From centuries old cafes and coffee houses to chic new restaurants, you will not go hungry in Hungary! Our top picks include:
Central Kavehaz or Cafe, at Karolyi Mihaly 9: A wonderful old world cafe that is perfect for lunch or a coffee and pastry. There was a piano player and a lively crowd. I enjoyed a great pumpkin soup and a hearty beef stew with noodles.
Gerloczy Kavehaz Cafe: Locals recommended it to me as did a friend in the US. This is a fun cafe in the heart of Pest with a lovely outdoor cafe. They do have hotel rooms where my friends stayed and enjoyed. Gerloczy Utca 1.
Auguszt Tortenet: Since 1870, this is a great spot for a coffee and a pastry in a charming atmosphere. I thought the fig and caramel torte suggestion was perfect!
Buddha Bar: This is a hip restaurant, bar and lounge with an Asian theme centered around a huge gold Buddha. There is also a Sunday brunch. Vaci Utca 34.
Borkonyha Winekitchen is a modern bistro featuring many wines by the bottle and glass and a very creative menu at Sas Utca 3. It has an old world yet modern design that is warm and inviting. The music also set a great tone. The staff was really excellent and attentive. I loved a fresh salad and a very well-prepared cod entree with pureed carrots, a root vegetable foam and roasted carrots. The coconut mousse with pineapple ice cream topped with a pineapple and tomato relish, coconut and a candied pineapple snowflake was the perfect way to end the meal.
Gerbeaud, Vorosmarty ter 7-8: This is a famous cafe known for its cakes and chocolates. I totally indulged in the Emil Gerbeaud’s Legacy which was an amazing chocolate dessert cake with cognac cherries, vanilla ice cream and a piece of their dark chocolate. A perfect latte added to the experience. The cafe is popular and very old world in its design. They do serve food in the cafe and also have a popular restaurant next door in the same building. This is not to be missed!
Callas Cafe & Restaurant: Located across from the Opera, this is a beautiful restaurant and worth the visit. Andrassy Utca. 20. I enjoyed a light branzino fish entree after pigging out on a chocolate dessert in the afternoon. A nice touch was the small band which started playing just after 8 pm which really enhanced the overall ambiance.
New York Cafe: Located at the Boscolo Hotel is a lovely spot for a coffee or a meal. I enjoyed a lighter entree of trout with lentils and a red pepper sauce. This is an historic cafe that was at the center of the intellectual life of Budapest and frequented by artists, writers and journalists.
Cafe Noe: This is one of three Rachel Raj Tortazalon featuring her famous cakes and tortes. I enjoyed the location in a small shop, in the 7th District, at Wesselenyi Utca 13. I really enjoyed the famous Hungarian Jewish Cake made with plum jam, walnuts, apple and poppy seeds.