Traditional Hungarian food reflects the local climate and also Ottoman, Austrian, Slavic, Jewish, and Romanian influences. While the importance of the goulash soup hasn't diminished since nomadic Hungarians cooked it in large cast-iron kettles a thousand years ago—although the ingredients did change—new dishes have entered the culinary mainstream along the way. The restaurants below serve some of the best 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 some of the best traditional Hungarian and Hungarian-Jewish dishes in the city. Tibor Rosenstein started this family-run operation, which is located a bit outside the city center and is currently helmed by his son Róbert (at lunchtime, you'll likely see the senior Rosenstein chatting away with regulars). Most of the long menu is a hat-tip to classic Hungarian fare: patrons can sample expertly prepared goulash soup (€7), beef stew (pörkölt), paprikash (€12), and stuffed cabbage (€9) here—traditional foods that have changed little over the generations.