After getting the first beach trip of the year out of the way, it’s time to explore what else is there to do around the lake: eating is probably one of the best alternatives. We have the hottest gastro tips for those staying in or around Keszthely from the most revolutionary beach food and a top-notch market through dinner in the cellar of Festetics Palace for true gastro fans.
Keszthely is always full of life with fun events taking place throughout the entire year. If you’re more into gastronomy than other activities, or you just want to take a break between museums, festivals, and theater performances, we have all the key deets on where to go for some delicious local grub and refreshing drinks.
We tested Keszthely’s Paletta right after the opening, burgers and all, and we were not disappointed in the Angus beef sourced from Balatonfenyves and the homemade buns. Owner Dani Bezerics tries to purchase as many of the ingredients locally as possible; the chips served with the burger are made from a potato variety grown by Keszthely’s Georgikon University, for example. If the Paletta concept is such a success in Balatonboglár and Keszthely, it could easily be adopted at several other marinas around Lake Balaton.
Are you sometimes overwhelmed by the choice of what to eat when you’re hanging out by the lake? You’re mesmerized by the smell of freshly fried lángos, but you’re also open to new flavors? Then The Spot Grill & Bar is just the place for you: here you can try the house’s own strange, but tasty burger-lángos hybrid. We loved the juicy patty fried in lángos dough; it’s highly recommended for those looking to put on weight, as it probably covers the daily calorie intake of a professional athlete.
No venue is more perfect for a romantic, candlelit date than the terrace of Kastélypince. Located in the cellar of Festetics Palace and known formerly as The House of Balaton’s Wine, the underground establishment is now run by the team of Bistro Classico; this summer they moved in from the marina to create finger-licking good bistro dishes for those digging more unconventional locations. Grabbing a glass or two of fine Balaton wine or a delectable evening meal under the arches is the ideal way to kick off the summer, not to mention that the spectacular cellar often hosts concerts as well. The new-wave bistro cuisine offered here doesn’t only include the wines, but also unique craft beers.
Found directly next to the palace, Végh-Pataki Strudels and Sandwich Mecca has everything from sweet to savory, from warm to cold, from wholesome to indulgent, from cakes to hamburgers. The burgers are huge, and the strudels are out of this world, regardless of whether they’re filled with a classic sweet filling or a more unusual one like bacon or lecsó. If someone in your group is on a diet or doesn’t get on with gluten, they can choose from the tempting selection of paleo favorites, which are just as excellent as any of the regular treats.
Fish are not mentioned by accident in the name of this popular market on Gyenesdiás’ Kárpáti Promenade: the smoked fish you can sample here are a must-try. Whatever you do, make sure to come with an empty stomach, so that there’s room for the mangalica products, bread lángos (kind of a Hungarian take on pizza), fresh black pudding, and sausages. Natural gifts are truly appreciated here: mushroom and herb tours are sometimes held to educate nature buffs.
After the gastro overload, you’ll perhaps feel like a light stroll amid the fairy tale-like fir groves on Szent Mihály Hill, which has a fantastic view of the Keszthely Hills and the monadnocks. The dolomite mound is home to Hungary’s number one fishermen’s chapel. The interior is adorned with frescos portraying the life of Jesus as well as reliefs of Balaton fishermen; legend has it that they erected the building as a token of their gratitude for their lucky escape from the icy water of Lake Balaton.
This article has been produced as a result of the co-operation of MOL Nagyon Balaton and Nemzeti Turisztikai Ügynökség (National Tourism Agency).