Városház Snack

Low prices, homestyle Hungarian dishes, a pared-down interior, no English menu, let alone an Instagram page: these are favorable signs that you've stumbled on a truly local eatery. Városház Snack, which opened in 1985, is a shoebox-sized counter-service restaurant in Budapest's downtown, popular among emplyees of the Mayor's Office across the street.

The daily-changing menu is written on weathered plastic boards attached to the wall. As the day progresses, more and more boards are flipped over, so indicating dishes they ran out of (try to get there before 1 p.m.). I usually go for the daily soup option followed by a vegetable stew (főzelék) topped with meatball. You'll also find here some dishes that have already vanished from most Budapest restaurants, including my favorite, a poppy-seeds topped sweet pasta plate (mákos tészta). Prices are rock-bottom: you're unlikely to pay more than €6 for a two-course meal. Note that Városház Snack is open only for lunch, Monday through Friday.

We visit all places incognito, pay for our own meals and drinks, and write independent reviews.