Budapest's Seven Michelin-Starred Restaurants In 2024

Budapest has seven Michelin-awarded restaurants currently. Here, you can also find the city's full list of fine dining establishments.

#1 Babel Budapest

Babel is a Michelin-starred fine dining restaurant in the heart of Budapest. The hushed, casually elegant dining room has only a dozen tables, set with white linen and overlooking the neighboring Gothic cathedral bathed in soft light (the Danube is just a stone's throw away).

Swedish celebrity chef Daniel Berlin has fine-tuned the menu while the day-to-day kitchen duties are carried out by a quintet of local chefs under Kornél Kaszás. The 8 and the 12-course tasting menus draw inspiration from Austro-Hungarian cuisine but the kitchen chases purity of flavors rather than a complete loyalty to traditional dishes or ingredients (that flavor-bomb of guinea fowl broth!). From black caviar to truffles, exquisite foods abound and are prepared consistently well. The service staff is kind and competent – no matter how mundane or technical your question, they'll likely have answers for you.

The 12-course menu runs €180 per person or €270 with pairing, either with Hungarian wines or a selection featuring craft vermouth, local beers, Normandy cider, and an idiosyncratic Tokaj szamorodni. Babel is currently the priciest of Budapest's Michelin-starred restaurants, but also one that offers an all-around, two-star experience (despite having only one Michelin star currently).

#2 Borkonyha (Winekitchen) Restaurant

Borkonyha is a Michelin-starred restaurant in Budapest's downtown. Instead of a special emphasis on Hungarian food, the dishes here wouldn't seem out of place in fine dining restaurants around the world. Borkonyha's secret lies in its technical expertise: they serve up colorful, visually impressive plates that verge on the artistic. What does lend a local angle are the more than 200 types of Hungarian wines skillfully selected by Wine Director Krisztián Juhász.

The foie gras anointed with Tokaj aszú is Borkonyha's signature dish, on the menu since the 2010 opening. The luscious duck liver boasts a creamy texture and a paper-thin, crackly crust. The mains are a collection of prized meats beautifully plated with seasonal vegetables. Think rack of lamb, Mangalica pork, and wagyu beef.

With €30-40 mains, Borkonyha is among the most expensive restaurants in Budapest, but one with a relatively laid-back, bistro-like atmosphere. Advance reservation is a must.

#3 Stand Restaurant

Stand Restaurant is the fine dining project of local celebrity chef-duo, Szabina Szulló and Tamás Széll, and follows the success of Stand25, their acclaimed restaurant on the Buda side of the city. Here too, their success was almost immediate: accolades quickly poured in, and the restaurant won two Michelin stars in 2022, within a few years of opening.

It's the updated Hungarian classics that stand out from the eight-course tasting menu. It may be a fish soup, a traditional peasant fare in Danubian towns, served in a paprika-laced broth and drizzled with tortellini-like envelopes stuffed with smoked carp. The prettiest dish is the sterlet, a small species of sturgeon. The delicately rolled-up fish is topped with roe and drenched in a luscious clam sauce. You can observe the meticulous prep work that goes into these elaborate plates through the open kitchen where an army of cooks scuttle about.

The eight-course dinner tasting menu will set you back by €200 per person (€300 if you opt for wine pairing). The wine program, overseen by head-sommelier János Gervai, a winemaker himself, features bottles from the major wine regions of Hungary.

#4 Rumour by Rácz Jenő

Before settling into a fine dining meal at Rumour, you’ll need to find the restaurant, a surprisingly challenging task (look for the pastry shop through which the entrance leads). The venue: a windowless high-ceilinged room draped in maroon curtains. The concept: chef’s table, meaning that two dozen or so diners per evening are seated on high chairs in a half moon, cradling the open kitchen where an army of cooks labors with tweezers in hand.

Instead of the fashionable Noma-style locavorism, Rumour's dishes are rooted in the classical French and the science-obsessed modernist gastronomy of the early aughts (some hat tips to Hungary do exist, as with the walnut and buttercream spiked Esterházy torte). Think pockets of kohlrabi ravioli stuffed with creamy scallops in a paradise of textures, colors, and shapes. Charred cauliflower sitting in a rich hollandaise sauce, dotted with fermented and soy-sauce-marinated shimeji mushrooms and drizzled with aged beef, grated table-side. Perfectly executed, technically brilliant plates, one after the other.

Unlike with other fine dining restaurants in Budapest, guests here are mainly Hungarians because the head chef, Jenő Rácz, is a local celebrity with a TV show. There’s a six-course “pre-theater” tasting menu starting at 5:30 pm (€100 per person, or €170 with wine pairing), and a nine-course meal at 8:00 pm, for €170 per person (€240 with wine). Rumour has one Michelin star currently, but the dining experience is emphatically two-star.

#5 Salt Budapest

If you think the restaurant fashion of all things foraged, pickled, and fermented has run its course, think again. Currently, one of the most popular restaurants among Hungarian diners is Salt, a downtown establishment that plays so skillfully from the Noma playbook that it even earned a star from Michelin in 2021.

Bright flavors are the throughline of Chef Szilárd Tóth's 15-course dinner tasting menu, which costs €170 per person (€260 with wine pairing). Some of the ingredients are truly remarkable, such as the deeply flavorful aged mangalica ham and the koji-fermented barley crepe, which serves as a vessel for a tender goat meat tartar. But as I ate my way through the beautifully composed bite-sized courses adorned with rare flowers and herbs sourced by the kitchen staff, I felt wishing for more rounded flavors and buttery richness. And a bit more food. It's a tired cliche that fine dining meals leave one hungry, but I did toss a slice of bread in the toaster at home.

The wine list features both top Hungarian producers like Oremus, and Sauska, and also less-known family winemakers such as Szóló that specialize in natural wines. The service team is friendly and informed.

#6 Essência

Essência is the project of the Portuguese-Hungarian husband and wife duo, Tiago and Éva Sabarigo. Before venturing out on their own, Tiago was head chef at another Michelin decorated establishment, Costes Downtown, while Éva came from the hospitality industry. Essência is a casual fine dining restaurant: the high-ceilinged hall features exposed brick walls, plush mid-century modern furniture, and bare wooden tables.

The five or seven-course tasting menu is called “May 17th,” their daughter’s birthdate, and features Hungarian and Portuguese dishes. Highlights include the creamy foie gras, a traditional produce of Hungary, the grilled octopus with beluga lentils, and the tender mangalica heritage pork with a paprika sauce and a side of Portuguese bread salad. The seven-course tasting menu costs €130 per person (€200 with wine pairing). As with the food, the wines are sourced from Hungarian and Portuguese producers.

Tiago Sabarigo is a skilled chef who puts out eye-pleasing dishes, but there's room for creativity when it comes to assembling the menu; for example, by replacing some of the cliched fine dining staples with more exciting ingredients from Hungary or Portugal.

#7 Costes Restaurant (Ráday Street)

In 2010, Costes Ráday was the first restaurant in Hungary to earn a Michelin star. Since then, many chefs have come and gone, and many fine dining places have sprouted in Budapest. Costes's current conceit is a hard-to-define collection of seven courses inspired by the techniques of French fine dining traditions. Some are very tasty, such as the slices of celery root molded in the shape of a ravioli and filled with a flavorful spread of stracciatella cheese and smoked eggplant. Or the soft beef tongue with a playful side of sliced pear, creamy parsnip, and hazelnuts.

Still, on recent visits I felt that more than a dozen years after its opening, Costes is due for a revamp, both its austere interior and unfocused culinary direction. Fine dining has evolved in ways that Costes has not (for example in having service teams that are more casual but better informed than had been in the past). Note that Costes Ráday has a sister location in downtown (Costes Downtown), also fine dining, but with a more casual air.