All posts tagged Hungarian cuisine

Piroska Restaurant (officially known as Piroska Vendeglo) is much recommended for those tourists who want to try Hungarian cuisine off the beaten path, and try something really local, traditional Hungarian fare, in a retro environment, at cheap / reasonable prices. Piroska Restaurant (say Piroshka) does not have either the Hungarian folk – Gypsy style atmosphere, or the beautiful historical cafes in Budapest like Cafe Central.

Piroska Restaurant Budapest Traditional Hungarian Foods

Piroska Restaurant Budapest

Piroska is tucked away in side street, within 10 minutes walk to Heroes’ Square. Many tourists rush to Paprika Restaurant on Dozsa Gyorgy Way in the neighbourhood, but we could not get in to test the local celebrity restaurant of Hungarian Restaurants in Budapest.

We wanted to give you our own TopBudapestOrg review of the popular Paprika Vendeglo, and ended up in Piroska Vendeglo where we had a phenomenal late lunch.

We were hungry, and kept walking towards the Grand Boulevard from Piroska. Then suddenly my husband recalled his past visits to Piroska Vendeglo, a traditional Hungarian restaurant with red and white checked tablecloths, soups in little red pots, reasonable prices and, for us, a lovely retro atmosphere of the 1970’s and 1980s of Hungary.

Piroska Vendeglo Budapest Hungarian Restaurants

Piroska Vendeglo Budapest

I was eating a really nice and filling bean goulash soup (as seen in the phot), and we also had an onion soup in a bun, and some meat soup.

These were our starters, and we loved our main courses too (Trout, Brassoi meat and fries, etc.). Do we like Piroska Restaurant? Yes, we do. If you do not shy away from more simple places to eat.

Opening Hours of Piroska Restaurant

Piroska restaurant is open from Mon to Fri from 11 am to 11 pm.

Address of Piroska Restaurant

40 Damjanich Street Budapest 1066 (District VI)

Design of Piroska Vendeglo Budapest


Piroska Restaurant Budapest Retro

Piroska Restaurant Budapest Retro

The interior design of Piroska Vendeglo restaurant was a mixture of retro elements, although not a tasteful mix, but definitely a pleasant one, where you do not have to worry about dresses, mysterious cutlery, etc.

The red walls inside are adorned with old posters, and advertising decor, the windows are filled with various soda bottles, the red and white checkered tablecloths bear a Tiffany lamp. Old radios, and even an old motorbike comes complete with the wooden bar furniture from the 1970s. It is a special place, with an especially good kitchen if you want to eat something nice and Hungarian.

There is a small side street terrace with a few tables outside for those who want to sit / smoke outside. The street was quiet on the weekend, and we had a great lunch, including our 2. 5 year old daughter, who ate up a mighty big meat soup with fresh carrots and nice beef.

The most typical soups in Hungary (meaning how popular they are, how frequently we eat them) are based on the most typical, easily gathered and all year round vegetables and meats, as follows:

Chicken soup: Csirkehusleves (cheer-keh-hoosh-le-vesh) or Tyukhusleves (tiook-hoosh-le-vesh). Hungarian chicken soup is what a Hungarian child would grow up on, like we did – being raised a chicken soup addict in Hungary seems to be quite natural. The chicken soup is very much part of the Sunday family meals, with lots of vegetables and chicken pieces (including less usual parts of chickens, hens and roosters, like chicken gizzard or rooster testicles). It is especially popular in the cooler and colder seasons (from October to April), and is indeed considered to be one of the most effective home made medicine if you have a cold.

Hungarian Meat Soup with Beef

Hungarian Meat Soup with Beef – photo by Daniel Roy

Tomato soup: eaten both savoury and sweet: tomato puree is mixed with celery and vegetables (onion or bouillon seasoning) and black pepper, or it is made sweet with sugar. Tomato soup is served with pasta.

Potato soup: the most typical vegetable deserves its own soup. It is cooked with or without sausages, but again with lots of vegetables. Oftentimes topped with sour cream. A soup for all seasons.

Pea soup: the lovely gentle spring peas are huge favourite of housewives in Hungary, but pea soup is made with frozen peas all year round. Bouillon and vegetables give the base of the pea soup. Some make it sweeter some make it more savoury, some use roux, others sour cream, there are endless varieties. Pea soup with mint is not widespread in Hungary, it is recently cropping up on the Hungarian food landscape.

Green bean soup: the green bean soup has lots of varieties in Hungary. The seasonal fresh green beans are very popular. As for the colour variety, the most popular version is actually yellow, not green. Many housewives are hunting for the sweet, yellow and smooth ‘butter green beans on the markets.

Sour cherry soup: there are lots of nice sour cherries in Hungary, and this summer fruit is quite popular as a starter. The cherries are washed and cooked with cinnamon, sugar, etc. The soup is thickened with sour cream and flour.

Bean soup: made with sausage or smoked ham, in plain style or ‘Jokai style’ – a really substantial soup, typically eaten for lunch time as it is quite stuffing

Goulash soup (yes, it is a soup in Hungary, not a stew) – the Hungarian term for goulash is gulyás (say: goo-yaash). It is indeed like a stew mixed with a thick vegetable soup and little pasta balls called csipetke.

There are all kinds of soups in Hungary, as Hungarian cuisine is very soup focussed: you can get anything from cheese soup through broccoli cream soup to onion soup or mushroom soup.

Lighter soups – mostly soups with vegetables and fruits – are typically paired with more substantial main courses, while heavier, meat based soups like bean soup with smoked ham or goulash soup with beef cubes, or tarragon chicken soup are paired with lighter main courses like veggie casseroles or pasta dishes.

Many people in Hungary like to eat their soups with hot paprika, or the mixtures based on hot paprika, like Eros Pista paprika cream (ground hot paprika in a thick creamy sauce) or Piros arany paprika cream.

Here is our homemade Hungarian chicken soup recipe, the way I learnt it from my grandmother who learnt it from her mother, who learnt it from her mother, so for us it is the ‘perfect Hungarian chicken soup’. This recipe is our family heritage recipe. My great grandmother is 105 years old (at the time of writing in 2012), and we would always gobble up the best Hungarian chicken soups made by her. But her chickens were really free range, in the old fashioned sense of the word: running freely, eating worms, etc. but also being fed – in Egyek, a small rural village in Hungary (in the county of Hajdu Bihar).

Hungarian Chicken Soup

Hungarian Chicken Soup  – cooked by Eva Gregor

Hope you will like the photos of the soup recipe – illustrating the chicken soup varieties made by Hungarian housewives of various regions in Hungary! You can also see which is my favourite Hungarian recipe website: no question, No Salty! (

As you can see I am a huge fan of chicken soup, the smell and the look of Eastern European chicken soup with lots of beautiful vegetables, makes me feel instantly at home. There is nothing more welcoming than a great bowl of chicken soup on a cold day with shiny golden rings on the surface, clear rich soup with a colourful array of vegetables.

Many families in Eastern Europe tend to use the less attractive parts of the chickenfor a good chicken soup. You do not have to if you cannot even bear the thought of cooking the gizzard or the heart of the chicken or the neck or the testicles of the rooster…

Hungarian Rooster Soup with Leg and Gizzard

Hungarian Rooster Soup with Leg and Gizzard – cooked by Heni Csoti

My grandma would occasionally mix chicken pieces (chicken legs, breast, the back of the chicken, gizzard, wings, even the lower part of the legs and the neck of the chicken) with pork or beef pieces and cook them with the bones too to make them stronger in winter time when we need more minerals and other tasty pieces for a better health condition.

Ingredients of the Hungarian Chicken Soup

For our family style home made Hungarian chicken soup recipe you will need the following ingredients (if you cannot find all, do not worry, you can still cook an excellent chicken soup in Eastern European style!)

The chicken soup is made with almost all available vegetables, most typically 1 pot of Eastern European chicken soup(consequently Hungarian chicken soup) goes with

1 whole chicken (OK, I admit it, my granny would cook the head of the chicken too… as I don’t get these parts at the supermarkets or even at butchers nowadays, I only cook thighs, the back and the wings, but the cheap chicken back makes the soup really good, believe me). Besides the chicken (cheer-keh) or hen (tiook), you will need:

Golden Hungarian Chicken Soup

Golden Hungarian Chicken Soup

  • 1 onion
  • 1 tomato
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic
  • 1-2 peppers (the Hungarian ball peppers are half size of the big supermarket green / red / orange peppers and are pale yellow with thinner skin, but with a very nice characteristic taste). Warning: when the chick soup is ready, take out the peppers carefully as the seeds can make the soup bitter. If you are not an experienced cook, use the peppers with the seeds cut out in advance, rather than a whole pepper.
  • 4 carrots (in our family, everyone wants to have more carrots in the soup. You can try to cook it with more, but it will make the soup too sweet)
  • 3 parsnips,
  • 5 stalks of flat parsley (with the leaves),
  • 1 celeriac (the root part of the celery stalk) – if you cannot get celeriac in your shop, just use 4-5 stalks and remove it when the chicken soup has been cooked
  • 1 kohlrabi (optional)
  • 2-3 mushrooms (optional).
  • potato: some housewives also put a potato into the pot, it is optional
  • cauliflower (optional)
  • a little piece of savoy cabbage (1-2 leaves  – optional)
  • seasoning: the seasoning is usually salt and pepper, and many Hungarians use bouillon or soup stock cubes to add more flavour (especially if there is not enough fresh vegetables available). Some Hungarians use a bit of paprika as a colouring (optional: but if you do use paprika, please note that using Hungarian paprika is a must if you are making Hungarian dishes, as any other paprika tastes something else than Hungarian paprika). Bay leaves (2-3 leaves) – optional. Ground (!) caraway seeds – optional.
  • if you want to make a meat soup rather than a chicken soup, you can use 3-4 types of meats, like 1 turkey thigh, 2 chicken backs, a handful of beef (possibly with the bone) and a half pound pork (with bones). Otherwise, chicken is perfectly enough.

Hungarian Homemade Chicken Soup

Hungarian Homemade Chicken Soup – cooked by Krisztina Toth

How to Cook Hungarian Chicken Soup?

If you have the fresh chicken and the fresh vegetables all in your kitchen, we can start cooking. You will need a big pot of about 4-5 litres (0.9 – 1 gallons). That is huge, you might say, but you can always freeze the soup if it is too much for you: and you will have your ever best bouillon readily waiting for you in the freezer!

Prepare the vegetables for cooking: let’s go through all the ingredients of the Hungarian chicken soup one by one:

  • 1 onion: peel and wash
  • 1 tomato: just wash (but you can peel it too)
  • 1-3 cloves of garlic: peel and wash
  • 1-2 peppers: if you are an advanced cook, just wash the peppers and make sure they stay in one throughout the cooking. If you are not an experienced cook, use the peppers with the seeds cut out in advance, rather than a whole pepper. When the chicken soup is done, lift out the pepper carefully and throw it in your compost waste.
  • 4 carrots: peel and wash, we usually do not slice as the cooking time is quite long and the slices would be a mash
  • 3 parsnips: peel and wash, we usually do not slice as the cooking time is quite long and the slices would be a mash
  • 5 stalks of flat parsley (with the leaves), washed
  • 1 celeriac (the root part of the celery stalk) – peel and wash, cut in half. If you cannot get the ball shaped root celeriac in your grocery store, just use 4-5 celery stalks and remove them when the chicken soup has been cooked
  • 1 kohlrabi (optional) peel and wash, cut in half
  • 2-3 mushrooms (optional). peel and wash

Prepare the chicken

The best bet is to buy a whole chicken, unless you feel nausea by the thought of touching anything but the pre-packed chicken thighs or wings. If you are OK to deal with a whole chicken, you can just wash it without taking it apart (assuming you have a pre-cleaned chicken, no intestines, etc.). If you are on a diet, or you do not like greasy meals, you can skin the chicken, but it will take away those nice rich golden rings from the top.

Cooking the chicken

Place the chicken or chicken (and meat) pieces in the 4-5 litre pot and fill it up with cold water. Add the salt and pepper (and the bouillon and bay leaves if you are using them). As for the water: do not fill the pot to the brim, instead, leave about 5-8 cm (2-3 inches) free at the top as the vegetables will need some room too.

Place the cleaned vegetables in the pot too after a few minutes. Bring it to the boil then let it gently simmer for about 2-3 hours on a low heat (1-2 on my cooker where the max is 6-7). As we say in Hungarian, the liquid of the chicken soup should be ‘pearling’ forming little ‘pearls’ of bubbles, but not heavily boiling. This is a slow cooking soup with lots of benefits. It is gorgeous and all you have to do is cleaning a couple of vegetables then letting the whole soup cook. See more tips below how to make Hungarian chicken soup in a homemade fashion.

Cooking the Pasta for the Hungarian Chicken Soup

Hungarian Gooseneck or Snail Shell Pasta

Hungarian Gooseneck or Snail Shell Pasta – photo

Try to pick some pasta that is of elegant small pieces. I would warmly recommend using Hungarian pasta but obviously it is not exported to many countries, so you cannot enjoy this delicious soup pasta specialty easily. The closest I have found in the UK (not in the US though) is a Polish soup pasta in the shape of a string (tiny thin strings, with only a few minutes cooking time).

The pasta that we prefer to use in our family is called gooseneck pasta (ludgege) or snailshell (csiga) pasta. Our best pasta came from my great-grandmother, Nano, until she could make it into her 90s (now being over a 100 years old she cannot see well enough to make these miniature beauties). In the photo you can see the tiny simple tools for making Hungarian gooseneck pasta. You can buy this kind of classic soup pasta in Hungarian grocery shops (not in all). You can read some of the pasta history on 

Another soup pasta Hungarians like is the simple string (like the Polish) or the one called ‘mulberry tree leaf’ (eperlevel).

How long do you cook the chicken soup?

Check your soup after half an hour / an hour: did it lose a lot of liquid? Then add some more. Is everything cooked? If you have not sliced up your vegetables (according to the instructions above), and you are cooking bigger chunks of meat, you will surely need another hour or so to have your soup cooked. However, if you are only cooking small chicken parts and your vegetables are in smaller pieces, you Hungarian chicken soup may be ready in 1.5 hours.

Check your soup after 2 hours: is everything OK? Is there enough liquid? Are the vegetables nicely formed (not falling apart)?

After about 2.5-3 hours if all the vegetables are soft, your soup is done – supposing that you are cooking a whole chicken and whole vegetables.

You can serve it as it is, or, as many Hungarian housewives do, you can gently (really gently) lift the meats and vegetables out and place them on a separate plate. Then pour the soup through a sieve to get a more consistent, clearer liquid (it is great for freezing too). Some people throw away the ‘unnecessary vegetables’:

  • cooked pepper is usually inedible, and the seedy part is quite bitter – remove it as it is, as a whole pepper, otherwise the seedy part will fall apart and ruin your fantastic, amazing and awesome Hungarian chicken soup
  • cooked onion: thrown away by some, while others like it and eat it (like my husband) (I don’t)
  • cooked tomato: thrown away by some, while others like it and eat it (like me) (my husband doesn’t)
  • cooked celeriac: thrown away by some, while others like it and eat it (like me) (my husband doesn’t)
  • etc. It is totally up to you and your guest, so it is really good to serve them nicely arranged on a plate. Most would happily have a combo of the soup, the carrots, the meat and the soup pasta. I like mine with the cooked parsley and tomato. You can serve the soup with a bit of tomato puree too (just the tip of the spoon, not much!)

Miscellaneous tips for the best Hungarian Chicken Soup Recipe:

  • make sure the chicken you buy is fresh, possibly organic, free range chicken – the higher the quality of the chicken meat the higher the quality of your chicken soup too
  • make sure that the fat gland / oil gland of the chicken’s tail has been removed by the butcher – if not, cut it out yourself: it is a soft oily cushion at the lower end of the chicken’s back.
  • do not cook old hens, their meat is chewy and will make the soup bad. If you are not sure, just buy organic chicken (a whole chicken)
  • do expect to get some / much froth forming on top of the chicken soup pot. It is not a lovely sight, but do not start to clear it away: it is ugly, I admit it, but it will naturally go away as the Hungarian chicken soup keeps cooking (the froth will subside)
  • do not cook the soup on a big heat, just at a moderate heat (usually I cook it at a setting of 1 or 2 out of 6-7)
  • many magyar housewives filter the soup at the end. You don’t have to but it definitely has its advantages (one thing is a must though: removing the pepper as a whole carefully!)
  • some Hungarians cook the soup pasta in the soup. I do not, because I usually put a box of the soup into the freezer. I prefer to cook the soup pasta separately for this very reason. It is also easier to filter the soup if the pasta is cooked in a separate bowl. (light tiny pasta pieces, if you cannot get Hungarian soup pasta in your shop, try to buy some Polish pasta)
  • you can serve the soup with some flat leaf parsley pieces as a decor
  • we do not use fancy spices like thyme, marjoram, oregano, etc. in the soup. Neither do we use vegetables like broccoli, leek in the classic Hungarian chicken soup recipe, but I am sure it wouldn’t hurt.

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.

Cafe Bouchon Budapest - photo by Dining Guide magazine

Cafe Bouchon Budapest – photo by Dining Guide magazine

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

Cafe Bouchon Budapest - Hungarian Restaurant - photo by inbtravel

Cafe Bouchon Budapest – photo by inbtravel

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 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”

Cafe Bouchon Budapest - photo by Funzine Budapest magazine

Cafe Bouchon Budapest – photo by Funzine Budapest magazine

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

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

21 Restaurant (21 Vendeglo) is one of the best restaurants in Budapest if you want to try some delicious Hungarian meals by the Buda Castle Royal Palace. 21 Magyar Vendeglo (where vendeglo translates better as ‘inn’ but the place itself is a restaurant without a doubt) is located in the Castle District of Budapest, in the vicinity of the UNESCO World Heritage site.

Restaurant 21 Budapest - Hungarian cuisine

Restaurant 21 Budapest – Hungarian cuisine

Pros: real Hungarian cuisine without feeling too overwhelmed and heavy, dining in a friendly setting
Cons: no outdoor terrace, occasionally service was found not helpful enough.

Note: an additional 13% of service fee is automatically charged.

Cuisine at Restaurant 21 Budapest: traditional Hungarian foods in a lighter version

Wines at Restaurant 21 Budapest: lots of Hungarian wines including rarities and limited editions

Opening hours at Restaurant 21 Budapest: Mon – Sun from  11 am to midnight

Booking a table at Restaurant 21 Budapest:

here is the official website to make your reservation or contact the restaurant directly via email at

Some of the main dishes on offer at Restaurant 21 Budapest

  • Roasted fillet of Hungarian pike with asparagus and dill sauce 4280
  • Fillet of catfish with roasted potatoes and “letsho” 3960
  • Pan-fried chicken supreme with radish and spring onion 3890
  • Chicken paprikash with cottage cheese noodle dumplings 3760
  • Roasted breast of Barbarie duckling with nut “gnocchi” and sweet and hot paprika sauce 3940
  • Baked leg of goose with butternut squash dish 3980
  • Wiener schnitzel with potato salad 3460
  • Veal goulash with egg barley 3960
  • Roasted rack of lamb with wild garlic new potatoes 4990
  • Entrecote steak with spring vegetables and béarnaise sauce 4990

and lots of novelties amongst the daily dishes on the balckboards on the walls

Last updated: June 2012