With the hot weather now upon us, there’s nothing better than beating a retreat to a restaurant terrace and escaping the heat of the day over an affordable lunch. Here are five little-known suggestions in different areas of the city.
This spring, we were pleasantly surprised when we entered Haris Park by Marczibányi tér in Buda. Here, history meets the present, an events venue is attached to an elegant bar, and a restaurant is housed in the former HQ of the Buddhist Society of Buda. The garden is more like park-like thanks to its size, ancient trees and landscaped vegetation. The venerable Habsburg cuisine of Buda is brought to the fore, backed by the know-how of a family-run business.
The Bobo Restaurant is embellished with an elegant fireplace and peacock motifs dotting the interior, but in summer, fast-paced business lunches and friendly rendezvous take place in the garden. The culinary concept takes two directions: classics on the one hand, executed in contemporary fashion, and a sophisticated range of dishes also featured on the menu.
Lunch: à la carte until 3pm, seven days a week.
Recommended dishes: venison ragout soup (2,300 HUF); breaded veal cooked in butter with a classic potato salad (4,800 HUF).
District II. Marczibányi tér 6
Open: Mon noon-3pm, 6pm-11pm; Tue-Fri 8am-3pm, 6pm-11pm; Sat 9am-3pm, 6pm-11pm; Sun noon-5pm, 6pm-11pm
One of our favourite restaurant openings of 2018 was Gléda in Óbuda. Tucked away a short ride up from focal Kolosy tér, this eatery sits by a sports complex. Gléda wants to bring back the atmosphere, cuisine and philosophy of a family restaurant frequented by locals and diners from across town. The family concept is taken literally, as the two owners, the manager and his wife, as well as the chef and his wife, can often be seen here.
Sándos Kerekes is already an old hand in this profession and his style is certainly attractive: homemade, tasty cooking, with no new reinventions, yet carried out with modern technology and quality ingredients. Things are a different here to the average local restaurant of yesteryear, both in terms of tastes and portions. They know what they’re doing with meat, it would be a pity to miss their soups and you won’t be disappointed with dessert.
Lunch: Special offer weekdays 11.30am-3pm, 2 courses for 2,200 forints, 3 courses for 2,600 forints. À la carte also available.
Recommended dishes: 24-month matured mangalica ham platter (3,500 HUF); grey catfish paprikash with toasted homemade noodles and mangalica greaves (4,200 HUF).
District III. Mikoviny utca 2-4
Open: Tue-Fri 11.30am-10.30pm, Sat noon-10.30pm
A Kert Bisztró
The Kert Bisztró is a little gem in Zuglo, where the grand restaurants of yesteryear are barely a memory. There’s no time to mope, though, as regulars and first-timers relax in this beautiful garden, tucking into lunch under the rose arbour, weekdays and at weekends. There’s no need to hurry, atmosphere and service are impressive, and gastronomic standards are improving. The name, ‘Garden Bistro’ was not chosen by chance – the cuisine is bistro-style and cosmopolitan, including hummus, Thai soup and crunchy piglet. A barbecue sizzles on weekday evenings and all weekend.
Lunch: Special offer weekdays 11.30am-3pm, 2 courses for 1,950 forints (with lemonade 2,250 HUF); 3 courses with lemonade for 2,550 forints. À la carte also available.
Recommended dishes: classic steak tartar (2,450 HUF); paella (3,950 HUF).
District XIV. Thököly út 57B
Open: Mon-Thur 11.30am-11pm, Fri-Sat 11.30am-midnight, Sun 11.30am-10pm
In the Gesztenyés Garden, the Larus Étterem is often thought of as an events venue, but it also offers outstanding gastronomy thanks to Péter Várvizi’s innovative, professional cuisine. Creativity is not only limited to the substantial meat dishes, but is also underscores the vegetarian options and desserts.
At the foot of Sas Hill, spring, foliage covers the landscape and you can also gaze over the vineyards from the terrace, the noise of the nearby BAH transport hub drowned out by birdsong and children playing. At this family-run restaurant, they not only offer an express menu during the week but at weekends, too – thus catering to nine-to-fivers and families on Saturdays and Sundays. Last but not least, the Larus can number itself among Budapest’s sustainable eateries, and is as environmentally conscious as possible.
Lunch: Special offer weekdays noon-3pm, 3 courses for 3,800 forints. À la carte also available.
Recommended dishes: duck consommé with ginger pak-choi (2,350 HUF); veal tenderloin with smoked-bread jus, roast vegetables (6,950 HUF).
District XI. Csörsz utca 18B
Open: Mon-Sat noon-11.30pm, Sun noon-5pm
Despite initial shortcomings, Monk’s has been a good choice for a while in terms of a stable, value-for-money eatery, with an exceptionally cosy terrace. Sitting there on a sunny day, you can watch pedestrians stroll through elegant Piarist köz, overshadowed by the Inner-City Parish Church and Elizabeth Bridge. The menu selection runs along the lines of an international bistro kitchen, only with more local ingredients, colours, shapes and textures. Curious diners may wish to see their lunch being prepared in the open kitchen.
Lunch: Special offer weekdays noon-3pm, 3 courses for 2,780 forints. À la carte also available.
Recommended dishes: veal carpaccio, sweet potato, blood orange and tarragon (3,580 HUF); mangalica pork shoulder, cabbage, sour cream and thyme (4,580 HUF).
District V. Piarist köz 1
Open: daily 11am-midnight