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Eating Out in Budapest

There is a wide range of eating places in Budapest. Table service is common, although self-service restaurants are less expensive. A typical menu would offer you two or three courses. Some dairy and pastry shops also offer light meals. Gerbeaud is one such place which is not only famous for its coffee and torte cakes but also for its interiors. The neo-Classical building, on Pest’s Vorosmarty Square, also houses a pub with beer that's brewed on-site, as well as a new gourmet restaurant, the Onyx. There are a number of fine restaurants in Budapest which offer delectable variety of cuisines. For elegant dining, Gundel Restaurant is the place to be. The high class dining restaurant is opened from 12 to 4 and again 8:30 to 12 midnight and offers a bar named Colonnade Bar which opens at 10 PM and closes at 12 PM. The restaurant also serves a Sunday brunch.

Karpatia Etterem offers traditional Hungarian cuisine as well as Mediterranean, Asian and Latin American fare. Liszt Ference Ter is an overpriced restaurant but makes a good place for people wanting to down a drink or two. The restaurant is a 3 minute walk away from the excellent boutique style restaurants- Dupla Étterem and M Étterem . Náncsi Néni Vendéglõje , a Bib Gourmand Restaurant attracts a lot of people because of its lush green surroundings of Buda Hills. The restaurant is a 25 minutes drive from Budapest city center. Guests are welcomed warmly and pets are also allowed. The eating place has an amazing 19th century setting with traditional live music. Fausto’s and sister restaurant Osteria (Italian cuisine) and much loved Koleves which serves hearty Jewish and Hungarian dishes, are among the fine resaturants in Budapest. Mátyás Pince Étterem is a popular restaurant serving its guests since 1904. At the restaurant choose from a variety of selected wines and one must try the famous fishsoup, a Hungarian specialty. The restaurant has live gipsy music every evening to entertain the guests. If you plan to go there then, make sure to reserve a table!

An interesting outing will be on a river boat restaurant, situated on the Pest side of the river. These restaurants offer delectable cuisines, wines and drinks and live music. Some of the restaurants at the Danube bank are Trattoria Toscana, Restaurant Pava and L'Enoteca.

For a quick meal, try the McDonalds near the Nyugati Railway Terminal.

Budapest is alive and rollicking even at night. There are a lot of pubs, music to suit your mood – rock, pop & jazz – theatres, nightclubs and casinos. Diaz, Boston Bar, E-Klub, Bar Dompy, B7, Rac Kert (District 1), Menat Teraz, Cactus Juice, Raday utca (street with 30 bars and restos), Kaledonia Budapest, Barrokko and Rio are only a few bars and pubs to name in Budapest. Szimpla Kert is an open air bar/beer garden/screening house/alternative culture mecca and much more. Located in District VII, the place is a must visit. The Liszt Ferenc tér Square is famous for its bars, clubs and restaurants. A large number of people come here to drink and party. It is jam packed during the summers and is a popular place to have a cup of coffee during the day or even a decent meal too. However, Liszt Ferenc tér Square becomes the most hip and happening in the night time.

There are no licensing hours for bars, but the legal age for drinking is 18 years. Your minor child may be allowed into the bar with you, though! Cinemas in major towns show many English language films. The magnificent opera house in Budapest stages regular performances and seats are very affordable.

Tips: Bars and restaurants in Budapest do not serve you water until asked for. When you ask for it, you will be given (and also charged for) mineral water unless you ask specifically for tap water. But again, asking for tap water in highly unusual everywhere in Europe nonetheless it’s quite safe to drink. So be ready to pay extra for the water that you order even with a glass of Whisky!

The waiter will not bring your bill unless you ask for it. But when he does, always check your bills, as they tend to over-charge.

Also, when at a bar, remember not to clink beer glasses when making a toast. Some Hungarians consider it rude... So tap the bottom of the glass against the surface of the table if you wish to toast.

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