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Budapest's Kosher Restaurants and Pastry Shop

Despite Budapest's still sizeable Jewish community, only three kosher restaurants operate in the city, supplemented with just a single kosher pastry shop (Frőhlich). They're all located in the old Jewish Quarter, near one another by the Kazinczy Street Orthodox Synagogue. Two of them are kosher meat restaurants (Carmel and Hanna) one is dairy (Tel Aviv Café).

The hard truth is that most dishes at these places fall short on flavor, particularly when compared to Budapest’s other restaurants. Sure, kosher food is more difficult to source and it’s also pricier, but that’s no excuse for bland plates. One can’t help thinking that some more competition could trigger much-needed improvements. Unless you only eat kosher, I'd recommend to try the best traditional Hungarian restaurants or Jewish-style but non-kosher places too.


#1 Carmel Restaurant

Managed by the Hungarian Chabad-Lubavitch Hasidic community, Carmel is one of Budapest’s three glatt kosher restaurants (two of them are meat, one dairy). Like Hanna, the other kosher meat restaurant around the corner from Carmel, it gets liveliest during Shabbat meals, that is, Friday's dinner and Saturday's lunch (here too, guests must prepay the meals; Friday's dinner at Carmel costs €25 per person)..

#2 Hanna Orthodox Restaurant

Hanna is a glatt kosher restaurant operated by the Autonomous Orthodox Jewish Community of Hungary in District 7. Since it's buried within the fortress-like edifice of the congregation, most locals have never encountered Hanna, even though the surrounding area is currently the center of the Budapest party scene teeming with cafés, bars, and restaurants. Orthodox Jews visiting Budapest, however, are often better informed and they fill the restaurant most nights..

#3 Frőhlich Kosher Pastry Shop

Budapest’s only kosher pastry shop is, you guessed it, inside the city's old Jewish Quarter. Frőhlich set up shop in 1953 when many more Jewish people lived in the neighborhood and long before it became Budapest's party center. .

#4 Tel Aviv Café

Operated by the Hungarian Chabad-Lubavitch Hasidic community, Tel Aviv Café is Budapest’s one and only kosher dairy restaurant. Being a dairy restaurant, don't go searching for meat-based dishes here. In fact, you won’t find any of the traditional Ashkenazi non-meat classics either, like matzo brei, blintz, and latke. This is somewhat surprising, because Tel Aviv Café is located across Budapest's main orthodox synagogue in the old Jewish Quarter, so a hat tip to Central European Jewish food traditions would have been fitting.
Rankings are based on a combination of food/drink, atmosphere, service, and price. The author visits all restaurants incognito.