Vas Manci Budapest

Budapest needs more places like Vasmanci. It’s a little sliver of an owner-operated neighborhood restaurant tucked away on a District 8 side street. It’s far enough from downtown to avoid the tourist packs and sky-high prices, but easily within walking distance. The menu at Vasmanci spans from Middle Eastern (e.g. tabbouleh) to Spanish (tortilla de patatas), Brazilian (pão de queijo: the little cheese breads), and even Armenian (vospapur) items. While the food isn’t particularly special, most plates are prepared simply and well.

“Lavash”, one of the better choices, is a flatbread filled with a tahini yoghurt sauce, pomegranate seeds, morsels of chicken liver and sprinkled with olive oil and coriander. A vegetarian option is also available, but the interplay between the meat’s dense, smooth texture and the crunch of the pomegranate is part of the appeal. Also good are the vospapur, which is a hearty lentil soup. Among the tapas, go for the slightly spicy chicken skewers and the chorizo. Spanish and Hungarian wines are also served.

Vasmanci’s main attractions are the charming interior, friendly server/owner, and reasonable prices: exactly the components that make an enduring neighborhood restaurant.