12 food hotspots in Budapest

Budapest truly amazed us with its overload of trendy, mouthwatering, and budget-friendly restaurants. In this guide, we’ll take you on a journey through the city’s trendiest brunch spots, quick and affordable lunch options, and memorable dinner places. Let’s explore Budapest’s vibrant food scene and find your next favorite spot among these 12 food hotspots in Budapest!

Since we stayed in the Jewish Quarter, most of the restaurants are located here. We also found this to be one of the most hip and fun neighborhoods to walk around! But don’t worry, we’ve included some gems near famous landmarks like the Parliament Building and St. Stephen’s Basilica too. By then end of this blog post, you’ll know all about the Budapest hotspots. There’s something for everyone!

1. Cirkusz

Food hotspots in Budapest: Cirkusz

Cirkusz, a quirky brunch haven nestled in Budapest’s Jewish Quarter, happens to be Kelvin’s top brunch pick in the city. He kept muttering the words “this is sooo good” over and over during our meal, so you know he meant it! 😉 Their brunch menu, featuring both savory and sweet dishes, is available all day long.

Kelvin really wanted to go for the pulled pork Benedict paired with crispy hash browns and hollandaise sauce. Just the combination of all those ingredients made him drool from excitement. And with good reason, because it turned out to be an absolute brunch masterpiece! The hash browns are full of flavor, the pulled pork is perfectly seasoned, and they’re topped with delicious hollandaise sauce. The sweet and sour flavor of the sauce, paired with the salty meat and hash browns is something he never tasted before. He even considered ordering another serving!

Meanwhile, Thysia opted for something sweeter: French toast with fresh fruits, drizzled with maple syrup. This was the best French toast we have ever eaten! Maybe a little less spectacular and original than the pulled pork, but yummy nonetheless. And since it was a really large portion, Kelvin ate half of the French toast as well. 😉 Some things never change!

To complete our brunch experience, we also treated ourselves to two refreshing mimosas, arguably the best we’ve had in Budapest. The ratio alcohol versus orange juice was just right, and the quality of the prosecco was top-notch as well. One thing’s for sure: Cirkusz offers one of the most memorable brunch experiences in town. And don’t worry if it’s crowded, they’ve got a great seating system that lets you relax in comfy chairs while you wait for a table to open up. Plus, they hand you a menu upfront so you can plan your order in advance. We found this approach quite convenient, our wait was only about 10 minutes before we were seated. So don’t worry if you haven’t made a reservation!

Where: 1074 Budapest, Dob utca 25.

2. Szimply

Szimply Budapest

Just a quick stroll from the Dohány Street Synagogue, you’ll find Thysia’s favorite brunch spot in town: Szimply. This cozy brunch spot may have a compact menu, but it delivers big on flavor!

Kelvin opted for the scrambled eggs paired with crispy hash browns (again), bacon chips, and a pink pepper-lime aioli. Meanwhile, Thysia ordered the seasonal toast with pea hummus, creamy goat cheese, and fresh vegetables. To sweeten the experience, we also shared a slice of delicious banana bread. Sounds great on paper, looked even better in real life. 😍

The food tasted even better than it looked, which is quite a feat! As mentioned before, the presentation was already outstanding. The taste and flavors, however, were even more delightful! Kelvin’s hashbrown were based on potatoes (of course) mixed with some carrots, and extremely well seasoned. On top of those, layed a giant portion of 4 (!) scrambled eggs, with some crispy bacon to complete the hearty breakfast. But Thysia’s dish really was the star of the show! Not only was the plate filled to the brim, everything went so well together. Even Kelvin, who normally isn’t a big fan of goat cheese, asked for multiple bites! The combinations were top-notch, and the fresh ingredients were just sublime. Szimply truly knows how to satisfy brunch cravings with its Instagrammable presentation and rich flavors.

Where: 1052 Budapest, Károly krt. 22.

3. Best Bagel Basilica

Best Bagel Basilica Budapest

Just a stone’s throw away from the St. Stephen’s Basilica, you’ll stumble upon the charming Best Bagel Basilica. Even though this place is right next to a popular sight, it’s nothing like a tourist trap! Best Bagel Basilica lives up to its name, serving the city’s best bagels. Plus, the terrace boasts a view of the basilica – a real bonus! There are only a handful of tables available on the terrace, so if you want to be sure of a table, do as we did: arrive at opening time (more on that later). 😉 Also good to know, you have to order inside and they will bring the food to your table.

Kelvin opted for the “Brutal Best Bagel”, a delicious bagel loaded with Italian salami, prosciutto, avocado, mozzarella, dried tomato, cheese cream, and a Mediterranean mayo. He was a little scared that it would have too much cream cheese, and not enough meat and other “fillings”. Luckily this was not the case at all! The ratio of cream cheese, meat and vegetables was just sublime.

Thysia ordered the “Avocado and Cheese Cream Bagel”, topped with walnuts and balsamic vinegar cream. Usually, it comes with regular tomatoes, but we asked for dried ones instead and the staff were happy to help. This bagel was such a flavorbomb! The balsamic vinegar (one of Thysia’s favorites) brought everything together perfectly. The ingredients were so fresh, and the dried tomatoes went so well with it, too! The staff will hate us for this, but make sure to supplement the regular tomatoes with sundried tomatoes. Game changer!

On our first visit around 2 PM, the place was absolutely bustling! There wasn’t a single table available, such a bummer. That’s why we decided to return the next day at 8.30 AM when Best Bagel Basilica opens, and guess what? We had the entire place to ourselves! The staff were incredibly friendly and accommodated us even though we were a bit early. Plus, our bagels were ready in no time!

Where: 1051 Budapest, Zrínyi utca 16.

4. Mokka Cukka

Mokka Cukka Budapest

Located in a cozy street just 3 minutes away from the magnificent Parliament Building, you can find Mokka Cukka. Mokka Cukka is the perfect brunch spot, with a menu that boasts a wide variety of breakfast options that will please everyone.

Kelvin tried the Italian sandwich, topped with egg salad, Italian ham, parmesan, and dried tomatoes. Thysia went for the Middle East sandwich, topped with chickpea cream, fried paprika cream, olives, and boiled eggs. Both dishes were very tasty! The plates were filled to the brim, the sourdough breads were richly topped. We love it! Other than offering delicious sandwiches, Mokka Cukka also offers some sweet and local dishes. A dish that looked really appealing to us was Somlói galuska, a Hungarian cake made of several layers of sponge with chocolate and cream. Unfortunately they were out of sponge cake for the day, but next time we’re in Budapest we’re definitely coming back for it!

To complete our brunch experience, we couldn’t resist ordering mimosas to accompany our breakfast/brunch. After all, what better way to kickstart your day than with a sip of a delicious mimosa? 😉

Where: 1054 Budapest, Báthory utca 3.

5. Arán Bakery

Food hotspots in Budapest: Arán Bakery

If you don’t feel like having an extensive breakfast but you still crave something delicious, make sure to stop at Arán Bakery. This bakery is the go-to place for the tastiest pastries in town! This place is super well-known, so there might be a line waiting already by the time you pass by. We arrived 10 minutes after opening time (which is 7.30 AM), and people were already waiting in line outside. Luckily the people from the bakery work at breakneck speeds, 5 minutes later it was our time to order.

Looking for something sweet, we tried their almond croissant, cinnamon swirl, and cardamom apple pastry. Each one was a mouthwatering delight! Our top pick? The cardamom apple, with its unique and bursting flavors. The cool thing about Arán Bakery is that they also offer savory meals and pastries! Things like Focaccia (topped with whatever you like), an egg and ham croissant, or a sandwich with pesto and mozzarella are some of the possibilities. If we hadn’t discovered this place on our last morning of our trip, we’d have gotten breakfast here all the time!

Where: 1077 Budapest, Wesselényi utca 23.

Good to know
Be sure to arrive on time as it tends to get pretty busy here. But take our word for it, the wait at Arán Bakery is absolutely worth it for a heavenly pastry experience.

6. Hummus Bar

Hummus Bar Budapest

For a quick and super affordable lunch option, Hummus Bar is a must-visit! This fantastic spot specializes in hummus bowls, shakshuka, and pita sandwiches. They have an inviting terrace with lots of places, so you’re guaranteed to find a table. The process is simple: order inside at the counter, the staff will give you a buzzer and once it beeps, food!

We tried the pita sabich and the pita shawarma because we were looking for a quick and (semi-)healthy lunch. While the pita sabich features fried eggplant and salted smashed potatoes, the pita shawarma is packed with tender chicken thigh strips and a refreshing Arab salad. Each pita sandwich cost us less than € 6 – now that’s what we call a steal! And the flavors? Absolutely delicious. The portions aren’t the biggest, but for less than € 15 (drinks included) we can’t complain! Besides, we still had a “full feeling” after our meal, so don’t worry if you think you’ll still be hungry.

So, if you’re in the mood for a quick and delicious lunch, Hummus Bar is highly recommended. Plus, with multiple branches across Budapest, there’s bound to be one conveniently close to you!

Check the locations here.

7. Csicseri

Csicseri Budapest

Another great and budget-friendly lunch spot is Csicseri. Their menu contains a range of healthy options, including salads, plates, and pita sandwiches. In the mood for some pitas again, we tried the pita halloumi and pita shawarma. The halloumi pita came with bread that was filled with hummus, tahini dressing, and pomegranate. The pita shawarma was a bun of grilled chicken and a refreshing yogurt mint dressing. Both pita’s were so tasty, we really can’t pick a favorite! Or maybe go for the halloumi one, just because that one is a tad more original. Taste wise, though, they are equally delicious. 😋

We paid about € 7 per pita, which isn’t expensive in our opinion. It’s also located at the entry of “Gozsdu Udvar”, a small passage that hosts countless other restaurants, bars, arcade halls and even an escape room! The ideal place to relax after a quick, delicious, and affordable lunch at Csicseri!

Where: 1074 Budapest, Dob u. 16.

8. Karaván

Karaván Budapest

Karaván is a vibrant outdoor food court offering a wide range of both Hungarian and international street food options. Whether you’re in the mood for traditional Hungarian favorites like Lángos and Goulash or international dishes like burgers and nachos, Karaván has you covered. It’s the perfect spot to gather with friends and family, and to share some food and drinks.

We started with the iconic Hungarian treat, Lángos. These fried bread delights, typically topped with sour cream and cheese, are a must-try when in Budapest! We opted for one with cheese, grilled paprika, and Jalapeño. So flavorful! The dish was not greasy at all and the bread had a really nice texture.

In addition to Lángos, we couldn’t resist ordering cheese fries, vegetable nachos, and a mouthwatering chicken wrap. Every dish was amazing! Ordering lots of small dishes to share is just the way we like it. We also enjoyed some mojitos, a local beer, and a shot of raspberry Pálinka, a traditional Hungarian fruit brandy. The Pálinka was really strong, think about it like the strongest vodka you’ve tried and multiply it by 10! The draught beer was really nice, around € 3 for a 50cl pint. The mojitos were good too (almost € 10 each), but a little too small for the money you’re paying. It’s definitely the food here that takes the cake!

Karaván offers not only delicious sharing dishes but also a vibrant and inviting atmosphere, making it a must-visit spot for an unforgettable gathering with loved ones in Budapest.

Where: 1075 Budapest, Kazinczy utca 18.

9. Twentysix

Food hotspots in Budapest: Twentysix

Twentysix has undoubtedly captured our hearts as the ultimate dining destination in Budapest. This Mediterranean gem boasts a menu filled with incredible, inventive dishes that are sure to impress. And let’s not forget the stunning interior – this cozy urban oasis is hands down the most stunning restaurant in town. From the moment you walk in, you’ll feel like you’re in the jungle. Talk about a unique and amazing experience! If you want a definition for “Budapest hot spot”, this is it.

Twentysix Budapest

We started our evening with the roasted carrots, drizzled with maple tahini and mango amba, as well as the whole charred potato dish, served with smoked tzatziki and dukkah. These appetizers set a high standard for the rest of the evening. Combinations we hadn’t seen or tasted before, the plates full of color and ingredients, and a tasty (but really sweet) white wine to top it off. Delicious!

For our main courses, Kelvin opted for the spicy baked cauliflower with pomegranate amba and tahini, while Thysia savored the ricotta-filled manti pasta complemented by yogurt leeks and red pepper zhoug. Both dishes were bursting with flavor, the surprising flavor combinations were just perfect. Yes, it feels like we’re repeating ourselves a little bit, but the main dishes were just as good and original as the appetizers. We ate things we never even tried before, and saw combinations that made our jaws drop to the floor. Thysia was drooling during the whole meal, too. 😂

Twentysix effortlessly combines a spectacular setting with exceptional cuisine, making it the perfect place for a unique and unforgettable dining experience! Date night, anyone?

Where: 1061 Budapest, Király st. 26.

10. Dobrumba

Food hotspots in Budapest: Dobrumba

Dobrumba is the perfect go-to spot for a relaxed and cozy dinner with friends. This cute restaurant specializes in sharing dishes like hummus, tapenade, and patatas bravas. It’s inspired by Mediterranean cuisine, small but flavorful dishes. Their cozy atmosphere and exceptional sharing menu make it the perfect place for an amazing dinner experience. We just love it when a table is full of tiny plates, at Dobrumba there’s no shortage of that!

We started with the hummus tahini paired with marinated chickpeas and the Labneh Za’atar, a creamy cheese spread infused with za’atar spice. These appetizers were the perfect start of our intimate dinner date. They came with a super delicious pita bread that came straight out of the oven. If we hadn’t already ordered other dishes as well, we’d reorder some of that bread instead! It was that good.

Following our appetizers, we opted for the gambas sautéed in chili and garlic-infused olive oil, as well as the patatas bravas served with saffron aioli. Out of these two, our favorite were the patatas bravas, just because the red sauce was so good. The white sauce on top had a great taste, too, but was a little firmer than what we’re used to. The gambas were really good, too, but there were only around 8 of them. The chili and garlic-infused olive oil was super delicious, but Kelvin found that the dish lacked a “real sauce”. We still finished the delicious bread by dipping it in the oil, though!

Every single dish was a taste sensation, making us highly recommend Dobrumba for anyone in search of an unforgettable shared dining experience. They also have a quite extensive wine list, with the price of a glass as low as € 2! Kelvin ordered a really great, fruity white wine here but unfortunately we forgot the name. 😳

Where: 1074 Budapest, Dob u. 5.

11. Két Szerecsen Bistro

Két Szerecsen Bistro Budapest

Nestled between Budapest’s Andrássy Avenue and the vibrant Jewish Quarter, Két Szerecsen Bistro is a cozy lunch spot with an extensive menu. The restaurant combines the coziness of a cafe with the rustic charm of a bistro, we really loved the look and ambience! Especially the oversized windows caught our attention, so cool! The friendly staff adds to the warm atmosphere, and the reasonable prices are the cherry on top. Make sure to take a seat on their terrace on a sunny day!

We ordered the delicious Goulash soup, the roasted goat cheese paired with apple purée, pine nuts, and arugula, the avocado ceviche, and the mouthwatering BBQ pork ribs. Although everything was super delicious, the Goulash was the dish that really stood out! Kelvin had never tasted this before, he absolutely loved it! The meat was so tender, it fell apart in his mouth. We also really liked the roasted goat cheese, just because it contained a lot of fun and exciting ingredients. Nothing was too “overpowering”, which is quite a feat when you’re talking about goat cheese! The chef got the proportions just right.

Where: 1065 Budapest, Nagymező utca 14.

12. Mazel Tov

Mazel Tov Budapest

While Mazel Tov may not hold the top spot on our list for food (that spot is set aside for Twentysix), it’s undeniably a place worth visiting, especially for drinks. The ambiance is simply enchanting, and the beauty of the place has to be witnessed firsthand. Don’t get us wrong, the food is good, really good even. We’re just convinced that you can find equally delicious (or even better) options at more budget-friendly restaurants. The interior of Mazel Tov, however, is something you probably won’t see ever again. 🤩 That’s why we included this place in our list of 12 food hotspots in Budapest.

We ordered some cocktails and shared a plate of Za’atar sticks along with spicy sweet potato wedges, paired with a zesty tomato salsa. Our cocktails were very tasty, and the food certainly hit the spot. The Za’tar sticks were seasoned to perfection! Definitely order a portion of those to dip into a hummus or salsa like we did. So, even if it’s not our top pick for dining, Mazel Tov’s overall experience, atmosphere, and drinks make it a spot worth checking out in Budapest.

Where: 1073 Budapest, Akácfa utca 47.

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