There are people who want to get away as far as they can from the noise of the capital. And there are some, who - after a couple of peaceful days - wish to feel the big city atmosphere at Balaton as well. Same old colours, flavours and comfort near Balaton in Budapest style.
Tagore sétány has many shops at the part close to Tihany, but the reason why it is called Balaton's main street is different. You can literally bump into restaurants, cafés and ice cream parlours if you don't pay attention. Tagore is surrounded by tall trees, and the crowd is almost as huge as on a big city's main street. It is like an old-fashioned promenade, you have to show up here if you're in town.
The locals are nodding their heads at each other, tourists admire the boats in the marina and the promenade is full of the wineries' counters during Balatonfüred Wine Weeks.
Turn right when you're walking along the line of shops on Balatonfüred's promenade in Tihany's direction, if you want to see something new. Yes, there is a giant circus sign beyond the parking lot with a circus car at the end of the garden. Manézs Bisztró is Balatonfüred's ruin pub, but the enthusiastic owners don't like to use this label. It is a casual meeting point with alternative decoration and a slight ruin pub atmosphere.
This is your place if you're looking for a shady yard, a good fröccs, smooth music and you're fed up with the crowd on the promenade. A huge picture of a pirate is still there on the wall to prove that there was a restaurant, called Kalóz here in the 90s. You can see the paintings of Gyula Medgyessy Kovács in the yard that also boasts of beach beds and a renovated circus car from the 60s. This eclectic atmosphere with the pallet furniture made by the owner, Máté defines Manézs. (Good chance for a cool party here!)
Manézs Bisztró (closed)
Address: 8230 Balatonfüred, Tihanyi Road
Spoon restaurant in Budapest has a little brother near Balaton, Spoon Lodge for the Asian food fans, who would rather taste an Angus beef loin, than a good lángos. Hungarians and foreigners are both starting to make gastro trips around Balaton, so there's a growing need for restaurants like this. The serving and the food are quite fancy; quality drinks and high end prices await the customers here.
Spoon Lodge (closed)
Address: 8172, Balatonakarattya, 44 Rákóczi Road
Our first choice would be the Hungarian hamburger, but there are certain times when it's good to stop for a cheeseburger menu. The first McDonald's was opened in Siófok in 1995, and there was another McDonald's for a few years in Balatonalmádi every summer. It has been closed for a while now, but Lake Balaton has 4 McDonald's to offer now: in Keszthely, in Siófok, in Balatonlelle and in Veszprém. It seems like that the website of McDonald's doesn't know about their restaurant in Balatonlelle, but it is there, really. It is only open during the summer and works with raised prices.
If you need a new T-shirt, a new pair of jeans or just some accessories, just drop by H&M, find your size and you can keep doing your business. Near Balaton this is a bit more complicated, because sometimes in the smaller towns the shops are closed during the weekend, and it's quite difficult to find well-known clothing brands. For the sake of the shopaholics, nowadays there are malls around Balaton. You will find an H&M at Balaton Pláza in Veszprém and at Sió Plaza in Siófok as well to satisfy your shopping needs, and then you can head back to the beach.