In 2010, Costes was the first restaurant in Hungary to win a Michelin star. Today, despite the fact that Budapest has many Michelin-starred places, Costes still has a special cachet. It's also the only fine dining restaurant in Budapest helmed by a female chef—the prodigiously talented Eszter Palágyi. .
Costes Downtown is a 2015 offshoot of Costes, the first Michelin-starred restaurant in Budapest. Downtown is a slightly more casual version of its sister location: instead of a classic fine dining decor, here a sleek, modern design sets the tone with an open kitchen and wooden tables stripped of tablecloths. The restaurant, which has had its own Michelin star since 2016, is helmed by Portuguese chef Tiago Sabarigo. .
In Budapest, Onyx comes closest to offering an old-school, classic European fine dining experience. It's the type of place where crystal chandeliers hang in the opulent dining room and white-glove-wearing waiters scurry about with beautifully sculpted plates in hand. The dishes feature playful textures, rare ingredients, and striking visuals. Onyx, which is located in the heart of Budapest's downtown, is the only two-Michelin-starred restaurant in Hungary currently.
Stand Restaurant is the fine dining project of local celebrity chef-duo, Szabina Szulló and Tamás Széll, and follows the success of Stand25, their highly acclaimed casual restaurant inside the Hold Street Market. Here too, their success was almost immediate: accolades quickly poured in, and the restaurant won a Michelin star in 2019, less than a year after opening..
Borkonyha (Winekitchen) is a high-end restaurant in Budapest's downtown, serving pan-European fine dining dishes and over 200 types of Hungarian wines. The executive chef, Ákos Sárközi, applies inventive techniques to locally-sourced ingredients and puts out colorful, almost artistically visual plates. .
Babel is a Michelin-starred restaurant in the heart of Budapest's downtown, offering a classic fine dining experience: the hushed, dimly-lit dining room has only a dozen tables, all set with white linen. Babel prides itself on serving dishes inspired by Transylvania, the chillingly beautiful, mountainous region cradled by the Carpathians and known for its long and complex history (today, it's part of Romania with a sizeable Hungarian community). The proof that this is more than empty marketing slogan is the young head-chef himself, István Veres, a Hungarian native of Transylvania..