Eating in Budapest was one of my favorite things to do. The traditional dishes are so good you never want to leave. The city has a lot to offer when it comes to restaurants and bars. These are my favorites:
Try the traditional goulash soup, which tastes different everywhere. I’ve tasted a lot of them on my trips to this city, and all were great. The ones from the Angelika café on the Buda side and restaurant Chess at the Pest side served my favorites so far. The Angelika café was by far the cheapest.
The writers café
I ate the best dinner at Kiskakukk, a quite famous and charismatic restaurant in Pest. It takes a while to find it, but it’s worth the trouble. Their best dish (Larded choice cut of venison in Burgundy sauce served with homemade potato croquettes and baked apple stuffed with cranberry sauce) will cost you around €13 and it is to die for! It was so good we decided to eat it again during the summer. Yes, weird but oh so good! Try to make a reservation as it is full most of the time.
Hungary is a great country for wine. Personally I love the kind of red wine that gives you a slap in the face when you taste it. I found a great selection at Kiskakukk. Unfortunately drinking wine is not quite the cheap option, but I am sure you won’t regret it.
Build a foundation
Before drinking I recommend going to Iguana to order a plate of chili cheese fries. Like the name implies, there are fries, covered in cheese and chili con carne, covered in cheese again. This meal is excellent as a pre-drinking snack or hangover remedy. The place is so nice you might want to stay around for some cocktails. This is also one of the restaurants that serves the most vegetarian dishes.
Cheap ways of drinking
For the really really cheap booze you can go to one of the tiny local bars around the city. You might overlook them at first, but if you start paying attention they will pop up everywhere. Mostly they look like cheap snack bars, painted a bright color. The menu is Hungarian and so is your hostess. Luckily ‘gin tonic’ doesn’t need much explaining and for €0.80 she will serve you one with a smile. One of them is located next to the train station in the city center.
Hang out with locals
Another great way to drink and socialize is going to Erzsébet square. Pick up some drinks at a local liquor store and sit down somewhere. During the summer half of young Budapest hangs out here. Don’t mind going to the clubs as this is the easiest way to have fun.