Pizza, spaghetti, gelato – these are usually the first things that come to our mind when we think about Italy. Let’s just be honest, there’s nothing not to love about Italy especially when it comes to its cuisine. No wonder Budapest is full of Italian-styled places. It’s time to get to know them better and to go to an imaginary Italian holiday for a few hours.
An Italian person simply cannot imagine his day without a morning coffee. A good morning coffee to be more precise. If you need a bit of morning rush too you should start at Alibi Café with a cappuccino, a croissant and with some orange juice. Pomo D’oro Gasztronómia is also worthy of a visit – there are fresh pastries, all sorts of cheese from the best Italian manufacturers, hams from Tuscany and Parma, olive oils and balsamic vinegars all around. They don’t open until 9am, so early birds have to wait a bit and it may be a good idea to visit the Gasztromónia during daytime anyway. Don’t forget to order a glass (or two) of wine if you have fresh cheese or some ham for lunch.
Café Alibi / Alibee Bistro (closed)
Address: 1052 Budapest, 2. Királyi Pál Street
If you’d like to start your day with an Italian breakfast you should visit Vostro Gastronomy. The place on Krúdy Gyula Street is lacking huge, spacious areas but at least they have a very stylish interior design. It has a very simple home-like atmosphere, the members of the staff are friendly and helpful and of course there’s a selection of very Italian-like foods and drinks waiting for you. You can choose fresh croissant, panna cotta or a prosciutto wrap for your morning coffee or latte. A fresh briosch with an espresso or cappuccino and with 2dl of fresh orange juice costs 990 forints.
Early birds won’t be disappointed if they visit Caffé GianMario. They are open from 7am in the morning and they are open all day waiting for the lovers of Italian tastes. This place is a real ristobar – it’s a café and a restaurant at the same time. Coffees, Italian pastries, pastas and pizzas. Everything is homemade and everything is made from fresh ingredients. You can get all this in the city centre for reasonable prices. A Margherita costs 990 forints, a Carbonara is 1490 forints and a Panna Cotta is 560 forints.
You can have your early morning coffee right next to the National Museum as well. In the friendly café of the Italian Institute you can have yourself a nice cup of coffee, a cappuccino, a latte and a piece of baked goods. What’s more you can take away your breakfast and enjoy the tastes of the Italian goodies while you are sitting on the steps of the National Museum.
Whether you are thinking of lunch or dinner Trattoria Pomo D’oro is a great choice. Right next to the delicatessen shop there is a huge a restaurant that has a traditional Italian atmosphere. The owner, Gianni Annoni welcomes each and every guest like an old friend and he has a few nice words to everyone, just like a real host. The Tuscan mood, the hams and the bottles of wine will most definitely grab your attention while you are waiting for your order. It will take quite some time by the way to make an order – the menu itself offers a wide range of selection. Choose the loin carpaccio (2590 HUF), the Venetian-style black risotto with fresh calmari (2590 HUF) or the green tortelloni filled with gorgonzola and ricotta cream topped with walnut dip (2350 HUF) – you won’t be disappointed. Don’t forget to order dessert too – the home-made ice-cream is must!
The most Italian of the Italians – there’s no exaggeration in saying this about Krizia. This little pearl is situated close to Oktogon, on Mozsár Street. It has a very rustic, home-like feel to it; there is an impeccable service, there are amazing dishes that are praising the expertise of owner and chef Graziano Cattaneo. You can expect for 200% of genuine, traditional and creative Italian cuisine. The prices are higher than usual but when you taste the tortelloni with goose liver filling and truffle dip (3300 HUF) you’ll understand why. We suggest trying the Créme Brülée (1200 HUF) and the sour cherry cake with chocolate cream and mascarpone mousse (1200 HUF). As a sort of extra welcome drink you’ll get some fresh, home-made Limoncello.
“International dishes with Italian tones at the highest level of quality, made from carefully selected, fresh ingredients.” – This is the philosophy of Fausto and this is exactly what you will get if you visit them. Whether you will order lobster, loin, lamb, angler or scallop you will feel the care that was given when the dishes were prepared. Fausto is not cheap at all, but at least you can be sure that you’ll get a lot more than just food for your money; you will get a taste of the Italian lifestyle. Pastas start at the price of 2800 forints, meat dishes start at 4300 forints while desserts are usually 2000 forints. For 5000 forints you’ll get a meal of 3 courses which will satisfy all your needs.
Modern, stylish, trendy and extremely Italian. Don’t expect for anything less in TG Italiano on Október 6. Street and don’t expect for the traditional trattoria mood either. What you’ll get is elegance and a very chic interior – in other words everything that is great about Italian style. The tastes are unmistakeably Italian, the dishes are prepared from quality ingredients and they are served in a very stylish way. Appetizers start at 1850 forints, soups from 1300 forints, while pasta dishes start from 1950 forints. Our suggestion: the fresh black spaghetti with seafood.
The aim of Pippo, the owner of Millenium da Pippo, was to prepare genuine Italian, to be more precise Sicilian dishes. Unfortunately Pippo couldn’t bring the Sicilian sunshine and beach to Budapest but at least he manages to run a friendly service, he manages to prepare the great dishes and he can bring a bit of Sicily to the city. Pasta dishes start from 1750 forints while pizzas start at 1550 forints. Don’t forget antipasti either! A plate of Sicilian salamis costs 2200 forints for example. Fish lovers should go for the salmon-tuna-swordfish Carpaccio (2950 HUF). Try zabione as well – it’s an Italian wine mousse dessert.
Vapiano is the favourite place of many – it’s a stylish Italian ‘fast-food’ restaurant where everything is prepared right in front of your eyes in only a few moments. Ask for a salad, a pizza or some paste – you’ll get fine quality. Just grab a tray, pick a handsome chef and watch how your meal is being prepared. Home-made pasta, fresh ingredients and perfect tastes. You’ll probably bump into some familiar faces and you’ll meet quite a lot of foreigners as well. Don’t choose Vapiano if you’re not willing to get in a queue or if you are not a huge fan of fast-food.
If you’re in the mood for a quick pizza go to Da Lello in the 12th district. The restaurant on Alkotmány Street offers a pleasant atmosphere and friendly prices – no wonder it’s a very popular place. The prices of pizzas start at 1400 forints, there are pasta dishes below the price of 2000 forints and last but not least there are all sorts of dessert at the uniform price of 760 forints.
You can do a little bit of magic and you can create a real Italian atmosphere in the comfort of your own homes if you want to. You can find all the necessary ingredients at Culinaria Italia. The small shop in Mamut I. shopping centre offers Italian delicacies, pastas, sauces, vegetables, oils, vinegars, truffle, cheeses, Parma ham, wines, liquors, honeys, jams and biscuits – everything from Italy. What’s more at special requests they make individual orders too. They also have a webshop so you can order your favourite delicacies online.
Are you looking for the freshest and best Italian pasta? You should visit Matteo&Jacopo at 2 Spaghi. The two Milanese guy are running the shop with real Italian mentality, with zero knowledge of Hungarian language and with a great sense. They are weirdly enchanting – they are a bit loud, everything is a bit chaotic so the mood is typically Italian. Ravioli, bucatini, tagliatelle or fussily – they prepare all sorts of pastas on a daily basis and take away is also possible. Fortunately we can taste the pastas on spot; there’s a daily offer of two kinds of pastas. Just grab you plastic boxes with your orders in it, take a seat on the terrace and enjoy the taste of Italy. The price of the fresh pastas is between 170 and 480 forints/10dkg.
After you had an espresso and pasta you should also go to Artelli. Besides the culinary art and the gastronomy of Italy you should honour Italian fashion too. At Artelli you can design your own shirts but be prepared, the Italian style is not cheap at all.