Zeller Bistro

Zeller is a tourist-heavy restaurant in Budapest's downtown near St. Stephen’s Basilica, one of the city's main attractions. Upon arrival, you'll be handed a complimentary Prosecco—albeit slightly flat and presented without much enthusiasm—before being led to one of the four indoor dining rooms. Try to sit is in the light-filled interior courtyard topped with a sky window and filled with greenery. All tables come with doodle-inspiring paper and colored pencils.

Does Zeller live up to the hype? The short answer: not entirely. The dishes are reliable, but slightly overpriced (mains are €13-20) and far from memorable. The menu is a hodgepodge of pricey meats — think wild boar, duck liver, mangalitsa, lamb, venison — served with unexciting vegetables on the side. There's a wine list featuring Hungarian bottles.

Overall, my impression is that Zeller has gotten a bit too comfortable with its popularity and the kitchen could use some of the ambition that made it so popular in the first place.

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