In 2014, Lajos Bíró, a leading Hungarian chef, opened a fast-casual lunch eatery inside the then practically empty Hold Street Market. Fast forward to today, this historic downtown market has transformed into a bustling food court where several local celebrity chefs operate casual restaurants, and the area swarms with people at lunchtime.
Séf utcája (trans. "Chef's Street") specializes in a handful of wallet-friendly, traditional Hungarian, and Hungarian-Jewish dishes that are prepared with a twist. The twist usually means better-than-average ingredients, and an attention to the visual aesthetics. The highlight is the oversized, slow-cooked sausage paired with mustard and a toasted bread that's topped with caramelized onions (€5). Also good are the fried chicken, and the fried duck liver (€6). A pho soup (€4) is also available at a side stand run by a Vietnamese lady.
Friday's and Saturday's specials are the cholent (€7), the traditional Sabbath dish of slow cooked beans and eggs. Séf utcája pairs it with a small challah into which, and here comes the twist, they slip a slice of foie gras. (The version at Séf utcája is far from kosher: they top the cholent with a slice of pork neck). Finish your meal with flódni (€2), a traditional Hungarian-Jewish layered cake.