- 13 Feb 2015 8:00 AM
What is Great Restaurant Day?
In Hungarian it's „Torkos Csütörtök", (pr. torr-kosh tshut-or-tok) (the day of Fat Thursday).
‘Torkos' means one who loves to eat and ‘Csütörtök' is for Thursday. It is something similar to Mardi Gras in French-speaking countries.
The Hungarian event itself comes from a folk tradition. The period of Epiphany starts with Fabulous Monday, then comes Shrove Tuesday, Ash Wednesday, and then "Fat" Thursday, the day, dedicated to eating, before the fasting period of Lent.
The tradition is not a national holiday, but has been revived, largely by the Hungarian Tourist board as Great Restaurant Day, when we have called on all restaurants in the country to join in the fun, and offer a 50% discount from the final price to each guest. You can imagine how busy this day is for restaurants! This will be the 9th year of „Torkos Csütörtök" and we expect there to be several hundred restaurants serving more than 100,000 guests nationwide, on this one night!
Why is this good for me?
The main attraction is the huge discount, but there are other advantages. Here is a perfect opportunity to try out an expensive restaurant, to taste specialities, extraordinary dishes, order fancy desserts, higher quality wines, and pálinkas, that might ordinarily outside your budget.
The promotion is putting emphasis on the wonderful range of pork-based Hungarian dishes, but of course there is a world of opportunities in our very diverse cuisine.
Restaurants will be crowded, but there is normally a great atmosphere as well, with waiters running around, fantastic aromas and many satisfied customers to share the evening, as friends and families chat and enjoy each other's company in the rather cosy surroundings.
For those who don't eat meat, most restaurants will be offering a range of hearty vegetarian meals too.
How can I get involved?
All you need to do is to get in touch with the restaurant you wish to visit, and ask whether they have joined Great Restaurant Day or not. If they have, reserve a table quickly! Enjoy your meal and drinks and the 50%-off when the bill comes.
Is the tip 50% less too?
Tips in Hungarian restaurants are usually 10% of the total, but if the invoice contains ‘Service charge' then this has already been added, so you can a smaller tip, or none at all. If you are really satisfied with both the food and the service, you can give more as compliment. The way locals give a cash tip is to say out loud to the waiter how much they want to give him including the tip, so that he can calculate the change.
Don't wait a moment! Find your restaurant and ask about Torkos Csütörtök then reserve a table while you can!
Here is a list of the some great Hungarian restaurants in Budapest! (N.B. Please check in advance that any restaurant you choose is actually participating in Great Restaurant Day, and do reserve a table, to avoid disappointment.)
If you have any further questions, please drop us a mail by clicking here."