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Gastro

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5 Mediterranean hotspots in Budapest for chilly winter days

As the temperature hovers around 0 degrees, you can easily find yourself longing for the warmth of Costa Brava, Lisbon, or Monopoli after a brisk sightseeing stroll. The good news is that a Mediterranean meal can bring comfort even on the chilliest days. To help you beat the cold, we've compiled a list of 5 places in Budapest where the spices, drinks, and vibes will warm you up from the inside out.

Lisboa

Where else can you go for authentic Portuguese vibes than the telltale Lisboa pastry and bakery, featuring no less than 3 units in the city? Our love affair with pastel de nata began in 2019 when they opened in Gozsdu Courtyard as Budapest's first Portuguese bakery. Since then, they've opened a venue on Bartók Béla út and Bajcsy-Zsilinszky út, and they've also made our Best Breakfast Places of the Year shortlist. All it takes is one bite of their Portuguese cream custard tart (the blacker the top, the better) and you can picture yourself on the cobblestones of Lisbon's Graça district. You can even take a bottle of Portuguese wine home from the Bajcsy unit if you feel like keeping up with the Mediterranean vibes.

Find out more here and follow them on Instagram here.

Tapas Fino

Spanish hedonism on the banks of the Danube – that's Tapas Fino. The tapas bar on Belgrád rakpart is stylish, clean (with paintings by Argentinian Ana Clerici hanging on the walls), and relatively new, which we featured in more detail over the summer. Here's how we suggest you visit: come with a large group, order as many courses as possible, push them into the middle of the table and munch across each other. This is the best way to get the Mediterranean feel, and if you order a few bottles of Spanish wine to go with it, you're all set! Make sure you don't miss out on pimped-up classics like black tiger prawn and kebab, octopus patatas bravas, Angus tenderloin toast, fried king oyster mushrooms, and prawn croquetas.

Find out more here, follow them on Instagram here and on Facebook here.

Vicky Barcelona

When it comes to Spanish heat, we can think of no better place in Budapest than Vicky Barcelona. Not only because the gambas are made with Sriracha sauce, but also because the place oozes passion: pictures of matadors, red curtains theatrically swinging, and Spanish music playing in the background – live at weekends. On Friday and Saturday, the Latin party kicks off: reggaeton, cava and sangria, tapas, and guests: you might as well be in a bar in Gràcia, but luckily you only have to go as far as Gozsdu Courtyard. And for tasting, we highly recommend the patatas (with passionfruit chilli and smoked mascarpone), the blue cheese croquetas, the padrones, the calamares fritos, the calabacín tempura, and the short rib roll.

Find out more here, follow them on Instagram here and Facebook here.

Meshuga

Still in the Gozsdu Courtyard, but we land in a completely different part of the planet as soon as we cross the threshold of Meshuga. The youthful, vibrant restaurant brings us a laid-back, eat-with-your-hands feel of the Middle East, giving us a taste of the Israeli, Turkish, and Arab worlds all at once. In a slightly rustic, slightly Mediterranean, slightly oriental interior, you can order mezzes one after the other, and once you've had your fill of broken sabih, aubergine carpaccio, chestnut gnocchi, and manekish, it's worth immersing yourself in the extremely relaxed atmosphere, where Israeli music comes as a cherry on top. For authenticity, round off your meal with a Middle Eastern dessert, knafeh with goat cheese.

Find out more here, follow them on Instagram here and Facebook here.

Riso Ristorante & Terrace

Riso Ristorante & Terrace at the foot of the Buda Castle (just 100 metres from the Vienna Gate) is a real Italian, family-style place to come back to. It also boasts a fabulous garden (note for summer!), which you can see from a heated winter garden. The pizzas are baked in a wood-fired oven and left to rise for 24 hours, the homemade pasta is divine (the tomato and basil casarecce pasta with buffalo mozzarella or the spinach ravioli stuffed with cream cheese salmon in a tomato and mascarpone sauce are highly recommended), and the risottos are o-so-creamy. And make sure you don't miss the chocolate mascarpone cream!

Find out more here, follow them on Instagram here and Facebook here.

(Borítókép: Vicky Barcelona)

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