We’ve already covered some of Budapest’s best burger places, but since then, the number of burger joints has skyrocketed, resulting in a never-before-seen selection of bun-plus-steak variations. Check out the second, extended episode of the saga known as Budapest’s best burgers.
We should be thankful for the law, for a relatively new regulation obliges Kandalló to serve dishes, on account of an elementary school that's well within the vicinity of this A-plus craft beer bar. Due to the aforementioned, rather odd coincidence, Budapest’s burger variety has become even more colorful thanks to three Kandalló-made burgers: a classic burger with beef, a chicken burger, and a specialty with foie gras and homemade purple onion jam. All three are served with vegetables, cheese, and sauces, which are stuffed into a soft yet crusty ciabattini. The decision about the steak’s doneness is up to you, and the mixed salad offered as a side dish is a perfect substitute for the more traditional French fries.
A few minutes away from ruin pub-heavy Kazinczy utca and the Great Synagogue.
1073 Budapest, Kertész utca 33.
If you'd like to get to know Kandalló a little bit more, check our article enlisting the newest beer joints of Budapest!
Hard Rock Café, famous for its invaluable rock relics and a staff delivering stand up comedy-ish performances while serving your food, is a semi-franchise that barely needs any introduction. The menu resembles the parallel universe of old school diners - where film noir private eyes gloom over a coffee at 3AM that tastes like gasoline -, and is made up of typical, addictively delicious American dishes. The burger selection is flawless, and is empathetic enough to not neglect vegetarians. As you would expect, there’s a freedom of choice regarding the steak’s doneness, and French fries and desserts are as tasty as a Slash solo.
Right in the heart of downtown Budapest, on the corner of Vörösmarty tér and Váci utca, an easy post-meal stroll away from both the Danube Promenade and Deák Ferenc tér.
1051 Budapest, Deák Ferenc utca 3-5.
Pántlika, located on the border of Budapest’s second biggest park, Városliget, is a popular summer spot sprinkled with a hint of vintage vibe recalling the era known as Goulash Communism. Checkered table linens, an extensive selection of spritzers, beers, and shots, and, out of the ordinary, a dozen burgers. Bun-plus-steak combinations are named after metropolises, and their ingredients – cheese, sauces, and vegetables, to be perfectly precise – harmonize with the gastronomic features of the given country. Moreover, you can add some sizzle to your burger with extra toppings, though, unless you have the appetite of Homer Simpson, that won't be necessary.
Budapest’s best meat-centric restaurant, housed by the ground floor premises of Corinthia Grand Hotel Royal, offers dishes blending the characteristics of contemporary gastronomy and vintage Hungarian cuisine. Bock has been showered with awards right from the start thanks to a world-class kitchen orchestrated by arguably the most famous Hungarian chef, Lajos Bíró. You might think that we’re going overboard with the praises, but Bock backs up the talk, and brings the best to the table even when it comes to burgers. Bock’s Big Bock Beef Burger is a monster stuffed with a pair of steaks (a classic beef steak the size of a flying saucer, and another one made from cow cheeks), a thin layer of pepper-red lecsó, a delicious splatter of cabbage salad, and a mountain of fried onions on the top. If you’re not over the Moon after a Big Bock Beef Burger, you don't like burgers at all.
Varieté, situated in the vicinity of Andrássy út and Erzsébet tér, is a shrine of spicy hot Tex-Mex dishes and American cuisine. The majority of the puzzle pieces required to put together a juicy burger are made on-site – including freshly-baked buns and a plethora of sauces -, which is a huge plus, and one of the multiple factors which result in a huge gap between the quality of fast food chains and that of Varieté. As for burgers, the steak’s doneness is once again up to you; vegetables are as fresh as a morning shower after a night of hardcore drinking, while sauces will mess up your fingers and please your tasting buds. When it comes to side dishes, a pair of options are available: coleslaw salad and French fries.
It is easy to get lost in the dazzling gastro-labyrinth that is Ráday utca, though if you’re hungry for A-plus burgers, you won’t need Ariadne’s thread to find the right spot, since Manga Cowboy is definitely the king of the hill. Manga Cowboy’s main spectacles are an online Wall of Fame reserved for those who have conquered the flaming hot chicken wings-challenge, and an enviable burger assortment. The latter is made up of beef, chicken, and fish fillet burgers, and there’s one variation for the terrible hunters (i.e. vegetarians). We recommend the double-stacked Sukimasu, RG’s Konjuo with blue cheese and pineapples, and the Aussie with pineapples, bacon, heaps of cheese, and beetroots.
As its name suggests – well, kind of–W35 is located at Wesselényi utca 35, as close to ruin pub-filled Kazinczy utca as Justin Bieber is to becoming the most irritating pop star of all time. W35's menu is pillared by Tex-Mex dishes and American cuisine, and includes sandwiches, burritos, quesadillas, unusual soups, and, of course, hamburgers. Buns are baked on-site, the meat selection is made up of beef, lamb, and chicken, and there’s a scorching hot burger called Fire in the hole that is the equivalent of a mouth grenade, and which either masochists or those with a high level of capsaicin-tolerance should prefer.
In the vein of Budapest’s crazy-as-it-gets party district, a sloth’s marathon (i.e. 300 meters) away from Fogasház, and within striking distance of the home of many ruin pubs, Kazinczy utca.
1075 Budapest, Wesselényi utca 35.
Opus Jazz Club, housed by Budapest Music Center, denotes itself as Hungary’s very first fine burger restaurant, and does so more than deservedly. The burger selection consists of artistic burger masterpieces such as Surf and Turf with angus sirloin and king crab, Salmon Burger served in a black, squid ink-tinted bun, and Burgundian Beef Burger stuffed with juicy beef marinated in red wine. Buns are baked on-site, and all ingredients and toppings are of the highest quality, while side dishes perfectly harmonize with the given burger’s unique flavor. This eye-pleasing headquarter of gourmet burgers also offers something for those with sophisticated ears, for jazz concerts are aplenty at Opus – hence the name.
Right next to Corvinus University, behind the Great Market Hall, a tram stop away from Petőfi Bridge, in the vicinity of both Ráday utca and the Danube bank, and we could go on until someone trumps the career achievements of Michael Jordan (i.e. probably forever).
1093 Budapest, Mátyás utca 8.
Those with an acute word duplication-phobia should look away, because Nádor Café, a feel good-vibed spot putting a major emphasis on culture, arts, and community life, is located on Nádor utca. Concerts, poem-reading events, exhibitions, and various literary get-togethers are supplemented by great dishes – and, more importantly, burgers as sweet as a Jack Johnson love song. Four compositions are available – Nádor, Vega, BBQ, and Jack Daniel’s -, which are served with either beef or chicken.
This is not the type of spot that sells a pup (i.e. it stays true to its name), and it really is a good bar that offers good burgers. The industrial-infused interior is spiced up with colorful details and quotes, from, for instance, Nick Cave’s The Mercy Seat (which was famously covered by Johnny Cash). Mercy Seat is not the merriest song you can come across, and lines like Those sinister dinner deals / The meal trolley's wicked wheels / A hooked bone rising from my food / All things either good or ungood might creep you out or bring you down; but burgers and the soothing, live acoustic tunes which are almost a nightly occurrence at Good Bar will help you out like a bridge over troubled water. You can choose from nine burgers, seven of which are offered in a mini version tailor-made for Dr. Evil’s dwarf sidekick. The meat-team is made up of beef, duck, chicken, lamb, and pork (almost as fearsome as the Avengers), and there’s a meat-free specialty aimed at vegetarians.