One of Buda's busiest transport hubs is also a gastronomic centre, as the area offers everything from street food to fine dining. The next stop of our gastronomic tour is Széll Kálmán Square.
Where we always find something to eat – Széll Kálmán Square and its surroundings
The Moszkva. The basic gathering place for many of us looking for random house parties and munching "Petőfi Burger" with Sauerkraut (named after Sándor Petőfi's poem What Shall I Call You – Edwin Morgan's translation). Where the memory of meetups under the iconic clock still lives deep in many thirty and forty-somethings. For us, it's just Moszkva, for the older generation, it's "Kalef," which comes from the pre-Moszkva Square name, also after Kálmán Széll. But this time we're not inviting you to reminisce but to wander through the present because after Kazinczy and Akácfa Streets, today’s Széll Kálmán Square – or more precisely, its surroundings – is the next stop of our gastronomic tour.
If we look directly at the square, we have to start with the Middle Eastern-inspired Dobrumba's big sister in Buda, Pingrumba, also inspired by the founders' travels from Cairo to Calcutta. Built on the site of the former Ping Chinese restaurant, the place fuses oriental spices and locally sourced ingredients with seasonally changing, thousand-and-one flavours. While the neighbouring 101BISTRO offers a taste of Taiwanese cuisine, on the burger front, two legendary heavyweights, Zing and Bamba Marha, are renowned for their legendary buns and meat.
The Fény Street Market is of course a must-visit destination in the area, along with a long-established pub at the bottom of the escalator and Sonkás ham shop, but the recently established Skrei fishmonger's oysters, chowders and freshly fried black cod fish & chips are also a must-try. And it goes without saying that Lajos Bíró's Buja Disznó(k), along with his fried swinery, is a basic element on the bucket list of eateries, plus you can also ask for great champagnes to accompany your meal.
At Zsiráf Buda, which opened last year in the neighbouring Széllkapu Park, you can accompany Neapolitan pizzas with great cocktails, and not far away you can choose from a wide range of sandwiches, soups, salads, and even excellent organic wines from the Scandinavian-inspired nor/ma grand menu.
The wide variety of eateries on nearby Lövőház Street makes it almost impossible to choose from. In Buda's beautiful pedestrian street, Nemo Fish & Chips & Salad Bar offers fresh grilled and fried seafood and freshwater fish. Lövőház is also home to the Bajor Beer Shop with Traunstein beers, the phenomenal Alaplé Bar, and our great favourite, Natalia Vaynovskaya's Minsk-based pelmeni bistro, Gurman, and one of Budapest's flagship wine bars, Zsolt Pintér's Kóstolom Wine Bar, just to mention a few. And afterward, you can pop into one of the district's iconic spots, Nemdebár – for a drink, a chat, a dance, or a musical treat.
Good Karma Kitchen in Lövőház Street stands out among the health-conscious restaurants in the capital with its "fast casual" character. Indigo Buda restaurant in nearby Fény Street presents the North Indian gastronomy, and in the Szerelmes Levél Bakery, cheeky chocolate rolls and blushing breads are waiting for us, wrapped in the smell of freshly baked sourdough bread. For an insatiable craving for specialty coffees, head to Kaffeine Espresso Bar or Bányai by Beans on Fény Street, for delicious cookies, stop by Mókusch on Várfok Street, and for cocktails, just walk over to OscarBar on Ostrom Street.
Fans of truly high-quality gastronomy will not be left without a recommendation either, as above Széll Kálmán Square, at the bottom of the Buda Castle, is one of Hungary's very first fine dining restaurants. The Arany Kaviár restaurant, with unbroken success, which, after 30 years, switched from the Russian line to an international one last year, has been, we believe, one of Budapest's biggest candidates for a Michelin star for years. Everyone should choose according to their tastes and needs, be sure to join us at our next gastronomic tour!