Budapest may not be at the top of your bucket list when you think about gourmet travels. The development of the fine cuisine in the beautiful Hungarian capital is a relatively recent proposition. While traditional Hungarian cuisine and ruin pubs are still the dominant hospitality offer, the number of fine dining establishments, including Michelin-starred restaurants and Gault & Millau venues is on the rise.
Our first stop in this culinary journey is La Perle Noire Restaurant and Lounge, a sophisticated 11 Gault Millau points experience at Mamaison Hotel Andrassy Budapest. This is also the site of the most beautiful garden-terraces in the city, the perfect setting for dining al fresco. Guests come and go, but you can linger for hours, in candlelight, under the stars, savoring signature dishes inspired by both Hungarian and French traditions. You are welcome early in the morning to pick your breakfast favorites from the buffet, or at lunch and dinner, to enjoy seasonal creations, like Solyanka soup, goat cheese salad with pomegranate and mirin, goose liver pudding with nuts and French brioche, and Mangalitsa pork chop with potato dumplings. The menu sounds simple, but the presentation is out of this world. Have your camera ready for those magazine-style dishes that taste as good as they look. This is one of the very few Budapest restaurants offering award-winning cuisine at reasonable prices.
Costes is our next stop. Under the skilled leadership of Chef Miguel Rocha Vieira, this was Budapest’s first Michelin-starred restaurant in 2010. They serve tasting menus, giving you the opportunity to make your own course selection. Their prices range from € 85 for a 4-course menu with 3 dishes and dessert to € 120 for a 7-course menu. Menus with wine pairings are more expensive, but all well worth it. Given the quality of the dishes and the reputation of the restaurant, these are reasonable prices. The restaurant is informal and laid back, but the experience is sophisticated and unforgettable. What comes at your table is art on a plate.
Onyx is another great spot for gourmet cuisine that comes with an elevated price tag. It is also blessed by location, nest to the iconic Café Gerbeaud. It is a Michelin-starred gem, with 17 Gault Millau points, plus other awards for its internationally acclaimed cuisine. Here you’ll want to try the Hungarian Evolution Menu for dinner, but note that all diners at the table must opt for the same menu. It is, however, worth it, because the menu is diverse, with something certain to satisfy your foodie exigences. The 8-course Chef menu is radically different. Tasting menus are available for lunch too. Everything is artistical, flawlessly presented. Here’s another opportunity for you to score points on Instagram, not only with pictures of the food but also with pictures of the dining rooms.
tanti is the last stop in our gourmet travels in Budapest. It is a homey space, with an unpretentious decor, not what you would expect from a Michelin awarded dining spot. It has colorful chairs and cushions, hanging lamps all over the place, and a patio in the summer – perfect to enjoy the weather and a good meal. The cuisine is traditional, with a strong focus on comfort food recreated for gourmands. At dinner, they serve a three-course menu, allowing you to choose your favorites from an a la carte list. At lunch, you can opt for a two-course or for a three-course menu. The presentation is, as expected for an award-winning restaurant, flawless and original on designer ceramics.
Our gourmet travels will take us next time to Moscow. Join us and tell us your favorite fine dining spots in the city.