In 2014, Lajos Bíró, a Hungarian celebrity chef, opened a fast casual lunch eatery inside the practically empty Hold Street Market. Fast forward to today, this historic downtown market has since transformed into a thriving food court where prominent local chefs operate low-key restaurants and the area swarms with people at lunchtime.
Séf utcája ("Chef's street") has a daily-changing menu centered on traditional Hungarian and Hungarian-Jewish dishes. What makes these classics unique is how delicious they are. Bíró sticks to the original recipes, but doing so while using top ingredients and paying attention to the visuals. One of the highlights is the oversized cooked sausage with mustard and an onions-topped toasted bread (€6), but you can also run into excellent vegetable stews (főzelék) or a paprikash.
Friday's special is cholent (€7), the signature Sabbath dish of slow-cooked beans. Here, the cholent comes with a small challah bread layered with a slice of foie gras. (A Séf utcája is far from kosher: they top the cholent with a slice of pork neck). Finish your meal with flódni, a traditional Hungarian-Jewish layered cake.