Gettó Gulyás

This restaurant is hands down the hottest dinner destination within the on-trend Jewish Quarter. Their winning formula is simple; serve uncomplicated traditional Hungarian dishes along with a range of local wines inside an atmospheric space near the city’s best bars. If in doubt, try the veal paprikash that arrives with baked cottage cheese rolled in bacon. Reservations are a must. (If you have to wait for a table, pop in for a drink to the world-famous ruin bar, Szimpla, a few doors down from Gettó Gulyás.)

ESCA

This tiny studio restaurant offers an intimate dining experience on a quiet backstreet in the Jewish neighbourhood. Young owner/chef Gábor Fehér trained in Denmark and at leading Budapest restaurants before venturing out on his own with a Scandinavian-Hungarian concept. Go for the five-course tasting menu featuring inventive dishes like the mangalitsa pork loin paired with fresh green peas and wild garlic.

Stand25 Bistro

In 2017, local chefs Szabina Szulló and Tamás Széll left the world of fine-dining to start this no-frills, casual eatery inside the lively Hold Street Market Hall. Their mission is to prove that Hungarian “peasant fare” can be so much more than a high-carb, greasy affair. If you think goulash and layered potatoes aren’t your thing, they will likely prove you wrong. Stand25 works best at lunch, but be sure to make a reservation before you go.

HILDA

With excellent curb appeal and a highly Instagrammable interior featuring mosaics, glazed ceramic tiles and Murano glass, this colourful downtown restaurant is equally good for a selfie as a boozy brunch. Their weekend offerings include standards like croque madame and croque monsieur, but those craving an avocado toast topped with a poached egg will also find themselves at home.

Mazel Tov

Don’t be fooled by the dilapidated facade of this Middle Eastern-themed bar and restaurant; the enormous courtyard hides an impossibly on-trend contemporary space featuring sleek wooden furniture, live music and a buzzy atmosphere. Mazel Tov’s elaborately designed interior is a creative take on the normally run-down ruin bars which otherwise fill the neighbourhood. The shawarma plate and the spicy merguez will not disappoint, nor will the negronis.

Spicy Fish

Few people know that Budapest has a 30,000 member Chinese community, which means excellent Chinese restaurants in certain parts of the city. The best ones are located in Monori Center, offering a gastronomic paradise for Chinese food fans. Try Spicy Fish, a higher-end option specialising in Sichuan cuisine; expect plates piled high and packed with chilli heat and mouth-numbing Sichuan peppercorns.

Gettó Gulyás

ESCA

Stand25 Bistro

HILDA

Mazel Tov

Spicy Fish

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