10 of the best restaurants in Budapest

Fine dining, street food offer explosive flavor

By PAVLO FEDYKOVYCH, CNN
FreeImages.com/Rayko Swensson

(CNN) - The Budapest restaurant scene is as eclectic and impressive as the city's ornate architecture.

Not only are its dining establishments among the best in Europe, the Hungarian capital also boasts fantastic street food, with local cuisines exploding with flavor.

From fine dining elegance to street food perfection, here's our pick of 10 of the best restaurants when you travel to Budapest:

Onyx

With innovative chef Ádám Mészáros at the helm, it's easy to understand why Onyx is the only establishment in Hungary to hold two Michelin stars.

Positioned adjacent next to the renowned Café Gerbeaud, Onyx serves fantastically delicious fare described as "Hungarian flavors with forward-looking evolution."

Diners can choose from two six-course dinner options named "within our borders" and "beyond our borders," the first focuses on domestic production and the latter on innovative cooking approaches.

Note, it's advisable to make a reservation at least two weeks in advance to secure a table.

Onyx, Vörösmarty tér 7, 1051 Budapest, Hungary; +36 30 508 0622

Costes Downtown

With one Michelin star under its belt, Costes Downtown is among the leaders of high quality dining in Budapest.

A laid back version of sister restaurant Costes, it offers an exquisite bistro experience.

Celebrated chefs Miguel Vieira and Tiago Sabarigo serve up artistic dishes made from the freshest ingredients and prepared in an open kitchen.

We recommended opting for one of the tasting menus -- the fried scallops with sweet potatoes and orange is a delicious starter, while the dry-aged sirloin steak makes for a fabulous main.

There's also an exceptional collection of Hungarian wines available, and the restaurant's experienced sommeliers are on hand to help with choosing the perfect wine pairing.

Costes Downtown, Vigyázó Ferenc u. 5, 1051 Budapest, Hungary; +36 1 920 1015

Borkonyha WineKitchen

This Michelin-starred eatery is one of the top restaurants in the capital thanks to its contemporary meals, prepared with great attention to detail, and its collection of 200 Hungarian wines.

With visionary Ákos Sárközi in the chef role, Borkonyha offers an interesting take on traditional dishes, providing first class dining in a relaxed setting.

Don't leave without tasting their trademark duck liver terrine with vegetables and fruits.

Borkonyha WineKitchen, Sas u. 3, 1051 Budapest, Hungary; +36 1 266 0835

MÁK Bistro

This high end restaurant impresses with its award-winning approach to food preparation.

An innovative master of his craft, MAK's celebrated young chef János Mizsei's culinary creations are edible works of art that combine local tastes with Scandinavian practices.

The result is a mash up of original, yet traditional flavors.

We recommend selecting a wine pairing as well as the Mangalica pork, one of MAK's trademark dishes.

MÁK Bistro, Vigyázó Ferenc u. 4, 1051 Budapest, Hungary; +36 30 723 9383

Caviar & Bull

Created by Maltese chef Marvin Gauci, this downtown restaurant is as upscale as it gets.

Based in the Corinthia Hotel, it offers an extensive menu made up of signature dishes and key staples of Hungarian cuisine such as Mangalica pig, foie gras, paprika and Tokaj wine.

Caviar enthusiasts can choose from five different options, served with blinis and sour cream.

With its meticulous food craftsmanship and contemporary touches, Caviar & Bull has become one of Budapest's finest dining spots.

Caviar & Bull, Erzsébet krt. 43-49, 1073 Budapest, Hungary; +36 30 832 3232

Könyvbár & Restaurant

Pleasantly surprising in its originality, Könyvbár's menu is unlike anything you'll find in the Hungarian capital.

Inspired by books, the dishes here change every two weeks, with Harry Potter's favorite pumpkin soup and the Nutcracker-influenced Christmas pudding serving as former options.

The interior is also book themed, with shelves full of literary works lining its walls.

Könyvbár & Restaurant, Dob u. 45, 1074 Budapest, Hungary; +36 20 922 7027

Paprika

Although its often crowded with tourists and slightly outdated, Paprika has a firm hold in the best affordable Hungarian restaurant category.

Its enormous portions of local favorites like goulash, Tatar Beef and grilled meats have been keeping diners happy for years.

Cheap and cheerful, this legendary eatery is a great introduction to the world of Hungarian cuisine for those on a budget.

Just be mindful when ordering -- we're not joking about the size of the meals, it's what this place is famous for.

Paprika, Dózsa György út 72, 1071 Budapest, Hungary; +36 20 294 7944

Törökméz

Törökméz is the place to go for a top notch breakfast in Budapest. Run by travelers, this cozy café serves breakfast all day, with arabica coffee , omelettes, avocado toast and acai bowls among the menu choices.

Set at the footsteps of the Buda castle away from the crowds, it's a great spot for brunch or an afternoon coffee.

Whatever your preference, Törökméz will cater to your needs in the finest fashion.

Törökméz, Margit u. 27, 1023 Budapest, Hungary; +36 70 309 9031

Bors GasztroBár

Located next to an iconic Szimpla ruin pub, Bors GasztroBár might just be one of the most original street foods options in Europe right now. Customers turn up here for two things -- soups and baguettes.

Its ever-changing soup menu and impressive combination of flavors will keep you coming back for more.

Did we mention that it's ridiculously cheap?

Bors GasztroBár, Kazinczy u. 10, 1075 Budapest, Hungary; +36 70 935 3263

Tökmag Vegan Street Food

Located a short walk away from the Hungarian Parliament, tiny vegan realm Tökmag is the go to place for those seeking delicious plant-based cuisine.

While it might consist of just four chairs, you'll find some of the tastiest healthy food in the city here.

The choice is great, with mouth watering soups, a variety of sandwiches and a selection of vegan burgers on offer.

We suggest the green pea burger as a main and the vanilla tapioca pudding with pineapple jam for dessert.

Tökmag Vegan Street Food, Hollán Ernő u. 5, 1136 Budapest, Hungary; +36 70 908 9717

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