Hey guys! I just got back a few days ago from Budapest and I had an amazing time there with good food and nice sunny weather!
During my time there, I think majority of the time was discovering the city and deciding what to eat. Compare to the UK, food is much cheaper in Budapest. I tried different local Hungarian delicacies and also a few fine dining restaurants. Here are some of the places that I think it is worth going :)
+ Onyx: Michelin Star restaurant
If you are a foodie and in Budapest, this is a must. It is relatively cheap to, especially if you go for lunch (5990HUF approx.£15 for 3 courses). You can also add more money for each course if you want to try their a la carte dishes. The cuisine is Hungarian reinterpreted with modern twists and elements, effortlessly bridging the traditional flavors of the country with contemporary international culinary techniques.
Even though the descriptions were rather simple, the presentation of the dish is more sophisticated.
Pre-meal bread tray included 10-12 varieties of different types of bread.
This is bread made with squid ink! I’ve never had anything like this before
For starters, I had goose liver made in 3 different ways. It also came with toasted brioche.
Goose liver pate with grape jelly, goose liver moose and seared goose liver.
Mains: Turbot, Tomato jus
For the starters and mains, they were very straight forward dishes and the combinations and ingredients balanced out each other very well.
Dessert: Sweet Potato, Chocolate and Chestnut Honey
I’ve never had dessert made with sweet potatoes before apart from the Chinese sweet soups(糖水) so I wasn’t sure what I was expecting. When the dish arrived, it was a trio of small desserts.
From left: Sweet potato ball, chocolate ganache with orange jelly and sweet potato foam, chestnut ice cream with caramelised honey biscuits.
I absolutely loved it! I really don’t have the words to describe how satisfied I was. Even though I’m not a fan of chocolate ganache, this turned out to be very light. The sweet potato ball reminded me of Japanese mochi filled with red beans. The purée that was along with it went really well with the crunchy texture of the shell and soft centred sweet potato. The chestnut ice cream was very smooth and the crunchy biscuits adds texture and flavour.
Sorrels, White Chocolate, Raspberry
Sorrel is actually a type of vegetable after looking it up on Wikipedia and by just looking at these three words it very hard to tell how they will be cooking it. My first thought was making it into a strudel because strudels are Hungarian traditions, but when the dish arrived, I was really surprise. The bottom layer is a white chocolate pudding, topped with freezer dried raspberries with some nuts and biscuits, on top of everything else, it was the sorrel ice cream. The colour combinations worked very well too!
I sampled each of the elements individually and the sorrel is actually sour, but it was refreshing and by combining it with the white chocolate and raspberry, it actually balanced out the flavours and made it a very light dessert without feeling overwhelmed
Overall, onyx not only showed their take of Hungarian food through their culinary techniques, it also shows a combinations of different flavour and ingredients on a single plate.
ONYX. 1051 Budapest Vörösmarty tér 7-8. (Entrance from Harmincad street). T: +36-30-508-0622. Reservations Recommened
A Smart, passionately run bistro serving carefully prepared, classic Hungarian dishes with an appealing, earthy quality. As soon as you enter the restaurant, you can feel the warmth and welcome from the owner and the staffs. They also have an excellent wine list features the country’s top producers. Even though this restaurant is not as fancy as Onyx, the quality of the food and presentations are very unique and different. The wealth of Hungarian flavours and the variety of ingredients are both represented. This restaurant is also specialised in Foie Gras with reasonable prices!
For anyone who wants to try foie gras or loves foie gras, this is a starter that you have to order, and it is also good for sharing. It consists of three of their original starters and an additional surprise dish from the restaurant, and all of them are prepared and cooked with different culinary techniques. (3800HUF, 14EUR for the four variations, to order them individual and have a bigger portion, it is 2700 HUF, 10 EUR)
Starters: A taste of their Foie Gras dishes, (from top) this included a traditional foie gras, foie gras with salad and camomile jelly, foie gras with chocolate and plum and foie gras creme brûlée. The white powder that is next to the foie gras is infused with foie gras flavours and is it quite strong too.
My favourite is the foie gras creme brûlée, not only this is the first time I have had it, I don’t think I have seen foie gras being cooked this way! It is sweet and does have that crunchy top layer you would get from a creme brûlée, adding texture and flavour to the foie gras – I also love norm creme brûlée :)
The foie gras with chocolate is also very interesting, I think they used a slightly bitter cocoa to make it, and you can taste a hint of foie gras while eating it.
Mains: Roasted Foie Gras with Fennel and Fig Sauce (5600 HUF 20 EUR)
When this dish arrived, my mouth dropped open, I have never had 3 pieces of foie gras served as a main before, as there would usually be one and also with some fancy fancy sauce dribbled around. Also, I have never had a piece of foie gras that is the size of my fist!
I couldn’t even finish it because it was too much for me, however, this dish is nicely cooked, strong earthy flavours and very juicy. It is a very simple dish with potatoes and onions on the side and with no fancy presentation. I seriously doubt I will be eating any more foie gras this year.
Dessert: Pumkin Mousse with Chestnut Ice cream (1300 HUF, 5 EUR)
A beautiful presented dish and very light to end the meal. The pumkin mouse is very light and has only a very slight hint of pumpkin taste and the chestnut ice cream is gorgeous. It doesn’t make you feel overwhelmed with all the food you have eaten.
Overall, the warm and relax atmosphere paired with good service and amazing food, this will be a place I am definitely coming back to.
Tigris 1051 Budapest, Mérleg u. 10. T: +36 1 317 3715. Reservations Recommended
Vapiano is a German fresh casual restaurant chain offering Italian food. The concept is a pizza and pasta bar, where food is made to order. This chain restaurant is around the world, but this is the first one I have been to and I’ve fallen completely in love with it. During my 5 day visit in Budapest, I’ve had 3 meals in here. Not only because the prices are cheap, they also so fresh pastas and ingredients to cook your meal! You can also personalise it to your taste :D The cost of two mains, two drinks and a starter is roughly 5700HUF, which is fairly cheap for a meal in comparison to the UK.
I have been craving for its pasta ever since I got back, I have also found a branch in London, but I doubt it will be as good as the one in Budapest :(
Vapiano. 1052 Budapest, Bécsi utca 5, Hungary. T:+36 1 411 0864
Gundel (next to the Budapest Zoo)
I went for the Sunday Brunch which is a lunch buffet with a selection of cold & hot dishes, fruits, salads and dessert! As soon as we arrived, we were warmly welcomed and were given two bubblies to start off with. I dived for the fruits sections first as I had been craving for fresh fruits for a past few days. I also apologise for not taking any photos as the manager of the restaurant do not particularly like their customers to be photographed.
On their cold section, they have cold meats, foie gras, salad, cold soup and salmon.
On their hot sections, there was fish, nicely cooked beef stew, risotto, rack of lamb, roasted chicken, veal and a few vegetable sides. There were two different soups, one is a vegetable soup and the other is like a beef stew soup.
For desserts, it was my heaven! Gundel Pancakes with home made chocolate sauce (not to be missed), home-made strudel (apple or cherry), a selection of cakes and mouses, macarons, home made ice cream, cheesecake, fruit tarts and creme brûlée!
I think I had fruits and some fish and spend most of my time eating dessert. It is 6800 HUF per person for the buffet brunch, however, you can opt in for their a la carte menu if you prefer. They also have a wider selection of foie gras dishes on their a la carte and slightly more expensive than Tigris.
Gundel 1146 Budapest, Gundel Karoly Street 4. T:+36 1 889 8100
+ Central Market Hall
Food food and food! The central market hall not only attracts tourists, this is also a place where the locals shop. The ground level consists of fresh fruits and vegetables, butchers and bakery goods; the basement level has fresh fish, seafood and butchers; and the second level has a restaurant and a few food stalls and also gifts and souvenirs.
Cottage Cheese with Chocolate, Apple Strudel. Both of these are very typical hungarian delicacies.
Lángos, another hungarian delicacy. It is a salty fried dough, served with sour cream and grated cheese. It was originally a by-product of making bread. you can add all sorts of toppings, including cabbage, mushroom, beef, ham, etc. anything you want. The fried dough and sour cream combination taste really good but I got too much toppings on this one and took me forever to eat. but this is really worth trying, and each place that does langos taste different too.
Different types of sausages and I had a paprika one as this is a spice that is widely used in Budapest. I also had a paprika flavoured macaron at the hotel I was staying, it was sweet and only has a very slight hint of paprika.
Great Market Hall, 1093 Budapest, Vámház körút 1-3, Hungary
This is the Kürtöskalács, or chimney cake, is a traditional Hungarian pastry that is wrapped around a wooden spool and slowly turned over an open fire. Its origins are from Transylvania, but they’re now celebrated as the oldest pastry in Hungary, and they’re often served as street food. The dough is coated with oil and sugar, and when baked it creates a crunchy, sugary outside crust, it can also be dipped into nuts, cinnamon, chocolate or coconut. They are best when they are served fresh straight from the oven or open fire. They range from 250 HUF – 1000 HUF, depending where you go. I have also tried a few different places, and the best place for this is at the castle hill, served by an lovely old man and his wife
Overall, apart from sight seeing, it was more of a eating trip. I even gained a couple of pounds, but it is all worth it. There were a few other restaurants and places I went, but I didn’t mentioned them because they weren’t much of a hype and if I were to visit Budapest again, I highly doubt I would visit them again. So, if you do go to Budapest, make sure you make a reservation at Onyx and Tigris, head to Vapiano for some gorgeous Italian food and defo try the Kürtöskalács and Langos. I can’t wait till summer now, but I’m still deciding where to head off to and soak myself up in the sun.
What are your plans for Easter and Summer?
Lots of Love x