Traditional Hungarian food is a reflection of the local climate and foreign influences, including Austrian, Ottoman, Slavic, Jewish, and Romanian. While the importance of the goulash soup hasn't diminished since nomadic Hungarians cooked it in cast-iron kettles a thousand years ago — although the ingredients did change — new dishes have entered the culinary mainstream along the way. The places below serve some of the most reliable traditional fare in Budapest. If you prefer updated takes on the classics, try these modern Hungarian restaurants, too.
Rosenstein is an iconic restaurant in Budapest serving traditional Hungarian and Hungarian-Jewish dishes. Tibor Rosenstein, nearing eighty, started this family-run operation, which is located a bit outside the city center and currently helmed by his son Róbert (at lunchtime, Rosenstein senior is often seen chatting away with regulars). Though pricey by local standards, Rosenstein shows off the brightest side of Hungarian fare.