There are many great little streets tucked away in Budapest, where you enter a completely different world. One of our favourites is Kecskeméti utca, connecting Kálvin tér and Egyetem tér. Here, we always feel like we’ve arrived on a Mediterranean island in the middle of the city bustle. In the spring, the street turns green and blossoms, and the terraces come alive. On a pleasant, sunny May afternoon, we visited Doppio Kitchen, where genuine Italian flavours really did transport us to Italia.
Doppio Kitchen brings a piece of Italy to Kecskeméti utca
An Italian haunt in the heart of the city
We have already been to Kecskeméti utca in winter upon our visit to Doppio Cocktail & Wine Bar. That took us on a gastronomic adventure to Italy, with tastings of French champagnes, Spanish cavas, natural pét-nats, unique local and Italian wines, and signature cocktails, all with Italian flair and casual elegance.
Doppio Kitchen sits right next to the cocktail bar. It is the only Italian restaurant on the street, and nothing proves its popularity more than returning regulars. Even foreign visitors come back several times during their stay in Budapest.
All this was told to us by Diána Baksa, the heart and soul of Doppio, who, as owner and manager, together with Gábor Nickelsz, the manager, runs the restaurant and bar with professional experience and enormous enthusiasm.
The two places are absolutely interchangeable – in fact, if you’re looking for a new experience in Budapest, you can combine dinner with a nice drink at Doppio or have a glass of wine at the bar after a pizza.
Italian magic close to Kálvin tér
At Doppio Kitchen, it is not only the cosy interior and the vibey street-front terrace that create a Mediterranean atmosphere. The menu offers everything that you expect from an Italian locale.
Dia is passionate about Italia, she speaks the language fluently and has gained a lot of experience there. And that is the guarantee that the menu and the food will take you to the land of pasta.
Starters include classics such as bruschetta with a variety of toppings or Paté fatto in casa. The latter compiles a blue cheese paté with mascarpone and ricotta, an eggplant paté and a spicy salami paté with dried tomatoes, all crowned with fresh vegetable shreds and Doppio’s iconic focaccia. It is simply a must.
After a classic salad and a traditional Italian soup, be sure to try homemade pasta. The freshly made spaghetti, penne and tagliatelle come as classic Italian favourites such as bolognese, arrabbiata, and carbonara. But you can also experiment with dishes such as Tagliatelle con Funghi alla Crema, a bowl of creamy pasta with garlic and mushrooms, or Tagliatelle con Lombo Corto e Funghi di Bosco, a pasta speciality with beef tenderloin and champion and oyster mushrooms.
Filled pasta also features heavily on the menu. We tried the excellent green Mezzeluna filled with ricotta and spinach, a flavoursome representative of the many vegan dishes on the menu.
There are nearly 20 types of pizza on offer, with crispy crusts and soft insides, all rich in toppings and following the thin-crusted Neapolitan approach. They are made in an open kitchen before your eyes, so you’re guaranteed to get hungry from the smells and sights as soon as you step inside Doppio. We had a pizza with arugula, accompanied by an excellent craft beer. But of course, Italian and local wines are also a great accompaniment to Mediterranean food.
It’s also worth checking out the chef’s special offer, which changes frequently, so regulars can always find something new. But even if it’s your first time at Doppio, it’s hard not to choose a dish from there. We sampled the sous vide pork ribs, which came with rosemary potatoes and Giardiniera pickles, but the goat cheese with salad is also a must-try.
We topped off the feast on the sunny terrace with splendid lemonades, fine wines, and excellent desserts. The classic Italian tiramisu or the crunchy cottage cheese dumplings, crispy on the inside and crunchy on the outside, are not to be missed.
So if you’re heading out for a light Italian lunch near Kálvin tér, a romantic meal with your partner and a bottle of excellent wine, or a cocktail on the terrace with friends, head to Doppio! And while you’re there, do take advantage of the bar’s excellent champagne and wine selection too.