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Budapest trip report - March 2010

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Budapest trip report - March 2010

Hi,

We (a couple in our early 30s) have recently come back from Budapest from a three-day vacation. Below a couple of notes I made on our trip on restaurants and sigths.

Restaurants

Lunch at Kyoto at Roosevelt ter

We ended up by accident near Kyoto at lunch time and hungry as we were, this is the restaurant we chose for lunch that day. The place was filled (considering the languages spoken, also by locals) and we were asked to wait at the bar for a table to be free. This did not take too long and before we knew we were enjoying delicious sushi set and miso soup. A lovely place with excellent views and good food.

Lunch at the Great Market Hall, Fakanal Restaurant on the upper floor

We had decided to have lunch at the Great Market Hall as we thought surely there would be a lot of places to eat great food there. It was a minor disappointment when we could only see very small (and overly crowded) stalls on the 2nd floor selling a small selection of food and not all of it looked that delicious. But then we ventured further on the 2nd floor and finally found a larger restaurant serving Hungarian style food and we thoroughly enjoyed our lunch there. There were several choices you could choose from and both dishes we tried were absolutely fantastic.

Lunch at Karma Cafe and Restaurant, Liszt Ferenc Ter 11

We had been nearby visiting the House of Terror and I remembered having seen a lot of restaurants lining this small park-like square.

We chose Karma Cafe quite adhoc. The menu looked okay and there were clients there, so could not be that bad, right :)

The menu was international style with Italian and Indian choices included.

The food was okay, the surroundings of the restaurant were relaxing but service was unattentive and it seemed the waiter could not really care less.

Dinner at Bock Bistro, Erzsebet krt.43-49

I had read a review on this restaurant on the New York Times travel section on the Internet and I think this restaurant has been mentioned here on the Tripadvisor Forum as well. I had made a reservation about a month in advance and I think that was a good idea as the restaurant was full and there were a lot of reservation signs on the otherwise empty tables.

Excellent dinner, superb wine (their own production), attentive service. A very nice place indeed.

A small negative during the evening we were there was that the building is having its facade restored and there was a large tourist bus parked outside so we could not really see much anything even though we had the window table. BUT that is just something regarding the overall experience, as said, as far as the restaurant itself goes, it was a delightful evening.

On other evenings we just went over to a cafe and had a small salad or something, or bought something from a store to eat in our hotel room.

Sights

All in all, we did a lot of walking. I would assume we walked about 15 km each day. Also, we had decided that this time we would not spend that much time in the museums but just enjoy the city otherwise. Thus not that many sights/museums mentioned here.

House of Terror - A moving experience.

Gellert spa vs. Szechenyi spa - We tried them both and as an overall experience the Szechenyi spa was far better. There are a lot more pools there and there even the outdoor pools were open at the end of March (which was not the case with Gellert).

Buda side, Castle area - Considering our hotel was on the Pest side and we mainly stayed on that side of the city, it was a very relaxing morning we had walking around the Buda side. Although the rise up to the Citadella was a heavy one as I think we ended up choosing the route to the top that was the toughest.

Opera - we had prebooked tickets to the Tosca and enjoyed the opera experience. We are not opera experts so I cannot really comment professionally on the performance but we liked it and being at the opera was an experience itself. The building is beautiful and it was nice to see the evening Andrassy Street from the outdoor balcony as well.

It was a slightly comical experience, as there seemed to be a lot of other tourists there so before the show started everyone was taking pictures. Not something I have seen elsewhere.

One thing to note is that air conditioning was not the best I have encountered and in fact it was really poor plus it was hot in there. So that is something to consider when deciding what to wear to the opera.

All in all, we had a lovely vacation in Budapest. The 3 days we had there seemed like a long-enough period to cover the basics of the city.

Ft. Laud, Florida
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11. Re: Budapest trip report - March 2010

Rosenstein's is closed on Sundays. I haven't heard of Raspi....but I'll check it out.

Ft. Laud, Florida
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12. Re: Budapest trip report - March 2010

John: From the few reviews available in English online, Raspi seems like a very interesting choice. Unfortunately, except for the introduction on Raspi's website, all other information....including the menu..... is written in Hungarian. Does their menu at the restaurant have English translations? Would you be able to give me some brief description of the menu items? Thanks again.

nyc, usa
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13. Re: Budapest trip report - March 2010

it's not an especially english-friendly place as yet but the waiters speak english well enough to describe the dishes though perhaps not to answer detailed questions about preparation; the daily specials are not listed in english anywhere, though i am pretty sure there was an english menu for the regular items...

it's pricey, but the daily lunch menu is not a bad value...

the place is owned by a well-regarded vineyard and the wines are quite good, not cheap

english menus are funny things ... i find that i need both the hungarian menu and the english menu in general to puzzle out the offerings, since the english translations tend to be idiosyncratic and after learning about 20 basic food words the hungarian descriptions seem clearer much of the time

i'm afraid that i'm not much help with the online menu as the descriptions are pretty vague there; but i didn't have anything on my plate that wasn't wonderful (except a free amuse bouche of mangalica pate ... everyone thinks that the national seasoning of hungary is paprika and they're wrong ... it's second-ranked after salt...and it;'s hard to ask for the pate without salt)

there's no question that if you go to Raspi you'll be among the very few tourists to have done so as yet...

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14. Re: Budapest trip report - March 2010

I will be in Budapest for a week in June with my 13 year-old daughter, who is a bit of a picky eater. If I wanted to have dinner at one of these restaurants, how willing would they be to prepare something rather "plain" for my daughter, while I indulged?

Ft. Laud, Florida
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15. Re: Budapest trip report - March 2010

John....when I tried to find reviews about Raspi and there were so few, I calculated that maybe this is not a place that is on the tourist radar yet. And that's NOT a bad thing. I always say I want to find eateries where the locals eat.

Can you just tell me, for main courses, do they offer beef, lamb, veal, chicken? Will the waiters be able to point me in the right direction? (I've seen some things on menus I hope I never see on a plate in front of me.) Otherwise, I have some Hungarian menu terms in my guide books. ....just to figure out the basics.

While we're not hesitant to go somewhere off the tourist radar. I just don't want to go hungry either.....or sit across the table from an aggravated husband. He will never let me forget the time he ordered Trippa in Italy...and he didn't know what it really was.

I can also relate to the experience of finding a menu in BOTH languages helpful. While I don't know any Hungarian, I've found in other countries where I do have some familiarity with the language that menu translations aren't always accurate or precise.

16. Re: Budapest trip report - March 2010

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