best hungarian restaurant in Budapest


Eating like a Local: These are our Favorite Authentic Hungarian Restaurants in Budapest

Food is without a doubt my favorite topic, so it is not an accident that we organize tours many tours with culinary experiences in Budapest and in the Hungarian countryside as well. Usually when I travel to another country that is the first thing I check out, which local food should I try, and most importantly where can I find great spots in town to do that.

I wanted to help future visitors of Budapest to find the best traditional Hungarian restaurants and what dishes is worth trying.  We tested every one of the following places many times so the following list is an absolutely personal opinion-based collection of a group of always hung(a)ry locals. Enjoy!


Gettó Gulyás 

You probably already heard about this gem in the Jewish Quarter, ca. 50 meters from the Grand Synagogue. Very Hungarian, very retro, very good. The simplicity of the design takes you back to the turn of the century (not this one, but the earlier), but among the authentic Hungarian restaurants in Budapest, it is the more modern trendier one. 

The real Hungarian vibe is accompanied by great food! The menu offers you all the classic ones, like Goulash soup, or a special favorite, the Meat Pancake from Hortobágy. A tip: when you hear about Chicken Paprikash, never forget, a Paprikash can be anything, not just chicken. There is a various selection of this wonderful meal, you can eat it with mushrooms, beef, pork, and last but not least, Gettó Gulyás offers a real specialty: Rooster Testicle Paprikash!
It is a very popular place amongst locals and visitors as well, so it is recommended to book a table, especially at weekends and at dinner time. 


Bem Söröző 

Now, this is a real local hidden treasure. It’s located on the Buda side, close to Margaret Bridge, its entrance is from a big square, through the corner of one of the beautiful buildings, and the door is basically cut into a huge barrel. 

When you step in, you can see this very unique version of Hungarian restaurants. The word ‘söröző’ literally means ‘beer house’, and you really can’t decide first if you are in a pub or a restaurant. A bit of both. 

You sit in one of the boxes, the service is great and polite, you can choose from a very rich selection of Hungarian meals, or you can choose from the daily menu (extra wallet-friendly offer usually for around 8 € with 2-3 courses). In the wine selection, you can find the famous Hungarian red wine, the Bull’s Blood from the same cellar where we have a wine tasting program on our Sightseeing And Wine Tour In Eger.

For some reason this place remained local, it captures the essence of a typical old-school Hungarian restaurant’s vibe perfectly. You can find a few tourists there, but you can easily get a table at any part of the day and the year.



First of all, I truly appreciate good wordplay. Menza means in Hungarian the typical food cafeteria, but luckily the similarities stop with the name because the actual restaurant has great quality, and variety of Hungarian and international dishes with a beautiful, elegant interior.  Menza is not at all a local place, it mainly lures visitors, because it has an excellent location right in the middle of Andrássy Avenue.  The service is quick, polite, and friendly, however, the receipt includes a 12% service fee, we still tipped our waitress.

The food is, simply saying, A Lot. They are not weird about a doggy bag, so if you just can’t finish your meal, but you already know that your future self would be the most grateful person for the rest later, just ask them to pack it away for you.

Menza is pretty busy all the time, so it the best, if you book a table in advance, but fortune favors the brave, as they say, if you are walking around the Hungarian Music Academy, check them out!

Pozsonyi Kisvendéglő

It is without a doubt a locals favorite in my favorite neighborhood in the 13th district, closeby to the Margareth Bridge. About the area; this is the old artist neighborhood of the Pest side. You won’t find many famous sights around here, but it has a great atmosphere with excellent cafés and restaurants and beautiful Bauhaus buildings all around you.

As you step in you quickly recognize that everything was designed to convey an old Hungarian tavern’s atmosphere, the interior design, the red-and-white checkered tablecloths, the menu with our grandparent’s favorite dishes, the presentation of the food, and even the local regulars, everything is very familiar in a perfect way.  It operates at affordable prices (probably this is the cheapest option on the list) and of course, the size of the dishes are just enormous. 

This place is extremely popular amongst the locals so around the weekends. I would definitely recommend booking a table, especially around dinner and lunchtime.


restaurants in Budapest - Horgásztanya


The last pick from our favorite authentic Hungarian restaurants in Budapest might not be for everybody because it is a fish restaurant. Of course, you can find classics on the menu, like Lángos, Goulash, or Beef stew, but the main dish of the restaurant is the favorite of many locals, the “Fisherman soup”. This paprika-heavy fish soup is usually made from carp, roe, or catfish. Locals eat it with bread or noodles, depending on which part of the country they are from. This soup is one of the most popular Christmas dishes in Hungary, but if you have an enthusiastic angler in your family you’ll eat it all around the year.

If you like good fish dishes this place is a must! If you don’t it is still worth a try because they have an excellent kitchen! In the Buda Castle’s neighborhood, you won’t find a better authentic Hungarian restaurant.

Oh, and their fresh homemade bread is something to die for!


+1 Authentic Hungarian Restaurants in Budapest: the Rare Vegan Option

authentic hungarian restaurants in Budapest - kozmosz, the vegan option

Kozmosz Vegán Étterem

I consider the Kozmosz as a real hidden gem. It’s a very simple, small restaurant. Also, it is the only spot where they figured out how to do vegan Hungarian dishes. The main reason why it is on the list is their vegan goulash! It is great and has a quite similar taste to the original one. If you had enough of the heavy meaty dishes in our kitchen, it is a great healthy break. It is behind the Franz Liszt Museum closeby to Andrássy Avenue. If you are looking for something food-related to do in that neighborhood, it is worth checking out the Hunyadi market. It is one of the best local markets in Budapest and it is just right on the other side of the little park in front of the restaurant.


So this was our not-at-all-objective restaurant list. To summarize every place’s biggest advantage: For bigger groups and picky eaters, the Menza is a perfect choice, for a modern, trendy but authentic experience, the Gettó Gulyás is the one, for the most traditional, local experience the Pozsonyi Kisvendéglő and Bem Söröző are great, for fish the Horgásztanya is your place and finally if you are looking for a vegan option, we highly recommend the Kozmosz.  If you are just a little bit similar to the writer of this article, you probably feel hungry right now, so follow my example, and Eat Around Budapest!