Barbecue is not just a zingy sauce but a technique long crafted in the southern United States. Over the last ten years, carnivores in Budapest have been able to discover ever more places where succulent, smoked, marinated meat is prepared in the traditional way. Here we pick the ten best places to chomp and chow down.
Bp BARbq Terrace
This summer, Zsolt Serényi and Roland Urbán have decided to set up camp on the Római-part as well, while also keeping their downtown outlet on Akácfa utca. In this weather, there’s nothing better than cycling up to this little oasis on the Danube shore to find welcome shade to read, drink something cold and tucking into a delicious feast. The menu and the quality are the same as in town, but the atmosphere is almost like being on holiday. You can bring your friends, as together you stand a chance of devouring one of their hulking barbecue platters, encompassing several enticing items from the menu. This way, you can try their hearty sandwiches, juicy ribs and yummy side dishes, all in one sitting.
Briquette up in Budakeszi is not a traditional restaurant, but rather a pop-up barbecue haven, where the smokers get fired up for pre-organised events. Their current offers can be seen on their Facebook page, which is also good to follow in case you want to learn about barbecue techniques, or spend an evening with friends while they serve you fabulous food with juicy meat and fine garnishes. Though barbecue isn’t exactly fine dining, here you can experience a more refined, sophisticated and creative side to this popular technique.
DP BBQ on the Danube bank in Budafok is the little brother of the Déli Part BBQ in Siófok on the southern shore of Lake Balaton. It open from Thursdays to Sundays, and it’s worth waiting for the weekend to sample the meat grilled in the smoker, but you can also get tuck into burgers, sandwiches and sausages of similar quality prepared by award-winning chef Csaba Sajben on Thursdays and Fridays. At weekends, the place doesn’t only revolve around dry-cured meats specifically – there’s always something exciting being fired up in the smoker or pitbox, whether it’s fish soup in a cabbage bowl, Canadian black mussels or pork knuckle in crab soup.
Fat Mama Eatery
Fat Mama is located right in the heart of Budapest’s city centre, with a nice, big garden where Bertha the smoker can puff away cheerfully. There is a significant and reliable BBQ offer at the venue, the vegetables as well prepared as the meats using the same technique, with a variety of compatible sides. Visitors will also find a budget-friendly weekly menu, which is mostly based on Hungarian cuisine, but occasionally you can find great barbecued meals on it as well.
FIRST Local Craft Beer & Kitchen
FIRST has two locations in the city centre, but only the FIRST Local Craft Beer & Kitchen at Madách tér is open this summer. There’s good news, however, as the smoker-cooked foods have moved right here from the slightly more BBQ-oriented outlet on Dob utca. Although these are not the focus on the menu, they are just enough to satisfy your lust for decent BBQ. Whichever delicious dish you end up choosing, pairing it with a good craft beer is always wise at FIRST.
Füstölgő Sarok BBQ
The most popular place in Zebegény, apart from the Mókus Söröző, of course. In 2017, Dani Faludi decided to invigorate the gastronomy of this Danube community entice the locals in the second half of the week with succulent meats and substantial sandwiches. Dani originally wanted to open a barbecue area, but while researching he came across BP BARbq and decided to set up the smoker here as well. With the professional help and ovens of Máriusz Adorján, he opened the Füstölgő Sarok, the ‘Smoky Corner’. If you come to this part of the Danube Bend over the weekend, check their Facebook page for special events, such as mini-festivals on stunning Sárkánydomb, Dragon Hill.
MAG kert BBQ
Those looking for quality BBQ at Kelenföld in south Buda will find it in spades at MAG kert. Entering this suburban venue feels more like coming to a dinner party rather than visiting a restaurant, thanks to all of the festival seating, hammocks and cosy night lights found around the garden. There’s always something among the daily offers for those who are not necessarily fans of smoky flavours, but the main focus remains on BBQ. After eating, you can burn off your newly gained calories with some table tennis.
Őrház Chill & BBQ
One of the longest-established purveyors of Hungarian BBQ still grills up a treat in Tahitótfalu, just north of Szentendre up the Danube Bend. Here there are no compromises – they only work with high-quality ingredients, be it meat, garnish or even the wood used for smoking. The meats come from Australia and the US, the dry marinade has been tried and tested for the last three years. The garden smoker is only heated up at weekends, so the BBQ experience runs from 4pm on Fridays to Sunday evenings – or until stocks run out – but you shouldn’t go hungry during the week either, as a hot kitchen awaits with extra dishes from week to week. It’s not worth rushing over to Őrház for a quick meal as they believe barbecue is a slow form of cuisine best enjoyed at leisure. It’s worth spending an entire day there, basking on the Danube bank, relaxing or staying on for the Saturday night party.
Rub & Roll Barbecue Company
A smoker flown in from the States, succulent meat, fine beers and a large wallop of Americana characterise the Rub & Roll Barbecue opposite the Vígszínház. The restaurant can be a perfect place for celebrations, beery nights out and watching the match, but the founders set a bigger goal for themselves and, in fact, their webshop offers sauces, spice mixes and other professional ingredients from America to educate as many domestic customers as possible in the ways of Texas. Not only is the smoker handled perfectly, you can also find a variety of burgers and other meaty dishes. The Texas atmosphere is noticeable even in the garnishes, with a huge range – you don’t need to stop at the standard cabbage salad. They run a large-scale kitchen, so you don’t have to wait until the weekend to tuck into juicy ribs.
Smokey Monkies BBQ
The mother ship of Smokey Monkies, opened by three friends three years ago, is on Szentendrei út, but branches can be found around the city centre on Király utca, Haller utca and Arany János utca. If you want an instant BBQ experience, Smokey Monkies is the best choice, as they are waiting for guests with glowing smokers every day of the week. But since BBQ is a complex, elongated form of cuisine, even then, the meats prepared in the morning may have run out and the afternoon ones not yet arrived. In addition to juicy meat, BBQ sandwiches and similar treats are available at all outlets.