Budapest Christmas 2012

If you are planning what to do, what to see at Christmas in Budapest, here is the best resource on Budapest Christmas: Budapest Christmas, a really cool Budapest Christmas Travel Guide.

Budapest Christmas Ideas

Budapest Christmas Ideas

Some of the ideas we like:

Having a Christmas Dinner in Budapest – some of the best restaurants in Budapest are open at Xmas, some are closed: Budapest restaurants at Christmas – opening hours. This page will give you some ideas for places to eat at on Dec 24, Dec 25 and Dec 26. Then everything is back to normal.

Visiting the Budapest Christmas markets – whether in the city centre (Vorosmarty Square Christmas Market, Budapest Basilica Christmas Market), or outside the city centre, like in the lovely enchanting Obuda Christmas Market, or in the less fancy, sort of post-communist Ujpest Xmas Fair. More modern fairs are to be seen at WAMP Xmas and at the Budapest Museum of Applied Arts.

Concerts at Christmas in Budapest: don’t miss the concerts at Xmas in Budapest. Free concerts are all over the city, each evening and at weekends on Vorosmarty Square (folk, choir, coral), choir and organ concerts at the St Stephen Basilica and a whole lot more concerts (fun jazz, funky, swing etc.) at many bars and clubs in Budapest.

Merry Christmas! or, if you are wondering what is Merry Xmas in Hungarian, it goes like this (mouthful, I know):

Bol-dog – cor-arch-ont!
=Boldog karácsonyt!

Not so difficult after all!

Budai Gourmet Festival 2012 – Foodies Welcome to Budapest!

Now the Budai Gourmet Festival is coming at the beginning of June again to make all foodies, locals and foreigners happy in Budapest.

Budai Gourmet Festival Budapest

Budai Gourmet Festival Budapest

The even better news is that you can watch all the Euro 2012 games right at the festival venue on huge outdoor screens, plus enjoy the gourmet foods and drinks, probably the best bites and sips Hungary can offer. There will be lots of jazzy – folksy concerts too to make you really feel relaxed.
The venue is one of our favorites in Budapest: Millenaris Park, a contemporary cultural complex, almost at the foot of the Castle Hill (a 15 min walk down from the Buda Castle District).

Please enjoy! June 8 – 10, an amazingly good event to put down in your calendar for your Budapest trip.
Oh, and almost forgot, you can take a look at the detailed program of the 2012 Budapest Gourmet Festival here

Museum Cafe and Restaurant (Múzeum Étterem) in Budapest Hungary

Museum Cafe and Restaurant (Múzeum Étterem) is right next to the National Museum in the city center. The reputable restaurant also recommended by the Michelin Guide for Budapest Restaurants was established in 1885. So that’s why its name is also Museum. The large wall painting, the mural has been made by one of the national celebrity painters of the 19th century, Karoly Lotz. The wine list is quite long featuring many of the 22 Hungarian wine regions. Saturday only lunch specials are recommended if you want to taste something Hungarian in an old-style Hungarian restaurant.

Museum Cafe and Restaurant (Múzeum Étterem) in Budapest at the National Museum

Address: Múzeum krt. 12. Budapest 8th district 1088
Phone: 00-36-1-338-4221
Opening hours: Mon-Sat 12:00- 24:00 (Sundays closed)
Note: after 7pm booking a table is a good idea (even though the restaurant seats 120+40). World-renowned Hungarian Zsolnay porcelain is used for serving. Closed on Sundays.
Getting here:

  • metro (red line) Astoria station, then a few minute walk or (blue line) Kálvin tér station then a few min walk on Múzeum krt.
  • trams/ streetcars: number 47 or 49
  • buses: number 9 or 15

See the location of Museum Cafe and Restaurant on the Budapest Tourist Map (check the knife and fork map icon in the middle, and click on the icons to learn more about the neighboring places of interest or click on the View Larger Map blue link under the map). Notice that Museum Cafe and Restaurant is only a few steps from the National Museum (entrance is free!), and is also very close to the old Jewish district with the Grand Synagogue (Moorish-Byzantine neolog synagogue), as well as the beautiful Pushkin Film Theater (Puskin Mozi). The Reformed Church on Kálvin tér or the Franciscan Church on Ferenciek tere are about 5-10 min walk to Muzeum Restaurant.


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Alabardos Restaurant (Alabardos Etterem) Budapest

Alabardos Restaurant (Alabardos Etterem), which is located in a nice old Gothic building from the 15th century, is only a few steps from the Gothic Matthias Church and the panoramic ramparts on top of the Castle hill called Fishermen’s Bastion. Alabardos Etterem is recommended by the Budapest Michelin guide. The restaurant has a terrace and a garden besides the internal rooms, which are all decorated in a style that combines medieval memorabilia, walls, colors with 19th century refurbishment. “The atmosphere inside is hushed and elegant, although slightly pretentious. They appreciate “appropriately” dressed guests at this conservative establishment” (Frommer’s travel guide, New York Times). Wine selection is assisted by a sommelier. World-famous Zsolnay and Herend porcelains are used for dining.

Knights Room in Alabardos Restaurant on Castle Hill in Budapest Buda side

Address: Országház utca 2, Budapest 1014
Phone: 00-36-1-356-0851
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 19:00.-23:00, Sat: 12:00-16:00 and 19:00-23:00 (Closed on Sunday)
Note: Closed on Sunday. Music: live classical music and guitar solos (unobtrusive). Booking in advance is recommended. Attire: preferably formal.

Gothic Terrace of Alabardos Restaurant on Castle Hill in Budapest Buda side
Getting here:

  • bus: Várbusz (minibus leaving from Moszkva tér metro station) or Bus number 16 from Deák tér metro station
  • Funicular from Adam Clark square at the Chain Bridge, then turn right and walk towards the Matthias church tower

See the location of Alabardos Restaurant on the Budapest Tourist map (check the knife and fork map icon in the middle, and click on the icons to learn more about the neighboring places of interest). Notice that Alabardos Restaurant is in the Castle District on top of the Castle Hill (Varhegy), very close to the Matthias Church, the Fishermen’s Bastion, the Hungarian House of Wines, the historical little confectioner’s Cafe Ruszwurm, and of course the Royal Palace itself with its numerous exhibitions.


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Gundel Restaurant Budapest (Gundel Étterem) Photos, Basic Info and More

Gundel Budapest (also mistakenly called Gundels or Grundel Restaurant) is a has grown a solid term over the last decades in Hungary. Gundel Restaurant (Gundel Etterem) bears aristocratic majesty in its several rooms with antique furniture, walls, glasswork, etc. Although the well-known restaurant is recommended by the Budapest Michelin guide, so far no stars have been give to it (strangely enough, not to any of the restaurants in the former Eastern block behind the iron curtain).

Magnificent classical interior in Gundel Restaurant Budapest Hungary

As the New York Times’ Frommer’s travel guide writes: “Budapest’s fanciest and most famous restaurant, Gundel was reopened in 1992 under the auspices of the well-known restaurateur George Lang, owner of New York’s Café des Artistes. The Hungarian-born Lang, author of The Cuisine of Hungary, and his partner Ronald Lauder, son of Estée Lauder and a one-time New York gubernatorial candidate, spared no effort in attempting to re-create the original splendor for which Gundel, founded in 1894, achieved its international reputation.”

Gundel Restaurant in Budapest Andrea room

Sunday brunches, which change their theme every week, are quite affordable for 5800 HUF (there’s a 50% discount for children under 15, while it’s free under 5)

Gundel Restaurant  in Budapest Elisabeth ball room Erzsébet bálterem

Address: Állatkerti út 2. Budapest 1146 (14th district)
Phone: 00-36-1-468-4040
Opening hours: Mon-Sun 12:00-16:00 and 18:30-24:00, Colonnade Bar: 09:00-24:00, Sunday Brunch: 11:30-15:00
Note: Book a table in advance. Celebs are frequent, pets are not allowed (nor celeb dogs as the cross-section). Attire: formal (jackets in the evenings are obligatory). House specialties are smoked gooseliver, lamb, wild-game entrees, Gundel pancake dessert (Gundel palacsinta) with chocolate, ground walnut, etc.

Gundel Restaurant  in Budapest Music Room Zeneszoba


Getting here
:

  • metro (yellow underground line) at Hosok tere station
  • trolley bus: number 72, get off at either Szondi utca or Állatkert stop (the restaurant is about halfway between the two stops)

Gundel Restaurant in Budapest Andrassy Room Andrássy terem
See the location of Gundel Restaurant on the Budapest Tourist Map (check the knife and fork map icon in the middle, and click on the icons to learn more about the neighboring places of interest or click on the View Larger Map blue link under the map). Notice that Gundel Restaurant is close to the Museum of Fine Arts, the Hall of Arts and the Millennial Monument on Heroes’ Square. The restaurant is practically neighboring the Art Deco ZOO, as well as the Budapest Circus and is fairly close to the Szechenyi Baths at the City Park, and the House of Horror museum on Andrassy avenue.


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And this is the Salon of Gundel Budapest:

Gundel Restaurant in Budapest Salon

Nice, isn’t it?

Mokka Cafe and Restaurant in Budapest City Center

Mokka Cafe and Restaurant is one of the restaurants in Budapest recommended by Michelin guide. Its style is trendy-elegant ‘ethno-eclectic’ combining African-Mediterranean colors and elements. But it’s also ethno-eclectic in its cuisine in a sense that the restaurant is striving to create its own Mokka versions of international and Hungarian dishes with a modern flair. Sommelier helps you to pick wines. Pricey.

Mokka Cafe and Restaurant in Budapest downtown

Address: Sas utca 4., Budapest 1051
Phone: 00-36-1-328-0081
Opening hours: (lunch and dinner) Mon-Sun 12:00-24:00
Getting here:

  • metro (all lines) Deák tér station
  • tram/streetcar: number 2,

See the location of Mokka Cafe and Restaurant on the Budapest Tourist Map (check the knife and fork map icon in the middle, and click on the icons to learn more about the neighboring places of interest or click on the View Larger Map blue link under the map). Notice that Mokka Cafe and Restaurant is very close to the Parliament, the Basilica and Roosevelt square with the Chain Bridge & the Gresham Palace or Hotel Sofitel.


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photo from diningout

Budapest Restaurants recommended by Michelin

Unfortunately, Michelin is said to be very slow to react to changes at restaurants, especially in non-Western Europe. Several Budapest restaurantsare striving for the appreciation of this established gourmet institute but they need to be patient, similarly to other Central-European counterparts where Michelin stars have rarely been given (the first Michelin star went to Allegro Restaurant in the Four Seasons Hotel of Prague).

Budapest Onyx Restaurant - Michelin 1 star

Budapest Onyx Restaurant – Michelin 1 star

See the Best Restaurants in Budapest.

So what are the best restaurants in Budapest that have been awarded with a Michelin star or other recommendation?

Budapest Restaurants with Michelin stars

Bib Gourmand restaurants in Budapest

Budapest restaurants recommended by Michelin guide

If you are wondering where you could have a nice coffee and cake, have a look at the Best cafe guide in Budapest.

Related:

Last updated June 2012

Please send your comments in

Budapest Bib Gourmand Restaurant: Nancsi Neni Vendegloje

Although there is still no Michelin-star restaurant in Eastern-Europe, including Hungary, Budapest has a Bib Gourmand restaurant: Nancsi Neni Vendegloje (approx. the Inn of Aunt Nanchie). Needless to say, being the proud owner of the Bib Gourmand for more than five-six years, Nancsi Neni Vendegloje attracts a wide variety of local and foreign folks, couples, large groups or families. The restaurant is in the green area of Buda hills in Budapest, about 20-30 min. drive from Budapest city center. In fair weather, there is a huge open air area under century old oak and chestnut trees, and the restaurant pays special attention to families (diaper changer, climber, wooden train, etc.), guests with pets are very welcome, and bikers don’t need to worry about bike racks.

See the Best Restaurants in Budapest.

Budapest Bib Gourmand Restaurant Nancsi Neni Vendegloje

Address: Ordogarok street (Ördögárok utca) 80., Budapest H-1028
Phone: 00-36-1-398-7127
Opening hours: 12 pm- 11 pm
Getting here:

  • by public transport: from Moszkva tér metro station (red line) it takes about 25-35 min. Take the streetcar/ tram number 56 (you can also take it from Hotel Gellert). Go to the terminal (approx. 20 min from Moszkva) then change to one of the following buses: bus number 57 or 63 or 157 and get off at the third stop called Széchenyi utca.
  • by car/ bike: go to Moszkva tér on the Buda side, and take Szilágyi Erzsébet fasor road. For about 15 min just go straight ahead following the road (in a few min the name of the road changes from Szilágyi to Huvosvolgy/ Hűvösvölgyi út). Check the streets on the left for Ordogarok utca/ Ördögárok utca. Turn left and look for number 80.

See the location of Nancsi Neni Restaurant on the Budapest Tourist Map: knife and fork map icon in the middle. Notice that the restaurant is quite close to the Children’s Railway and its Museum as well as the Bela Bartok Museum & Memorial House or the Chairlift in Budapest (Libego/ Libegő)


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California Coffee Company: an American Coffee House in Budapest

California Coffee Company is an American style and owned café on the Grand Boulevard. If you like American style cafés and don’t mind sitting around with students stuck to their laptops, it might be your choice – also for an alternative breakfast place. Coffees, sandwiches, cakes. Free WiFi for 1.5 hours. Light, bright place, comfy armchairs in a trendy atmosphere. There’s also a shop where you can buy different coffees, syrups, gifts (e.g. traveler’s mugs), etc. Read about the Best Cafes in Budapest.

California Coffee Company Coffee House in Budapest downstairs
Address: Teréz körút 38., Budapest 1066
Phone: 00-36-30-465-2195 or 00-36-1-465-2195
Opening hours: 8 am – 24:00

California Coffee Company Coffee House in Budapest upstairs
Getting here:

  • metro (blue line) Nyugati pu. station or underground (yellow line) Oktogon station
  • streetcars/ trams: number 4 or 6, get off at either Nyugati or Oktogon stop (halfway between the two stops on Grand Boulevard)

See the location of California Coffee Company on the Budapest Tourist Map (check the coffee cup map icon in the middle, and click on the icons to learn more about the neighboring places of interest or click on the View Larger Map blue link under the map). Notice that California Coffee Company is very close to the House of Terror museum on Andrassy út and the Muvesz Movie Theater (an artsy film theater), as well as the the Opera House and the Operetta Theater, or the House of Photography.


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Menza Restaurant Budapest: a Good Restaurant close to Oktogon Square

Menza Restaurant Budapest is very-very popular both among locals and tourists, especially 20-40 somethings. As the New York Times’ Frommer’s travel guide puts it “the decor here is decidedly retro and reminiscent of the ’60s or ’70s without the accompanying disco beats. The food, on the other hand, is traditional but sumptuous.” Prices are relatively reasonable, smoking and non-smoking seats are available. The restaurant is located on Liszt Ferenc tér – a few steps from Oktogon Square, which is on Andrássy avenue (see the map below).

Menza Restaurant Budapest on Liszt Ferenc tér
Address: Liszt Ferenc tér 2, Budapest 6th district (VI. ker.) 1061
Phone: 00-36-1-413-1482
Opening hours: Mon-Sun 10 am – midnight
Getting here:

  • underground (yellow metro line), Opera station
  • trams/ streetcars: number 4 or 6

Note: the owner of the restaurant first that started to export Tisza shoes (Communist-era footwear) to Europe as a kind of post-communist retro item (design gym shoes – store on Astoria). The design was made by Roland Radványi (who also made the design of the nearby Klassz Bistro). The name menza means ‘cheap canteen menu’ in Hungarian, and there is still a living example of the real old communist times of it on the Buda side (Pajtás Restaurant).
See the location of Menza Restaurant Budapest on the Budapest Tourist Map (check the knife and fork map icon in the middle, and click on the icons to learn more about the neighboring places of interest or click on the View Larger Map blue link under the map). Notice that Menza Restaurant Budapest is very close to the Opera House as well as the Operetta Theater, the House of Photography, and the House of Terror museum on Andrassy út.


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Read more about the Best Restaurants in Budapest.

photo from siyach

Kádár Étkezde (Kádár Diner) – Simply Authentic Hungarian Lunch in Budapest

Eating at Kadar Etkezde in Budapest is partly dining partly submerging into decades old Hungarian culture: yes, it is a simple eatery with a very diverse clientele all united in the joy of eating something authentic, well-known, made well, without any fuss. As Frommer’s puts it (placing the eatery in the Jewish walking tour) Kádár Étkezde “is a simple local lunchroom serving a regular clientele ranging from young paint-spattered workers to elderly Jews.” The sholet is genuine. The worn-down charm likewise.

If you want to know more about the social phenomenon of Kadar Etkezde, this is a nice description made by Dumneazu. If you are specifically interested in Jewish places and attractions in Budapest, I suggest the Jewish Budapest map.

Kádár Étkezde (Kádár Diner) - Simply Authentic Hungarian Lunch in Budapest

Address: Klauzál tér 9., Budapest, 1072
Phone: 00-36-1-321-3622
Opening hours: Mon-Sat 11:30 – 15:30
Note: No dinner time. Sundays closed.
Getting here: tram/ streetcar 4 or 6, get off at Király utca stop

See the location of Kadar Etkezde on the Budapest Tourist Map (check the knife and fork map icon in the middle, and click on the icons to learn more about the neighboring places of interest or click on the View Larger Map blue link under the map). Notice that Kadar Etkezde is not far from the Grand Synagogue in Dohány street, and the Mai Manó House of Photography.
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photo from Dumneazu

Read more about the Best Restaurants in Budapest.