Many restaurants, shops, bars, and residents of Budapest’s Ráday Street are joining forces in an exemplary initiative: honoring Hungary’s 1956 Revolution in cooperation with the Bakáts Square Church, the community is hosting a special program series that focuses on music, gastronomy, culture, and charity. During the first weekend of October, fashion of the ’50s will be in the spotlight, while traditional Magyar meals will be offered for only 1,956 forints. Furthermore, 10.23% of the income from the tasty meals will be donated to charitable organizations.
Budapest’s restaurant-lined Ráday Street in downtown District IX is experiencing a renaissance, as various new eateries, galleries, and shops frequently pop up here. Now the site of many popular hotspots – including Hungary’s first Michelin-starred restaurant, Costes – Ráday Street wasn’t a trendy area at all when itfirst started to flourish sometime in the beginning of the 2000s, and the growing number of bars, terrace restaurants, and confectioneries that began springing up here side-by-side were considered as a curiosity. However, over time this became a fashionable destination, similarly to Liszt Ferenc Square – but when the entrance to Ráday Street at Kálvin Square became blocked a few years ago with the long-term construction of a new Metro 4 station, Ráday lost popularity as young people started hanging out in District VII instead; by the time that the Kálvin Square construction was completed, only a few people remained loyal to this special and atmospheric street.
Fortunately, thanks to the dedication of Ráday’s residents and restaurants, numerous people keep returning to their old favorite hangouts or seek new spots, and more and more people are deciding to open eateries here, rather than in District V or District VII; two examples of this are the recently established HelloHal, and Hoppácska. Further enhancing its appeal, Ráday Street seasonally holds various festivals, and Rombusz’s spacious beer garden is an increasingly popular spot for outdoor fun.
Now the community of Ráday Street is honoring the 60th anniversary of Hungary’s 1956 Revolution with special offers and a program series lasting throughout the autumn season. A booklet that we can get in almost all Ráday restaurants presents historical Hungarian cartoons and pictures from newspapers that recall the atmosphere of the revolution that broke out in Budapest on October 23rd, 1956.
The first weekend of October is basically the beginning of the program series: this is when the revolutionary menu is first offered, which means that hangouts such as Púder Bábszínház, Intenzo, Rombusz Terrace, Sir William Pub, Vörös Postakocsi, IF Jazz Café, Pink Cadillac, Manga Cowboy, Wokzilla, and Claro Bistro all put together special menus. Dishes and drinks are made especially for this event, with 10.23% of all income (referring to October 23rd, 1956) will be given to the Assisi Szent Ferenc Church to support poverty-stricken people. Several menus and courses symbolically cost 1,956 forints.
We tried the menu of Púder Bábszínház, which includes chicken soup, new-wave paprika chicken, and máglyarakás (a tasty bread pudding enriched with apple and apricot jam, topped with meringue). Ráday’s revolutionary courses feature traditional Hungarian tastes, such as fish soup, stuffed cabbage, chicken stew, paprikás krumpi (potato in a paprika-sausage sauce), and Budapest tenderloin. As all of the places could come up with their own creations, some honor the revolution in more creative ways; for example, Rombusz Terrace joins the event with a “Molotov Cocktail”.
Photo: Norbert Hartyányi/We Love Budapest 3 pictures
It is worthwhile to make your way towards Ráday Street to take part in this initiative happening until December, as besides enjoying plenty of exciting programs and suitable spots for some fine times, you can also support a good cause.