St. Andrea Wine & Gourmet Bar

St. Andrea Wine & Gourmet Bar is an upscale restaurant near Budapest's city center, occupying the ground floor of a luxury office building. Unlike other elite chefs in Budapest who hesitate to put pricey peasant fare in front of discerning diners, St. Andrea's executive chef, Ádám Barna, doesn't shy away from showcasing traditional Hungarian dishes through a fine dining prism.

For example, St. Andrea's 6-course "traditional innovation" tasting menu features stuffed cabbage—made with mangalica pork—and a stew (pörkölt) of tender and flavorful cubes of braised beef paired with egg dumplings and crunchy cucumbers (like a local, use the crispy sourdough breads to mop up the paprika-based leftover jus). Don’t leave before trying St. Andrea's lecsó, when in season: this traditional Hungarian and Serbian countryside dish packs ripe summer vegetables and crisped-up sausages, all drenched in their own juices. The 6-course tasting menu runs €60 per person, or €110 with wine pairing.

St. Andrea's waitstaff is kind and informed—they're one of the best service teams in Budapest. Note that given the restaurant's location, many senior executives from the upstairs offices patronize St. Andrea, especially at lunchtime, which can result in an overly corporate atmosphere.