Just in time for last-minute holiday-gift shopping, we present some premier publications of 2014 that highlight Hungary’s capital with extensive English information. From cool cookbooks to locally produced guidebooks to humorous looks at the Magyar way of life, at least one of these vivid volumes should serve as a perfect present for some hard-to-please person on your festive-season list.
Budapest native András Török once again updated his idiosyncratic opus this year with his eighth edition of this long-beloved in-depth travelogue, originally published in 1989. Full of the author’s entertaining personal anecdotes, the book also features a new section about ruin pubs, extremely useful illustrated maps, graphics that showcase obscure curiosities, and great recommendations for extremely specific activities, such as “7 ideas for entertaining a visiting CEO from Portland, Oregon”.
This colorfully designed book provides insider tips for dining, nightlife, and much more, all provided by an esteemed team of Hungarian journalists and bloggers. Through the native perspective of these Budapest-based observers, themed sections offer playful maps that highlight genuinely hip locales ranging from high-quality pizza purveyors to ruin pubs to Michelin-starred restaurants, presented alongside healthy doses of details about must-see Budapest sights like thermal baths and some museums.
Where to buy it: Bookline (1066 Budapest, Teréz krt. 22; 1072 Budapest, Rákóczi út 12) More details
Dining Guide Top 100
Hungary’s most stringent restaurant reviewers present the 2014 edition of their annual list that offers detailed ratings for the entire nation’s very best dining destinations, with each of them described in English below the Hungarian text. Most of the esteemed eateries are located in Budapest, but several impressive countryside restaurants are also included in this volume, along with basic information about hundreds of other premier places to find fine feasts in towns from Abony to Zalakaros.
Where to buy it: Jaffa Kiadó (1066 Budapest, Nyugati tér 1) More details
Providing a funny self-portrait of the Hungarian spirit in six different booklets that explore a half-dozen cultural themes (pub life, spa scenes, the market-hall milieu, behavior at Lake Balaton, the potent effects of pálinka, and general clichés), this multicolored chronicle of quintessentially Magyar experiences is offered in English and Italian, and sold individually or as a complete set. While the irreverently written text is a pleasure to read, the cool cartoons complete its quirkiness.
Where to buy it: Projekt Showroom (1066 Budapest, Dessewffy u. 18-20) More details
Gorgeous photography transforms this cookbook into a work of art, containing diverse recipes for international dishes along with the stories of the myriad Magyars (ranging from a farmer to a fashion designer) who contributed to this limited-edition tome, with English translations for all of the text offered in the concluding pages. Unique specialties that can be made with this book include pheasant soup, Vietnamese crêpes, risotto with black cherries, and many other unexpected culinary creations.
Hidden away on a gritty side street near Pest’s Keleti railway station, the long-standing Rosenstein Restaurant is a family-owned-and-operated fine-dining destination cherished by all of Budapest’s most demanding gourmets for its exquisite Hungarian and Jewish meals. By reading this new English-language compilation of recipes for both traditional dishes and modern delicacies, we also gain insight to the multigenerational gastronomical greatness of the Rosensteins with touching family portraits.
Where to buy it:, Bookline (1066 Budapest, Teréz krt. 22; 1072 Budapest, Rákóczi út 12) More details