Budapest's 5 Kosher Restaurants and Pastry Shop

While Budapest still has a sizeable Jewish community, there are only four kosher restaurants and just a single kosher pastry shop in the city. They're all within the old Jewish Quarter, near the Kazinczy Street Orthodox Synagogue. Carmel and Hanna are meat, whereas Kosher Deli and Tel Aviv Café are dairy restaurants. If you don't keep strictly kosher, you could also try these Jewish-style, but non-kosher restaurants.

#1 Carmel Restaurant

Managed by the Hungarian Chabad-Lubavitch Hasidic community, Carmel is one of Budapest’s few glatt kosher restaurants. During the meals a mashgiach—an official supervising rabbi—is present at all times to ensure that Carmel adheres to kashrut, the Jewish dietary laws. As is the case with Hanna, the other meat restaurant around the corner from here, Carmel gets liveliest during Shabbat, that is, Friday's dinner and Saturday's lunch. Here too, guests must prepay the meals, each of which costs €25 per person.

#2 Hanna Orthodox Restaurant

Hanna is a glatt kosher meat restaurant in Budapest's old Jewish Quarter operated by the Hungarian Autonomous Orthodox Jewish Community. Since the restaurant is 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 Budapest's nightlife, teeming with cafés, bars, and restaurants.

#3 Frőhlich Kosher Pastry Shop

Budapest’s one and 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 the city's party center. Instead of typical Jewish cakes, Frőhlich makes low-priced traditional Hungarian tortes, pastries, and strudels, including Esterházy, Dobos, and krémes. Sure, Frőhlich is far from the best pastry shop in Budapest, but I enjoy coming here for a throwback vibe as little has changed inside this family-run operation over the decades. Although now mainly a tourist destination, a shrinking group of local regulars also appear from time to time.

#4 Kosher Deli Budapest

Unfortunately, Budapest’s kosher restaurants aren’t known for offering delicious or nuanced dishes. Most people who frequent them, of course, have no choice. Kosher Deli Restaurant, which opened in 2019, has quickly established itself as the better of Budapest’s only two dairy restaurants (the other is Tel Aviv Café around the corner). Unlike all of the other kosher restaurants in Budapest that are operated by either of the two local orthodox communities, Kosher Deli belongs to MAZSIHISZ, the main faction of Budapest's Jewish community and the proprietor of the nearby Dohány Street Synagogue.

#5 Tel Aviv Café

Located in the old Jewish Quarter near the main orthodox synagogue, Tel Aviv Café is one of the only two kosher dairy restaurants in Budapest. So, don't go searching for meat dishes here. In fact, you won’t find any of the typical Ashkenazi dairy classics like matzo brei, blintz, and latke either. Instead, the menu comprises Middle Eastern foods like couscous, shakshuka, and hummus, as well as vegetarian pizzas and pastas.

Rankings are based on a combination of food/drink, atmosphere, service, and price. The author visits all restaurants incognito and pays for his own meals and drinks.