There have been plenty of new openings on the south shore this summer, from Helka’s small-batch beers on the 'Földvár waterfront to specialty coffee with vegan ice cream in Siófok. Here are our favourites!
It has long been the dream
of Balázs Tóth, managing director of BL Yachtclub & Apartments, to create a
space for the wares of local producers. Around the time of the last lockdown,
the idea came to open a delicatessen in an available
room, with only products from around Lake Balaton on the shelves. The list
covers only a fraction of the offer, but here we can find cheeses from Kastélyosdomb, Nübel and Vászolyi cheese (they sometimes sail across to the north
shore for supplies), spectacular Balaton meats, pastas by Csehi, jams from
Kisberény, cordials from Spiesz Orsi and Csilli Choco Bons chocolate from Balatonlelle. Craft beer can be found
in 12 varieties, plus Balaton gins and brandies. Balázs isn’t
planning to pull down the blinds come September – the shop will also open in
winter, with wine and whisky tastings and workshops all planned.
A little further from the buzzing crowd, the first and only vegan café-confectionery in the area has opened in Siófok, where you can find lactose-, gluten- and sugar-free sandwiches, cakes and baked goods. Lemonades are served with sugar-free cordial, and, of course, plant-based milk is available in the light-roasted specialty coffee. Even vegan ice cream goes into the coffee sometimes. The owners have addressed another gap in the market in addition to the food – upstairs is a meeting room for hire with air-conditioning.
This small-batch brewery has long been planning move into an old house belonging to state rail company MÁV in Balatonföldvár. In the meantime, Helka’s range of wheat beers, IPAs and Kölsch-style brews can be sampled in the cosy garden of the Hotel Anna Villa, reached from riverside Kvassay sétány, where Viennese pretzels and delicious grilled sausages are sold as the waters of Lake Balaton ripple opposite. Don’t look for classic holiday varieties – venison-and-juniper, Alpine cheese, wild garlic are all on the menu, as well as classic Hungarian fried sausage and traditional Munich bratwurst, with Vecsés pickles and bread on the side. You will also find wines from the area and a restrained selection of spirits here if beer doesn’t grab you.
Rolling Circus Grill
Ákos Lokodi’s food truck came from Pécs to Balaton and settled under the shady trees of Aligha Kert, at the beginning of this summer. The chef, who previously worked as a graphic designer, then at several restaurants in Pécs, put together the buffet truck with his own hands and dreamed up a special concept for design and food. Here he offers pulled pork and meat made on a rôtisserie – chicken and porchetta – in a Bosnian pie, but you can also order a grill plate with the chef’s own branded grilled sausages in apple-sage-and-cider, Hungarian, thyme-and-marjoram and curry-cheddar varieties. The master chef of the Rolling Circus also offers homemade parsley and Sriracha sauces, Viennese potato salad and pineapple coleslaw as side dishes – all this in a truck evoking the atmosphere of an old circus, Ákos wearing a casual T-shirt and a big smile on his face.
Völgyhíd Konyha & Rét
former centre on Kőröshegy, a panoramic and perfect location for a relaxing day, is home to several gourmet places. Coffee and pastries come
from bakery À Table!, while the Konyha Bistro opened this July, food overseen by chef
Attila Pillók. Ojo Ice supplies the ice cream parlour with its premium treats. The wine list relies on Balaton producers, and Rét hosts concerts and