Dinner at the Pest-Buda Bistro, one of Budapest’s oldest restaurants

In Budapest we had no shortage of gastronomy options thanks in part to Mike’s old college roommate who was full of dining suggestions, however the Pest-Buda Bistro was a recommendation we had discovered online while planning our trip. Part of the reason why I wanted to eat there was because its one of Budapest’s oldest restaurants but also because it had a cozy looking feel to it.

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Also the fact that it’s in the historical Buda Castle area gave it a bit of charm and the night we had reservations the area was quiet. We almost had the whole Buda Castle exterior area to ourselves so we took tons of photos, however lets get back to some history about the Pest-Buda Bistro, and this is straight from their website:

“Number 3 Fortuna Street was originally built as an inn and has been used as such until 1800. It has taken up its current architecture after the 2nd World War, has an original baroque roof structure and the ground floor has been a tavern or restaurant for several centuries.”

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The restaurant is billed as ‘Grandma’s home style Hungarian cooking’ and I know grandmas tend to cook very well so lets see how Pest-Buda Bistro rates in the kitchen!

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We shared an appetizer of grilled goat cheese with Tokaj-infused romaine lettuce. Tokaj is a region in Hungary noted for its production of sweet wines. There were some caramelized pecans and figs as well. I don’t think I’d ever had grilled goat cheese in that form so together with the figs and nuts it was delicious. However I wasn’t too convinced with the romaine lettuce, it was a bit soggy and bitter. But no one minded as we just ate all of the goat cheese!

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Since we were at the end of our Hungary trip and we’d had most of the local dishes, we thought we’d be risk takers and order off the daily specials menu. 

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I had the cranberry deer stew with potato dumplings. I don’t know what it is about Hungary and deer, but they cook it to perfection here. I liked how the cranberries came in their own little saucer. I could go on and on about how tasty this dish was!

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Mike had the crispy dug leg w/rosehip jam and nutty semolina dumplings. Although the portion seemed small for a man of his size (cough) it turned out to be a perfect amount and the dumplings were light and a good fit with the crispy duck.

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We had a few bottles of wine and decided to split dessert which was called Hungarian Nut Pastry with sabayon (or heaven in my mouth). Sabayon is an Italian dessert, basically a custard that formed the base with the nut pastry on top. This dessert was light and airy and went so well with a glass of Tokaj!

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I was invited down to see the kitchen and I jumped at the chance as I wanted to ask how the deer stew was made. Chef Gyula Szager was so nice, bringing out all the ingredients for me to look at, and even posing for this photo.

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Alongside head Chef Lajos Lutz they really have created comfort food that makes people come back again and again to Pest-Buda Bistro. We were lucky to have enjoyed a really delicious dining experience and I would recommend anyone heading to Budapest to splurge on a meal here.

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Tell us, have you eaten at the Pest-Buda Bistro in Budapest? How was your meal?


*Thanks to the Hungary Tourism Board for sponsoring our meal at Pest-Buda Bistro, however they didn’t ask us to write a raving review or try to steal recipes from the kitchen.