Papitos: If you’re wondering where to find decent Mexican food in Budapest, Papitos is the place. Out of the tourist center but still conveniently located, Papitos is located at the Arany János metro station. There are only a few outdoor tables to sit at, but there’s always the option to walk to the close by St. Stephen’s Basilica for a more majestic setting.
Papitos is also a neighbor to the Retro Lángos Bufe stand, so you can get your classic Hungarian fix.
Karavan: Situated right next to Szimpla Kert, the warm glow of Caravan’s lights have lured many a person into this food truck garden. Here you can find a wide variety of popular Budapest eateries. The prices are in accordance with the area’s tourist status, but the strength here is the diversity. Pasta or lángos? Kürtőskalács or a cheeseburger made out of cheese? You really do have a lot of options.
Hachapuri: Hachapuri brings Georgian cuisine to Budapest. The menu is colorful, with vegetarian and meat-lovers options galore. Don’t miss ordering the restaurant’s namesake--a bread boat filled with egg and cheese--and a glass of the sweet strawberry Georgian wine.
Drum Cafe: Situated right in the Jewish Quarter, the Drum Cafe offers a quick and cheap take on Hungarian food. The wall of menu options show you it all: Here you can try csirke paprikás (paprika chicken with Hungarian noodles), lángos (fried dough with cheese and sour cream), and of course, gulyás.
Jelen Bisztro: This unassuming bisztro is nestled on a back street close to Blaha Lujza ter station. The quirky decor especially shines in the evening, when Jelen transforms in the warm glow of candlelight. Come and sip a beer or try out Jelen’s flexible lunch and dinner menu, with pan-Asian as well as Hungarian classics. Monday nights are the time to come if you enjoy live music--there’s an open mic hosted in the back room (open mic + food + drink specials = I <3 Budapest).
Kelet: Located on a wide street in Buda, Kelet is very artsy and displays work from a neighboring art gallery.
Központ: This cafe harnesses the alternative undercurrent of the city. It’s plastered with posters of the latest indie concerts or small festivals coming through town and hosts experimental DJs for live music.
Espresso Embassy: Close to Arany János metro station, this place takes its coffees seriously. Not a lot of frills, just a good bean. Space fills up quickly on weekends, so get a good seat!
For a glimpse of the Old World, visit the historic the Central Café or New York Café billed as “The Most Beautiful Café in the World”