Sometimes you need to distance yourself from things to really start appreciating them. This can be the case with people, works of art, and even cities! To help you fall deeper in love with Budapest, we’ve compiled a list of our favourite bars and restaurants where you can enjoy not only an unmatched panorama, but a top culinary experience, too.
There’s a small but rather romantic pond in south Buda, just a couple of minutes from busy Móricz Zsigmond Square: it is here, on the shore of Lake Feneketlen (‘bottomless’), where one of the city’s most renowned restaurants stands, offering a picturesque view over the well-manicured lakeside park and a delectable blend of international and Hungarian culinary trends to sate your appetite with. Hemingway’s thoughtfully put-together menu has something for everyone, from cold strawberry soup and grilled foie gras in red currant-orange sauce to tandoori duck and cheesecake with sour cherry chutney.
Photo credit: Hemingway Restaurant (Facebook)
1113 Budapest Kosztolányi Dezső tér 2.
White Raven skybar & lounge
The city’s newest skybar opened its doors in the historic heart of Buda Castle, on top of Hilton Budapest. Providing visitors with an unparalleled bird’s eye view to the UNESCO World Heritage Danube banks, Margaret Island, the Parliament, and the colourful Zsolnay tiled roof of the adjacent Matthias Church, White Raven skybar & lounge captivates your senses with the help of an imposing environment, signature cocktails inspired by the legends surrounding the seven tail feathers of a raven, and a special menu characterized by surprising flavour combinations and artistic plating. Drop by White Raven and let your spirit soar to new heights!
Photo credit: White Raven skybar & lounge (Facebook)
1014 Budapest, Hess András tér 1-3.
Located in the recently refurbished Lónyay-Hatvany villa in the opulent Castle District, Aranybástya (‘Golden Bastion’) was once the site of a Turkish fortification. Today, instead of cannons and gunpowder, it awaits guests with an enormous terrace overlooking the Danube, an exquisite bistro cuisine, and scrumptious desserts. Run by master chef Zsolt Papdi, the kitchen serves international dishes made from seasonal, regionally sourced ingredients, prepared with 21st century culinary techniques and with Hungarian tastes in mind, with dishes such as beef cheeks with red wine and pork belly with shrimp.
Photo credit: Aranybástya Restaurant (Facebook)
1015 Budapest, Csónak utca 1.
Búsuló Juhász Restaurant
Topping Gellért Hill ever since its foundation in 1937, the Búsuló Juhász Restaurant was once the home of blaring gypsy music and the city’s first late night bar. After a complete overhaul in 2010, the restaurant was reinvented as a citadel of 21st century gastronomy, its concise, seasonal menu featuring classic Hungarian dishes, as well as a few surprising items. Take, for example, the curry flavoured sweet potato salad, the duck liver burger, or the cold watermelon soup with Kapia pepper and smoked tofu. Scenic views, delicious flavours, and a friendly and swift service – what’s not to like?
Photo credit: Búsuló Juhász Restaurant (Facebook)
1118 Budapest, Kelenhegyi út 58.
High Note Sky Bar
Voted as one of the 15 best rooftop bars in the world by Condé Nast Traveler, High Note Sky Bar is a full-service, lushly landscaped rooftop garden designed for your personal dining-, drinking-, and sunbathing pleasure. Situated on top of downtown Aria Hotel, this all-season open-air venue offers more than just a breathtaking view over the domes of the neighboring St. Stephen’s Basilica and an enticing bar menu: it also boasts a decadent selection of cocktails the likes of which you won’t find anywhere else, like the Hyacinthus, with Koval Millet whiskey, chives, mustard and herbs, or the Viola X, with G’Vine Floraison gin, Unicum Riserva, and sweet vermouth.
Photo credit: High Note Sky Bar (Facebook)
1051 Budapest, Hercegprímás utca 5.
Even before the establishment of Budapest, Normafa was a favorite excursion spot among the local population. At the beginning of the 20th century, the ski-craze hit Budapesters so hard that the construction of a ski house was inevitable. Although Normafa Síház (originally opened in 1930) is currently undergoing major reconstruction works, the good news is that you can still get your favorite mountaintop fast food items (including strudels and lángoses) and hot and cold drinks before, during or after an exhausting hike from the Normafa 477 Hütte-Terasz, or one of the several temporary pavilions erected on the site.
Photo credit: Normafa Síház (Facebook)
1121 Budapest, Eötvös utca 59.