Everybody loves Italian food and Hungarians are no exception. In Budapest, you'll find everything from Naples-style pizzerias to elaborate northern-Italian restaurants, but most places don't specialize in any particular region, instead putting out reliable, mid-range, pan-Italian fare along the lines of Caprese salad, pasta carbonara, and good old tiramisu.
Opened in 2002, Trattoria Pomo D'Oro is a popular Italian restaurant in Budapest's downtown marrying a red-sauce, old-school Italian trattoria with a modern establishment. This means the place draws everyone from middle-class Hungarian families looking for Italian comfort food to office workers and tourists. As a result, the ever-expanding space, which has managed to retain a cozy vibe, is packed to capacity with a mixed crowd every day of the week. While not cheap by Budapest standards — mains are €15-20 — price points aren't outrageous for the quality.
It's hard to go wrong with anything, but highlights include the rich, Tuscan tomato soup (pappa al pomodoro), the strozzapreti hand-rolled pasta, and the branzino fillet, be it grilled or steamed and filled with pancetta and black mussels. The pizzas, prepared in a wood-burning oven, skew Neapolitan with an airy crust. Do save room for dessert as the profiterole and the good old tiramisu are among the best you'll find in Budapest. Often overrun by business people from the nearby financial district during the day, Pomo D'Oro is most enjoyable in the evenings. Reservations are an absolute must.