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7 Excellent Fixed-Price Lunch Menu in Budapest

The vast majority of Budapest restaurants offer weekday lunch menus (prix fixe). The food is generally no-frills, service is quick, and the prices rock-bottom (around HUF1,500 or €5 for a two-course meal). They’re a quick and economical way to fuel up in the middle of the day. Accordingly, many office workers take advantage of it.

The good news: some of the higher-end restaurants also offer fixed-price lunches. Which means that one gets to taste elaborate, inventive dishes by leading Hungarian chefs for a fraction of what these plates would normally cost (the most expensive three-course lunch on the list, at Stand25, is HUF4,900 or about €16, but the others are around €10). Below is a selection of some of the best deals to be found at leading Budapest restaurants. Let the indulgence begin!


#1 Ristorante Krizia

Opened in 1997, Ristorante Krizia is an iconic Italian restaurant in Budapest. Owner-chef Graziano Cattaneo hails from the Lombardy region, which means that the menu features fish- and meat-heavy, northern-Italian dishes aside from the more typical pasta-based offerings. For example, Krizia is the only restaurant in Budapest where you can have a filet mignon paired with porcini mushrooms and a side of creamy polenta that's infused with a stracchino cheese (€22). It's as delicious as it sounds.

#2 Fricska Gastropub

After apprenticing at well-known Budapest restaurants, two young, local chefs, Andor Giczi and Szabolcs Nagy, decided to venture out on their own in 2014. The fruit of their labor is Fricska, a Bib Gourmand-awarded restaurant specializing in updated Hungarian dishes. Fricska is located in a remote part of the city's party district, inside a subterranean space that feels cozy and inviting despite the lack of windows. .

#3 Olimpia Restaurant

You will need to trek out to the outer part of District 7's working class neighborhood to experience the surprisingly delicious and elaborate meals prepared by chef Ádám Csaba at Olimpia Restaurant. Olimpia doesn't have a fixed menu. Instead, they use the blackboard on the wall to present the daily-changing dishes, which vary based on seasonal ingredients. The result? Absolutely superb..

#4 MÁK Bistro

MÁK Bistro is one of the leading fine dining restaurants in Budapest. The restaurant's head chef is 28-year-old János Mizsei, who trained in Denmark and Sweden. In line with the New Nordic Cuisine he is so fond of, Mizsei's genius is to extract intense flavors from seemingly simple ingredients. He is known to go out of his way to scout for unlikely suppliers, such as the local farmer who collects birch sap in a Hungarian village.

#5 Stand25 Bistro

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. From the start, the idea of Stand25 Bistro was to prove that Hungarian peasant fare can be more than a high-carb, greasy affair. The restaurant's success was immediate: a well-heeled local crowd from near and far has been flocking to the crammed tables of Stand25, which is located in the popular market-hall-turned food-court in downtown's Hold Street. In 2018, the restaurant was awarded a Bib Gourmand by Michelin.

#6 La Perle Noire

You will need leave the heart of Budapest to unearth La Perle Noire, a high-end restaurant serving French cuisine and revamped Hungarian classics. La Perle Noire is located on a quiet section of Andrássy Avenue, also known as Budapest's Champs-Élysées, peppered with residential villas and embassies in District 6. The quirky modernist building from 1937 that houses the restaurant, now also a hotel, stands out from the predominantly 19th century street view. .

#7 Kiosk Budapest

Kiosk is a hip restaurant and cocktail bar in the heart of Budapest, favored by trend-conscious locals and plenty of tourists. Kiosk has at least two things going for it: a stunning view of 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.) .
Rankings are based on a combination of food/drink, atmosphere, service, and price. The author visits all restaurants incognito.