Budapest Eating, drinking and dancing
(+36 (1) 202 2113)
This lively, loud restaurant with an open kitchen serves traditional Hungarian food. It’s a cosy, relaxed place to get lunch or dinner.
21 Fortuna Utca
(+36 30 723 9383)
Headed by Hungary’s Alexandra Étteremkalauz, 2011 Chef of the Year, Mák has high vaulted ceilings and a buzzing, relaxed atmosphere. Stop in for first-class Hungarian cuisine at lunch or dinner.
4 Vigyázó Ferenc Utca
(+36 (1) 225 0377)
For the type of hearty dishes your grandmother would cook – if she were Hungarian – dine at Pest Buda. The building’s traditional, too: the original Baroque roof is still in place, and the ground floor has served as a tavern and restaurant for centuries.
3 Fortuna Utca
+36 (1) 375 6971
Housed in a 13th-century former bakery, Pierrot has been attracting celebrity diners since 1982 (and it’s got the photos along the wall to prove it). Ask for a table near the bar or if it's warm enough outside in the courtyard – it’s lovely in summer. The pianist tinkling away in the corner ups the formality a little, but you won’t feel out of place in your smart jeans.
14 Fortuna Utca
(+36 30 229 1821)
At this very intimate bar, it’s all about the drinks. The bartenders here are true mixologists – they will take time over your cocktail to get it just right. It’s a great place to start your night of first-class Hungarian bar hopping.
1061 Budapest, Paulay Ede Utca 5
(+36 70 311 1010)
This very cool modern space has vaulted ceilings, raw cement walls and a DJ managing the music in the corner. Snack on cheese and sausage with great wine pre-dinner, or grab a post-prandial drink.
9 Október 6 Utca
(+36 (1) 302 3691)
Light and airy, Baldaszti’s Grand serves modern Hungarian and European cuisine. It’s right in the centre of town and great for a mid-shopping lunch.
8 Andrássy Út
(+36 (1) 30 382 3357)
A grand dame of Budapest coffeehouses, Central – housed in pretty and historic building – serves elaborate sweet treats and elegantly presented savoury dishes, along with a hefty slice of Hungarian heritage.
9 Károlyi Mihály Utca
(+36 (1) 429 9000)
Tuck in to coffee and cake at Gerbeaud, one of the city’s best loved confectioners. Sweet-toothed locals and visitors alike have been enjoying their creations since 1858.
7–8 Vörösmarty Tér
(+36 (1) 501 4000)
Gerloczy Cafe and Restaurant
This traditional Hungarian bistro is a cosy, laid-back setting for lunch or a snack (it’s open all day).
1 Gerloczy Utca
(+36 (1) 266 3525)
Ask for a window seat with a view of the basilica at this nautical-themed restaurant with a lively atmosphere. In summer, they open out the doors and spill out onto the pavement. There’s an American-influenced Italian menu, and a real Italian pizza oven.
8 Oktober 6 Utca