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Six Best Italian Restaurants in Budapest

Budapest offers a great selection and top quality Italian Restaurants

Six Best Italian Restaurants in Budapest

Italian food is one of the favorite types of food in general. Since Hungarians enjoy it too, the Italian food scene in Budapest is extensive and versatile, with inventive Italian dishes. To make your quest easier, we have assembled the six best Italian restaurants in Budapest, so make sure to check them out while in your airport transfers or while you browse through the Budapest airport shops and food places.

Pomo D'oro Restaurant

Pomo D'oro, or “golden apple”, opened in 2002 in District 5 and is popular for all the right reasons. The restaurant is one of the forerunners of high-end Italian restaurants in Budapest, which managed to sustain top quality food and a friendly, professional service over the years. 

Even though it is an upscale restaurant, it manages to retain an intimate and friendly atmosphere, maintaining fair prices for its category (the main dishes range between €10 and €20). 

When placing your order, consider the wonderfully uncomplicated strozzapreti (priest choker) hand-rolled pasta, or the seabass fillet filled with bacon and black mussel ragout. On top of that, their thin crust pizza, baked in a wood-burning oven, is one of their most wanted dishes. Pomo D'oro is best for dinners, though. If you visit during lunchtime, it can be overcrowded by businessman, due to its location in the financial district.

Ristorante Krizia

Opened in 1997, this restaurant is one of the upscale Italian restaurants in Budapest’s District 6. The place is a known lunch destination for Italians living in Budapest, giving the restaurant the best reputation. The underground venue has less than a dozen of tables, elegantly covered in white linen and a reserved atmosphere for family gatherings. They have a magnificent weekday three-course lunch for around €5 (or HUF 1,500), probably being the best value for money you'll find in Budapest. They usually have home-made ravioli in sage butter sauce as a starter, followed by sweet and sour pork ribs, and tarte tatin for dessert. The restaurant’s service can sometimes be a bit slow, however the food is definitely worth the wait.

Six Best Italian Restaurants in Budapest

Fausto’s Ristorante and Osteria

This restaurant serves the finest and most expensive Italian food in Hungary. Their claim that their courses are “sprinkled with the latest arts of contemporary cuisine” is 100% true. What you shouldn’t expect here is typical pizza and spaghetti Bolognese. Their menu is tailored with care and offers delicacies, such as the green tagliatelle with duck ragout and goose liver or the tender lamb loin with fried polenta and black beans. These unique dishes manage to re-invent the rich northern Italian gastronomic tradition, quite rightfully so. Placed in District 7, the restaurant enjoys a not-so-formal atmosphere, however it still oozes exclusivity and elegance, posing a limiting factor to some (or an invitation to others). The Osteria, placed on the other side of the entrance and under the same umbrella brand, is a cheaper, more relaxed alternative with a fair priced three-course lunch prix fixe (HUF3,600, or €12).

Al Dente Restaurant

This restaurant is actually an Osteria-type eatery, being one of those local neighborhood restaurants you hope others won't find out about, so you to keep it for yourself. It is located in District 8 and is usually full of Hungarian visitors. The food here is amazing, tasting just the way it should. They have penne speck with mascarpone and truffle oil which is to die for. Every day you can choose from the ever-changing meat, seafood or vegetarian pastas, which are cooked and served as a piece of heaven. If you consider having pizza, opt for the semi-thin crust pizza called the "Bomba," with salami, Bolognese sauce, mozzarella, and mushroom toppings. Even though Al Dente is best for a casual lunch or dinner, they also serve spectacular breakfast with ham & eggs, brioche, and calzone. The atmosphere is friendly but subtle, and the décor is more functional than artsy.

Caffee GianMario

Neatly located in District 6, this place projects an image of a stereotypical family-owned Italian restaurant, invoking a scene where an older charming man smilingly greets and seats the guests. The Italian staff makes sure to maintain this warm feeling for the visitors by peripatetically hurrying and shouting half-uttered words to one another over the cramped tables. The food usually arrives quickly, even though your impression would be that the place is under a complete chaos. The servers will even manage to spare a kind word to every guest. The Italian dishes may not burst with exclusivity and décor in their look, but taste great and are simply prepared. The restaurant is full most of the time, so it’s a good idea to make reservations in advance. Being a family place, they close at 4PM on Saturdays.

TG Italiano Restaurant

TG Italiano can be reached in District 5 and is one of those places you pick when you want to stay in the highly touristy downtown areas, but also want to eat something tasty. Instead of overpriced touristy goulash, here you can find a broad range of Italian traditional dishes, some of which prepared on the open grill by the Italian chef Sergio Viti. Do note that TG Italiano is not cheap, but the food quality is always consistent, the service is attentive and professional, while the interior is well designed, ensuring an enjoyable atmosphere. Sometimes it can be crowded so be sure to make a reservation on time. As a tip, always ask for a table at the outdoor patio and enjoy people-watching during your meal.

When you are done with enjoying the local flavors at the best Hungarian restaurants, hit the places that serve authentic Italian food for a different experience. The locals are well acquainted with these places, so any reliable yellow cab can take you to your destination. Bon appetite!