- 1 Sep 2023 9:18 AM
Top interior designers from Hungary, Japan and the UK oversaw the imaginative reconstruction of the Lónyay-Hatvany villa, created by Miklós Ybl in the 1870s – that’s Miklós Ybl, who built the Opera House. But whatever the golden heritage of this architectural treasure in the Castle District, it’s the terrace you’re interested in, and its jaw-dropping views over Buda.
And the food, too, of course, the grilled grain-fed Argentine beef tenderloin or sea bass, the roast duck breast with celeriac puree and the Rigó János chocolate dessert. Reservations essential.
1015 Budapest, Csónak utca 1.
2. Bereg Embassy Bar & Cafe
An evergreen favourite when it comes to alfresco relaxation, the Bereg lounges across the courtyard of the Hattyúház building, a popular place for unpretentious but well-presented bar food, burgers, Balkan standards and Berlin-style currywursts, to accompany your craft beer.
You can opt for a few drinks instead, but you’ll be overcome by the tempting aromas and the platters being served to the tables around you. In winter, it transforms into a cosy hangout with igloo-style interiors.
1015 Budapest, Batthyány utca 49B.
3. Bobo Restaurant
Dating back to 1885, elegant Haris Park provides the perfect setting for the Bobo Restaurant, a neo-Renaissance villa where Count Gyula Andrássy entertained his liberal-minded associates while the liberal-spirited Empress Elisabeth waltzed away from the all-seeing eyes of the Habsburg court in Vienna.
Bobo, which opened in 2019, honours its gilded heritage, both in terms of décor and cuisine, its spacious garden the ideal location to sample the chef’s weekly offers at a reasonable price considering the location and the history.
1022 Budapest, Marczibányi tér 7.
The name refers to the lovely garden, set beside a historic building in a leafy part of Buda. The cuisine is firmly Hungarian, as it should be given that it was serving classic Magyar dishes 150 years ago.
It is best illustrated by the deer ragout, catfish stew and grandmother’s walnut cake, the grandmother being Edit, another family member involved in this traditional operation, but you can also opt for something a little more international and contemporary. Booking advised.
1112 Budapest, Németvölgyi út 136.
5. KIOSK Budapest
Occupying a prime spot on Március 15. tér, which means to say overlooking the Danube and Elizabeth Bridge in the heart of town, KIOSK doesn’t need to try too hard to attract custom – but given that it’s overseen by famed restaurateur Hubert Hlatky-Schlichter, it’s not only the view that brings ’em in.
This is a man who raised the nearby Babel Budapest to Michelin-star level by means of imaginative Transylvanian cuisine. Here, dishes are based on fresh, seasonal produce from reliable local suppliers, the bread and pasta home-made.
1056 Budapest, Március 15. tér 4.
6. Pavillon de Paris
There has long been a French restaurant here in this Gallic hub of Buda, just over the street from the Institut Français. If budget allows, you can go all in and opt for the seven-dish signature menu, which currently features shrimp ravioli with lobster bisque, blanquette de veau and lemon sorbet with champagne, wine pairings pushing the outlay up towards €100 a head.
Alternatively, you can tuck into a reasonably priced ratatouille or frogs’ legs with mashed potato, and still bask in the garden surroundings, a green oasis close to the Danube.
Pavillon de Paris
1011 Budapest, Fő utca 20.
Yes, you’ll find cheaper in Budapest for what you’re being served, no, you probably won’t feel like a returning customer greeted like a prodigal son, but you can’t beat the setting here, overlooking the lake in City Park.
It opened way back in July 1989, shortly after the reburial ceremony of Imre Nagy in Heroes’ Square next door, a seminal event that helped lead to the change of leadership later that momentous year.
Nearly 35 years later, it’s still going strong, serving the house platter of meats and cheeses, a classic Hortobágy pancake, goulash and veal paprikás. Take a date and you can’t go wrong.
1146 Budapest, Városliget.
Words by Peterjon Cresswell for Xpatloop.com
Peterjon has been researching the byways of Budapest for 30 years, extending his expertise across Europe to produce guidebooks for Time Out and his own website liberoguide.com