The pretty natural landscape, the proximity of Balaton, the unreasonably narrow roads: romance in the Káli Basin means something different to everyone. In the past few years, lots of newly opened restaurants, wineries and lodgings have made the stunningly scenic region more diverse – without them this part of the country would be just like grandma's tiny village, which you love, but you don’t expect to find a lot of excitement there. By now the Káli Basin has become iconic, somewhat of a common denominator: we like to point out that it’s ours, and we dare anyone to compare it to Tuscany.
Kővirág Étterem és Panzió – Don’t be surprised if you find edible flowers in your food because the chef of Kővirág likes to put a twist on every dish. Contrary to what the name (Stone Flower) suggests, the restaurant is not unfriendly at all; the romantic terrace and the pension garden are especially cosy in the summertime. Köveskál, Fő út 9/a
Káli Art Inn – Another emblematic establishment of the gastro revolution in Köveskál. The restaurant’s main strength is new wave cuisine, while the pension has excellent design: basically, this is the four-star, luxury edition of your great-grandma’s house. Köveskál, Fő utca 6-8.
Káli-kapocs – Before the launch, no one would have believed that a ruin pub could survive in a village. By now, however, the watering hole in the centre of Mindszentkálla has become a popular spot among young and old guests alike for some fröccs and a cool concert in the evening. Mindszentkálla, Petőfi utca 11.
Ivóka – There’s a restaurant in Kővágóörs, by highway 71, where former Budapest resident Olga cooks home style food that is admired by incognito food critics coming here from all over the country. Kővágóörs, Pálköve, 71-es főút
Pálffy Borterasz – Sitting in a woven armchair on the porch of a farmhouse sounds good on its own, but it’s even better when you have rosé fröccs and the Pálffy cold snack plates going into your mouth at the same time. Köveskál, Fő út 40.
Káli Kövek borászat – The most important supplier of Köveskál's restaurants with the ars poetica of re-establishing the old glory of local viticulture. Their wines have a well deserved place on the wine lists of eateries in the area. Köveskál, Fő utca 11.
Liliomkert Piac – We need to expand the geographical boundaries because Liliomkert Market, the farmers’ market spearheading the entire genre in the region, well known for its series of permit-related trials and tribulations, cannot be left off this list. Every weekend, Káptalantóti turns into a lively beehive of fresh scones, colourful scarves and antique furniture. Káptalantóti, Liliomkert
Levendula Porta – Not only can you see lavender fields here, but you can also by home-made syrups, jams, jellies and cheeses made by an enthusiastic, young couple. Kékkút, Fő utca 18.
Kapolcsikum – Another lovely couple that also produces jams and syrups. Their wide range of products, including raspberry and chocolate-plum jam, makes a visit to Kapolcs well worth your while. Kapolcs, Petőfi utca 45.
Pegazus – A holiday resort once quite popular among German tourists, Pegazus in Szentbékálla rose from its ashes last year. It currently operates as a concert and exhibition venue with a great fröccs terrace and grill dishes. Szentbékálla, Kossuth utca
Istvándy Pincészet – The hillside of Tóti Hill is located so close to the edge of the Káli Basin that it is actually not entirely within the region's boundaries, but it would be a mistake to banish a wine terrace like this from our round-up. Since they have such excellent wines, we’re happy to include more than one Istvándy establishment on our list. Káptalantóti, Hegymőg dűlő
Sárga Ház – An Indian-Hungarian couple chose Káptalantóti and converted its former Sárga Ház into a French rural style mansion. Strictly speaking, you’ll have to leave the Káli Basin behind to pay them a visit, but you won’t mind at all when you try their home-made Indian corn bread. Káptalantóti, Rózsadomb utca
Istvándy Jenő Pincészete – You should definitely drop by the family winery that is to be found in Szentbékálla, mainly because their white blends are more than excellent. Szentbékkálla, Kossuth utca 9.
Liszkay Borkúria – Tuscan perfection customized to the Káli Basin. A winery and wine hotel with first-class cuisine and a wine gallery, which is perfect for hosting venues as well. Monoszló, Hrsz. 48/2.
Káli-vendéglő – Like Ivóka, this restaurant is also best to visit with a very empty stomach. The food selection will make fans of Hungarian style cuisine particularly happy. Sitting on the oleander lined terrace with a mini lake, it’s easy to get lost in your thoughts for a while. Kővágóörs, Jókai utca 48.
Hazai Provence – There's no exaggeration: the new pension of Kapolcs has everything from a freestanding bathtub in the bedroom, natural stone walls and a terraced herb garden to make guests feel like they are indeed in Provence, even if only for a while. Kapolcs, Kossuth utca 84.
Kata Borház – Romantic lodgings and vinoteca in the heart of Kapolcs where you’ll find a breakfast basket in front of your door every morning. Kapolcs, Petőfi utca 57.
Miakő – Káli-medencei borok háza – Tamás Trombitás opened his restaurant to finally be able to have a great cup of coffee in the village, and now he can even eat some delicious stuffed cabbage. If this place will not make you fall in love with Hungarian cuisine, you are probably hopeless. If you don’t feel like going to Trombitás Borház, you can also taste the wines of the owner here, or ask him what it was like to attend the Venice Biennálé. Köveskál, Fő utca 25.
Salföldi Természetvédelmi Major – A manor with a petting zoo, horseback riding and a herb exhibition. If you want to see all the animal species native to Hungary in one place, Salföld is where you should go. Salföld, Balaton-felvidéki Nemzeti Park
Kerékbár – The Liptauer that is way better than anywhere else. Not for bikers only. Köveskál, Kővágóörsi út 10.
Pajta Galéria – If you’re looking for any of the Salföld artists, this is where you should check first. Be careful which angle you shoot the old farmhouse from and consider the light as well because the owner is an awardee of the Dutch version of World Press Photo. Salföld, Petőfi utca 9.
Három huszár – Anke and Wolfgang swapped German precision for the peace of Köveskál and a classic, loam-walled farmhouse. Furniture comes from the Liliomkert Market, whereas guests come from everywhere. Köveskál, Fő út 24.
Kaal Villa – The terrace that you’ll spot on the road between Káptalantóti and Köveskál even if you are concentrating on finding the way to Mindszentkálla. They’re young, they have good wines, and their terrace is a must-see. Mindszentkálla, Szűcs-hegy, hrsz 768/1
Királykő kocsma – If you’ve been to the Valley of Arts, but you’ve not been to this pub, you haven’t been to the Valley of Arts. Kapolcs, Kossuth utca 52.
Káli poló Lovasklub – The famous polo club of Szentbékkálla where the lords of the Káli Basin have been competing every week for centuries. If you don’t feel ready to take the mallet and hit the ball, you can start with learning how to ride a horse like a true Hungarian. Szentbékkálla, Kossuth utca