In this article, I want to help you find the finest places to eat if you happen to be wandering around Hungary’s countryside. There is no need to say that Budapest is full of various excellent restaurants, but there is way less information on where to eat out when you are out of the capital. Well, don’t search on, here is the ultimate countryside guide in case you’re hungry in Hungary. Each year, Dining Guide, a Hungarian catering organisation, selects the best restaurants in the country with the help of foreign Michelin-starred chefs - to ensure the results will be fair. After a thorough investigation and tasting, they ascertain which restaurants are currently the most noticeable in different categories, including the geographical distinction between Budapest and the countryside. For now, let’s check the best ones beyond the Hungarian capital – according to the organisation.
"My mom has told" or Anyukám Mondta, if we want to remain original, kept its first place in the countryside from last year. It even ranked among the top 12 best restaurants in the country, putting contenders like Olimpia or Arany Kaviár behind it – to mention two of the fanciest restaurants in Budapest. According to the Restaurant Guide, at Anyukám Mondta, we can dine in one of the most admirable Hungarian restaurants. It can be found in the small town Encs, Borsod county, only a 1,5-hour drive from the miraculous nature of Aggtelek. Along with top-quality Italian ingredients - whether it is burrata or prosciutto from a selected ham master - there is a place on the menu for traditional Hungarian pig ears, home-pickled vegetables, and homemade syrups.
Last year's third-best, Platan (meaning sycamore) has overtaken 2018’s runner-up, Kistücsök restaurant to clinch the second place this year. The restaurant & café that can be found in the city of Tata is developed in a picturesque setting next to a lake and an old sycamore tree. The menu has a strong Asian influence, following current culinary global trends, and it uses increasingly more ingredients from the restaurant's garden. In the lovely area of serving, they evoke the world of classic fine dining. Here, you can taste Omaha steaks and St. James's mussels, as well as black pudding, Hungarian quails, and fried Mangalica – a world-famous Hungarian pig breed.
The Balatonszemes catering unit is still at the stage on the list of the best countryside restaurants. It has become one of the most well-known places in the whole country, since its gastronomic revolution! One of its main merits is that Kistücsök (meaning Little Cicada) represents authentic and contemporary Hungarian cuisine mixed with the "common meals". They are not scared of traditional village dishes like duck neck soup, pork ears, and roasted rooster with dumplings. However, you shall choose wisely, in case you step in during your bike tour around Lake Balaton.
Well, these three superb catering havens secured their spots at the top of the best rural restaurants’ list, but my guide does not end here. There are many more places worth visiting when you’re feeling hungry in Hungary’s countryside, so stay tuned and let me get back to the subject soon. Until then, check out my previous story on the best fish restaurants at Lake Balaton, and enjoy your meal!
Cover photo © credit to Rawpixel / iStockphoto
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