- 29 Sep 2023 10:52 AM
1. DNB Budapest
The Danube inspires both the name and culinary direction of this river-facing restaurant spread out before the Budapest Marriott Hotel. ‘From the Black Forest to the Black Sea’ centrepieces the menu, so there’s Tyrolean veal schnitzel and Bulgaria’s own shopska salad, but do explore the DNB, in fact, Hungarian, classics, the Hortobágyi beef cheek, the whole baked trout from Tahitótfalu and Alföldi mangalica pork belly.
The daily lunches (weekdays noon-3pm) are a steal given the quality and panorama on offer, while the sumptuous Sunday brunches see the place lively with familial chatter.
1052 Budapest, Duna-korzó.
2. FELIX Kitchen&Bar
Offering a sophisticated dining experience on the Buda side of the riverbank, FELIX caters to discerning diners who can choose between four types of caviar, a flank steak of Australian Wagyu beef prepared on a Josper grill, and grilled octopus with aubergine and soy aioli. So far, so upscale, but you can also pop in for a weekend brunch of eggs Benedict, a mangalica and pork butty or a bison burger.
There’s a kids’ menu, too. If you can avert your gaze away from the Danube flowing alongside, you cannot fail to admire this Habsburg-era building, once the pumphouse for the Royal Palace above, designed by Miklós Ybl of Opera House fame. Felix was the name of his only son.
1013 Budapest, Ybl Miklós tér 9.
3. Hemingway Restaurant
Feneketlen-tó, the Bottomless Lake with its own bird-watching spot and jogging track around it, is the very definition of an urban oasis down in south Buda. Aligning one side, its terrace extending up to the water’s edge, Hemingway is a winning destination for couples, business customers and, particularly for the popular Sunday brunch, families.
As its slogan says, this is ‘Everyone’s adventure’. The rest of the week, you can choose between rabbit fillet, garlic-baked duck leg and trout. Free parking for restaurant customers.
1113 Budapest, Kosztolányi Dezső tér 2.
The gentrification of Újlipi, District XIII, has stretched way beyond Szent István park and encompasses this communal eco park, Vizafogó, opened a couple of years ago. Here, the surrounding residents wake up every morning to gaze at an artificial lake and floating wooden deck upon which the Kacsintó does a steady trade from breakfast to sunset, when G&T nights make an occasional appearance. It’s a bit of a stretch to call this a restaurant, it’s more café/bistro offering salads, sandwiches and flatbreads, but you can easily compose a perfectly decent lunch from what’s available, desserts included, perhaps sharing a little with the ducks who know a good thing when they see it.
1138 Budapest, Párkány utca 39-41.
5. KIOSK Budapest
Although not right by the Danube – the tram 2 tracks get in the way – KIOSK Budapest overlooks it from its sought-after front terrace on Március 15. tér. Given this vantage point, KIOSK needn’t need to try too hard to attract footfall, but that’s just the point. Acclaimed restaurateur Hubert Hlatky-Schlichter, does try, very hard, and has a Michelin star to prove it, earned at nearby Babel Budapest.
While not haute cuisine, here at KIOSK, fresh, seasonal produce from reliable local suppliers is the bedrock of the menu, along with home-made bread and pasta.
1056 Budapest, Március 15. tér 4.
You really can’t beat the setting here, overlooking the lake in City Park, where this restaurant has been sat on an island since 1989. More than three decades later, it’s still going strong, with a steakhouse on the upper level and a 100-seat terrace below, where diners tuck into classic Hungarian favourites such as goulash and veal paprikás.
1146 Budapest, Városliget.
7. Rozmaring Kertvendéglő
Its long terrace lapped by the Danube up in Óbuda, the traditional Rozmaring is tucked away from the main road, alongside a kayak-canoe sports club. Fish is a strong point here, trout, catfish and a superb fish soup served in a little cauldron, but what you’re really after is that ambience of timeless Hungary, of lazy, indolent dining and meals silencing any tick of the clock. Carnivores will also have a field day, particularly game in autumn, when the home-made lecsó stew also comes into its own.
1036 Budapest, Árpád fejedelem útja 125.
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