Vas Manci

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 city center. The small, dim space with cozy nooks makes it a great date spot. The menu consists of Mediterranean dishes spanning Middle Eastern, Spanish, and Georgian dishes.

The food is a bit hit-or-miss, but it's the charming vibes and the friendly service that make me come back here. 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 cauliflowers (€4). Hungarian and Spanish wines are available. Note that Vasmanci has only a handful of tables that fill up most evenings so be sure to book in advance.

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