Food in Budapest – Where to eat with the locals

Food in Budapest and exploring Hungarian cuisine will be among the highlights of your trip- no doubt! From fine dining to street food, you’ll find plenty of options and wonderful flavors. Here are some places that we recommend for you to check out.

Könyvbár for a sophisticated evening

If you like reading, then this restaurant is a must-visit. Praised by both local and international press, the menu at Könyvbár (Book Bar) is inspired popular books. This includes  Harry Potter, Poirot, The Da Vinci Code, The Pillars of the Earth, Chocolat, The Jungle Book and many more. This is a great start to experiencing the best food in Budapest.

Könyvbár budapest book selection
©Könyvbár
Könyvbár - reading restaurant
©Könyvbár

Zeller Bistro for a friendly experience

Located in the heart of the city, just a few meters from St. Stephen’s Basilica, Zeller Bistro offers a great dining experience. They work with small organic farmers, local wine makers and breweries. This means the quality of the food is always excellent. The menu is meat-heavy but they always have a daily fish option, too. Food in Budapest does not get much better than this!

Zeller Bistro in Budapest
©Zeller Bistro

The Tasting Table & Shop for wine lovers

Hungarian wine is definitely worth exploring. The wonderful white, rosé and and red wines come from the the 22 wine regions in the country. This includes the famous Tokaj wine region, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where the unique sweet aszú wine is being produced. With wine dinners every other Thursday and daily wine tastings at 3pm and 6pm, the Tasting Table & Shop is a great place to learn about Hungarian wine. This cozy cellar is also a wine shop. It has an impressive selection of about 200 different Hungarian wines.

The Tasting Table & Shop for wine lovers
©Tasting Table Budapest

iF Café for jazz music

iF Café on Ráday utca is only a few minute walk from MEININGER Budapest Great Market Hall. It is a great place if you want to listen to jazz music while exploring the local cuisine. There is live concert every night from 7:30 pm. On the menu you’ll find delicious Hungarian dishes. This includes Alföld style goulash soup, Hungarian rump steak with lecho and roasted potatoes or home-made lecho with egg or sausage.

Pesti Burger for the best burger in town

Pesti Burger is now a legendary burger place in Budapest. According to many travelers, it could easily compete with the best burger places in the world. Besides the classic burgers, they always have a weekly burger on the menu. This has some exciting ingredients, such as wild mushroom confit, jalapeno, marinated red onion, alioli with pink pepper, walnut camembert, grilled apple and more. They also have a great selection of local Hungarian craft beers.

Pesti Burger in Budapest
©Pesti Burger

Karaván for street food lovers

Street food has become very popular in Budapest in the last couple of years and Karaván is one of the best places to grab some local street food, such as lángos, the traditional fried dough served with sour cream. Karaván is in a courtyard on Kazinczy Street right next to Szimpla, the very first ruin bar in Budapest and it’s only open during the warm months. There are about a dozen food stands selling traditional, vegan and sushi burgers, fried cheese (another Hungarian specialty), goulash and other soups, tortillas, nachos and more.

Downtown Market for a local experience

Built between 1892 and 1896, the Downtown Market in Budapest’s 5th district is a great place if you’re looking for a local culinary experience. On the street level, you’ll find dozens of vendors selling local produces, fresh fruits and vegetables, meat and dairy products while upstairs there are small restaurants with lunch menus.

Street food Karavan Budapest
©Attila Höfle (Budapestflow)

Our hotel in the center of Budapest is a great base to stay at whilst you explore and discover these culinary delights.

Visiting Budapest soon?

In the center of Budapest, immediately next to the Great Market Hall on the Pest side of the city is the MEININGER Budapest Great Market Hall hotel. From here it is easy to reach many tourist attractions such as the parliament, the State Opera or the St. Stephan's Basilica.

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