Many years ago I went to Caribe in a cruise. A girl who was afterwards taking the same ship found me on the internet and send me a message asking how was the trip and so on. Now again, 8 year later I received a message from the same girl who now is coming to Budapest on 14th of August. She asked me tips via Facebook and instead of replying only to her, I decided to make a post which might be useful for others as well.
1. A matter of survival:
a. http://www.cafekor.com/ – I am suspect to recommend it because this is my favorite restaurant in Budapest. The hostess even has my phone number to call me in case a last minute table is available! – important: a reservation is mandatory if you want to try the excellent Hungarian cuisine with fresh ingredients. Don’t miss the offers of the day hanging on the wall and the earliest you arrive more choices you will have! My favorite is always the goose liver, but if you are not so brave, go for the beef stewed and a Somloi Galuska for dessert. My favorite wine on summer nights is the Muskat Blanc 2011 or 2012 (http://grofdegenfeld.hu/en/borok/reszletek/45/tokaji_muscat_blanc_2012_semi_dry/).
b. http://www.bistroderyne.com/ / Since 1914 this Bistro is attract people not only for the food but also the interesting interior design and the wine cellar. If you are missing home and don’t want to adventure into the Hungarian food, you can try the Burger if you are an American or the Wiener Schnitzel (the specialty even though a little far from Vienna!). My favorite is the Strapacska – a Slovakian pasta (I think) here oven baked with bacon and sour cream – with the withe house wine! You will have a good time there, but of course only if you make a reservation!
c. http://www.vapiano.hu/ – if you are in hurry or in a budget, Vapiano is always a good option! it is a kind of fast food well known in some European countries by it is young environment and delicious Italian food. Everything prepared in front of you and really fresh! Don’t miss the desserts; they are as essential as the main dishes!
d. http://www.bagolyvar.com/ – where the tradition meets the touristic spots! if you are at the Heroes Square or just finish you relaxing thermal bath at Szechnyi, this restaurant can be a good choice. The catering is the same as Gundel but the prices lower in this 100 years restaurant. Don’t miss the Turo Gomboc, a unique Hungarian dessert made with curd cheese and jam inside.
e. http://www.busulojuhasz.hu/inner.php?lang=en – good restaurants and touristic places are never together in my opinion, but there are some exceptions as the Bagolyvar mentioned above and the Busulojuhasz is the 2nd in my opinion. Located on the back of Gellert Hill or also called Citadell, the restaurant has a very nice view of the south part of the City, but make sure you get a table close to the window, Last time I tried the pork scallops with artichoke and they were delicious. The Somloi Galuska also is very good here if you are not on diet!
f. http://www.csalogany26.hu/ – definitely this is the restaurant to take your boss when in town! the food is sophisticated as well as the environment but not snobbish. This is a Michelin restaurant and you can understand easily why. Welcome to a great gastronomic experience!
e. http://www.commechezsoi.hu/foto.html – Here comes the true international experience in Budapest… an Italian restaurant with a French name and owned by a Hungarian called Roberrrrrrrtto (don’t forget the Dantesc accent)! The history I was told is the restaurant used to be a French one (reason for the name) but then was bought by Roberto… maybe it is pure gossip, but the fact is that in this small restaurant you will find the very traditional “cucina casalinga”!
g. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Angelika-%C3%89tterem-%C3%A9s-K%C3%A1v%C3%A9z%C3%B3/192905920792079 – there is nothing better than sitting outdoor at Angelika Cafe during the sunset and face the Parliament and the Danube… the food is very good at honest prices.
h. http://www.a38.hu/en/ – this is a boat and a club, but what only few people know is the restaurant located there. You can choose siting outdoor in a nice lounge overlooking the Mupa or inside in a nice air-conditioned area and with a tranquil atmosphere. You can easily forget you are in a boat over a big stage!
2. a matter of sweetness:
a. http://www.newyorkcafe.hu/bemutatkozas?lang=en New York Caffee – overpriced but in this beautiful palace you will see it is worth every penny.
b. Book Cafe – find a post specifically here about it….
c. http://muveszkavehaz.hu/ – since 1898 serving around the opera house the locals and turists with high quality cakes and desserts.
d. http://www.szamosmarcipan.hu/en/ also known for the Marzipan Museum, they serve very nice coffee and pastries. The prices are ok in comparison to other competitors around Vörösmarty Square…
e. http://www.gerbeaud.hu/en – I have to list it this just because it is the most famous one, but to be honest, I think a rip of this place. There is nothing here you can’t find as good as or better in another place in town for much less.
3. a matter of relax:
You are in the Thermal-Bath-land, there is no way to leave Budapest without a try! There are several pools available and I am sure you can find one that fits to your taste! I will list some of them and the main features which comes to my mind when I think about them…
a. Rudas – Built during the 16th, this thermal bath has Turkish features and it is the best one for couples on weekends, specially overnight. There is nothing more relaxing and romantic than ending your night into the hot thermal water… and when I say hot, I mean 42 o.C! http://en.rudasfurdo.hu/
b. Szechenyi – Good for family (with kids also) and big groups of friends. When you need to pleasure different expectations, this is the best solution because there are thousands of different options. This is a new one, built on the century 19th in the middle of City Park. During the summer I heard they are opening overnight as well but for serious parties with DJ and lights… so be prepared for a unique experience! http://www.szechenyibath.hu/
c. Kiralyi – Also it was built on the century 16th, this is for thermal-bath-warriors! you will travel into the time tunel and fell yourself living in Budapest during the Turkish age. This is the smaller, quiter and the cheapest bath in town. This is not so popular among turists and even among locals, reason why I like to go there. If you want to relax, this is your place! http://en.kiralyfurdo.hu/
d. Gellert – this is the posh one but also beautiful with its Art Noveau inspiration back to century 19th. I’ve never been to, but my husband did and he says he still prefers the old-school options like Rudas and Kiraly. http://www.gellertbath.hu/
There are other options, but I wouldn’t recommend if you have a short time in Budapest. But if you have the opportunity, why not go to one of the public swimming pools complexes? http://www.spasbudapest.com/#
4. is a matter of trendy…
a. Szimpla Kert – the most traditional among the ruin pubs, this is a must if you want to experience the night life in Budapest. http://www.szimpla.hu/en
b. Otkert – if you are close to the Bazilika, this is a good option to see how the Hungarians have fun on SAturday night, but be prepared for long queues http://www.otkert.hu/
d. HelloBabby Bar – I can’t describe it to you. You have to check by yourself! https://www.facebook.com/hellobabybar
e. Urimuri – the same as HelloBaby, this is very Budapest! http://urimuri.com/
f. A38 – for the last, I could let behind A38. This is a boat with different music styles and parties playing on the same time with the best scenario you can find in town: the Danube! You can go for a nice concert or simply to enjoy a drink at the open air lounge! http://www.a38.hu/en/
I could stay here the whole night giving you places I love in Budapest, but I think you can make your way with this nice list!
Liz, this post is for you! Egészségedre!
(I am too lazy today to review the grammar, I am sorry! I will do it in another opportunity ir maybe never)