Kisbuda Gyongye Restaurant (Kisbuda Gyöngye Étterem) in Budapest

Kisbuda Gyongye Restaurant (Kisbuda Gyöngye Étterem) in Budapest is loved by locals and not so easily found by foreigners, as it’s not in downtown Budapest, but about 30 min from the city center (district 5 and 6). So it makes Kisbuda Gyöngye a good place if you want to get away from the touristy places and find something authentically Hungarian and nice to eat. Mind you, it does not mean that the restaurant is considerably cheaper than its counterparts in the city center. The restaurant has been awarded various prizes in the past decade (including the Chaine des Rotisseurs in 2000), and it’s often visited by Hungarian and foreign celebs.

Kisbuda Gyongye Restaurant (Kisbuda Gyöngye Étterem) in Budapest

The interior design is like a well-off Budapest apartment from the turn of the century: antique chest of drawers, glass display cabinets, mirrors, chandeliers, Thonet chairs, lace cloths, etc.
Address: Kenyeres utca 34., 1034 Budapest, 3rd district (III. ker.)
Phone: 00-36-1-368-6402
Opening hours: Mon-Sat 12 pm – 12 am
Note: Kisbuda Gyongye translates into English as the Pearl of Little Buda (Óbuda, or old Buda in this context). Oftentimes piano music is played in the background.
Getting here: take bus number 60 at Batthyány tér metro station (red line) and get off at Podolin utca. Alternatively, take streetcar number 4 or 6 up to Margaret bridge stop on the Buda side, then change to streetcar number 17 and get off at Podolin utca.

See the location of Kisbuda Gyongye Restauranton 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 Kisbuda Gyongye Restaurant is relatively close to the Roman amphitheater (Aquincum Museum), the Pálvölgyi Dripstone Cave and the spa luxury hotel, Ramada Plaza Budapest.

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Dining in Budapest: Lángos, the filling snack

Fresh Hungarian Lángos Fried Dough

Hungarian Snack Langos fried sour dough

Lángos (say lahn-gosh) is a sort of salty fried dough, usually served with sour cream (tejföl in Hungarian) and grated cheese. It was originally a by-product of making bread. There are all sorts of toppings, including cabbage, mushroom, beef, ham, etc.
Tips: put some garlic sauce, or if you are a garlic fan like we are, rub lots of garlic on top of the lángos, before adding the sour cream & cheese toppings, to make it even tastier. Don’t look at the calories, enjoy the little vice of your taste buds! Lángos is especially great as a beer snack, or an afternoon snack. But you will surely enjoy it without a beer too. :)

Warning: if your lángos is not fresh and is too oily, you are at the wrong place! Escape and try one of the following places below (Fény utca should be a good tip).

Price ranges: plain lángos (like the one to the left) is about 140-160 HUF (about half a euro or 0.77 USD) while turbo lángos with extra toppings is about twice as much.

Where can you buy good Lángos in Budapest?

There are not many super-pleasant places in Budapest where you can try lángos, especially not in restaurants and bars – don’t ask why, it would be an excellent idea! Instead, you can try the pleasant market halls in Budapest and some other places. And once you decide to try lángos, don’t start with the plain ones: choose something with loads of toppings. Here’s a photo of the classic Tejfölös-sajtos lángos (lángos with sour cream and grated cheese) made by Eszter:

Tejfölös-sajtos lángos (lángos with sour cream and grated cheese)

Here’s a short list to start your Lángos tour with (not in order of quality):

1, Vásárcsarnok, or Central Market Hall (higher prices , smaller sizes) is always inviting

2, Another great place to try lángos is the Market Hall in Fény utca: it is right behind Mammut Shopping Mall on the Buda side (the name is Fény utcai piac, say approx. ‘faign ootsai pee-ats’). Some say that lángos with cabbage here is a great choice, and lángos is less oily in Fény utcai Market, which is important.

3, A lot less touristy, truly rustic place is the Lehel tér piac, another big market hall very much frequented by locals, especially from the less rich strata (oftentimes cheaper than Vásárcsarnok). Beware, the building of Lehel Market Hall is really tasteless, some say it was the revenge of the architect on Budapest. But the main point is lángos, and you will find it there too.

4, If you happen to be in Budapest during the Christmas holidays, try lángos on Vörösmarty tér: usually there is a beautiful folk market on Vörösmarty square, and also great food and drinks, e.g. lángos and mulled wine.

(from now on, I will mainly rely on a great Lángos test, made by Eszter Fűszeres in November 2007 – in Hungarian)

5, Garay utca piac – temporarily moved to Rottenbiller utca (according to locals, the best version is Hungarian lángos with the Greek tzatziki, but many bought Lángos with ham and ketchup).

6, 58-as Lángoskert (Lángos Garden Buffet): great lángos, spacious place for up to 40 people. Only open from spring to autumn and is operating in an old streetcar named desire Lángos.

See the Lángos Locations on the Budapest Tourist Map (click on the yellow basket signs to see detailed info on the food markets):

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Read more about the Best Restaurants in Budapest or the Best Cafes in Budapest.

Did you know?

Most Hungarians associate Lángos with holidays spent at Lake Balaton (the ‘Hungarian sea’ as we call the great Hungarian fresh-water lake). It is great between two dips, and you will surely find lángos makers in almost every town at Lake Balaton, too.

I think, most people in Hungary think of Lángos as a savoury snack (salty not sweet) and Fánk (another deep fried dough or doughnut) is what is eaten sweet. But some people mention eating lángos sweet with sugar, jam, cinnamon, etc. Apparently, Hungarians living in Transylvania eat lángos with fruit spread, sweet.

Lángos (or lángus), is also sold in other neighboring countries, such as Austria, Romania, Serbia, etc.

Which is the Best Cafe in Budapest?

Although we have tried to collect the very best cafes of Budapest according to different styles and priorities, we would also like to know what you find the best cafe in Budapest – based on your experiences (including architecture, atmosphere, coffees and cakes, service, price, location, and miscellaneous other factors). Besides the comments section (anyone can comment – no need to register), there is a simple quick Budapest cafe poll on Budapest Pebbles (on the right side).

Read more about the Best Restaurants in Budapest or the Best Cafes in Budapest.

Best Cafe in Budapest: Poll on Budapest Pebbles

Photo: my favorite photo of Cafe Ruszwurm (in the Castle District)

Best Cafés in Budapest: Luxury, Popular, Wifi, Classic, etc.

Are you looking for a good cup of coffee, or a fantastic cake in Budapest? Now, that won’t be a problem, as Budapest is full of good cafés, mouth-watering pastries, marzipans, etc.

Cafe Central Budapest

Cafe Central Budapest

You will find high-end coffee houses, mid-range popular cafes, historical cafe and confectioner’s – look at the list and pick the best for your tongue & style. To learn more about the basic info, see the individual articles about each cafe for opening hours, prices, addresses, phone numbers and more: click on the name of the cafe in the title. Or if you want full meal, read about the Best Restaurants in Budapest here.

Some High-end Cafés

Café Gerbeaud: café and restaurant

Cafe Gerbeaud is one of the most elegant historical cafes in Budapest. The café was founded by Henrik Kugler in 1858 in Viennese style during the high times of the of the Austro-Hungarian empire, and expanded by its later owner, Emil Gerbeaud. Sumptuous interior with graceful chandeliers, marble-topped tables, lavish fine wood paneling, gold-plasters and statuettes, etc. It is also a restaurant and a bar. Great place to ‘people watch’. See its location, opening hours, prices, address, phone number and more here on Cafe Gerbeaud.

Café Gerbeaud in Budapest

New York Café: café and restaurant

New York Cafe is in the recently renovated opulent five-star hotel, in the New York Palace, in a busy part of Budapest (easily reached by the red line metro at Blaha tér, or the trams 4 and 6). It is a historical venue where the big names of Hungarian literature and movie making got together and an opulent coffee house and bar – one of the oldest grand cafés of the fin de siecle Budapest. Both smoking and non-smoking parts. For your coffee, I suggest trying the Tiramisu in real Italian style, or just sipping a glass of Tokaj aszú – according to totally unscientific studies it helps to feel the grandeur of the café. :) OK, this is my invention, but it has some truth in it. See its location, opening hours, prices, address, phone number and more here on New York Café.

Café Callas: café and bistro

Café Callas is a hip cafe and restaurant right at the Opera House. From strudels and coffees to sushi or Hungarian dishes, you will find all kinds of dishes and rinks on the menu. Nice interior, big windows, prices towards the higher end.

Some Popular Cafés

Cafe Gerloczy: a place to have an ideal breakfast in downtown Budapest. Cafe Gerloczy is a coffee house and a restaurant at the same time, with fresh, fresh, fresh croissants. See its location, opening hours, prices, address, phone number and more here on Cafe Gerloczy.

Café Centrál has a good central location on Ferenciek tere, and it is also spacious and bright. Insert it in your Váci utca and Central Market Hall shopping program or just a walk along the River Danube on the Pest side of Budapest. See its location, opening hours, prices, address, phone number and more here on Café Centrál.

Café Daubner or Daubner Cukrászda (cukrászda means confectioner’s in Hungarian). Your can read Fodor’s review here. OK, it is not easy to get there by public transportation if you don’t know the city at least a bit. Take a cab if you want to know why people are lining up – regularly. We had our hundreds of snacks called Pogácsa (approx. cheese scone) for our wedding from Daubner. Delicious!

Cafe Szamos

There are several Szamos branded cafes in Budapest (one even in the Zoo), and probably the most conveniently located Szamos kávézó is on the grand boulevard, Erzsébet körút 43-49., within the luxury hotel, Corinthia Hotel Budapest. The Szamos brand is primarily associated with marzipan but the coffee houses & confectioneries serve a wide range of cakes and pastries alongside the marzipan figures. The Szamos business was founded in 1935. Cafe Szamos in the Grand Royal is open from 10 am to 8 pm all week. phone: 00-36-1-413-7968.

Old Grandeur Cafés (Antique Furniture, Old Family Recipes)

Café Ruszwurmis a 2 min walk from the Matthias Church and you should not miss it. Confectioner Ferenc Schwabl started the business in 1827. Great pastries and beautiful Biedermeier interior with remnants of the old confectionery industry, glass cabinets, etc. (officially declared to be protected as the most important confectionery complex in Hungary). There are also various porcelain figures from the sweet past e.g. bishops with sweets under their high cap, with a red flag in their hands and a prayer book under their arms; pretty horses whose neck can be taken off to offer candies from their belly, etc. See its location, opening hours, prices, address, phone number and more here on Café Ruszwurm.

Here’s a photo of the biedermeier cabinet in Cafe Ruszwurm. Looks beautiful, doesn’t it?:

Café Ruszwurm in Budapest

Café Auguszt has three different locations in Budapest. One is next to Astoria square (red line metro) in Kossuth street in a closed courtyard of a 19th century house – the coolness of the courtyard is a true relief in hot summers! See its location on the map. Now, we have to admit that this is our favourite hangout for a cuppa and a cake…

The other is behind one of the most popular shopping mall in Budapest, the Mammoth (Mammut), in Fény utca. Take a seat upstairs. And the third one is next to one of the most reputable cemeteries in Budapest (at Farkasrét) off the city centre. Personally, I am a great fan of Auguszt pastries and salty yummies. Old recipes refined through several Auguszt generations. Their only mistake is the short opening hours (closes at 6 pm!) and the lack of a good website. One more thing, the founder of the Szamos business used to be an apprentice of József Auguszt. See Café Auguszt locations on the Budapest tourist map.

Other admittedly subjective choices

Café Csészényi (Csészényi kávézó) is a lovely little cafe on Krisztina körút with reasonable prices and a special design (a slew of colorful coffee grinders and old Budapest notices, advertisements on the wall). The name means ‘cupful’ and the place is indeed smallish. No internet.

Café Créme: on the left side of Gellert Hotel and Spa bath, there is also a nice little cafe with free wifi, Although the cafe is small, it has also a terrace, great to sit in/ out and have a good café latte. Dark wooden tables and chairs, smallish in size. Good to have a rest before or after a walk on the Gellért Hill, a visit to the quirky and special Cave Church, the Citadel and the Statue of Liberty.

PS: One of the TripAdvisor visitors wrote:

Coffeehouses deserve a special mention. Budapest is the heaven of pastries. Great, beautiful, coffehouses are everywhere, and pastries are excellent and cheap. For 800-900 HUF you can have coffee ot hot chocolate of highest class and pastries that are out of this world. Wow. If you are a serious pastry lover I can recommend staying at the Corinthia Grand Hotel with access to the Executive Lounge. Here, they have miniature pastries of many different kinds, and you can have as many as you like. And truly, these pastries were the best we had in Budapest. I believe that it is the coffehouse next to (or even inside) Corinthia that delivers these pastries, so if you do not live at Corinthia, you might want to try this coffeehouse. There are some old coffeehouses that are often mentioned in guidebooks. Of these, we found Central Kavehaz fantastic in terms of beauty, but less so in terms of the quality of the pastries. Worth going still for the beauty of the place. Cafe New York is equally beautiful, but is now under the ownership of a large hotel chain and is rather expensive, and staff is not very friendly. (emphasis added by me)