Vas Manci is a teeny-tiny neighborhood restaurant tucked away on a side street near Budapest's Palace Quarter. This vegetable-forward restaurant is far enough from downtown to avoid the throngs of tourists and sky-high prices, but easily within walking distance from the central parts of the city. The menu consists of an eclectic mix of Mediterranean dishes spanning from Middle Eastern (mezes like hummus, labneh, and baba ganoush) to Spanish (cerdo con salsa de Jerez), and even Georgian (grilled eggplant) items.

The dishes are a bit hit-or-miss, but it's the charming and homey interior and friendly service that keep me coming back here (the dim lighting and cozy nooks also make it a great date spot). The highlights include the coconut milk-infused chickpea stew with grilled chicken skewers sitting on a bed of bulgur and drizzled with coriander (€8). I also enjoyed the za'atar-dusted roasted cauliflower (€4). Hungarian and Spanish wines are available.

Note that Vasmanci has only a handful of tables and it fills up quickly most evenings, so be sure to book in advance.

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