Okay, so you spend Christmas in Budapest. But where can you eat?
Budapest has a really abundant restaurant scene – except for those three days of Christmas. You might be surprised how hard it is to find a restaurant open this time of the year – because all the Hungarians are stuffing their faces with halászlé and töltött káposzta made by their grandmas, even the top chefs. So here’s a little help for you to save you hours of googling. Booking is a must everywhere!
The hardest of all: the 24th of December
For Hungarians Christmas Eve is definitely the most sacred day of the year when everybody gets together with the family. Your best chance to find a place to eat well is at the hotels. Our pick would be the High Note SkyBar of Hotel Aria, they have even a special event for this day, and they have a beautiful forest-themed atmosphere in this season with matching food and cocktail creations. And of course don’t forget the magical view from up there!
If you prefer a place to be more casual Jedermann is a bohemian café with food and good music, open all day long until late night. Street food lovers will also find many vendors open at Erzsébet square until 10 pm.
For brunch on the 24th we also recommend Déryné and the Budai Milieu, both on the Buda side, but they close for the evening.
And if you want to get a last minute bottle of wine (or even a quick wine tasting) Cultivini is waiting for you with a great selection until 2 pm.
25th and 26th of December – life is coming back to Budapest
Finding a good place open is getting much easier on the 25th and even more on the 26th. Here are a few places we would go to if we had to eat out:
Börze (in Pest) and Ramazuri (in Buda) offer many Hungarian dishes, often with a modern twist, in a relaxed but pretty atmosphere.
Halászbástya Restaurant is more up-scale, but it has the most romantic setting ever at the Fisherman’s Bastion.
Zona is also located in Buda, and their Christmas menu sounds really exciting – we would pick the “Red tuna, coconut curry bulgur, mango” dish for sure. Or maybe the Ossobucco if we felt more classic.
Klassz is also a good option on the gorgeous Andrássy avenue if you opt for fine dining on the Pest side.
For a totally laid-back experience we recommend Cupákos, a modern “butcher” style place where meat goes to heaven. On the 25th they open at 6 pm, but on the 26th they are open for lunch and dinner as well.
Specialty coffee lovers will not suffer too much during the holidays, our two favourite coffee shops will be open! Mantra is waiting for you on all three days (24th: 9-14, other days: 9-18), and Warmcup is also open (24th: 10-15, other days: 10-21).