The 7 Best Burgers in Budapest

Budapest is far removed from the global capitals of burgerdom, so if you grew up eating In-N-Out Double Doubles or ShackBurgers, you may feel underwhelmed by the local offerings. But several Budapest burger joints have been perfecting their burger games, so if you keep your expectations in check you may be in for a surprise.

#1 Kandalló Pub

Part burger joint, part sports bar, part craft beer bar, Kandalló wears many hats. The burgers at this popular joint within Budapest's Jewish Quarter are among the best you'll find in the city (although I wish they used smaller and squishier buns). From the dozen or so options, I recommend you stick to the classic cheeseburger or, if you'd like to splurge, try the grilled foie gras-studded "Kandalló" burger for €15 — it comes in a light brioche bun and the luscious goose liver does shine through every bite. There's also a vegetarian and a vegan option.

#2 Bamba Marha Burger Bar (Andrássy)

Let’s get the awkward part out of the way: one of the co-owners of Bamba Marha fashions himself as Hungary's “burger pope,” a curiously narcissistic title, especially in a country where hamburgers don't run very deep. This shouldn’t necessarily deter you from visiting Bamba Marha, a small burger chain in Budapest, as their €5 cheeseburgers offer some of the best value for money in the city’s artisan burgerland: a nicely charred 130 gram / 4.6 ounce patty enclosed by a sesame bun and garnished with cheddar, lettuce, tomato, red onions, and a slathering of sauce.

#3 Pesti Burger & Bar

Pesti Burger is a chic burger joint located on the polished campus of Semmelweis University in Budapest's District 9. Judging by the full crowd at midday, slinging pricey burgers on a college campus is a savvy business idea (there are many well-off foreign students here). Pesti Burger is one of the few places in Budapest that uses a potato bun and the result is a light, moist, and wonderfully squishy burger. The classic cheeseburger (€7) is made with a nicely charred, 150 gram / 5.3 oz. patty from a Hungarian cattle breed and prepared medium-rare by default. If you'd like to upgrade to Angus, you will need to cough up €13.

#4 Bölcső Bar & Food

Bölcső may not have the deepest craft beer selections in Budapest, nor does it sling In-N-Out-level Double-Doubles, but the combination of above-average beers and burgers makes this lively neighborhood joint a worthy destination. Once here, you'll also get to experience a charming Buda neighborhood on the less-traveled side of the city. Being in Buda means that the patrons are mainly locals, especially thirty-plus millennials with a taste for craft beers.

#5 Big Daddy Burger Bar

For a deeply local experience, trek out to Big Daddy Burger in the south of Budapest, located a half-hour away from downtown by bus. Flanked by drab communist-era high-rises lies this flimsy wooden shack, painted in red, white and blue. The kitschy 'Merican decor — I'm not sure whether it's meant ironically — features plenty of tchotchkes and decorative license plates from states like Texas, Florida, and Missouri.

#6 Kollázs Brasserie & Bar (Four Seasons Hotel)

Kollázs Brasserie & Bar is a fine dining restaurant on the ground floor of the swanky Four Seasons Hotel in Budapest. The restaurant, which is inside a beautiful Art Nouveau building, offers prime views onto the Danube and the Castle Hill across the river. It's the type of place where dark-suited waiters scurry around with tableside carts and pricey bottles of Bordeaux while soft jazz is drifting from the speakers. There's a discernible air of affluence, but without the stiffly formal setting of a fine dining restaurant.

#7 Tuning Bar & Burger

Tuning is a tourist-heavy burger joint within Budapest's trendy Jewish Quarter. The burgers here are pricey and often feature non-traditional ingredients like eggs, avocado, and grilled zucchini. Despite these gussied-up options, I recommend that you stick to the “classic street food” cheeseburger (€8). The pricier burgers are made with a 180 gram / 6.3 oz. Angus patty, while others use Hungarian Grey Cattle, a local breed.

Rankings are based on a combination of food/drink, atmosphere, service, and price. To remain unbiased, I visit all places incognito and pay for my own meals and drinks. But this also means I must rely on readers to support my work. If you've enjoyed this article, please consider making a donation.