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Nyelv kiválasztása: Magyar

50 restaurants not to miss at Lake Balaton

Wine & Gastronomy - Articles

Wednesday, August 30, 2017 — Ádám Farkas

Photo: Heim Alexandra - We Love Balaton

It would have been hard to collect 50 outstanding restaurants around Balaton a few years ago. Now we easily put together a gigantic list due to all the new openings and discoveries of the past years. The challenge these days is that there’s always a new name that comes to mind and that we would like to add to the list. We behaved ourselves and drew a line: any one of these 50 places are worth a visit if you’re in the region.

Alsóörs Marina Restaurant

Photo: Tamás Kőrösi - We Love Balaton

Alsóörs Marina

8226 Alsóörs, Sirály park 2.
Alsóörs Marina on facebook
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Marine life is not only about upturned collars, pushed up sunglasses, and overpriced services. The friendly and beautiful yacht clubs of Alsóörs and Balatonfenyves are great examples of this – they welcome everyone with open arms at the two restaurants led by executive chef Gergely Orosz. Renowned culinary consultant, Viktor Segal also helped developing the menus.

What to eat here?
The classics, in good quality – rosé duck breast, maybe the tender gypsy stake.

How much is it?
The prices aren’t too horrible compared to other yacht clubs: soups are available for 1,090 forints, main courses are priced between 3-4 thousand forints.

Apáti Restaurant and Café – Sajkod

Photo: Tamás Kőrösi - We Love Balaton

Apáti Restaurant and Café

8237 Tihany-Sajkod, Romkápolna utca 2.
Apáti Restaurant and Café on facebook
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Apáti in Sajkod is the place to visit if we don’t have the time and funds to go to Naples for a pizza – the quality will be almost the same. It’s probably no wonder that many people come here from far corners of the country just to have a slice. And that’s not all: the first menu was put together by a legendary Hungarian chef, Lajos Takács, which means that here we can have duck liver pâté steamed in Tokaji wine.  

What to eat here?
Pizza by all means.

How much is it?
Pizzas cost between 1,850 and 2,350 forints, appetizers are around 1,000 forints, and main courses start at 2,000 forints.

Baricska Csárda – Balatonfüred

Photo: Tamás Kőrösi - We Love Balaton

Baricska Csárda

8230 Balatonfüred, Baricska dűlő
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The management of Chianti took over the legendary Baricska in 2013; since then they’ve been making the Hungarian-style courses with a twist every summer. The wild boar rillette with truffles arrives with fennel, while the duck leg is served with Röstis made with ramsons.

What to eat here?
The reinvented Hungarian cuisine from A to Z.

How much is it?
A main course is priced around 2-3 thousand forints.

Bistro Sparhelt – Balatonfüred

Photo: Blanka Sebestyén - We Love Balaton

Bistro Sparhelt

8230 Balatonfüred, Szent István tér 7.
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An eye-catching design, a talented chef, Instagram-worthy meals – Sparhelt is rightfully one of the most popular restaurants of Balaton. They started growing their own vegetables so that they can use truly local ingredients; the menu is also renewed every month according to what’s in season.

What to eat here?
Meals your grandmother couldn’t make at home – they have plenty of such courses.

How much is it?
It’s perfect for a serious, fancy dinner: main courses are priced around 3-5 thousand forints, but you’ll probably also want have dessert and a good wine.

Bock Bistro Balaton – Vonyarcvashegy

Photo: Blanka Sebestyén - We Love Balaton

Bock Bistro Balaton

8314 Vonyarcvashegy, Helikon utca 22.
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Following his success in Budapest, Lajos Bíró brought his restaurant to Vonyarcvashegy as well. Many sources reported that, considering the price, the quality of the kitchen is unbalanced, however, we had more great meals here than bad.

What to eat here?
Knowing Lajos Bíró, the vegetable stew and a decent meat like pork or veal are great choices.

How much is it?
Bock’s quality and the view from the terrace set the price of appetizers around 2-3 thousand forints while main courses cost about 4,000 forints.

Carpaccio Restaurant – Alsóörs

Photo: Csongor Kiripolszky - We Love Balaton

Carpaccio Restaurant

8226 Alsóörs, Szent István utca 40.
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The bests aren’t always the ones that spent the most time in school, and Carpaccio in Alsóörs is a great example of that – the restaurant of a long-distance runner who lives part time in Italy is now a favored place of guests who are used to the best restaurants.

What to eat here?
Light, Italian courses. And it’s good to hurry if they happen to have Venetian calf liver as it will be gone in a few hours!

How much is it?
2,500-4,000 forints for a main course, while the pizzas are around 1,700-2,600 forints.

Chateau Visz Gourmet Restaurant – Somogytúr

Photo: Tamás Kőrösi - We Love Balaton

Chateau Visz Gourmet Restaurant

Details

Two things make the aristocratic castle hotel of Chatau Visz so special: there’s no phone reception here, and Hungary’s only fine dining restaurant outside of the capital can be found here – it was even named the Restaurant of the Year in 2010. Lentil salad served with steamed milk, butternut squash pottage velouté with local ingredients, and a headwaiter who explains all the details.

What to eat here?
3, 4, 5, 6, or even 7 course menus.

How much is it?
The price of the menus are not for those on a budget: these are priced between 16,500 and 28,500 forints, and the wine degustations that go with them are available from 5,000 to 12,500 forints.

CODE ZERO – Csopak

Photo: Alexandra Heim - We Love Balaton

CODE ZERO

8229 Csopak, Örkény István sétány 8-16.
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The new-wave moved to Csopak in the form of a flaming red building made from two containers, where they grill meats marinated in Port wine and other street food wonders on the Kamado grill. We can even moor with a sailboat at this waterside bar.

What to eat here?
Beef, shrimp, zander fillet – and it’s also worth to stop by for a fröccs.

How much is it?
A portion of meat with a side and salad can be put together for 3,000 forints.

Egy Csipet Nádas – Siófok

Photo: Blanka Sebestyén - We Love Balaton

Egy Csipet Nádas

8611 Siófok, Töreki utca 40.
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We would expect to see a study trail and a rich fauna instead of a restaurant deep in the forest of Töreki, this is why it’s surprising to stumble upon Egy Csipet Nádas. Their aim is to have an innovative kitchen that uses local ingredients – they have their own herb garden and they make their own lavender syrup, plus they also organize a gastro festival in spring.

What to eat here?
They have a themed menu every weekend – sometimes it’s about Thai food, sometimes it’s all about beef.

How much is it?
A main course is at least 2,000 forints but we can more likely count with 3,000 HUF.

Farm Inn – Zalacsány

Photo: Tamás Kőrösi - We Love Balaton

Farm Inn

8782 Zalacsány, Örvényeshegy 20.
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A German dental technician turned chef and a landlady from Upper Hungary manage a restaurant in a quiet corner of Zala that looks like a simple inn from the outside but inside it has great creations from seasonal produce – usually with a Hungarian twist.

What to eat here?
The traditional Hungarian courses, especially the mangalica.

How much is it?
A main course is around 2-4 thousand forints.

Fricska – Veszprém

Photo: Attila Trenka - We Love Balaton

Fricska

8200 Veszprém, Miklós utca 10.
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This placed changed a lot compared to last year: they redecorated the interior and renewed the menu entirely. The latter act was mainly thanks to Ádám Mede, who arrived from the Michelin-starred Costes Downtown. They would like to fine-tune the place to have more of a bistro vibe instead of the old ruin pub one – however, the popular burgers remain.

What to eat here?
Most people have burgers here but the more serious courses are worth a try as well.

How much?
Main courses start around 2,000 forints but they have meals for 4,000 forints as well.

Hegyi Csárda – Balatonlelle

Photo: Hegyi Csárda

Hegyi Csárda Balatonlelle-Kishegy

8638 Balatonlelle-Kishegy, 0107/31 hrsz.
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When we’re talking about Balatonlelle, we must mention that it’s really worth climbing up Kishegy – and not only because of the view. Hegyi Csárda reinvents while staying in their own lane: they have a good and reliable Hungarian cuisine here. They have their own herb garden, their view is A+ just like the mákosguba (poppy seed bread pudding).

What to eat here?
Anything they cook in the oven, but a dessert before leaving is also a good idea.

How much is it?
Main courses are around 2-3 thousand forints, while soups and desserts are available from 700 forints.

Horváth House Restaurant and Wine Gallery – Balatonfüred

Photo: Tamás Kőrösi - We Love Balaton

Horváth House Wine Gallery

8230 Balatonfüred, Gyógy tér 3.
Horváth House Wine Gallery on facebook
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The elegant Horváth House Restaurant is located in a cellar at the end of Blaha Lujza Street in Balatonfüred – however, everybody’s trying to get a seat on the terrace in summer. It’s a grand place with a short but substantial menu with a quality high above the Balaton-average. It’s best to make a reservation since the place have many regulars.

What to eat here?
It probably won’t be too hard to make a good choice with such a short menu, but we would recommend asking about the seasonal courses – we had an exceptionally great cream of asparagus soup here.

How much is it?
Main courses are usually around 3-4 thousand forints.

Hubertus-Hof Hotel & Restaurant – Balatonfenyves

Photo: Csongor Kiripolszky - We Love Balaton

Hubertus-Hof Hotel & Restaurant

8646 Balatonfenyves, Nimród utca 1.
Hubertus-Hof Hotel & Restaurant on facebook
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Hubertus-Hof might look like the home of world-champion hunter: it’s only a little exaggeration to say that there are more deer antlers here than at the Museum of Natural History. That’s on purpose of course as game meat is in the spotlight on the menu, including venison, boar, and mallard. A German family owns the place – they started breeding Angus cattle in the ‘90s, and by now many renowned Balaton-restaurants buy the ingredients for impressive steaks from them.

What to eat here?
We definitely can’t skip the steak if we are here – it comes straight from the area and not from the other side of the ocean.

How much is it? 
The main courses are priced between 2,000 and 4,000 forints.

Il Mercato Restaurant – Balatonakarattya

Photo: Tamás Kőrösi - We Love Balaton

Spoon il Mercato Restaurant

8172 Balatonakarattya, Rákóczi út 44.
Spoon il Mercato Restaurant on facebook
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If you leave motorway M7 at Balatonakarattya and drive along Road 71 towards the north shore, you can’t miss Il Mercato. Don’t be surprised: the old Ford on the rooftop in the back garden isn’t the leftover of last night’s party.

What to eat here?
They have exquisite pizzas that they bake in a wood-fired oven.

How much is it?
A margherita is around 1,900 forints, a more extra version costs above 2,000 forints.

Istvándy Winery – Káptalantóti

Photo: Tamás Kőrösi - We Love Balaton

Istvándy Winery

8283 Káptalantóti, Hegymőg dűlő
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With such a gorgeous view, the terrace of Gergő Istvándy would be full with people even if the winery only sold cheap wine and deep-frozen French fries with cordon bleu. Fortunately that’s not the case, otherwise they wouldn’t be on our list. The kitchen is managed by Gergő’s sister – who, by the way, learned the tricks from the legendary chef Lajos Bíró at Bock Bistro.

What to eat here?
Anything from the daily special, but it’s also worth noting that they breed their own mangalica and cattle so these are also great choices.

How much is it?
It’s going to cost a pretty fortune, but it’s worth it. The main courses are all priced 3,900 forints.

Káli Art Inn – Köveskál

Photo: Tamás Kőrösi - We Love Balaton

Káli Art Inn****

8274 Köveskál, Fő utca 6-8.
Káli Art Inn**** on facebook
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A four-star hotel doesn’t necessarily operate with metal and glass surfaces and has flags above its entrance – it can be like the house of a grandmother, only in luxury edition. Káli Art Inn is exactly like that. Instead of international cuisine and a sterile environment, the kitchen here is the modern equivalent of the Hungarian cuisine in the 19th century. If we only want to come here to eat, we have to call and make an appointment in advance.

What to eat here?
They mainly serve the guests of the hotel, but we can also try their fixed, four-course dinner if there’s a free table.

How much is it?
Dinner with mineral water and coffee costs 8,500 forints at the moment.

Kalóz – Fövenyes

Photo: Alexandra Heim - We Love Balaton

Kalóz

8242 Balatonudvari-Fövenyes, Strand utca 1.
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A beach buffet among the restaurants might seem weird at first, but Kalóz in Fövenyes has changed the traditional buffet-style entirely (with the help of their new chef, Bálint Kocsis), so we would definitely come here for dinner. Plus: there’re rarely any other places so close to the water like this.

What to eat here?
Besides their classic beach food (catfish & chips, Gourmet burger), they have a new special offer every weekend – like the lavender strawberry soup or the sauerkraut stew.

How much is it?
We can fill our bellies with their main courses for even 2,000 forints, but a dinner is only a dinner if a dessert is involved.

Kastélypince – Keszthely

Photo: Tamás Kőrösi - We Love Balaton

Castle Cellar

8360 Keszthely, Festetics kastély
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Festetics Palace is not only remarkable for its Baroque magnificence and the slippery slippers we have to wear there, but also for the restaurant in the cellar that is now inhabited by the team of Vilmos Kreil who's an expert of Hungarian wines and gained a lot of experience abroad.

What to eat here?
You can only have lunch here, something different every day. It’s best to make a reservation in advance.

How much is it?
A main course costs between 1,800 and 3,000 forints.

Kishableány – Badacsonytomaj

Photo: Alexandra Heim - We Love Balaton

Kishableány Terrace

8261 Badacsonytomaj, Park utca 1.
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Although the former chef of this cool terrace in Badacsony left to open beach buffets, the place haven't changed entirely. They are still representing the beach food genre – the quality version of it, the one that uses local ingredients. They even have a few innovations in store, like the beetroot salad, or the so called MEKK Málna sandwich that has goat cheese and raspberry in it.

What to eat here?
The crowd-favorite basalt burgers or the Big MEKK (which was named Beach Food of the Year last year) are great choices.

How much is it?
We’ll have to spend about 2-3 thousand forints to fill our bellies.

Kistücsök – Balatonszemes

Photo: Kistücsök Étterem

Kistücsök Restaurant

8636 Balatonszemes, Bajcsy Zsilinszky út 25.
Kistücsök Restaurant on facebook
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Kistücsök is the star of Lake Balaton: during the past 20 years, the place turned from a traditional inn into a top notch restaurant under the leadership of Balázs Csapody – and it still managed to stay charming.

What to eat here?
A five course meal will provide the whole picture of Kistücsök’s success.

How much is it?
The prices aren’t sky-high despite the fame. The five course menu called “Flavors of our region” costs 9,900 forints; the main courses are priced around 3-5 thousand forints.

Kővirág Pension and Restaurant – Köveskál

Photo: Tamás Kőrösi - We Love Balaton

Kővirág Pension and Restaurant

8274 Köveskál, Fő út 9/a
Kővirág Pension and Restaurant on facebook
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One of the bests in the Balaton Uplands. Kővirág has grown a lot, and it’s safe to stay that it’s now a fashionable spot. The kitchen, the menu that’s written on boards, the Provencal-looking garden are all exceptionally professional, just like their Instagram and Facebook posts they use for sharing this.

What to eat here?
They don’t have permanent offers, but the crowd-favorites return every now and then. We’re still not over the fried veal and the curd dumplings.

How much is it?
The selection changes daily, but the main courses usually cost about 2-4 thousand forints.

Kreinbacher Winery – Somlóvásárhely

Photo: Tamás Kőrösi - We Love Balaton

Kreinbacher Winery

8481 Somlóvásárhely, Somló hegy, 909. hrsz.
Kreinbacher Winery on facebook
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Kreinbacher Winery is not only known for its wines, champagnes, and award-winning design, but also for its restaurant, wine-bar, and rooms: instead of wellness facilities, they await guests with silence-tourism. Their bistro-style restaurant uses quality ingredients with a short, seasonal menu and a daily special.

What to eat here?
Besides their seasonal and daily offers, they also have breakfasts, gourmet-specials, and wine dinners (the latter is only available if we book it for at least 10 people). Of course their champagnes are also worth a try, and everyone should try the salmon with the Brut Nature.

How much is it?
A soup is 990 forints while main courses are priced between 2,690 and 3,490 forints.

Kristinus Gastro Workshop – Kéthely

Photo: Tamás Kőrösi - We Love Balaton

Kristinus Gastro Workshop

8713 Kéthely, Hunyadi utca 99.
Kristinus Gastro Workshop on facebook
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Kristinus isn’t only a wine estate, but also an adventurous fine dining restaurant due to their Gastro Workshop – here they basically only tell us the ingredients for our meal while the result will be a surprise. Fortunately, it’s a pleasant one. The country’s only Vinocino (wine-cinema) also operates here: we can have breadsticks with two types of dips instead of the classic popcorn and Coke combination.

What to eat here?
The meals are recommended to go with the wines here and not the other way around, so the choice depends on our preferred drink.

How much is it?
It’s not cheap – starters are available from 1,300 forints, while the main courses are priced between 1,700 and 3,700 forints.

Majthényi Press House – Balatonlelle

Photo: Blanka Sebestyén - We Love Balaton

Majthényi Press House

8638 Balatonlelle, Kishegy-telep, Panoráma utca (Szent Donát Kápolna mellett)
Majthényi Press House on facebook
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The hundreds of years old building of Majtényi Press House is located next to Szent Donát Chapel on the top of Kishegy in Balatonlelle – the winemaker Konyári family manages a restaurant here. The menu has classic courses, and on a clear day you can even see Tihany from their terrace.

What to eat here?
The menu has traditional items and all of them are great choices.

How much is it?
Soups are under a thousand, the main courses are around 2-3 thousand forints.

Mala Garden – Siófok

Photo: Blanka Sebestyén - We Love Balaton

Mala Garden****

8600 Siófok, Petőfi sétány 15/a
Mala Garden**** on facebook
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Hidden among the uniform hotels of Siófok, Mala Garden is where east and west meets. The kitchen has Hungarian cuisine with a twist as well Thai and Malaysian courses, while you can also get a big dosage of the Balinese style – all of this only a few hundred meters away from the Balaton shore.

What to eat here?
Far Eastern meals for sure, but the goose liver marinated in Tokaj-wine, and the white chocolate and poppy seed pie are also amazing.

How much is it?
A starter can cost us two thousand forints, but the main courses are more likely to be priced around 3-4 thousand forints.

Malackrumpli Bisztró – Tihany

Photo: Alexandra Heim - We Love Balaton

Malackrumpli Bisztró

8237 Tihany, Kossuth Lajos utca 14.
Malackrumpli Bisztró on facebook
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Malackrumpli recently moved from Balatonfüred to Tihany – only time can tell if it will work out, but the quality of their kitchen is still one of the best on the north shore. They have international meals as well, while keeping the classic Hungarian courses too, and the ingredients remain the best due to the bio-obsession of the owner, Tamás Járosi. They also have another unit in the center of Balatonfüred that they share with BRKLYN.

What to eat here?
If you want to eat pottage at Lake Balaton, eat it here; their pulled pork sandwich is also great.

How much is it?
It might be a little bit pricier with 3-4 thousand forints for a main course, but it’s worth it.

Mákvirág Winehouse and Restaurant – Révfülöp

Photo: Alexandra Heim - We Love Balaton

Mákvirág Winehouse and Restaurant

8253 Révfülöp, Petőfi utca 4.
Mákvirág Winehouse and Restaurant on facebook
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Mákvirág isn’t mentioned nearly enough – they are close to the beach yet they serve meals in their cozy garden that are way above what’s average on the shore.

What to eat here?
It would be a mistake not to try the duck liver paté with wine jelly.

How much is it?
Main courses cost around 3,000 forints, while the desserts are about 700 forints, which is really a great price compared to the Balaton-average.

MÁRGA Bistro – Csopak

Photo: Tamás Kőrösi - We Love Balaton

MÁRGA Bistro

8229 Csopak, Szitahegyi utca 28.
MÁRGA Bistro on facebook
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Although the staff has changed, the quality remains the same here, while the new goal is to grow as many of their own ingredients as they can. Márga is still one of the best on the north shore, and not only because of their view that’s like a feature for dinners here.

What to eat here?
Anything, but make sure to ask the waiters about the seasonal offers.

How much is it?
It’s not a secret that they are pricier than the average restaurant: a main course will cost around 4-5 thousand forints.

Maurus Restaurant and Wine Bar – Balatonfüred

Photo: Alexandra Heim - We Love Balaton

Maurus Restaurant and Wine Bar

8230 Balatonfüred, Aranyhíd sétány 6.
Maurus Restaurant and Wine Bar on facebook
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Maurus is located in Balatonfüred’s recently built residential area – it has a cool interior and an up-and-coming kitchen. They operate with a short bistro menu of high standard, and the only thing we miss here is that their selection hardly shows that we are on the Balaton-shore.

What to eat here?
If we’re all right with the fact that their kitchen is more international than local, it’s worth giving a chance to the veal and the salmon.

How much is it?
Main courses are priced around 3-4 thousand forints, but the soups and desserts are more expensive here than the average.

Mi a kő – The House of Káli-medence's Wines – Köveskál

Photo: Tamás Kőrösi - We Love Balaton

Mi a kő - The House of Káli-medence's Wines

Details

Tamás Trombitás used to make statues but he’s been managing his winery and restaurant is Köveskál for a while now. They remain innovative and Hungarian: don’t look for Italian pastas and Asian fusion cuisine here, but you’ll do find veal, butternut squash pottage, and lung stew.

What to eat here?
Don’t overcomplicate it. When the region is rich with paprika and tomato, go for a vegetable stew (“lecsó” in Hungarian).

How much is it?
Most main courses are around 2,000 forints, but some are priced above 3,000 forints.

Morzsa Bistro – Balatonfüred

Photo: Tamás Kőrösi - We Love Balaton

Morzsa Bistro

8230 Balatonfüred, Blaha Lujza u. 9.
Morzsa Bistro on facebook
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Morzsa started out as a food truck but now it operates as a bistro in Balatonfüred where they implement the original bistro-philosophy – so they make good meals quickly and simply. It’s a casual, homely place where we can even take our plates over to the neighboring Beer Balaton if we feel like it.

What to eat here?
The lunch menu that changes every day.

How much is it?
This is the place that we can visit multiple times a week: the summer offer has a soup and a main course for 2,200 forints.

Neked Főztem Gastropub– Zánka

Photo: Alexandra Heim - We Love Balaton

Neked Főztem Gastropub

8251 Zánka, Fő utca 7.
Neked Főztem Gastropub on facebook
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They started out as a beach buffet and now they have one of the trendsetting restaurants of the area of Zánka. The current offer is displayed on a board, and it always depends on what the owners, Csongor Horváth and his wife, Orsolya, can get freshly from the producers. They also have a very popular buffet at the local beach.

What to eat here?
Anything from the board, but you’ll probably love the catfish stew and the duck breast just as much as we did.

How much is it?
You can get a decent main course here for 2,000 forints, but the more serious meals start around 3,000 forints.

Nem Kacsa Étterem – Balatonfüred

Photo: Tamás Kőrösi - We Love Balaton

Nem Kacsa Restaurant

8230 Balatonfüred, Zákonyi Ferenc utca
Nem Kacsa Restaurant on facebook
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Balatonfüred changed a lot lately, but the adventurous Bistro Sparhelt stands out of all the great new places. The team never rests, one restaurant isn’t enough for them so they opened Nem Kacsa Restaurant last summer. The new place is just as unconventional as Sparhelt and we can stumble upon a lavender goat milk foam here any time. They try to use locally sourced ingredients whenever it's possible.

What to eat here?
We can experiment here and chefs Balázs Elek and Lajos Takács will lead our hands.

How much is it?
Soups are available for 1,290 forints, starters are about 2,000 forints, while main courses start around 2,000 and stop just above 3,000 forints.

Öreg Harang Tavern & Restaurant – Hévíz

Photo: Alexandra Heim - We Love Balaton

Öreg Harang Tavern & Restaurant

8380 Hévíz-Egregy, Zrínyi utca 181.
Öreg Harang Tavern & Restaurant on facebook
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Öreg Harag is hidden among the vineyards of Hévíz-Egregy, but that didn’t stop the critics of Gault&Millau – they found them and named the place the Eatery of the Year in 2013. The ancestors of owner Gábor Fásli were one of the first inhabitants of the village, and these roots define the selection as well: they only have Hungarian specialties that they serve in an environment that reflects this culture.

What to eat here?
A hearty mangalica tenderloin is a great choice.

How much is it?
It’s an inn, but not the cheapest kind: although we can get a soup for 1,090 forints, the abovementioned mangalica tenderloin costs 4,490 forints.

Paletta Bisztró – Keszthely

Photo: Tamás Kőrösi - We Love Balaton

Paletta Bistro

8360 Keszthely, Phoenix utca 1.
Paletta Bistro on facebook
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Managed by Dániel Bezerics, Paletta in the port of Balatonboglár was so successful that he decided to open a unit in Keszthely as well. Both places have the same philosophy: a slow but thorough kitchen mixed with the atmosphere of a port. Bezerics pays special attention to the ingredients as well: he knows Balaton like the back of his hand and he always knows where to go for cheese, bread, or vegetables.

What to eat here?
Their burgers are famous, but their Pulled Ponty (Pulled Carp) sandwich is also unique.

How much is it?
We can only get a small tapas or French fries under 1,000 forints; their largest burger is 3,300 forints.

Petrányi Cellar – Csopak

Photo: Petrányi Pince

Petrányi Cellar

8229 Csopak, Homokbánya út 31.
Petrányi Cellar on facebook
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Csopak could do with another restaurant – this was probably what the head of one of Ford’s branch companies and his wife, Piroska, must have thought when they opened their wine terrace last summer. Their children manage the company now, while the parents focus on what they love: István on wines, Piroska on the hospitality. Keep in mind that they are only open from Thursday to Sunday.

What to eat here?
Besides tasting the wines of the family winery, we can also have lunch or dinner. They have a short menu, with such rethought homely meals like the catfish stew with dumplings and sheep cheese.

How much is it?
The main courses are priced between 2,500 and 3,000 forints.

Pura Vida Dine – Tapolca

Photo: Blanka Sebestyén - We Love Balaton

Pura Vida Dine

8300 Tapolca, Fő tér 6-8.
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Pura Vida in Tapolca mixes the countryside atmosphere with a Mediterranean vibe because the owners lived in Spain for a few years – this is how there’s place for black clams as well as for traditional chicken meals. However, their wines are from the Balaton region.

What to eat here?
The current, daily offer that they prepare right in front of our eyes.

How much is it?
It won’t be a cheap lunch: main courses are priced between 3 and 6 thousand forints.

Rozmaring Kiskert Restaurant and Pizzeria – Siófok

Photo: Tamás Kőrösi - We Love Balaton

Rozmaring Kiskert Restaurant and Pizzeria

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Chef Sanyi and Waiter Sanyi keep working so that people can have the best pizza not in Naples but in Siófok. It’s true for all of their meals that they keep it simple, but they are always incredibly attentive to the things they do. The guests appreciate this and it’s rare that there’s a blank space in the notebook they write the reservations in.

What to eat here?
Pizza is always a good choice, but a mini Nutella calzone is also nice.

How much is it?
We can get great pizzas and pastas for 1-2 thousand forints, but the more special courses can cost twice as much.

Sáfránkert Restaurant – Paloznak

Photo: Sáfránkert

Sáfránkert Restaurant

8229 Paloznak, Fő utca 1.
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It’s a mystery why haven’t anyone else followed the example of Szabolcs Homola who opened a restaurant amid the tranquility of Paloznak. Sáfránkert started this summer with a new chef and the above-the-average quality is still a given here, just like their brilliant garden.

What to eat here?
Definitely try the mangalica spare ribs with Dijon mustard and the smoked trout; as a side you can always have seasonal pottage here.

How much is it?
A main course with a side dish is about 3,000-4,000 forints

Söptei Winery and Restaurant – Csopak

Photo: László Balkányi - We Love Balaton

Söptei Winery and Restaurant

8229 Csopak, Istenfia utca 5.
Söptei Winery and Restaurant on facebook
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It’s sort of a surreal experience to eat meals that they would serve at Michaelin-starred restaurants of metropolises in a seemingly regular cellar amid vineyards. The Söpteis were made for this, one can’t leave from here without tasting one of their amazing Welschrieslings or one of their meals from the board.

What to eat here?
Anything from the board. We found the ginger walleye and the duck breast served with celery and beetroot gnocchi especially interesting.

How much is it?
The prices and the quality are above the average; main courses cost between 2,000 and 4,000 forints.

Szászi Cellar – Hegymagas

Photo: Tamás Kőrösi - We Love Balaton

Szászi Cellar

8265 Szent György-hegy, 035/7. hrsz.
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Szászi family stands out here with their own herb garden and local suppliers, not to mention that certain Szászi terrace that’s just beyond amazing.

What to eat here?
There’s plenty to choose from: the apricot cream soup arrives with goat cheese and pistachios, but they also have plain fried chicken with mashed potatoes and cranberries.

How much is it?
Main courses are available for 3,000-4,000 forints.

Tagyon Estate – Tagyon

Photo: Attila Trenka - We Love Balaton

Tagyon Estate

8272 Tagyon, Tagyon-hegy dűlő
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This is a place where you can relax – Tagyon Estate believes in the pura vida, which is Spanish for pure life, meaning that all is well the way it is. Of course that doesn’t mean that they don’t try to perfect the menu. They opened ERESZ Wine Bistro on the estate this year which they operate together with the former managers of Zsóka fogadója.

What to eat here?
Go for a sailing trip with them and have a multi-course gourmet dinner at the end of the day to which they even invite a well-known winemaker.

How much is it?
A soup is 1,090 forints, a main course is around 2-3 thousand forints.

Terazza Bistro & Bar – Sümeg

Photo: Tamás Kőrösi - We Love Balaton

Terazza Bistro & Bar

8330 Sümeg, Csalogány utca 7.
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Although Terrazza is much further away from Lake Balaton than most other restaurants on our list, the drive there is worth it. First, we have a view of Sümeg Castle, but the kitchen is also something else. A duo of chefs (Ádám Tóth and Dániel Bognár) work here with their own herb garden and locally sourced ingredients, reinventing such classic meals as the green pea stew or the boar stew. Both the serving and the meals are extra, so it’s an ideal destination for those who have gourmet tendencies.

What to eat here?
Anything from the menu that changes every two weeks.

How much is it?
The view and the meals make it a bit pricier: main courses cost between 2,500 and 4,500 forints.

Vígmolnár Csárda – Csopak

Photo: Csongor Kiripolszky - We Love Balaton

Vígmolnár Csárda

8229 Csopak, Kőkorsó utca 1.
Vígmolnár Csárda on facebook
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Vígmolnár used to be the home of a water mill in the ‘50s and ‘60s, then it became an inn. Unfortunately it wasn’t the best kind and soon it was gone, but, thanks to the new team, it rose like a phoenix from its ashes in 2011. The interior is moderately elegant and the menu has typical inn-style meals, but in a more creative way that delivers a quality way above the average.

What to eat here?
The things you would at an inn: homely soups and tasty meats.

How much is it?
Main courses start at 3,000 forints, an abundant inn-plate that’s enough for two is 7,600 HUF.

Villa Kabala – Szigliget

Photo: Tamás Kőrösi - We Love Balaton

Villa Kabala

8264 Szigliget, Kamonkői út 48.
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The Szigliget home of painter István Farkas was named Villa Kámonkő for a while, now the winemaking Fölföldi family turned it into a guesthouse and restaurant. The climb is well worth it with an amazing view and the reinterpreted Hungarian cuisine of the young and exceptionally talented chef, Mózes Farkas.

What to eat here?
The classic flavors of the Hungarian cuisine in an entirely new perspective, plus the wines of the Fölföldi family.

How much is it?
Starters are priced between 1,300 and 1,800 forints, while main courses are between 2,000 and 4,000 forints.

Villa Medici Hotel & Restaurant – Veszprém

Photo: Tamás Kőrösi - We Love Balaton

Villa Medici Hotel & Restaurant****

8200 Veszprém, Kittenberger Kálmán utca 11.
Villa Medici Hotel & Restaurant**** on facebook
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Medici has been operating in Veszprém since 1991 and since then it was expanded with a five-star hotel. The kitchen of Csaba Amrein is among the bests of the city, yet he doesn’t rest and tries to be one step ahead of the trends.

What to eat here?
Their creamy porcini soup will convince even those who have a fear of mushrooms, but the guests also love their simplest meal, the fried veal.

How much is it?
These are quality meals, and there’s a price for that: the famous porcini soup is 2,850 forints, main courses are at least 5,000 forints. The four-course menus are around 8-10 thousand forints.

Vitorlás Bisztró – Keszthely

Photo: Alexandra Heim - We Love Balaton

Vitorlás Bisztró Keszthely

8360 Keszthely, Csík Ferenc Sétány 3.
Vitorlás Bisztró Keszthely on facebook
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A couple who used to work in the hospitality industry of Austria decided to become the beach-food missionaries on the beach of Keszthely and try to convince the people to try the flavors of Zala and Vas counties instead of hake and lángos. Of course they have hakes as well, but these are way better than the average, not to mention that  they even bake their own bread.

What to eat here?
New-wave beach food. The strawberry cream soup with curd cheese dumplings is such a hit that they can barely keep up with the demand.

How much is it?
Soups are around 1,000 forints, while a main course costs about 2,000 HUF.

Zománc Bisztrócska – Vászoly

Photo: Tamás Kőrösi - We Love Balaton

Zománc Bisztrócska Restaurant

8245 Vászoly, Vazul utca 8.
Zománc Bisztrócska Restaurant on facebook
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Zománc was without a doubt one of the best newcomer and surprise of last year, even if it doesn’t look anything special at first glance. They serve pig’s trotters in red pots, and everything from the tablecloth to the kitchen cabinets remind of the house of a grandmother. Still, we love how all the different people like to come here for a good dinner and enjoy the relaxed atmosphere.

What to eat here?
Sautéed liver strips, paprika chicken, and pig’s trotters: make sure to arrive with an empty stomach. Also, you can’t miss the curd cheese dumplings at the end.

How much is it?
Main courses are around 3,000 forints, but since you’re visiting a grandmother, you can’t skip dessert.

kreilZsóka Fogadója – Szentantalfa

Photo: Tamás Kőrösi - We Love Balaton

Zsóka Fogadója

8272 Szentantalfa, Fő utca 33.
Zsóka Fogadója on facebook
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Nivegy-völgy is slowly waking up, so it’s not a surprise that there’re three restaurants from the area on our list. A 20 year-old chef took over the manager’s post in Szentantalfa – he’s worked in many restaurants of the Balaton Uplands before. The kitchen is promising and follows the popular trends of the region: they build on using as many local ingredients as possible, and turn them into many things, from vegetable stew to mangalica burger.

What to eat here?
The burger trend is slowly dying, so we would recommend their seasonal, homely meals.

How much is it?
Main courses are around 2,000-3,000 forints, but we also had great curd cheese dumplings here that cost 1,000 HUF.

This is a subjective list based on the blind-tests of the past years. Instead of the quality, we arranged the places according to the alphabet.  

Translated by Emma Póli

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