We’re having enough trouble getting out enough restaurant tips for Budapest these days, never mind the rest of Hungary. Fortunately, leading Hungarian portal Origo.hu is there to pick up some of the slack. They recently listed what they say are their five favorite Balaton restaurants, places they claim are so fine a meal alone is worth a trip to the lake. Check it out:
Origo’s first tip is a restaurant located in the center of Balatonalmádi, a town on the northern shore of the lake. They say it is a typically Hungarian, home-style place with prices lower than in usual in Budapest and a very friendly staff. The portal heartily suggests trying the tripe (pacal) and fried brains (rántott velő).
Koloska csárda, Balatonfüred
Located at the foot of the Tamás Hill above the town of Balatonfüred is another of the portal’s favorite restaurants, offering grilled dishes prepared outdoors, local specialities and Balaton wines. Prices are also lower than in Budapest. One tip: Try the “Pocketknife schnitzel from Arács” (Arácsi Bicskás-pecsenye).
Ferenc-pince, Tihany, Cser-hegy
This restaurant is located in Tihany halfway between the ferry port and the village. The restaurant and wine museum owned by a Tihany winemaker dynasty was opened in 1986, but the family’s cellar was built in 1680. The restaurant offers Tihany fish specialities and unique dishes made from Grey Cattle and buffalo.
Majthényi Présház, Balatonlelle
This restaurant is located on the lake’s southern shore where diners can enjoy a real Mediterranean atmosphere. The Majthényi family built the wine press house in 1784. The restaurant offers old Somogy County dishes.
Kistücsök étterem, Balatonszemes
This restaurant is regarded by many to be one of the best in Hungary, not just around Lake Balaton. It offers Hungarian and international cuisine and regularly organizes wine tastings. While its prices are somewhat higher than those at the restaurants listed above, they are still below the Budapest level. One of the region’s specialities, rudd salad with vinegar (ecetes keszegsaláta), is on the menu. One of the portal’s favorites, elderberry ice cream (bodzafagyi), is available seasonally only.