The best places to eat fish or seafood in Budapest
Photo : Vörös Homár
23/10/2014, 1:49 AM●7-minute article
Fish? But where? Luckily, the more years that pass, the more restaurants there are that specialise in fish and seafood. So even though Hungary is landlocked, we don’t have to travel to other countries to find tasty fish dishes. Another change that is slowly taking place is that by “fish dish” we no longer just mean fish soup, deep fried hake or fish fingers but other delicious meals. So dive into the list below the next time you would like something tasty from the deep blue.
Photo: We Love Budapest – László Balkányi 7 pictures
On the corner of Lövőház and Fény Streets is Nemo Fish & Chips, where you can try everything that swims or walks in the ocean. Fish, crabs, squid – we could continue the list until the seas run dry. You might not want to come during rush hour, because of the long wait times – but if you have an hour-long lunch break, you can’t go wrong with this fast-food restaurant. One of the most popular dishes is the salad, that you can put together at the counter. With the chef’s own dressing it goes really well with grilled crab or squid. With a name like Nemo Fish & Chips it’s no surprise that they have fish and chips, that comes with jalapeño-mayonnaise dressing and sweet chilli dipping sauce (small portion: 990 HUF; normal portion: 1790 HUF). The Nemo burger with a salmon patty (1490 HUF) is also good choice. If the weather is right, we encourage you to take to the terrace – fresh air and your clothes won’t smell of deep fried fish proving that you’ve just had a delicious meal.
Photo: We Love Budapest – László Balkányi 4 pictures
Surfboard tables and sailor figures as design elements, plus fish, fish, fish – all aboard, captain! We have to admit that Bubba is located in a not so welcoming place (the ‘Kerengő’ underpass of Déli Railway Station), but once you enter you’ll forget all the trials you went through to get there. You’ll just be happy to try their already legendary fish and chips or grilled salmon. All the fish comes from the market in Budaörs, and from France and Norway. All the vegetables come from Hungarian vegetable growers. You can have the aforementioned fish and chips in three different portion sizes, depending on how hungry you are: small (790 HUF), large (1100 HUF) and Bubba size (1700 HUF). All the dishes come in paper boxes so there are no dirty, unwashed plates here. The grilled salmon and Bubba fish burger are 1390 Forints.
Bubba’s Water Grill Address: 1034 Budapest, Bécsi út 65. Nyitva tartás: Mon-Thu, Sun 11:00-22:00, Fri-Sat 11:00-23:00 Facebook
Photo: We Love Budapest – László Balkányi 3 pictures
A luxury clothes shop here, a jewellery store there and one of the city’s finest fish bistros – yes, it’s Andrássy Avenue we are talking about. The concept is as simple as it is great: the owners of the fish market at Budaörs thought they should open a small bistro in the heart of Budapest because not every fish-lover has time to travel to the fishmongers to buy fresh fish. There is a really small chance that you will eat the same thing twice at The Bigfish. Firstly because the ever-changing menu depends on the daily catch and secondly because there are so many mouthwatering options that it would be a bad decision not to try new things. The interior design is quite minimalistic, and you can – half-literally – serve yourself: you can choose exactly which fish, clam or crab you want to eat at the counter. Luckily, no fishing rod needed! The wide variety of seafood changes every day, so it’s always a good idea to have lunch or dinner here. Fish and chips costs 2100 HUF.
Photo: We Love Budapest – László Balkányi 3 pictures
Halkakas is legendary – the owner, Zsuzsi Lévai, was the first one to open a fish bistro in Budapest. Hungarian fish prepared fresh, great price-to-value ratio – there’s nothing else we could ask for! The place only uses fresh Hungarian ingredients and deep frozen fish is not an option. Leave your preconceived ideas about typical Hungarian fish dishes behind and prepare for the unexpected: smoked trout salad, catfish gyros, crispy carp and catfish curry are just the tip of the iceberg. The dishes go very well with Hungarian wines, artisan beers or schnapps, and the home-made fruit syrups are also nice. Actually, the red elderberry syrup is more than nice, it’s fantastic! They have a daily menu special at 990 HUF to 1290 HUF but this is really popular, so you should hurry or you might miss out!
Vörös Homár, aka Red Lobster, is a hidden gem in the heart of Hegyvidék Shopping Centre and it’s safe to say that if you want something from the sea, you’ll find it here. Fresh fish or fish dishes – they have both and even more! Fresh goods from Sri Lanka and Italy arrive twice a week: swordfish, red tuna, clams, lobster, crab, squid, fish fillet – we could fill this article with just a list of what is on offer here. You can choose from about five different salads every day: our choice was the crab salad with apple and fennel. Apart from the à la carte dishes, there is always a lunch menu, which was Basque seafood soup and Cantonian spicy crab with roasted vegetables and noodles when we visited. Our favourite was the fish and chips, made from cod fillet that came straight from Atlanta. If you order the deluxe version, you also get mint-flavoured green pea-puree and a grilled shrimp skewer. They also plan to start their own home delivery service in Buda and in the downtown area.
Address: 1037 Budapest, Szépvölgyi street 21. Reservations: +36 30/940-33-35 Opening: Mo-Th: 11-23; Fr-Su: 11-24
Have a dinner in Atlantis! When you enter the fish bistro, located on Szépvölgyi Street, through a huge plastic shark jaw you feel like you are in an aquarium. Everything is painted blue and fresh seafood arrives twice a week from Italy. The chef’s (Alessandro Manfredini) specialties include grilled Argentine shrimps served with salad and crispy vegetables, soy and hazelnut (5500 HUF), tuna carpaccio with soya sauce and sprouts (3200 HUF) – which was a bit thicker and rustic than what would be ideal, but still tasted great – and homemade pasta with spicy seafood stew and dill (2000 HUF). The latter was a masterpiece, the pasta was al dente, it wasn’t too spicy – we just can’t complain.
Fishmonger & fish market at Budaörs
The Budaörsi Halpiac (fish market in Hungarian) is for real gourmets only. The fresh fish and seafood arrives from the ports and markets of Norway, Spain, New Zealand, Greece and Sri Lanka on five days a week. Apart from fresh and deep frozen fish, we can get clams, crab, plus everything needed to make the perfect fish dish: spices, oils, wines, and all kind of accessories. If you get hungry during your trip, Dokk buffet is just a shot away from the market (it’s closed Sunday and Monday). Believe us, there is nothing better a freshly grilled branzino with salad and tzatziki at Dokk. If you are interested in the menu, here it is.
There are plenty of restaurants in Budapest that don’t specialise in seafood but still have some dishes based these delicious sea creatures. Here are some of our favourites:
ZONA: Krisztián Huszár is great at seafood. Our favourite is the Bretagne mackerel, bouchot mussels, yellow pea, pickled vegetables (3,500 HUF) Trattoria Toscana: we couldn’t decide, which is better – the view from the restaurant or the shrimp tartar (2,990 HUF) Pata Negra: from the wide variety of tapas that had seafood, our favourite was the chipirones a la plancha (pan-roasted baby squid)(990 HUF) NOBU: Alaskan Black Cod Den Miso (12,100 HUF) – yes, it isn’t exactly what you would order every day, but once you’ve tried it, you’ll never forget the taste MÁK Bistro:Scallop with artichoke (3,200 HUF)
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