped with cuts of beef or goose. Don't plan on doing much else the rest of the day after this hearty meal. Note that reservations are a must.