Cafe Bouchon is light, high quality and relaxed. This culinary establishment is one of the best and most popular restaurants in Budapest, Hungary, highly rated by travellers and locals for its lovely foods and excellent service (attentive, quiet and relaxed). This is a place where you can eat well in a relaxed, neither too elegant, nor too hip atmosphere.
Another plus is that Cafe Bouchon is close to the city centre, and a bunch of Budapest attractions. The restaurant offers traditional Hungarian meals in a very welcoming hospitable setting. Cafe Bouchon is only a few minutes walk from the Hungarian Opera House, which is one of the major tourist attractions in Budapest, so you would logically suppose that Bouchon is a touristy restaurant. It would probably easily become one, but it is luckily tucked away in a quiet side street off the famous Andrassy Avenue and close to the Opera House.
Cafe Bouchon is quite a small restaurant, so it is not suitable for big groups, but is perfect for romantic intimate dinners and informal lunches. There is no tourist entertainment, so if you are looking for a traditional Hungarian restaurant with Gypsy music, follow the link to choose your option.
Reserve a table at Cafe Bouchon
Although Cafe Bouchon is not always full, to be on the safe side, make a reservation or get your hotel concierge to book a table for you. The email address of Cafe Bouchon is firstname.lastname@example.org or you can call them at 0036-1-353-4094 (from another country) or 06-1-353-4094 (from Hungary). Please keep in mind that Cafe Bouchon is closed on Sundays.
Opening Hours at Cafe Bouchon
The restaurant is open Mon – Sat from 9 am to 11 pm. Business lunch is from Mon to Fri from noon till 4 pm.
Address of Cafe Bouchon:
33 Zichy Jeno Street Budapest 1066 (District VI)
Hungarian Cuisine at Cafe Bouchon
The menu of this nice and cozy restaurant features Hungarian foods with French flavours. And, just like most Hungarian restaurants, its strengths are really shown on meat dishes, while salads and vegetables are its weakness (in other words, there are not many green items on its menu). That said, if you wish to have some more vegetables and legumes, the restaurant will try to accommodate you even if there are no such meals specified on the menu. Consult with your waiter and you will surely get some help. “They went out of their way to accommodate a vegetarian in our group,” said one review. Not only is the quality of cooking excellent, but the way the meals are presented are also very appetizing.
Its foie gras (goose liver) is said to be one of the best in the city, called ‘orgasmic goose liver’ by some. “The roasted goose liver entree was divine – subtle and melt-in-your mouth. Don’t miss it!” (Cafe Bouchon restaurant review on TripAdvisor).
Another successful item on their menu seems to be tilapia“I couldn’t decide between the roasted pork loin and roasted tilapia (which is impossible to find here in the grocery stores), so the owner (who waited on us) said they would prepare a plate with half and half! The tilapia was served with a mixed salad dressed with a warm bacon vinaigrette. We had a wonderful bottle of Hungarian wine the owner recommended”
Many a restaurant reviews were impressed by the visual presentation of the Crepes Suzette served flambé (originally a French pancake dessert, which is served spectacularly – the little show consists of igniting the alcohol on top of the pancake). As one reviewer remarked “The dessert was dark chocolate crêpes flambered in Grand Marnier at the table. The dessert wine was not too sweet and tasted of Gooseberries. We had seen several tables have this dessert, no wonder as apart from great entertainment it was absolutely fabulous!” (TripAdvisor Budapest travel site – Cafe Bouchon restaurant reviews).
To quote from one of the restaurant guests “Note, the waiter doesn’t tell you, but the menu states you can get a smaller version of any main for 70% of the price.”
Wines at Cafe Bouchon
The restaurant features a really good wine list (at least if you can read the annoyingly small font types…), which is not only regularly refreshed, but offers all but the most expensive bottles by the glass (this also means that you can easily try 2 or 3 kinds of wines along with your meals). Lajos Tisza, the enthusiastic manager, who is fluent in English and serves tables himself personally, will be very happy to help you in your wine choices. Several wines could be world-class, yet come at a very agreeable price.
Interior of Cafe Bouchon
The French cafe style restaurant is elegant, cozy, low key and intimate downstairs, while you could say it is understated bistro style upstairs. Therefore, if you are preparing for a more romantic dinner, reserve your table downstairs at Cafe Bouchon in advance.
The main characters of the interior design of the restaurant are the Thonet style dark wood chairs accented by the crisp white tablecloths and the contrast of dark brown and white is softened by the warm brown-orange striped colours of the wooden floor. The row of windows and the ample space between the tables make the restaurant airy and comfortable. The overall impression is early 20th century with modern details. The harmonius marriage past vs present is also true of the cuisine of the restaurant where traditional Hungarian dishes are re-thought and made lighter with French techniques.
The name Bouchon also refers to this cozy French bistro / restaurant style:
Its name comes from the French ‘La Bouchon’ meaning ‘the cork of the wine bottle’. More importantly however – and that was our main inspiration in choosing this name- it is also the name for little-, family-run restaurants in the province of Lyon. These wonderful places are not ‘real’ restaurants but family homes where in addition to enjoying a superb cuisine we can also gain an insight into the locals’ everyday lives. (from CafeBouchon.hu)
Smoking at Cafe Bouchon
Please not that smoking in restaurants is prohibited by law since 2012 in Hungary. That is, there are no Hungarian restaurants in Budapest where smoking is allowed.
Informative excerpts of various tourist quotes from Cafe Bouchon restaurant reviews on TripAdvisor travel site
We’ve lived in Budapest for two years now, and have tried most of the recommended eateries. We just keeping coming back to Bouchon. Located centrally, (only a couple of minutes walk from either the Opera House, St. Stephen’s Basilica, or the 4-6 tram stop at Oktogon), it consistently manages to combine everything you could possibly want from a restaurant. Fine food (with great daily specials), prompt and friendly service (particularly given the owner’s perfect English, genuine warmth and willingness to explain the dishes), inviting ambience (not remotely stuffy), great selection of wines, and very reasonably priced. As a complete package, there’s nowhere I would recommend more highly for Hungarian cuisine in Budapest.
I personally prefer food that I could not get elsewhere, and so I preferred Klassz to Cafe Bouchon, but the meal at Boucon was very good.
Engaging the owner was like having a personal sommelier and the master chef at your elbow. The restaurant was cozy and lovely. He called a cab for us and stood outside with us as it came
I was referred by a friend and took his word for it. I wrote an email to reserve a table and gave exact instructions for a certain wine, how it is to look upon entering, with decanter and hors d’oeuvres, I also ordered a cake for desert with a candle on it. I needed to say nothing upon my entering, all was set up and ready to go, very impressive. The waiter spoke near perfect English and referred us to the daily menu.
The food was beautiful, full of subtle flavours and very high quality. The 2 waiters, one of whom we believe was the owner were very attentive, recommending courses, and appropriate wines to accompany. The set menu courses appeared huge and value for money, but the a la carte menu is also reasonably priced, if you choose to pick your courses. The mushroom stuffed chicken breast and the crepe suzette (flambéed at your table) were wonderful. I’d rate Bouchon 100% if you get to sit downstairs (intimate & cozy).
Food was fantatic! Venison stroganoff was sooo good! Daughter had pork loin, delicious. Goulash soup was very tasty also. Salmon carpaccio was excellent. My 12 yo daughter was very happy with crepe suzette flambee.
Cafe Bouchon to be slightly overpriced. Still, it wasn’t bad at all by American standards: $10-20 for appetizers, $15-25 for main dishes, $10 for dessert, and the cheapest bottle of wine was around $15-20.
It was a nice dinner, some expensive but goose liver and salmon was perfect. it was something with the potatoes however, but it did not spoil the evening.
Amazing service and great food! My husband read the review about the orgasmic goose liver, one of the draws that brought us to Café Bouchon. And orgasmic goose liver it was! However after several weeks of travel, enjoying a lot of rich and delicious food, all I wanted was a simple fish dish with lots of vegetables. While this type of dish was not specifically on the menu , I got exactly what I wanted . The owner, who also waits on the tables, took great care of all our food requests. He was very accommodating and charming.
We stopped here on our last night in Budapest after the opera. We tried making a reservation by email a few times but never heard back. The restaurant was quite slow on Tuesday but the service was great for the whole experience. Nice restaurant; looked like around 20 tables total.
Bouchon has long been a favorite of my “posse”, and for good reason – the food is consistently excellent, the wine list is being refreshed constantly, and it’s just a generally nice place to be. If you ever have a bad experience, don’t be afraid to tell them, or ask for the manager – he is very happy to listen to constructive comments and improve. it’s the one place in Budapest where I’ve never had an issue when sending a dish or a bottle of wine back – and that’s saying something.
It is a small restaurant about six short blocks from our hotel (K+K Opera), but when we asked for a suggestion for an unpretentious restaurant, Cafe Bouchon was offered. It was a good choice