The Castle District's quirky hotel, Baltazár Budapest, has kept its doors open to stayover guests even during the pandemic (check it out if you haven't before). However, its restaurant, frequented by tourists and locals alike, was shut for a while. The good news is that this 'while' has passed, and the restaurant has just reopened with its broadest selection yet. The Spanish charcoal grill, Josper, has been fired up again, meaning succulent steaks and burgers for us. However, new starters and mains joined the band, including creative vegetarian and health-conscious options.
The team is back
Baltazár Budapest is a family-owned boutique hotel and restaurant in Budapest's Castle District, listed among the 50 best hotels in Europe by the National Geographic Traveller. It belongs to the Zsidai Group, which owns several spots in the same historical neighbourhood. However, Baltazár has always been the rebellious child in the family, the trendsetter – which is part of the reason we like it so much. After closing temporarily in 2020 (you know, during those unprecedented times), only the hotel reopened, but its equally fabulous restaurant went on a long beauty sleep. But relaxation time is over, and very recently, Baltazár Grill has rejoined the capital's gastro scene with a fresh approach and a newly-found zest.
A straightforward kitchen with many details
At Baltazár, they have always been proud of the consistent quality of their ingredients and the well-thought-through technology implemented in the kitchen. They happily jumped on the bandwagon when it came to trendy dishes but never went over the top. That means, when you have breakfast, lunch or dinner here, you can expect wonderful designs and flavours on your plate but won't have to keep wondering what is before you. They have balanced comfort food and gourmet bistro dishes with talent from the start, which is still the case, with the addition of more details and layers.
Plates for sharing
Baltazár offers several dishes ideal for sharing. For instance, they added more vegetables (reaching their perfect texture and flavour on the grill), which go well with a glass of champagne and a friendly after-work chat. If you are peckish, opt for fried Gordal olives with herby mayonnaise and parmesan or Tuna Tataki, both good to nibble on if you don't fancy a bigger meal.
Morning, noon, evening and more
For us, Baltazár represents different moods at different times. Having breakfast and lunch can be dreamy if you sit on the terrace or in their brightest room. We would settle down here after a long walk in the historical Castle District to have the cosmopolitan vibes of the place embrace us. You can bring your family along too: they will find something they fancy. Hungarian classics for the parents, burgers for children, and a superfood bowl for the health-conscious souls (Buddha Bowl is a big favourite of ours, coming with crispy sweet potato, chargrilled tenderstem broccoli, and guacamole).
In the evening, there is a change of scene and atmosphere: the terrace gets as lively as it was in Montmartre in Paris. There is a background noise formulating. You hear the clinking of wine glasses. You smell the freshly grilled steak. And you catch a young group of friends ordering two desserts to share, because they can't take more but would hate to miss out on it. If you ever find yourself in the shoes of mentioned young friends, we highly recommend the grilled pineapple (coming with toasted cashew nuts and coconut ice cream). If you wish to carry on with your evening inside, you will find youself in a cool interior with a somewhat American vibe. You will get a glimpse of the open kitchen and the bar where cocktails are being made, making staying for another drink even more tempting.
Good getting better
We have always fancied Baltazár: besides their splendid breakfasts, we have fallen head over heels for their burgers several times, and tried a brilliant gulyás (a Hungarian soup) in-house too. Now we are happy to add these fresh, lighter dishes to our list of favourites. And let's not forget about the drinks! Exceptional wines, G&Ts and other fantasy-filled cocktails are waiting to become one too many.
It is great to see that besides carrying on with impeccable ingredients and modern technologies, Baltazár offers a fresh attitude too. And we appreciate this newly found zest. It was worth the wait.