Balaton is something else in spring. The almond trees are in bloom (just like Instagram), sailors look for the wind while others seek sunshine, and the pure spring-air fills the beaches and the lungs. We started to collect the restaurants that are already open for those who got hungry in the glorious spring, and were surprised to end up with a small encyclopedia. There’re 51 places so far, and the list may keep expanding.
Spoon Il Mercato Restaurant, Balatonakarattya – After hibernating in winter, the Italian kitchen’s pizza ovens will heat up again on April 14.
Chianti Restaurant, Veszprém – Chianti started out as an Italian eatery, but instead it became one of the pioneers of rural gastronomy. They are open all year round.
Fricska, Veszprém – Fricska closed in January, but they open again in April, with new energy and a refreshed interior – however, we don’t know the exact date yet. What we do know, is that the kitchen will be led by Ádám Mede, the chef of Costes Downtown.
Oliva Hotel & Restaurant, Veszprém – Chef Balázs Tornyos keeps his kitchen going all year long in downtown Veszprém, and yes, they do serve the famous chocolate dessert.
Villa Medici Hotel & Restaurant, Veszprém – Veszprém’s luxurious hotel is also open. Guests can eat in the Nostalgia Garden, and devour fine-dining dinners all year long here.
Kerekes Winery, Balatonalmádi – One of the coziest terraces of the north shore opened on April 8. Instead of traditional bites, here they dare to experiment with Asian and Italian cuisines when it comes to savory snacks.
Carpaccio Restaurant, Alsóörs – You can try the tasty dishes of the famous Italian restaurant’s menu any day of the week.
Sáfránkert Restaurant, Paloznak – Sáfránkert also awakened from its hibernation, and they greet spring with a revised menu and wines of the region. You can visit them from Thursday to Sunday.
Code Zero, Csopak – The youthful, waterfront bar is still closed, however, they promised to bring the meat-worship back to Csopak sometime in April.
MÁRGA Bistro, Csopak – Sumptuous meals, sumptuous view – Márga already started the season which means you can sit down at their famous terrace any day, except for Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
Petrányi Cellar, Csopak – The Petrányis are available all year round during the weekends, right next to the above mentioned Márga. The view is also very nice there, and the menu is modern with Magyar flavors.
Söptei Winery & Restaurant, Csopak – The Söpteis open their gates on the weekends. You can try their award-winning Welschriesling and enjoy their gorgeous view from Thursdays to Sundays.
Vígmolnár Csárda, Csopak – It is rare that we can pop in to such a great eatery anytime, but Vígmolnár really always welcomes guests. They only take one day off per week: Wednesday.
Baricska Csárda, Balatonfüred – Baricska, this inn that combines tradition with a modern kitchen, reopened on April 7.
Bistro Sparhelt, Balatonfüred – The often praised kitchen of Balázs Elek lasts all year long; during the low-season they are open from Wednesday to Sunday.
Kredenc Wine Bistro, Balatonfüred – Even if Kredenc is not really a restaurant, they still offer a few more simple and seasonal courses during weekends besides flavorsome wines. Hello Tourist next door is also coming back to life, and we wouldn’t be surprised to see some memorable springtime nights to start here.
Morzsa Bistro, Balatonfüred – Morzsa opened in the street if Kredenc in January, and although it still hasn’t reached its final form, the hungry people of Füred can taste their daily menu and their permanent offers as well.
Nem Kacsa Restaurant, Balatonfüred – This unit of Sparhelt’s team only opened last year, and now they bake and cook between Thursdays and Mondays.
Villa Vitae, Balatonfüred – The boutique hotel opened in Füred last year, but it’ll bring South France to Balaton in full force this year. Guests have to make an appointment in advance, and they’ll receive a fixed, three-course menu in an atmosphere that suggests that you’re visiting mysterious, billionaire relatives.
Apáti Restaurant & Café, Tihany – You can try the meals that were awarded with 12 points by Gault&Millau from Friday to Sunday at the restaurant of Sajkod.
Karolina Fűszerkertje, Tihany – Traditional flavors, modern kitchen, accompanied by the lavish view of Tihany – and they’re open every day.
Zománc Bisztrócska Restaurant, Vászoly – Friendly prices and rethought homely meals – Zománc offers Hungarian cuisine and high quality. If this is exactly what the ideal lunch sounds to you, you already have a reason to visit Vászoly this spring.
Pántlika Cellar, Dörgicse – The seasonal kitchen of Pántlika awaits guests only a stone’s throw away from Káli Basin. They are only open from Friday to Sunday in spring, but as soon as summer arrives, we can enjoy their grand Welschriesling every day.
Kalóz, Balatonudvari-Fövenyes – The crew of the spot named "Pirate" will kick-start life early in May, both at the Fövenyes and the Badacsonytomaj beaches. They don’t know the exact dates yet, but in the beginning they’ll only be open on weekends.
Neked Főztem, Zánka – The gastro pub of Neked Főztem opened last year, and here spring and summer brings a different menu with different ingredients. What doesn’t change is that they’re still open all year round, not to mention that their beachside buffet will open in the middle of May.
Káli Art Inn, Köveskál – Káli Art Inn is like the cozy house of a grandmother in the Káli Basin – with four stars. Their restaurant is open every day, but do make a reservation to surely have a place at the dinner table.
Kővirág Pension & Restaurant, Köveskál – After finishing the renovations this winter, Kővirág start the season with new energy. They await us from noon to 10pm, except on Tuesday, Wednesday, and on holidays.
Mi a kő, Köveskál – Artist and winemaker Tamás Trombitás and his team aren't sad that summer haven’t arrived yet. They put out their “open” sign each day, and spring-inspired meals are made each day in the kitchen.
Káli Gourmet Bistro & Delicatesse, Köveskál – The latest arrival to popular Köveskál tries to keep up with the above-mentioned three founding fathers. Based on our test last year, they’re more and more successful. They are open on weekends since March.
Káli-Kapocs, Mindszentkálla – The ruin pub with its cozy atmosphere is a true community place – this is why it’s named "kapocs", which means “link”. It brings people together in every season, and starting from April, they’re filling the glasses with Welschrieslings of Balaton origin, and syrups from the Káli Basin once again, while the menu always has some simple (and great) meals on it.
Kishableány Terrace, Badacsonytomaj – The wine terrace that has a ‘60s vibe to it shortly became one of the key places of Badacsony, however, we have to wait a little for them to open this spring. We can enjoy the exciting combination of street food and Balaton wines once again starting from April 29.
Borbarátok, Badacsonytomaj – The place of pilgrimage for Hungarian cuisine got ready for this summer with a renewed inner space. They opened on the first weekend of April.
Laposa Winery, Badacsonytomaj – Sundays with wines from the best vineyards that are shaded by the buttes, meals made from veal, mangalica, rooster, and duck from a chef who worked at Michelin-starred restaurants – this is what you get, but it’s best to make reservations in advance.
Istvándy Winery, Káptalantóti – The Istvándy family not only has great wines, but they keep animals, and have a restaurant. They have a daily offer – they’re only open on weekends during the low-season, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t have to make a reservation.
Pura Vida Dine, Tapolca – The Mediterranean kitchen of Tapolca remained available even during the cold months; they are open from Wednesday to Sunday in spring.
Attila Bakos' Family Restaurant, Szigliget – You can find their homey dishes and photos of countless famous guests hanging on the wall every day, except Mondays.
Kikötő Restaurant, Szigliget – The waterfront restaurant organized its opening just in time for Easter: you can enjoy the homely flavors while being surrounded by the ships socking in the port starting from April 13.
Bock Bistro, Vonyarcvashegy – The Balaton bistro of Lajos Bíró, the legendary chef of the restaurant's big brother in Budapest, keeps this unit on track all year long; if you’re looking for rethought Hungarian flavors and excellent quality, this is the place to go.
Paletta Bistro, Keszthely – Paletta, in Keszthely Yacht Port is already open; here you can find a daily offer and constantly changing, rethought meals on the menu during weekdays, and parties on the weekends.
Castle Cellar, Keszthely – The several hundred years old castle of a count is a special experience in itself, the tasty meals and the wide selection of wines is a bonus. They are available all year round, but make sure to call them before going there.
Kristinus Gastro Worksop, Kéthely – Life is always bustling at this high-tech wine estate, so we can try their exciting combinations of flavors every day.
Hubertus-Hof Hotel & Restaurant, Balatonfenyves – Hubertus isn’t a classic lakeside restaurant; rather it represents the hills of Somogy lined up behind the south shore. Guests can taste their amazing game-meat specialties and their self-bred Angus beef steaks starting from April 14.
BL Yachtclub, Balatonlelle – There was never a doubt that they will remain open right at the shore of Balaton. BL Yachtub was able to renew itself during winter, and they surely have some exciting plans for spring – you can visit them any day you’d like.
Mango Restaurant & Café, Balatonlelle – Life starts again at the promenade of Balatonlelle. Mango’s kitchen, which is both Mediterranean and Hungarian, is open all through the week.
Rádpuszta Csárda & Leisure Center, Balatonlelle – This restaurant superpower, which is Hungarian to its very essence, operates all year long, with a bullwhip, meats made in a charcoal oven, and with lots of other goods.
Hegyi Csárda, Balatonlelle – The inn, hidden on Kishegy, has a special atmosphere due to the view of Lake Balaton and all the greenery around the place. They’ll wait for the good weather to arrive before they open for the season, but we can have dinner on the cozy terrace starting from May 1.
RockBurger, Balatonlelle – Let’s bring on the meats: the burger-place that operates with homemade ingredient opens on April 29; everyone can get full here – from rockers and techno-people to Mozart fanatics.
Chateau Visz, Visz, Berencspuszta – Lake Balaton has fine dining options as well: if you ever feel like a duke, Chateau Visz is awaiting you all year round.
Anno Taverna, Balatonszárszó – Anno Taverna leads a classic cuisine with a more refined quality than the usual, and they are open all through the week.
Kistücsök Restaurant, Balatonszemes – The restaurant owned by the Csapodys is continuously among the best restaurants of the country, and they are always open, regardless of the weather conditions.
Mala Garden, Siófok – Excitedly rethought Far Eastern flavors in a beautiful lakeside environment – visiting Mala Garden is always like an exotic adventure.
It’s always best to check the Facebook-page of the place you want to visit before going, just to make sure that they’re open.
The list isn’t final – if you think we missed out a good spot, make sure to tell us in the comments!
Translated by Emma Póli