Lou Lou Restaurant: FabuLous LouLou Cuisine in Budapest

Lou Lou Restaurant in Budapest was number 86 out of the top 100 restaurants in the world made by Restaurant Magazine in 2007. The following now is history as LouLou was closed down for good. If you want to make a reservation at an elegant and Michelin starred restaurant in Budapest, or pick one of the best restaurants in Budapest, just follow the links. Lou Lou serves French cuisine, as Frommer’s guide writes: “Fresh-fish dishes are the specialty of the house. Lou Lou features an extensive wine list. A house wine is available and is a good choice.Lou Lou is relatively small (about eight tables) Antique wooden horse above the bar, chairs from the era of Louis XVI.

Address: Vigyázó Ferenc utca 4, 1051 Budapest Phone: 00-36-1-312-4505

Opening hours: sorry, unfortunately Lou Lou has been CLOSED DOWN.

Mon-Fri 12-15 and 19-23, Sat 19-23 (closed on Sundays) Note: Book a table in advance and prepare for Michelin type prices. Lou Lou was opened by Károly Rudits (earlier managing the kitchen in Kempinski Hotel Corvinus). Getting here:

  • metro: (red line) Kossuth tér station or (blue line) Bajcsy Zsilinszky út station
  • tram/ streetcar: number 2, which runs along the River Danube embankment
  • bus: number 15, 16, 105

See the location of Lou Lou 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 Lou Lou is very close to the Parliament, the Basilica and Roosevelt square with the Chain Bridge & the Gresham Palace: View Larger Map OK, I accept my due punishment for the pun in the title. Read more about the Best Restaurants in Budapest.

Cafe Bouchon a Restaurant at Ease in Budapest

 Cafe Bouchon is a friendly professional restaurant close to Oktogon square (Andrassy avenue) in Budapest. As Fodor’s Budapest travel guide writes: “You won’t find friendlier or more attentive service in Budapest than in this French-inspired bistro… Café tables, parquet floors, and a daily menu written on butcher paper all set the mood for a casual but sophisticated meal. The well-chosen wine list highlights some of Hungary’s best and most interesting wines by the glass…. The flourless French chocolate cake on the regular menu is a treat any time of the year.” Cafe Bouchon is on the Top 33 list of Chew.hu, the Hungarian food blog.

Cafe Bouchon Restaurant in Budapest Hungary

Address: 1066 Bp. Zichy Jenő u. 33.
Phone: 00-36-1-353-4094
Opening hours: Mon-Sat 9 am – 11 pm (closed on Sun)
Note: Cash only. Four-course menus come at about 4-5000 HUF. You can make up your 100% portion by having three different meals of 33% (great for gourmet tasting). Sundays closed.

See the location of Cafe Bouchon 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):


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Anyway, as the owners explain it “the name ‘Bouchon’ comes from the French ‘La Bouchon’ meaning ‘the cork of the wine bottle’. More importantly however – and that was our main inspiration in choosing this name- it is also the name for little-, family-run restaurants in the province of Lyon.”

PS: the owners of Café Bouchon worked for Cafe Kör for several years, which means a kid of guarantee for a good job.

photo: from Port.hu

Read more about the Best Restaurants in Budapest.

Baraka Restaurant in Andrassy Boutique Hotel, Budapest

Baraka Restaurant (Baraka étterem) is in Andrassy Boutique Hotel, on the fascinating Andrassy avenue in Budapest. The interior design of the restaurant is art deco (simple, elegant, and a bit darkish). Rich flavors, different fishes, seafood, beef, lamb and vegetarian dishes. Baraka has been chosen in the list of Top 33 restaurants in Budapest made by Chew.hu Hungarian food blog. Fodor’s travel guide writes: “The new digs for this celebrated Budapest restaurant couldn’t be more inviting. The leafy outside terrace looks onto majestic Andrássy út and Heroes Square; the spacious interior dining room is all grown-up big-city glamour. Dimmed crystal chandeliers, sleek black tables, and massive vases filled with calla lillies suggest a sophisticated evening in store. Expect innovative seasonal dishes … Prices match the ambition of the place, but there’s a reasonable two-course lunch special daily.”

Address: Andrássy út 111, 1062 Budapest
Phone: 00-36-1-483-1355
Opening hours: Mon-Sat 12-15 and 18-23 (closed on Sundays)
Note: Between 1945 and 1989, Hotel Andrassy accommodated many a famous foreign statesmen: communist Heads of State like Brezhnev, Gorbatschev, Honecker, or the first man in space, Gagarin. Closed on Sundays. It’s worth reserving a table in advance.
Getting here
: metro (yellow underground line) at Bajza utca station

Baraka Restaurant in Andrassy Boutique Hotel Budapest

See the location of Baraka 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 Baraka Restaurant is close to the House of Horror museum, the Museum of Fine Arts, the Hall of Arts and the Millennial Monument on Heroes’ Square.


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Read more about the Best Restaurants in Budapest.

Arcade Bistro – Elegant French Restaurant in Budapest

Arcade Bistro is a highly popular upscale French style restaurant in Budapest off the beaten tourist track. As Fodor’s guide puts it, Arcade Bistro is a “modern, sophisticated bistro on a leafy intersection not far from Déli Pályaudvar (Train Station). The floor-to-ceiling waterfall smack in the middle of the dining room soothes as it keeps conversations discreet and complements the unfussy interior.” Frommer’s guide says: “this is a pleasant retreat at the foot of the Buda hills … which serves a unique palette of seafood and a selection of Hungarian and international cuisine. The starter was truly special, being a wonderfully marinated salmon with a red-pepper sauce: an unusual, yet very positive selection in a country where marinated or smoked salmon is a rarity. … We liked this place for its cozy and creative atmosphere.”

Address: Kiss János Altábornagy utca 38., Budapest 1126
Phone: 00-36-1-225-1969
Opening hours: Mon-Sat 11-16 and 18-24 (closed on Sundays)
Getting here: tram/ streetcar number 59 from Déli pályaudvar (Southern railway station) metro (red line), station.
Note: Booking a table in advance is a good idea. Wine by the glass (33 open bottles). Closed on Sundays. Hungarian artworks on the wall: El Kazovskij, Mulasics, Nadler, etc.

See the location of Arcade Bistro 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):


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Read more about the Best Restaurants in Budapest.

Restaurant Csalogany 26 in Budapest: the Locals-Love-It Place

Csalogany 26 Restaurant (Csalogány 26 Étterem) is one of those really few excellent restaurants in Budapest, the news and legends of which have been going around in gossip, word of mouth, emails, forums, gourmet reviews (!), etc. No, not the interior design, not even the waiters’ style – the food quality & selection and the very affordable prices, so the place. It’s worth checking if you are on the Buda side of Budapest. New York Times: “low-key trattoria with a high-tech twist … blends Hungarian and Continental cuisines … the wine list has excellent Hungarian varietals, including a kadarka.” So yes, it’s ‘the locals love it’ plus ‘the locals fear that prices may surge up’ restaurant type. Extreme bargain for excellence. The name is Csalogány 26, say: cha-lo-gagne hoo-son-hot.

Csalogany 26 Restaurant in Budapest Hungary
Address: Csalogány utca 26, Budapest 1015
Phone: 00-36-1-201-7892
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 12:00-23:00 Sat 18:00-23:00 (Sundays: closed)
Getting here: metro (red line), station: Batthyány tér, bus: 86 (Batthyány tér stop), tram/ streetcar: 19 (Batthyány tér stop)
Note: The name says the address. Live kitchen means that there’s a TV connected from the kitchen to the dining room showing the preparation of meals. Closed on Sundays.

See the location of Restaurant Csalogany 26 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):


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Read more about the Best Restaurants in Budapest.

Café Pierrot: a Soothing Restaurant in Budapest Castle District

Café Pierrot is a pleasant restaurant located in a 13th century building, in the most frequented tourist zone, the Castle district in Budapest, where you will see the Royal Palace, Matthias Church, the Fishermen’s Bastion, etc. Fodor’s reviewer writes: “When touring the sights of Castle Hill, tuck into this inviting café for a relaxing lunch. You may not want to leave once you hear the soothing live jazz piano and see the charming interior — walls covered with paintings of harlequins and fresh flowers on the tables.” Similarly, Frommer’s guide writes “An intimate, comfortable restaurant serving excellent cuisine. … Following recent renovations, the atmosphere feels like a high-class wine cellar decorated with contemporary artworks, soft lighting, and fresh orchids. ” And indeed, several melancholic paintings depict the French version of Pedrolino, the stock character of the Italian Commedia dell’Arte.

Cafe Pierrot restaurant on the Castle hill in Budapest

Address: Fortuna utca 14, Budapest 1014
Phone: 00-36-1-375-6971
Opening hours: Mon-Sun 11am – 12am
Note: Free wifi. Live piano music (jazz) from 6pm.
Getting here:

  • bus: Várbusz (minibus leaving from Moszkva tér) or Bus number 16 from Deák tér
  • Funicular from Adam Clark square at the Chain Bridge, and walk

See the location of Cafe Pierrot 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 Cafe Pierrot 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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Read more about the Best Restaurants in Budapest.

Deryne Bistro Budapest

Deryne Bistro (formerly known as Café Déryné ) is on the Buda side of Budapest, a few minutes from the Tunnel at the Chain Bridge. It is a nice place to have dinner with pleasant live music in the background – there are not many good restaurants with good music in Budapest, so Deryne Bistro might be a really good option.

Cafe Deryne Budapest, Hungary: Déryné Bistro on Krisztina Square

Cafe Deryne Budapest, Hungary: Déryné Bistro on Krisztina Square

It is an ideal place to sit in after or before a walk up/ down the Castle hill to the Royal Palace or if you decided to walk through the Tunnel on foot. Deryne Bistro  looks trendy and eclectic. If you have older editions of travel guides (e.g. a Lonely Planet before 2008), you will get the description of a totally different cafe, which was a homey downtrodden traditional cafe and confectioner’s. Deryne Bistro is a cafe-bistro, wine-cellar etc. fashionable, anything-but-traditional place. There is lots of live music – along the jazz and swing lines.

Cafe Deryne basic info:

Address: 3 Krisztina Square, 1013 Budapest (District I)
Phone: 00-36-1-225-1407
Coffee: Santo Domingo

Deryne  Bistro has free wifi and plugs under each seat, which is still a rarity. The interior is a mixture of a cigar bar, a café and a plasma TV lounge, “the lounge area resembling something out of an Abercrombie & Fitch store (leather armchairs, dark wood, an open fireplace) ” (food police blog on Café Déryné).

No doubt, Deryne Bistro has many elements mixed and “the choice of piano bar, café, bistro, wine cellar, white table-cloth restaurant and lounge all under one roof may sound like overkill, but the ultimate effect is that it is hard to imagine Déryné empty at any time of day or night.” (Adrian from Chew), adding that “the real charm of the place is that it creates the cultured atmosphere of a cosmopolitan restaurant without the stuffiness of a super-fashionable bar or downtown tourist trap.”

As for the prices: “reasonably priced – we came away spending Ft 3,000 a head on soups, entrées and lemonade/beer (no wine).” Express lunch (portions are on the smallish side) is available between 11:30 and 15:00 and comes at about 1800 HUF. However, reading through the reviews and comments, the atmosphere and the location got more points than the kitchen and the service.

See its location on the Budapest tourist map (check the Cup icon in the middle):


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photo from Chew.hu

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

Labyrinth (Budavári Labirintus) – Maze under the Castle District in Budapest

Labyrinth ( Budavári Labirintus) is an intricate maze under the Buda Castle Hill (Várhegy).

UPDATE: the former Labyrinth under the Buda Castle was closed down and reopened under new management with a different concept. The Hungarian government decided to make the labyrinth state owned again and shut it down for good. Sorry.
Do you dare to go through the dimly lit labyrinth? And drink wine from the wine well? Yes, there is an actual wine well in the maze!
There are Budapest kids programs every Sunday in the labyrinth, and children love the adventure and the excitement.

Address: Úri utca 9, 1014 Budapest or Lovas utca 4.
Phone: 00-36-1-212-0207
Opening hours: 9:30 – 19:30
Prices: 1500 HUF, and 1100 HUF for kids & retired, family ticket 3000 HUF
Getting here:
minibus from Szell Kalman Square (former Moszkva tér) (Várbusz)
number 16 bus from Deák tér

Here are the two entrances of the labyrinth indicated with yellow balloon icons in the middle of the Budapest Tourist Map (click the View larger map under the map if you need it in a bigger version).


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Here’s a video: some guys tasting the wines of the Budavári Labirintus (maybe not of the utmost quality?):

Budapest Wine Shopping: Somogyi Pincészet

Somogyi Pincészet offers Villányi wines in its contemporary style sample store. You can also buy Bag in Box packages of 3 or 5 liters for convenient transportation, or order customized labels (allow 3-4 days)! Wine delivery is free in Budapest.

Address: Báthory utca 25, Budapest V. ker.
Phone: 00-36-30-670-4500
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 10 am to 6 pm, Sat 9 am to 1 pm

Prices: from 600 to 3500 HUF (approx. 20 wine varieties)
See the location of Somogyi Pincészet on the Budapest Shopping Map (check the Glass sign for wine shops & further wine buying details in Budapest) or read more about Hungarian wines on Budapest Blog.


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Budapest Wine Shopping: Hungarian House of Wines

The Hungarian House of Wines (Magyar Borok Háza) is in Budapest Castle District right next to the Matthias Church. The House not only has a nice and comprehensive exhibition summarizing the Hungarian wine culture, but they also offer wine tasting sessions in the dramatic maze-like cellar of the House.

The wines have been carefully picked from all the 22 wine-regions of Hungary, from Villany & Szekszard to Eger & Tokaj. There are about 700 different Hungarian wines & sparkling wines. The wine-exhibition, which is available in English, German, and French, gives a unique overview of Hungarian.


Wine Tasting at the Magyar Borok Háza

What kind of wines will you try?

You can try both typical Hungarian wines (which are considered Hungaricums), and the local varieties of international wines. The Hungarian wines on the tasting tour change month by month. Tasting Tokaj wines of the greatest value (prize-winning 5-6 puttonyos Tokaj aszú) is not part of the default wine tour, it comes at an extra price . It was the French king Louis XIV who said of Tokaji aszú “the wine of kings and the king of wines.”

How many wines will you taste?

You will get access to 50 different wines per tour, and it’s up to you which of them you try (just flushing your mouth as the experts do is a good idea to attempt to fight off the sneaky little goblets).

Where can you buy tickets?

On location. Tickets for the wine-tasting tour can be bought at the reception desk (opposite the main entrance). Tokens for the extra Tokaj 5 & 6 star aszú are also sold here.

What does the wine tasting session include?

  • participation in a 2-hour wine-tour
  • engraved tasting glass
  • small savory snacks with cheese: e.g. cheese scones (‘pogácsa’)
  • the map of the wine cellar

Address: Szentháromság tér 6. Budapest 1014
Phone: 00-36-1-212 10 31
Opening hours: 12pm – 8 pm
Prices: approx. 4,000 HUF (yes, basically only the price of a bottle of good wine)
Getting here:
1, from Deák tér, take bus number 16 (almost at Hotel Kempinski & Le Meridien)
2, take the red metro line till Moszkva tér, then get on the minibus, or just take a 10-15 minute walk up the hill.

Check the location of Hungarian House of Wines on the Budapest Shopping Map (check the Glass sign for wine shops & further wine buying details in Budapest) or read more about Hungarian wines on Budapest Blog.


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Anyway, the House of Hungarian Wines was founded in 1996 as a private enterprise. Wine growing in Hungary goes back to the Roman times. The best known wines are Bull’s Blood from Eger (Egri bikavér red wine) and the noble-rot-sweetened white wines from Tokaj (Tokaji aszú), but things are slowly changing and other wine regions (especially Villany) are getting their due international appreciation too in the world wine web.

Budapest Wine Shopping: Borkápolna at Hosok tere

Borkápolna Wine Shop (Wine Chapel) offers more than 1100 Hungarian wines and over 200 foreign wines. The accompanying wine cellar can take up about 110 people (book 1 week in advance), and serves Hungarian dishes for the wines. The vaulted cellar used to be a chapel during the communist era (between 1957-1991) as the original chapel called Regnum Marianum at the edge of the City Park was demolished by the Hungarian totalitarian communist leader Mátyás Rákosi: the neighboring long square was the ultimate marching square for communist festivities and Rakosi had the square ‘cleared.’ The tabernaculum is still in the wall of the cellar.

Borkapolna Wine Shop in Budapest at Hosok tere Wine Chapel

In the cellar, there’s a big fresco from 1973 by Korga (size 6×5 meter/ 323 sqft), which was made from golden mosaics: it shows St Stephen, the first Hungarian king offering his crown to Maria.
Address: Damjanich utca 52, Budapest 1071
Phone: 00-36-1-343-5258, or 00-36-30-941-2838
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 10 am – 8pm, Sat 10 am – 3 pm
Getting here: The wine store is very conveniently located – about a 5-10 min walk – from Hősök tere where the Museum of Fine Arts or the Millennial Monument is.

Check the location of Borkápolna Budapest on the Budapest Shopping Map (check the Glass sign for wine shops & further wine buying details in Budapest) or read more about Hungarian wines on Budapest Blog.


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Borkapolna is operated by Wine for You.