Maybe you ask why someone would write a blog post about the best restaurants in Budapest in 2010 when the current year is 2012, and the month is September, meaning that 2013 is approaching. I will not try to come up with some smart reason, except from the fact that some days ago I found a book in my bookshelf named „Alexandra étteremkalauz 2010.” Alexandra is one of the major bookstores in Hungary with lots of shops around, and every year they write about about the best restaurants of the year. I bought such a book in 2010, but somehow I just placed it in my bookshelf, and never even took the plastic of the book. Now I found it, and I thought it could be interesting just to share some of their thoughts about restaurants in Budapest in 2010. Some of the restaurants said to be the best back then are still going strong, while some of them have faded away since then.
Here comes the list presenting the five best restaurants in Budapest/Hungary then in 2010.
Number 5: Babel Delicate Restaurant
Babel is a delicate restaurant, which back in 2010 was located in the Vaci Utca, shopping street of Budapest, and they were known for interesting food with three styles in focus; Hungarian, International and Vegetarian. Of the traditional Hungarian courses they were all prepared with some new moves to them, making the traditional Fish soup quite different from the way Hungarians normally know it.
Babel closed down in 2011 and has since then written that they would close down their restaurant in Vaci Utca to move into new and better localities at the Marcius 15. tér. We are still waiting for the restaurant to open, who knows if it ever will?
Number 4: Onyx restaurant
- Onyx restaurant
Onyx is located at the Vörösmarty square and has since 2010 when the book listed is as the fourth best restaurant in Budapest, turned even better. Thus the restaurant was given one Michelin star back in 2011, and now in 2012 this is the restaurant listed as the number one restaurant in Budapest by most critics, including the Dining Guide, Gault&Millau and quite some others. The chef Tamás Szell has received lots of awards for the way he cooks and runs the kitchen, and if you want to taste the upper class in Hungarian food in a modern and fusion way, visit the Onyx restaurant.
Number 3: Csalogány 26
Csalogány 26 is a restaurant easy to find, because if you know the name of the restaurant, you also know the address. The restaurant has a clean and puritan design, and for lunch time they have good offer, and if you come for dinner you will be able to taste top-class gastronomy. The head chef back then was Balazs Pethő, and he is still controlling the kitchen, making Csalogany 26 still one of the best restaurants in Budapest. The service is efficient, the wine menu is small (but good)and the prices are easy to digest. (these thoughts reflect what the reviewer wrote about the restaurant in the book).
Number 2: Costes
Costes was the first restaurant in Budapest to get a Michelin star, and it is not without reason that was listed as the second best restaurant in Budapest by the reviewers in the restaurant guide from Alexandra in 2010. They wrote back then that „the head chef is Argentinean whose culinary creations have French roots, Hungarian inspirations and exceptional ingredients.” The restaurant changed their chef later, and even though the food has changed a bit since then, the quality is still great and in 2012 this is listed as the best restaurant in Budapest together with Onyx in most serious books about restaurants in Budapest. The name of the chef back then was Nicolas Rafael Delgado, while the present day chef is Miguel Rocha Vieira. The restaurant is a bit more expensive than Onyx, but if you go here you better check out one of their larger menus where you give the chef liberty to help you choose what to eat!
Number 1: Chateau Visz
- Chateau Visz
Oh man… this is a mistake. The best restaurant of them all in the book is not at all located in Budapest, but in Visz, 10 kilometers from Balatonlelle, which is 140km from Budapest. Just checking it all again I noticed that the book is about Hungary in general, and even though most restaurants are located in Budapest, the winner of the best restaurant of the year in Hungary in 2012 is located in Visz. This should for sure give you an excuse to go on a day excursion to the Balaton area and then of course make a stop when you come to Chateau Visz.
Back in 2010 the chef of the restaurant was Erik Schröter,. Since then they have a new guy running the kitchen and his name is Klaus Deutschmann. The restaurant is not to big, with space for all in all 50-60 guests at the most – but, the price list is high and for a 3-7 course menu you should prepare on paying something between 15,000-25,000 HUF.
„Chateu Visz is a luxury hotel housing one of the best restaurants of the country. The place is elegantly decorated with antique furniture, marble fireplace, crystal chandelier, and a private collection of paintings from 19th-20th century Hungarian artists. Dishes are light and use fresh herbs and local ingredients like lamb, buffalo and catfish.” (quotation from the book)
Sounds good, doesn’t it? So if you are heading of for a day trip to Balaton while in Budapest, do not miss out on a visit to the Chateau Visz if you want to taste some of the best gastronomy available in all of Hungary.
We will come back with some more articles later with lists presenting the best restaurants in Budapest (and Hungary) in 2012, but until then, you will probably find some good suggestions for a nice dinner reading the list made back in 2010. Good appetite!