We were in Budapest for 3 days earlier this month and ate at 4 restaurants. We picked most of them based on the recommendations here on Chowhound. Here’s our feedback.
Bock Bistro - first night’s dinner. Convenient because we were staying in the Hotel Corinthia (a nice hotel, by the way) and Bock Bistro is part of the hotel (although it also has its own entrance on Erzsebet Korut). We had a very nice dinner. I had a rabbit dish that had some pieces roasted and some done schnitzel style, and my husband had a veal and venison dish. Both were delicious. We also had a couple of good appetizers, one of which was lecsó with sausage. We didn’t book, and they didn’t have any space in the restaurant - it’s not very big. They first turned us away, then they allowed as how we could eat out on the terrace if we wanted to, suggesting it was an inferior experience. We actually thought it was great as it was lovely out there. At first we were the only ones there; then they seated 2 other parties there also. I think they don’t reserve on the terrace, so it’s first come first served, but I was surprised no one else wanted to be out there on such a lovely evening. The service was very good.
Zona - this was a strong recommendation from smaointe from last fall. I totally second the praise on this place, which we went to for dinner. They offer a la carte or a 5 course or 6 course tasting menu. We went for the 5 course and loved all of it. The 1st 3 courses were starters - 2 fish and one vegetable. The main course was a choice of pork and shrimp and we both chose the pork. It was described as Iberio pork neck, corn puree, dong pho juice and chanterelles. Just heavenly, all of the ingredients were delicious on their own but went really well together. I had dessert and my husband had cheese and then they had some little petit four type complementary closer. For 14,900 forints ($53) pp not including wine or service it wasn’t inexpensive but great value. I can’t remember what we finally paid in the end because their credit card processing was offline and we had to pay cash - they did warn us that over email before we got there - so I don’t have a cc receipt. It’s a trendy little place near the Charles Bridge on the Buda side.
No lunch the 1st day because we arrived in the afternoon and the 2nd day we had a late and large buffet breakfast at the hotel so no lunch that day either.
Gerloczy Cafe - lunch on the 3rd day. Very charming outdoor space and we each had a bowl of tasty goulash soup and shared a salad.
Borkonyha Wine Kitchen - this was our 3rd dinner and last meal in Budapest. Given everyone’s praise we expected more than we got. It was really a good meal, but more on a par with Bock Bistro than with Zona. (But not as expensive as Zona - at BWK we spent $86 total which included wine.) I had pork, and my husband had rabbit, both very nice. I forgot what we had for starters. When we checked in for our reservation they took us to a table inside. We probably should have asked to eat outside on the sidewalk. The inside felt a bit formal and hushed tones. The scene out on the sidewalk seemed lively and might have contributed to us enjoying it more.
That said, we were totally happy with our 4 meals in Budapest and really enjoyed our stay there. Next we took the train to Vienna, and I’ll post a report on those meals in a separate post.
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