Spíler has been reliably one of the hottest restaurants in Budapest since its opening in 2012. It's located in the heart of the buzzing Jewish Quarter, inside the tourist-heavy Gozsdu Courtyard dotted with restaurants and bars. Spíler occupies a massive space that includes three stylish, highly Instagrammable dining rooms that operate at capacity most evenings.
They serve a couple of Hungarian classics of which two cottage-cheese based dishes are the best: the túróscsusza, which is a plate of noodles topped with cottage cheese and drizzled with specks of fried pork fat, and the sweet cottage cheese dumpling dessert (túrógombóc). The local foods are complemented by popular bistro fare. Think nachos, wings, burgers, salads, and a few grilled meats. With most dishes running below €10, prices at Spíler are surprisingly reasonable, especially given its central location. Almost 30 types of local bottled craft beers are available for pairing.
Spíler is a professionally run, high-turnover operation, and if you're looking for a popular spot in the middle of the city's party district and don't mind the crowds, this is your best bet. Note that the ear-catching tunes piping through the DJ booth get louder as the night progresses.
Tangentially related to Spíler is that its owner, a successful Budapest restaurateur, has been accused of benefiting from below-market rents offered by the local municipality where many of his restaurants operate, and thereby gaining unfair market advantage. This doesn’t detract from Spíler’s value as a restaurant, but something to keep in mind as you decide where to spend your money.