Budapest Restaurants

Restaurants in Budapest come in all sizes, qualities, price lists, styles, etc. Here is our Budapest Restaurants 101, with infos on tipping, some culture clash to count on, etc.

Budapest Restaurants Guide

You will find a restaurant in the city centre in almost every street. Literally. If you are not on a budget tour, we recommend starting your Hungarian culinary experience by picking one of the Best Budapest Restaurants or even the Budapest Restaurants in the Michelin Guide.

Budapest Restaurant Guide

Budapest Restaurant Guide

Opening hours of restaurants
Most of the restaurants in Budapest have tourist-friendly opening hours, from 12am to 10pm (or, depending on the season, the guests, etc to 12pm). Restaurants in Budapest usually do not close between lunch and dinner. After lunchtime, the kitchens of restaurants will stay open, so you won’t stay hungry if you drop in at 3pm or 4pm for a late lunch.

Several restaurants have a no-welcome-waiter-at-the-door policy, so you basically walk in, and pick a table of your choice. Waiters and waitresses in Hungary usually do not introduce themselves by their names, they will simply come up to you, greet, give you a menu to choose from and take your drink orders if you know what you want to drink already. Several tourists have remarked that waiters were not smiling or friendly enough. Hopefully, you will see otherwise. In any case, do not take it personally, smiling is not an all day face for Hungarians, unlike for Americans.

The standard tipping rate is 10%, anything over 10% means your appreciation of the service as above average. Oftentimes service fee / tip is not included in the bill.

Budapest Restaurant Map

You can find some of the best restaurants in Budapest in our  Budapest Tourist Map. Please click on the map image to get to the actual interactive map to estimate walking, car or Budapest public transport distances:

Budapest Restaurants

Budapest Restaurants

Paying by card
You can pay for your meals by card in most restaurants, especially in restaurants of higher quality. However, just in case, prepare for paying by cash. The smaller and less expensive the restaurant is, the higher the chance that they only accept cash. But dropping in a restaurant how should you know? It may help that meal prices, and in fact the complete menu is often stuck outside at the entrance of the restaurant, so you can decide if the prices fit your budget or not. Now, if the prices for main courses are less than 700-1500 HUF, you are at a cheap or cheapish restaurant and you will need cash.

Restaurant language

  • Restaurant is etterem in Hungarian. Say: eight-terr-rem.
  • Vendeglo (ven-day-gler) is a kind of restaurant, something like an inn. It can be less elegant, more casual and cheaper than an Etterem.
  • Kisvendeglo (kish-ven-day-gler) is literally a Small Vendeglo, i.e. a small inn.
  • Etkezde (eight-kez-dae) is a kind of restaurant on the cheap side. A budget diner.
  • Menu is Etlap (eight-lop), but Hungarians use the word Menü (see the two dots over u?) for a la carte.
  • Wine is Bor in Hungarian. Sounds like ‘bore’ in English.
  • Beer is Sör (say shir as in Shirley).
  • Good is Jó (yoo)
  • Delicious is Finom (finn-om).
  • Bon appetit is Jó étvágyat! (Yo eight-vadj-ot)
  • Cheers (when drinking toast) is Egészségedre! (say: egg-ace-shay-ghed-rae) (quite a mouthful, this one word is a whole sentence: To your health!)

Checking the bill

There are some restaurants or waiters to be more precise, who might try the good old trick of ‘bill overcharge’ on you. Do keep track of what you have ordered, re-ordered, and do check the bills before paying in Budapest restaurants. Mind you, if you are paying for bread slices, it is customary. Also, if there is a snack on the table like bread and butter, or pogacsa or nuts, what have you, you will pay for them if you eat them. Drinks are not refilled for free. Each drink is a separate item on your bill.

Wines at Hungarian Restaurants
Unfortunately, there are not many good restaurants with a good wine list in Budapest. Sorry. That being said, several tourists have reported that the best wines they drank in Budapest was when they were wine tasting (e.g. on the Castle Hill, Budapest), or went on a Budapest wine tour.

Dinner time
General dinner time is between 6-8 pm in Hungary, so if you decide to have dinner at 9 (or 10pm) “you risk offhand service and cold food ” (Fodor’s travel guide).

'Any deer, my dear?' - King Matthias Fountain at the Buda Castle, Budapest

‘Any deer, my dear?’ – King Matthias Fountain, Budapest – photo by dalbera

Salads and pickles

Budapest restaurants will offer various salads and pickles on the menu. There is one thing that might be curious to you: some salads are of small size, like the Cucumber salad (Uborkasalata) or the Tomato salad (Paradicsomsalata). Basically these salads are treated as pickles, and Hungarians eat them simultaneously with the meaty main course, not as a starter. Nevertheless, many restaurants will have salads that are entree alternatives, for instance, Ceasar salad and the like of good sizes.

Fodor’s guide says “Strict vegetarians should note: even meatless dishes are usually cooked with lard (zsír)” It may have been true 15-20 years ago, but not any more. Vegetable oil is absolutely prevailing in Budapest restaurants (even though some Hungarian households in the countryside indeed still make meals with lard.
That being said, if you ever stand a chance to try Mangalitsa lard (mangalica zsir), or Mangalitsa (say: mon-gah-lits-tsah) sausage, pork meals, give in. Mangalica pigs are a special Hungarian breed, resembling wild boars, whose lard and meat are very low in cholesterol, and contain higher levels of oleic acid. Hard to imagine that pork can be healthy? Read more about Mangalitsas:
NY Times Blog
San Francisco Chronicle

Hungarians and Hungarian Restaurants

Hungarians do not tend to go to restaurants on a regular basis, according to a 2009 survey by GFK Hungaria Market Research institute, not even on a weekly basis. Most Hungarians use restaurants to celebrate events like birthdays, name days, to do business or to date. Meeting friends is more typical in pubs than in restaurants.
Only 4% of Hungarians go to restaurants on a daily basis, another 6% eats in restaurants 2-3 times a week. The Hungarians who most typically spend on restaurant meals are either successful white collar workers or young hipsters (‘young hedonists’ as the analysis puts it) who cannot cook for themselves.
Very many Hungarians (especially the elderly and the underclass) never go to restaurants.
So when Hungarians do go to restaurants, they will usually prefer not to eat traditional Hungarian meals, but something else, like Italian, French, Greek, Chinese, Thai, Japanese, etc. Or it just sounds a good explanation for why it is hard to find a good Hungarian restaurant with Hungarian cuisine, which is more than just goulash and chicken paprika.


Im very keen to try traditional hungarian cuisine. Are the particular areas of the city that have more Hungarian than international restaurants?

Hello Sacha, I am sorry to say that there are no districts in Budapest where Hungarian restaurants as such are denser. However, there are two restaurant quarters where you may find more culinary establishments of all sorts and they may have more Hungarian dishes per squaremetre: one of them is near Oktogon square at Liszt Ferenc tér to be more precise (by Andrassy Avenue World Heritage site) and the other one is in Raday utca (a pedestrian only street) close to the Liberty Bridge (Szabadsag hid). Hope this helps.


My wife and I are traveling from Melbourne Australia mid July on a European holiday and visiting Hungary for a week.
Which part of Budapest has the more reputable restaurants.
I have been living in Australia since 1972 so an update would be nice as we have absolutely no idea.
Kind regards:
Ferenc & Terezia Varga

Hello Ferenc, welcome back to the old Continent and Hungary. I am sure that some of the changes will appeal to you, while others (most noticeably the many unsightly, and absolutely non-artistic graffitis on the walls and on Budapest attractions will be less attractive…
Reputable restaurants in Budapest are quite spread out, as is the city. There are two award winning gastro restaurants for serious foodies and gourmands in Budapest, one is Costes Restaurant in Raday street – a street which has turned into a Restaurant Quarter with more than a dozen restaurants next to each other (Raday has become a pedestrian only street like Vaci utca shopping street). The other award winning (1 Michelin star likewise) is Onyx Restaurant is on Vorosmarty Square close to the still famous and still reputable, although touristy Cafe Gerbeaud.
The restaurant that both locals and tourists love very much these days is Cafe Gerloczy with a nice open air terrace and their own bakery (that’s why it is often recommended as the perfect breakfast place in Budapest – but its lunches and dinners are great too!) – Hungarian and French cuisine. But if you are looking for other cuisines, the Greek Taverna Dionysos and the Italian Trattoria Toscana (both by Belgrad rakpart street along the river Danube) are hugely popular for their great foods and lively atmosphere. For wine lovers Bock Bistro is a first rate choice on the Gran Boulevard, close to Oktogon Square.
Oktogon is also a good location to walk into Liszt Ferenc square, the other hot spot of eateries and restaurants in Budapest. Indeed the other Restaurant Quarters of Budapest, where Menza is often mentioned as a great value for money place.
Do you have any preferences for Budapest restaurants – meaning location, cuisine, price, occasion? It is easier to help if you give some further clues. Have a nice trip to Budapest!
PS: There are many good restaurants in Budapest from the old times too (Kehli, Uj Sipos, Kisbudagyongye, etc. – I think Gundel is not a number 1 any more, but it is still in the best restaurant list of Budapest)

Hi Top Budapest

Thank you so kindly for the detailed information regarding my restaurant enquries.
As such we don’t have any preferences in restaurants, only that it’s not sleazy and a major wrip off where it comes to tourists.
Having said that my wife and I also enjoy Asian food, mainly Malaysian but after 40 years of being away from the homeland a full on traditional Magyar meal would be great, even if on occasions it was unhealthy but tasty.
We are so looking forward to the visit which is about 5 weeks away.
Again thank you for taking your time to reply to my request.

Kind regards:
Frank & Terezia Varga

hi to all

I am visiting Budapest for New Year so i would appreciate any suggestion for restaurants to spent New Year there, i would prefer local cusine traditional style.

Thank you so much


Top Budapest Restaurants

Hello Kassi, there are many restaurants that are closed for private events, others throw a party, while some of the restaurants on New Year’s Eve provide a decent dinner opportunity and a stepping stone towards the NYE party. Unfortunately we do not have the resources to check which restaurants will be open / closed / private on December 31, so I would recommend checking our top Budapest restaurants list, or the Hungarian restaurants page, and try to contact the restaurant you like based on the short intro:
and some of the best restaurants, including Hungarian restaurants:
In addition to restaurants, cruises are quite popular to celebrate: some people take a New Year river cruise in Budapest:

Romantic Resturant Budapest?

Hi All,

My partner and I will visit Budapest in early March and I intent to propose the big question of marriage while we are there as it’s our 5th anniversary of getting together.
Can anyone reccomend a romantic resturant in the centre of Budapest where I could pop the question?


Hello, it really depends on what you feel romantic, more modern, more traditional, more Italian, French, Indian, etc. For Italian, you can try Trattoria Toscana, Comme Chez Sois, etc. For French and Hungarian, perhaps Cafe Bouchon would be a perfect choice, for Spanish influenced restaurant, you could try the restaurant of the Grand Hotel Iberia (La Plaza)
For a traditional Hungarian city cafe with lots of light and a charming atmosphere, you can try Cafe Central.
There are some restaurants with river views, which look romantic but may not have the best cuisine and service:
Budapest is definitely a romantic city, so you will have lots of chances to celebrate the 5 year anniversary together:


My husband and I are from India and we will be visiting Budapest in May’13. We are both vegetarian and don’t eat meat, eggs or sea food. We do eat bread, cheese and vegetables. Can you please recommend some restaurants to us?

Thanks so much!

Top Budapest Travel Guide

Hello Priyali, you can take a look at some of the vegan and vegetarian restaurants in Budapest here:
or the Indian restaurants in Budapest here:

Sziasztok, hogyan lehet egy éttermet az oldalon szerepeltetni,vagyis regisztrálni?

Sziasztok!Hogyan lehet egy éttermet az oldalon bemutatni,vagyis hirdetni/reklámozni?

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