Best Restaurants In Budapest (Hungary)

Nothing better to experience the spirit of Hungary’s Capital than to try the local food, made with fresh ingredients in the best restaurants in town! Here is my personal list of the best restaurants in Budapest.

Hungarian Cuisine

Similarly to Austrian cuisine, the Hungarian one is mostly Central European. Drawing comparisons between the two is quite inevitable, as they were for a long time part of the same empire, the Austro-Hungarian, and therefore shared a lot of cultural traits.

Typical Hungarian food is rich in dairy, cheese, and meats (mostly simple meats such as beef, pork, and chicken), almost always served with bread. Also important to point is that here you will find some of the highest quality salamis and sausages in the whole of Europe and for quite inexpensive prices.

Meals are often divided into those which require side dishes, and those that do not. If a side dish is not formally required for a meal, Hungarians would find it a bit weird to order any. The most common side dishes being potatoes prepared in many different styles, as well as white rice or steamed vegetables.

What to eat in Budapest

Just like Vienna, Budapest is rich in big and fancy coffee houses that attracted artists from all over the continent. Make sure to visit at least one early in the morning to experience the elaborate menus and beautiful architecture these places have to offer.

As the main meal of the day, be it lunch or dinner, make sure to try the traditional Hungarian Goulash, the national dish. Another popular pick is the Csirkepaprikás (chicken paprikash), which is a chicken stew with a lot of sweet paprika, and a specific sour cream called tejföl. A personal favorite of mine, though, is the Csülök, or pork knuckle.

For a dessert or snack, you should definitely try the local Kürtőskalács. Many people mistake it for Prague’s Trdelník, but the Hungarian version of this delicious pastry is the real deal, as well as a must-try when visiting Budapest. Another option for a sweet snack would be the Gundel Palacsinta (crêpe) filled with nuts and chocolate sauce.

Where to eat in Budapest

Coffee & Breakfast

Centrál Coffee House

Location: Károlyi utca 9 | Near Károlyi Garden
Opening: Mon-Sun 08:00 – 00:00
Reservation: centralkavehaz.hu/en/

The Centrál Coffee House opened its doors in 1887 and quickly became the meeting point for elite Hungarian writers, poets, composers, and scientists throughout the centuries.

Despite taking a large hit during World War II, just like the rest of the city, this lovely coffee house reopened as a canteen for students as well as a night-time club. But in 2000, it reopened its doors as the classical coffee house, with its current mission of reviving the golden era of Hungarian gastronomy.

The ambiance of the Centrál Coffee House is very calm and classy. Early in the morning, they already have some very soft live music playing in the background, and the service couldn’t be more polite.

The space, in general, is very open and bright, with wooden and golden furniture, as well as plants everywhere. It makes for a very peaceful beginning of the day, perfect for getting into the mood for exploring the city.

Although this place is both a coffee house and a restaurant, I mostly come here for their breakfasts. It’s one of the few places in town that serve quality imperial era breakfasts, very similar to the ones in Vienna.

If you come here, make sure to order their “Perfect Day” breakfast, which is only served between 9:30 and 11:30. It comes with eggs benedict, 6 gourmet canapés, a mini cake selection, muesli, yogurt, pastry, honey, jam, butter, freshly squeezed orange juice, a warm drink (either hot coffee, tea, or hot chocolate), and a glass of prosecco.

But if you are not so hungry, you can also go for a “Centrál 1887 Granola“, which comes with Greek yogurt, honey, cottage cheese, jam, and fresh fruits. That’s the one in the picture above.

Lunch & Dinner

Fakanál Étterem

Location: Vámház krt. 1-3 | Inside the Great Market Hall
Opening: Mon 09:00 – 17:00, Tue-Fri 09:00 – 18:00,
Sat 09:00 – 15:00, Sun CLOSED
Reservation: fakanaletterem.hu/

Located inside what is known to be the most beautiful market hall in all of Europe, the Fakanál Étterem restaurant offers hearty Hungarian home food at its best. They are proud to offer home-made flavors made from fresh ingredients from the market, just as if they had come from the local grandmother’s or mother’s stove.

The place is even cozier than you can imagine, quite unexpected for a crowded city market. It is very spacious, and the decoration makes you feel like you are dining in a cute little Hungarian village. Definitely one of the coziest restaurants in Budapest.

Here you can order either through a menu, or serve yourself on their buffet. The latter being my preference, as they tend to be cheaper, and not a bit less delicious. You will be surprised by the quality you will get for so cheap.

My favorite go for the Fakanál Étterem is the Csülök pékné módra, a classic Hungarian pork knuckle baked together with potatoes. I cannot stress enough how delicious this dish is.

Apparently, the fresh seasoning and vegetables gathered from the market hall do make a difference in taste, and it is something you have to experience for yourself. Together with a local unfiltered beer, this hearty dish will surely satisfy.

VakVarjú Étterem Pest

Location: Paulay Ede u. 7. | Near St. Stephen’s Basilica
Opening: Mon-Sun 11:30 – 00:00
Reservation: pest.vakvarju.com/

VakVarjú (The Blind Crow) is a popular dining option among locals, and for those reasons, the restaurant has many branches across Budapest. My favorite one being the one right at the center of Pest.

Their gastronomy is based on the reimagining of classic Hungarian dishes with a modern touch, while still keeping in touch with tradition. And to be honest, they are quite successful at it.

Right upon arrival you will notice the homely atmosphere. The place is very well lit, by either large windows during the day or modern chandeliers during the night. Here you will also find a variety of different tables and seats to choose from, whatever makes you more comfortable.

This Budapest restaurant also has live music during the evenings, which adds to the whole atmosphere. Apart from that, it is important to note that they have a kid’s corner with a lot of toys, so if you bring children, they can have some fun on their own as well.

What better place than VakVarjú, to experience the classic Hungarian Goulash soup with a freshly baked dough on top. It makes for a great appetizer, before ordering a Beef tenderloin with mustard seeded cream cheese, fried onions, sweet potato cream, and sugar snap peas, or Soft pork tenderloin with porcini Paprikash, smoked bacon greaves, and sheep’s cheesy Kaiserschmarren.

Bárkert Bistro

Location: Ybl Miklós tér 6 | Near Buda Castle
Opening: Mon-Sun 11:30 – 00:00
Reservation: barkert.hu/en/

Bárkert Bistro is located in the Várkert Bazár, a neo-renaissance building dreamt up by architect Miklós Ybl, Hungary’s most influential architect during his career, around the end of the 19th century.

After 130 years of history, this place has managed to maintain is popularity and elegance, attracting many people from all over the world. They are known for what they call ‘fusion cuisine‘, a pairing of fine traditional Hungarian food with characteristic international flavors.

This lovely Budapest restaurant tends more towards the elegant side than the cozy one. But the comfort they promise, they deliver. They have a really spacious interior, accompanied by a panoramic terrace overlooking the Danube river.

Service here will be of utmost quality as they pride themselves on their skilled waiters and state-of-the-art technical equipment.

When visiting the Bárkert Bistro, make sure to order a Friss lecsó (Fresh Hungarian ratatouille) as a starter; followed by either a duck leg with polenta and marinated baby vegetables, or an Angus Rib-eye steak, served with smoked paprika-gorgonzola sauce, and Chérie potato. They also serve vegan food, so if that is your pick, make sure to order their wild mushroom pappardelle.

They also have the ‘menu of the day’ option, which offers simpler food, but nonetheless as delicious. That was my pick last time I visited this place, when I ordered chicken breast coated with breadcrumbs served together with potato purée.

Regős Vendéglő

Location: Szófia u. 33 | Near Terror Museum
Opening: Mon-Sun 12:00 – 22:00
Reservation: regosvendeglo.hu/en/

Regős Vendéglő is a small family-owned restaurant, run by Péter Regős. As much as 80% of their clients are locals who work in the neighboring office buildings, which means their menu reflects the taste and wishes of fellow local Hungarians, making this restaurant a true hidden gem in Budapest.

With its exposed brick walls and comfy wooden furniture, the interior gives a very strong underground vibe. Regős Vendéglő makes for a perfect pick for a casual lunch with friends outside of the crowded city center.

Not only their food is very hearty and delicious but is also much less expensive than its alternatives downtown. Also important to note, is that if you manage to get there between 12:00 and 15:00, you can get a 3-course lunch menu for only 2000 Ft.

If you go for the 3-course lunch menu, I would suggest starting with a bean soup ‘Jókai’ style; followed by chicken breast with mushroom cream sauce and rice; finished by a delicious cherry strudel as dessert. I can guarantee you will not find this amount of flavor for this price anywhere in town, making this one of my top picks for the best restaurants in Budapest.

Sweets & Desserts

Molnár’s Kürtőskalács

Location: Váci u. 31 | Near Elisabeth Bridge
Opening: Sun-Thu 10:00 – 20:00, Fri-Sat10:00 – 21:00
Reservation: kurtoskalacs.com/

Molnár’s Kürtőskalács is famous across the city as the best place to eat this delicious treat made out of chopped walnuts glued to the hot and sticky caramel layer of melted sugar, know as Kürtőskalács.

Located in the heart of the inner district of Budapest, it is the perfect place to have a nice dessert or snack while exploring the city.

This place is not very fancy, but do not get fooled, as the food here is delicious. Due to local laws, they are not allowed to prepare Kürtőskalács in its traditional way, since it would involve a large fireplace which can be hazardous indoors. But they managed to come up with a substitute that cooks it just as good.

Keep also in mind that there are not many seats to compensate for the popularity of this snack. If you come here, especially during the evening, the place will be packed. But no worries, most locals just come to pick them up to eat them somewhere else, by the river or in a park, for example.

At Molnár’s Kürtőskalács you will find a wide variety of granulated toppings for your Kürtőskalács, my favorites being chocolate and walnut. There is also the option of getting it either cut in half, or as a bowl with ice-cream inside. I recommend getting both to try them out and see how you prefer eating it.

Best Restaurants In Vienna (Austria)

Nothing better to experience the spirit of Austria’s capital than to try the local food, made with fresh ingredients in the best restaurants in town! Here is my personal list of the best restaurants in Vienna.

Austrian Cuisine

Austrian food is very Central European, that is, lots of meat together with either cabbage, potato or dumplings. Although very fond of beef and pork, you will easily find other fancy types of meat here, such as deer, boar, hare, and duck. Austrian butchers are specialists when it comes to special cuts of meat. Those include the Tafelspitz (beef) and Fledermaus (pork).

Apart from that, Vienna has a very strong culture surrounding coffee shops and bakeries. You will taste some of the most delicious coffee and sweets you ever had in your life during your visit here.

What to eat in Vienna

Be sure to wake up early in the morning to visit one of the city’s many coffee houses, for a good classic Viennese breakfast. Timing is key, as close to lunchtime these places get super crowded, thanks to their popularity both with locals and tourists.

For either lunch or dinner, stop at one of the many restaurants in Vienna’s center for a famous Wiener Schnitzel, the classic thin and breaded pan-fried veal cutlet. It is one of the national dishes of Austria, and a favorite of the locals.

For dessert, an Apfelstrudel is mandatory if you wish to experience the best of Vienna. Don’t be fooled, it isn’t a simple pie, but a delicious pastry filled with grated cooking apples, usually of a cristp and tart type such as Winesap apples, mixed together with sugar, cinnamon, and bread crumbs.

Where to eat in Vienna

Coffee & Breakfast

Café Schwarzenberg

Location: Kärntner Ring 17 | Near Wiener Stadtpark
Opening: Mon-Fri 07:30 – 23:00, Sat-Sun 08:30 – 23:00
Reservation: cafe-schwarzenberg.at/

In 1861, the Ringstraße boulevard (considered the most beautiful in Europe) was being built. There, one of the buildings owned by Albrecht Zeppenzauer (a famous silk manufacturer) was rented to Mr. and Mrs. Hochleitner, who decided to open a café at the place.

The coffee house received its current name in 1902, and today it is one of the last Ringstraße cafés, out of the 30 total which existed here. It has carefully maintained the typical atmosphere and tradition of a Viennese Café, as if frozen in time.

Schwarzenberg took a large hit during the World Wars, especially during the Soviet occupation of Vienna. But despite all the destruction, it managed to preserve most of its original architecture while adding up certain architectural details from the multiple refurbishings it went through overtime.

Upon entering the place, you will face the classic square tables with tops made out of hammered brass, which is part of its original inventory. The ceiling, decorated with mosaic panellings with colorful glass and gold plating. It has a very fancy vibe to it, while still managing to feel cozy, especially in colder days.

At Café Schwarzenberg you can find quality coffee consisting of organic Arabica beans sourced from FAIRTRADE-certified plantations in Honduras. Apart from that, you can try a multitude of delicious teas like classic black teas, powerful green teas, or aromatic fruit teas.

But to begin the day, nothing better than the classic crispy bacon with scrambled eggs. That’s my personal favourite, but you can always go for combos that are available, such as the Viennese breakfast which consists of a handmade roll, a croissant, a portion butter or diet margarine, a jar of Staud jam or honey, and a soft boiled egg. Anything here has a superb flavour, which earns the place the title of one of the best restaurants in Vienna.

Lunch & Dinner

Augustinerkeller

Location: Augustinerstraße 1 | Near Wiener Stadtpark
Opening: Mon-Fri 11:00 – 00:00
Reservation: bitzinger.wien/en/augustinerkeller

The Augustinerkeller is one of the surviving ancient monastery cellars in the city center of Vienna, and the carefully preserved ancient vaulting of the cellar can attest to that history.

Previously part of the city’s fortifications, only in 1924 it was turned into a restaurant. From 1954 onwards, the place has been owned by the Bitzinger family, who works hard for keeping the Viennese tradition of the place alive.

Augustinerkeller has a typical cellar atmosphere to it, a very private place where locals gather to spend some time together accompanied by great food. It is impossible not to draw comparisons with the beer halls in Munich, as they have a quite similar ambiance.

The best place to sit here is right near the back, inside one of the many dining booths, which can guarantee the privacy and a quiet meal, even if the place happens to be filled with guests.

What better to eat in a traditional monastery cellar than the traditional Wiener Schnitzel, accompanied by some great local beer? But be prepared, because this original Viennese veal escalope does not come in a small portion in this Vienna restaurant. There will be plenty to feed you for half a day!

To get the full experience, make sure to order one of the excellent wines from the restaurant’s own wine cellars or a bottle from the refreshing private brand draft beer “Opernbräu”.

Gasthaus Reinthaler

Location: Gluckgasse 5 | Near Albertina
Opening: Mon-Fri 09:00 – 23:00, Sat-Sun CLOSED
Reservation: gasthaus-reinthaler.at/

Gasthaus Reinthaler is the place for those who are looking for comfy and homemade food at the heart of Vienna. Gasthäuser are typically family-owned inns or taverns and commonly have up to three generations of a family working together to serve their guests. To find a place like this in Vienna’s city center is quite a catch.

The interior is mostly wooden, as in the style of the village’s Gasthäuser. It is one of the most home-like environments I have seen in the dining scene of Vienna’s city center, breathing the spirit of Gemütlichkeit.

Right by the entrance, you can sit to have a nice beer with friends, but if you wish to eat make sure to reserve a place in their Speisezimmer. Although this is not a fancy restaurant, it is often packed due to its coziness and delicious homemade food.

Here I always order the king of all cozy Germanic meals: the famous Schweinebraten mit Knödel (roasted pork with dumpling). The one prepared here did not make me think twice about placing it in my list of the best restaurants in Vienna. It makes for a perfect evening meal and a must-try together with the Wiener Schnitzel.

Brezlgwölb

Location: Ledererhof 9 | Near Judenplatz
Opening: Mon-Sun 11:30 – 22:00
Reservation: brezl.at/

If you wish to experience a piece of Viennese history while eating some delicious food, the Brezlgwölb is the right place for you. The building was first mentioned in registries back to 1341 when it hosted the leather and dyers’ guild. But it dates far back: the first basement level was at ground level in Roman times. Taking a staircase on the left, you will be able to see a Roman wall with a window opening.

While most of the restaurants in Vienna have a completely imperial atmosphere, the Brezlgwölb goes a little bit back in time. The basement-like structure, the candlelight dining, and the waitresses dressed in traditional clothing make you feel like you are in medieval Vienna.

I cannot stress this enough, the place is absolutely gorgeous and the perfect place in Vienna for a romantic date. The cozy architecture and candlelight dining, combined with the delicious warm food, contribute extensively to this.

Here you can try any of the most traditional dishes from Austria, like Wiener Tafelspitz and Wiener Schnitzel But if you happen to come on a Thursday during lunchtime, make sure to ask for their Roasted beef liver with puree and fried onions. It is simply too good. To complement the meal, ask for their wine card and you will surely be pleasantly surprised.

Sweets & Desserts

Hofzuckerbäckerei Demel

Location: Kohlmarkt 14 | Near Hofburg Palace
Opening: Mon-Sun 08:00 – 19:00
Reservation: demel.com/en/

Demel opened its doors officially in 1786 and is one of the most traditional confectionery in the whole of Vienna. Its salons still present themselves today in the beautiful Rococo style of the famous architects Portois & Fix.

The Hofzuckerbäckerei soon became the central meetup place for sweet-lovers, especially members of the bourgeoisie. Franz Josef and Elisabeth themselves loved the food of this place and have it regularly delivered to the Hofburg Palace.

Hofzuckerbäckerei has a very strong imperial feel to it. Upon entering you will face the long halls with tall ceilings, and the classic wooden furniture waiting to accommodate you. The service is very friendly and gentle, making the overall experience of snacking in Vienna a very pleasant one.

Although they also serve hot and warm meals, as well as full breakfasts, I absolutely adore this place do to its broad selection of delicious sweets. On the image above you can have an idea of what to expect: Frou Frou, Obers-Cremeschnitte, Lemontorte, and a wide variety of ornamented cakes.

Also important to mention is that everything here, from cakes and pastries to strudel and petit fours, is made in-house, by hand, and with heart. That is something that very few places can be proud of saying, and adds up to the experience of the place.

Best Restaurants in Sofia (Bulgaria)

Nothing better to experience the spirit of Bulgaria’s capital than to try the local food, made with fresh ingredients in the best restaurants in town! Here is my personal list of the best restaurants in Sofia.

Bulgarian Cuisine

Bulgarian food is known for being fresh and cozy, as if made at home by your Baba (granny). Rich in grilled meat, vegetables, dairy and local spices. It definitely represents well the culture of the Balkans.

Although you will most definitely find international restaurants and fast-food joints around Sofia, most of the restaurants in town will serve exclusively traditional Bulgarian food. This makes Sofia a perfect place to isolate yourself from the external world and dive deep into the local culture.

What to eat in Sofia

As an entry, one shoul definitely try Shopska salad or Qatiq spread on bread together with some fine Rakia. Shopska is considered the national salad, as its colors resemble the Bulgarian flag; it contains tomatoes, cucumbers, onion/scallions, raw or roasted peppers, sirene (white brine cheese), and parsley. Qatiq, on the other hand, is boiled and fermented sheep milk, mixed with baked peppers and turned into a paste; it is mostly used as a bread/toast spread.

As a main dish, one can choose from a variety of grilled meats, usually served skewered and together with bread, steamed vegetables or a bean stew.

Where to eat in Sofia

Moma

Location: ul. “Solunska” 28 | Near Vitosha Street
Opening: Mon-Sun 12:30 – 23:30
Reservation: moma-restaurant.com/en/

Moma’s concept combines a light culinary experience with traditional recipes, bringing you to the root of Bulgarian culture. The design of each dining hall of the restaurant portrays a message related to the traditions of maidens and young women from Bulgaria, including paintings and embroidery.

The place is really bright and the symbolism behind the colors is really invigorating: white symbolizing the purity of Bulgarian women, red symbolizing the blood of the power of the fertile soil, green symbolizing the eternal rebirth, and golden symbolizing the Sun, the light, and prosperity.

When visiting Moma, try one of their Kufte (Bulgarian meatballs). They come accompanied by beans, homemade fried potatoes, and Lyutenitsa (a spread made out of peppers, aubergines, carrots, tomatoes, and garlic).

Chevermeto

Location: bul. “Pencho Slaveykov” | Near the National Palace of Culture
Opening: Mon-Sun 12:00 – 00:00
Reservation: chevermeto-bg.com/en/

If you wish to enjoy traditional Bulgarian food from many different regions of the country, while taking part in a little folkloric fest with live music and dance, Chevermeto is the place for you. It is slightly difficult to find, so make sure to go around the NDK Prono building to find the entrance.

Chevermeto is a quite big restaurant compared to others in Sofia and has a nice variety of places to sit and enjoy your meal, including a giant wine barrel. As tradition dictates, the whole place is decorated with Bulgarian embroidery, folk clothing, and tapestries, creating a really cozy atmosphere.

My go for this place is their Mother’s Dish (a cozier name simply does not exist); which contains chicken meat, melted cheese, and mushrooms, all baked in a pot. I cannot stress this enough: this is one of the best meals I had in my life. Given how warm it is served, it is perfect for winter.

Raketa Rakia

Location: bul. “Yanko Sakazov” 17 | Near the Zaimov Park
Opening: Mon-Fri 11:00 – 00:00, Sat-Sun 9:00 – 00:00
Reservation: facebook.com/RaketaRakiaBar/

This place is definitely a must-see when visiting Sofia. The whole decoration is based on the communist past of the country, and the items displayed everywhere are pieces of the childhood of many Bulgarians alive today. Although communism is a sensitive topic to many Bulgarians, the place sure makes them feel nostalgic about the simple things they experienced back in time.

The atmosphere here is really great, a well-lit place full of nature (right in front of a park) and with great service. Upon arrival, if you ask for a Rakia, the staff will gladly assist you in choosing a brand that will most please your palate, according to your taste for whiskey, vodka, etc.

After the entry of Qatiq spread on bread together with some delicious Rakia, it’s time for the main dish: Bean Stew served in crispy bread with fried porcini (for vegetarians/vegans) or local Sudjuk (in case you enjoy meat). This is a very cozy meal, perfect for colder days, which are quite common in Sofia.

Hadjidragana

Location: ul. “Hristo Belchev” 18 | Near the Vitosha Street
Opening: Mon-Sun 11:30 – 01:00
Reservation: izbite.com/en

Hadjidragana has one of the most impressive architectures among restaurants in Sofia: stone walls and barrels, woodcarvings, traditional Bulgarian garbs, and items from the 18th century. It is known for its extensive list of Bulgarian wines and live folkloric music during the evenings.

This place is underground, located in a cellar, which makes the atmosphere completely different from other places in town. It will definitely take you back two hundred years in time, and make you experience the best of Bulgarian food. The live music during the evenings gives the restaurant an extra touch of Bulgarian epicness, so make sure you go at night and enjoy the singing and dancing.

If you want a quick lunch, you can always ask for roasted chicken accompanied by steamed vegetables. But just keep in mind that every day they roast entire lambs in classic wood-burning brick ovens, just an idea. Make sure to order a delicious Bulgarian wine, which most people don’t know, but it’s one of the best in the whole fo Europe.

Made in Home

Location: ul. “Angel Kanchev” 30 | Near NDK
Opening: Mon 11:00 – 23:30, Tue-Sat 11:00 – 23:30, Sun 11:00 – 21:30
Reservation: facebook.com/madeinhomesofia

Made in Home is Sofia’s most popular entry into the locally sourced, slow-food trend. The name comes from the fact that all dishes are entirely produced in-house, leaving no space for industrialized products.

This place has a very young and cool atmosphere and you will most often find university students hanging around. If you are vegetarian or vegan, this is definitely your spot in Sofia, as they have a wide variety of animal-free options.

My favorite dish from this place is the chicken fajitas with guacamole, colorful peppers, onion, fresh coriander, and pita bread. It’s a very light option, and since everything is here fresh and locally sourced, the food makes you feel great and full of energy.

Best Restaurants In Venice (Italy): What & Where To Eat

Nothing better to experience the spirit of La Serenissima than to try the local food, made with fresh ingredients in the best restaurants in town! Here is my personal list of the best restaurants in Venice.

Venetian Cuisine

Unlike some people think, Venice does not survive only on fish. The city’s cuisine is really rich and varied, including many different types of pastries, grains, and meats. The idea originated from the fact that the city is rich in fresh fish, but in reality, it also acquires other fresh ingredients from nearby agriculture. To put it short, there are many foods in Venice which are of great quality, not only fish.

When it comes to restaurant formality, there used to be a distinction between a ristorante, trattoria, and osteria, but nowadays these terms have become blurred, as higher-level restaurants also adopted the name of trattoria and osteria.

What to eat in Venice

Eating in Venice is not s complicated or expensive as people think, at least if you are well-informed. Venice follows the meal structure that the rest of Italy uses, which is somehow very similar to the rest of the western world:

  • Colazione – The equivalent of Breakfast.
  • Spuntino – A light morning snack.
  • Pranzo – The equivalent of Lunch.
  • Merenda –  A light afternoon snack.
  • Cena – The equivalent of Dinner.

What can be slightly overwhelming is their festive meal structure. Of course, Venetians do not follow this structure at every meal, but on special occasions, it might happen. Either way, having a classical festive Venetian meal could be a fun activity when you are visiting Venice. You can try to follow the pattern below:

  • Aperitivo – It opens a meal, where at a standing gathering, drinks such as wine, prosecco, or spritz are served with little snacks such as olives, crisps, and cheese.
  • Antipasto – A slightly heavier starter including meat-based snacks such as salami, mortadella, and prosciutto or sandwich-like dishes such as panino and bruschetta.
  • Primo – The first course of the meal, usually including non-meat dishes, most often risotto or different sorts of pasta.
  • Secondo – The second course of the meal, including meat-based dishes such as steak, pork or fish. Usually served together with a Contorno (side dish), like a salad.
  • Dolce – The dessert, after the main courses, is usually served as a sweet treat such as Tiramisu or Panna Cotta.
  • Digestivo – As the name suggests, it helps with the digestion of a long and heavy meal. It comes in the form of a fruity alcoholic drink such as Grappa or Limoncello.

Note that the structure might vary from restaurant to restaurant. Some restaurants might not have a structure at all, so you will need to find places around your location to complete your meal structure.

Where to eat in Venice

Colazione & Merenda

Majer Giudecca

Location: Fondamenta Sant’Eufemia, 461 | Near Palanca
Opening: Mon-Sun 07:00 – 22:00
Reservation: Not Needed

Majer Giudecca is a refined and innovative restaurant with an open kitchen, specialized in grilled dishes. The place has forty seats divided between the inner hall and the external terrace overlooking the Giudecca Canal.

It is important to notice that you will not be able to get here on foot, as Majer is located on the Giudecca island. But the food here is definitely worth the Vaporetto trip, which will last less than two minutes. Also, there are plenty of things to see in Giudecca, so Majer can be your first stop after waking up.

Although Majer is known for its amazing Wagyu meat, a highly prized Japanese beef, I definitely love their sweet snacks. Whenever I go to Majer, its almost always early in the morning, so I can enjoy some muffins and an espresso (or a couple of them), while watching the canal.

Correr Café

Location: Piazza San Marco, 52 | Saint Mark’s Square
Opening: Mon-Sun 10:30 – 17:00
Reservation: Not Needed

Since 2013, you can have an amazing breakfast while overlooking the most spectacular view of Saint Mark’s Square, and that thanks to the café at the Correr Museum. Located on the first floor of the Royal Palace of Venice next to the bookshop and the ticket office, the cafeteria is open also to non-visitors of the museum.

With 135 square meters in size and furnishing inspired by the Imperial style, the Correr Café is the perfect place to meet friends before a walk downtown. Apart from the wonderful view, the Museum is at the heart of the city, and within walking distance of other beautiful things to see in Venice.

On a special note, every first and third Sunday of the month you can enjoy a lovely brunch with a selected seat with a view of Saint Mark’s Basilica.

Despite being located in Saint Mark’s Square, this place is not as expensive as you might think. Whenever I am here, I always order a freshly-pressed orange juice with a San Marco, which is a toasted Club Sandwich with bacon, egg, cheese, lettuce, and tomato.

Aperitivo & Antipasto

Café Noir

Location: Crosera San Pantalon 3805 | Dorsoduro
Opening: Mon-Fri 11:00 – 02:00, Sat-Sun 19:00 – 00:20
Reservation: Not Needed

Café Noir is a lovely and quiet place downtown near Ca’ Foscari University. It is mostly a meeting point for young people, but you will find all the demographics there. The reason is simple: great and tasty food for cheap, in a very relaxed environment.

The place is not enormous but is definitely cozy. After you make the order on the counter, you can either get a table or sit by the huge window to get a view of the little streets that lead there.

The Café is known for its variety of sandwiches, but I often go there for a light aperitivo, meaning two Spritz Veneziani and a bowl of nachos or chips. It never gets more expensive than 5 EUR, so you are in for a treat.

Bacarando In Corte dell’Orso

Location: San Marco, 5495 | Near the Rialto Bridge
Opening: Sun-Fri 12:00 – 00:00, Sat 12:00 – 01:30
Reservation: bacarando.com/

The Bacarando In Corte dell’Orso will a bit difficult to find, since it is located inside a little alley-maze near the Rialto bridge, but is definitely a hidden gem in Venice. The place brags of its huge collection of more than 700 varieties of spirits and 100 wine labels, as well as a menu of carefully created cocktails.

Not only known for snacks, the Bacarando also serves lunch and dinner in a lovely atmosphere on the upper floor. But that is not the main reason why everyone loves this place. They have the best Cicchetti I have ever eaten in my life, so they definitely deserve their name, as “bàcari” stands for a Cicchetti bar.

No need to say that Cicchetti and Spritz Veneziano are a must here. They are so tasty that you actually need to be careful not to eat too many. After all, this is only an entrance before the main course, and you still need to eat pasta and meat after this.

Primo & Secondo

Taverna San Trovaso

Location: Calle Contarini Corfù, 1016 | Near Zattere
Opening: Mon-Sun 12:00 – 14:45, 18:45 – 21:30
Reservation: tavernasantrovaso.it/en/

If you want to try traditional Venetian cuisine, Taverna San Trovaso is the place for you. Venetian cuisine stems from the creativity of mixing hinterland ingredients with the fish from the nearby sea, and this place is proud of having mastered cooking traditional local food and elevating it to art.

This tavern, although far away from the major attraction in the city, gets full pretty quickly after opening its doors. Do not let the name Taverna fool you, this is a relatively expensive place with high-quality food, so it is definitely not for the budget travelers.

My favorite thing to eat in this place is the scallops filled with shrimp risotto, covered with porcini mushrooms. Another thing I cannot emphasize enough is that you should get the wine of the house, as it is extremely tasty and harmonizes perfectly with the food you are eating. If you do not know which wine to ask for, the staff will be glad to help. They also speak many major European languages.

Taverna Al Remer

Location: Cannaregio, 5701 | On the other side of Rialto Market
Opening: Mon-Sun 12:00 – 23:30
Reservation: alremer.it/

Here is another hidden gem I found in Venice when I was studying there. It is honestly a bit difficult to find your way to Taverna Al Remer, as not only the path is a bit labyrinthic but also your GPS stops working when you get around two blocks close to it. No idea why. But once you are there, you will understand why it is so special.

If you are planning a romantic dinner, this is the place for you. Candle-lit environment, well-dressed and extremely polite staff, great food and wine, and a direct view to the Grand Canal from the outside. Just make sure you get a reservation because the place fills up really fast.

The reason I come here is their Secondo, as they have great seafood. My favorite dish from the place is the grilled prawns and shrimps, tastes amazing with a bit of olive oil and lemon, together with some quality white wine from the house.

Dolce & Digestivo

Al Timon Eno-Ostarie

Location: Fondamenta dei Ormesini, 2754 | Near the Jewish Museum
Opening: Mon-Sat 17:00 – 01:00, Sun 11:00 – 01:00
Reservation: altimon.it/

Al Timon is a great steakhouse at the heart of Cannaregio, the 16th-century Jewish Ghetto. This is the perfect location to escape the waves of tourists coming from the city center and enjoy traditional food in a place loved by locals.

They serve their wonderful steaks in decorated meat-boards, and in case you came just for snacks, during summer you can eat your Cicchetti and drink your wine on one of their boats outside on the canal.

Although their food is wonderful, I mostly come here for their Tiramisu and Panna Cotta. I have yet to taste dessert better than the ones they serve here. After the dessert you can, of course, have a drink to help with the digestion of your meal, I would suggest dry Grappa, as theirs is local and excellent.

Cioccolateria VizioVirtù

Location: Castello 5988 | Near the Rialto Bridge
Opening: Mon-Sun 10:00 – 19:00
Reservation: Not Needed

VizioVirtù is heaven for chocolate lovers. They not only own this lovely shop but also have their own chocolate factory where they create the most exquisite recipes to satisfy the most demanding palates.

The place offers chocolate workshops where you can cook truffles and mousses with them. You will learn how to temper chocolate and, of course, how to make drinking chocolate. In case you are out of time, you can simply show up and get a small lecture on chocolate history, as well as try the most important flavors.

Whenever I am around Rialto and ready for a quick bite of something sweet, I come here for their chocolate pie and some double/triple/quadruple espresso. You definitely need an energy boost when exploring Venice, so here is the place to get sugar and caffeine, both in a delicious form.

Best Restaurants In Prague (Czechia): What & Where To Eat

Nothing better to experience the spirit of the Czech Republic’s capital than to try the local food, made with fresh ingredients in the best restaurants in town! Here is my personal list of the best restaurants in Prague.

Coffee & Breakfast

The Café scene in Prague has been going strong for over a hundred years, with great historical names such as Kafka and Einstein taking part in it. Enjoy the best the top local cafés have to offer.

Café Louvre

Location: Národní 22, 110 00 Nové Město | Near Franz Kafka’s Head
Opening: Mon-Fri 08:00 – 23:30, Sat-Sun 09:00 23:30
Reservation: cafelouvre.cz/en

Opening its doors in 1902, Café Louvre remains to this day one of the top meetup places in Prague. Throughout the decades it has managed to graciously preserve its café traditions. I can guarantee the experience you have there will be the same Franz Kafka, Albert Einstein, and T. G. Masaryk had once they visited the place. 

Café Louvre is very spacious, and the big windows give you a lovely view of the old buildings around the block. The service is fast and efficient, treating visitors like royalty. Expect the place to be full at all times, so making a reservation would be preferable if you wish to avoid having no seat.

To get the maximum out of the experience, I would hight recommend the house’s traditional Czech breakfast which contains freshly squeezed orange juice, ham from bone and Czech cheeses, boiled egg (set white, runny yolk), fresh cream cheese, and Apple Gugelhupf cake.

Grand Café Orient

Location: Ovocný trh 19, 110 00 Staré Město | Above the Museum of Cubism
Opening: Mon-Fri 09:00 – 22:00, Sat-Sun 10:00 22:00
Reservation: grandcafeorient.cz/en/

If you are a fan of design and architecture, you will love the Grand Café Orient. Designed by the architect Josef Gočár, the building itself is one of the iconic works of Czech Cubism. The Orient was created in 1912 in the “House of the Black Madonna”. The name comes from the black baroque figure, which is attached to the corner of the building.

The Grand Café Orient is not as big as other Cafés in Prague, so a reservation is highly advised. The staff is very friendly and humorous, especially after they see you are becoming regular. I went so many times to this place that at this point one of the waiters already knows what I want to eat, and serves the order while singing.

My definite go for the place would be a tasty hot chocolate accompanied by the famous ‘Kubistický věneček’, a Czech sweet which is originally round, but for cubist reasons is served here in a square shape. 

Kafe Damu

Location: Karlova 26, 110 00 Staré Město | Near the Charle’s Bridge
Opening: Mon-Sat 09:00 – 00:00, Sun 16:00 00:00
Reservation: None Required

Kafe Damu is right near the city’s theatre school, which actually belongs to the university. They are the perfect pick for a relaxed atmosphere with a lot of youth. The place not only serves good coffee but has a great selection of alcoholic drinks.

The place has generally a very relaxed atmosphere and the coming and going of clients makes it very busy, but there is no need for a reservation, you can simply just wait for a table to get empty or seat by one of the windows. You will eventually see people with accentuated made up and clothing as they enter and leave the theatre school, so do not be surprised.

My pick for the place during colder months is the ‘Svařené víno’, mulled wine served with a slice of orange and sweetened with browns sugar. Make sure to drink some right before the sunset and head down to the Charle’s Bridge for an unforgettable view.

Traditional Czech Food

Traditional Czech food is very central-European, which means a lot of meet with vegetables and beer. The best part is that it does not need to come at a high cost, so you can enjoy state-of-the-art meals for cheap.

Lokal

Location: Míšeňská 12, 110 00 Malá Strana | Near the Charle’s Bridge
Opening: Mon-Thu 11:30 – 00:00, Fri-Sat 11:30 01:00, Sun 11:30 – 00:00
Reservation: lokal-ubilekuzelky.ambi.cz/en/

There are many ‘Lokals’ spread around Prague, but my favorite is definitely ‘U Bílé kuželky’. As the name suggests, they serve great quality local food for very low prices. Apart from that, they have one of the best and cheapest beers in town.

Do not lose your hope of getting a seat once you step into the place. Although the place is almost always full, given that it is near the other end of the Charle’s bridge, you can ask to go to their cellar. There you will find a cozier atmosphere and peace to enjoy your quality meals. Everything prepared here uses only fresh ingredients and spices sourced from renowned regional suppliers.

Here my favorite dish is the duck breast with groat risotto. It is one of the most expensive dishes in the place and stands at around 10 EUR. Together, you can order a traditional Pilsner beer and then choose from a Hladinka, a Šnyt, or a Mliko, standing at less than 2 EUR. 

Next Door

Location: Zlatnická 1126/3, 110 00 Nové Město | Near Café Imperial
Opening: Mon-Sun 07:00 – 23:00
Reservation: next-door.cz/en/

If you have a very demanding palate, Next Door is the place for you. The restaurant is headed by Zdeněk Pohlreich, one of the best chefs in the Czech Republic. Everything here is prepared with extreme caution, and the ingredients are mixed and elevated to the state of art. The way the flavors harmonize inside your mouth will make you want to order more than once.

Again, the place is busy and it would be extremely recommendable to make a reservation. One of the things that really stands out here, apart from the obviously perfect food, is the service. Throughout your whole experience, you will be guided on the best dishes and drinks of the house.

My pick for this place is the braised cheeks of suckling pig, served on dark beer sauce, mashed potatoes, and roasted root vegetables. I can guarantee you will not regret this choice. The mixture of flavors from the dark beer sauce and the mashed potatoes together with the tenderness of the pig’s cheeks will not be easy to forget.

Kantýna

Location: Politických vězňů 1511/5, 110 00 Nové Město | Near the Station
Opening: Mon-Sun 11:30 – 23:00
Reservation: kantyna.ambi.cz/en/

Kantýna is a modern Czech restaurant that occupies the building which once belonged to a bank. Here you have a choice to sit or stand by one of the counters, while you enjoy one of the places with the best meat in town.

Here you have three main options, you can order a ready meal from the menu, you can choose from the cooked meats on the counter, or you can actually select a cut of raw meat to be grilled especially for you. Your choice will be noted down on the scorecard given to you at the entrance and you will pay with it as you exit.

The food varies a lot between the days, so I usually stick to their pick of the day for ready meats. A meatloaf with some cooked cabbage is my most often pick. Of course, because this is the Czech Republic, you can also get one or maybe more beers to go with your food.

International Cuisine

Prague also has a very vivid international cuisine, so you can find many international restaurants all over the city. These will tend to be more expensive than Czech traditional food, but worth the price on special occasions.

La Boca

Location: Truhlářská 10, 110 00 Petrská čtvrť | Near the Palladium
Opening: Mon-Sun 08:00 – 23:00
Reservation: laboca.cz/

La Boca is a distinctive district of Buenos Aires, famed for its vivid colors and excellent food. The district is known for its Italian and Spanish immigration, creating an interesting cultural mix. And this is the inspiration behind this lovely restaurant.

The restaurant is colorful and vibrant, with live ethnic music at night. But if you prefer a more private and quiet atmosphere, the staff can take you to one of their rooms on the back, where you can relax and enjoy your evening.

If you have company, you should definitely pick their ‘Parillada de Carne para 2 personas’, which comes with Argentinian rump steak, entrecote and Bife Ancosto steak, grilled egg, Txistorra sausage, roasted potatoes, grilled vegetables, mixed salad, as well as salsas chimichurri, mojo picon, and allioli.

Yami Sushi

Location: Masná 1051/3, 110 00 Staré Město | Near the Slavic Gymnasium
Opening: Mon-Sun 12:00 – 23:00
Reservation: yami.cz/en/

You cannot go wrong with sushi, and this is why Yami Sushi is one of the best places in town for a relaxed and light evening in Prague. The great Japanese food and the quiet ambiance make for an excellent place for a romantic dinner, for example.

Here you can sit at the sushi bar and watch the chefs preparing your food right in front of you, enjoy your meal at one of their comfortable tables or simply chill out at their summer garden.

This place is perfect for very light meals, so my top pick is a set of sake sashimi with simple carbonated water. But if you are ready for more food, you can pick one of their sushi sets, accompanied by a great sake.