Most Budapest restaurants offer a weekday lunch prix fixe; the food is generally plain, service quick, and the prices rock-bottom (around €5 for a two-course meal). But here's the twist: a few of the higher-end restaurants also serve fixed-price lunches, meaning that you can have an elaborate meal for a fraction of the regular price (€12-20). Let the indulgence begin!
After training at well-known Budapest restaurants, two young, local chefs, Andor Giczi and Szabolcs Nagy, ventured out on their own, opening Fricska restaurant in 2014. Since then, Fricska has earned a reputation for serving tasty modern Hungarian dishes, and it also won a Bib Gourmand award. The restaurant is on the far end of the party district, inside a below-ground space that manages to be cozy despite the lack of natural light..
Owner-chef Graziano Cattaneo, an Italian native from Lombardy, opened Krizia back in 1997. It's an elegant, below-ground restaurant hiding in a quiet street off the grand Andrássy Avenue in Budapest's District 6. The snug space has less than a dozen tables—all of them covered in white linen—and adorably ceremonial servers, especially the older of the two long-time waiters..
You will need to trek out to the outer part of District 7, a working class Budapest neighborhood, to experience the elaborate meals prepared by chef Ádám Csaba at Olimpia Restaurant. Instead of a fixed menu, they use a blackboard to present the daily-changing dishes, which vary based on seasonal ingredients. The result? Absolutely superb..
MÁK Bistro, helmed by 28-year-old head chef János Mizsei, is one of Budapest's leading fine dining restaurants. The fact that Mizsei trained in Denmark and Sweden shines through in the dishes: In line with the New Nordic Cuisine, MÁK's plates pack intense, vibrant flavors despite the seemingly everyday ingredients. Mizsei is known to go out of his way to scout for unlikely suppliers; most recently he found a local farmer who collects birch sap in a Hungarian village..
When in 2017 Szabina Szulló and Tamás Széll (a European Bocuse d'Or winner and celebrity-chef in Hungary) announced that they were leaving the Michelin-starred Onyx restaurant to venture out on their own, one didn’t need a business degree to predict success. The idea of Stand25 Bistro was to prove that traditional Hungarian fare can be more than a high-carb, greasy affair. The restaurant's success was immediate: a well-heeled local office crowd and tourists fill Stand25's small tables inside the Hold Street market-hall-turned food-court in downtown. In 2018, the restaurant won a Bib Gourmand by Michelin..
You will need leave the city center to unearth La Perle Noire, a high-end restaurant serving French and revamped Hungarian dishes. It's on a quiet section of Andrássy Avenue, Budapest's Champs-Élysées, peppered with residential villas and embassies inside District 6. The cute modernist building from 1937 that houses the restaurant (and also a hotel upstairs) stands out from the predominantly 19th century street view. .
Kiosk is a hip restaurant and cocktail bar in the heart of Budapest, favored by trendy locals and plenty of tourists. Kiosk has at least two things going for it: a stunning view of the Danube and the Elisabeth Bridge from its outdoor patio, and a dramatically high-ceilinged, industrial chic interior. (Interestingly, the building houses a Roman Catholic high school upstairs, in fact, there's a chapel right above Kiosk.) .