Easter is traditionally when Balaton restaurants take it up a notch: more and more open their doors on weekdays or put out the first tables on their terraces. Here we feature those welcoming spring with open arms – and open doors. Always phone ahead, though, as this is the most capricious of seasons.
Spoon Il Mercato Restaurant, Balatonakarattya: The Italian kitchen remains in hibernation for a while longer, but the pizza ovens heat up from March 30.
Szépkilátás Bistro, Balatonakarattya: The bistro on road 71 that swept in with the new wave two years ago serves its burgers in spring as well – except for Mondays.
GUSTO13, Veszprém: The former Chianti offers the same quality but in a more relaxed style.
Fricska, Veszprém: The terrace next to Séd Creek is a great choice in good weather. Although its renowned chef left last year, Fricska's famous burgers remain the standout item on the menu.
Oliva Hotel & Restaurant, Veszprém : Chef Balázs Tornyos keeps his kitchen going all year round in central Veszprém and yes, they do serve the famous chocolate dessert.
Villa Medici Hotel & Restaurant, Veszprém: Veszprém’s luxurious hotel is also open – guests and non-residents alike can eat in the Nostalgia Garden, and delight in fine dining all year long.
Kerekes Winery, Balatonalmádi: The place where they dare to experiment with Asian and Italian cuisines, offers savory snacks at weekends before the season arrives.
Carpaccio Restaurant, Alsóörs: You can sample the Italian flavors at Carpaccio at weekends before the busy summer.
Sáfránkert Restaurant, Paloznak: Sáfránkert greets spring in Paloznak with a revised menu and the wines of the region from Thursdays to Sundays.
MÁRGA Bistro, Csopak: Sumptuous meals, sumptuous view – Márga has already started for the season, which means you can take a seat on its famous terrace five days a week, not Tuesdays or Wednesdays.
Petrányi Cellar, Csopak: You find the Petrányi right next to Márga. The view is also very nice, the menu modern with Hungarian flavors; they also have two- and three-course deals at weekends until 4pm. Currently operating from Thursdays to Sundays.
Söptei Winery & Restaurant, Csopak: The Söptei opens its doors at weekends. You can try the award-winning Welschriesling from Thursdays to Sundays and enjoy the gorgeous view.
Vígmolnár Csárda, Csopak: Vígmolnár represents the philosophy of a modern, quality tavern. They await the hungry traveler every day except Wednesday.
Baricska Csárda, Balatonfüred: Baricska is a rustic restaurant that combines tradition with a modern kitchen, reopening for the first weekend of April.
Bistro Sparhelt, Balatonfüred: Balázs Elek’s renowned kitchen operates all year round; during spring it’s open from Wednesdays to Sundays.
Kredenc Wine Bistro, Balatonfüred: Even though Kredenc is not really a full-on restaurant, at weekends they still offer light, seasonal dishes to accompany their wines.
Morzsa Bistro, Balatonfüred: This former food truck is set up on Balatonfüred's gastro street with a permanent menu all week long – except Mondays.
Nem Kacsa Restaurant, Balatonfüred: This unit of the Sparhelt team only opened last year, and now they bake and cook between Thursdays and Mondays.
Villa Vitae, Balatonfüred: This Mediterranean villa pairs its unique view with unique dishes, with prices a little higher than the average Balaton bistro. Reservations required.
Apáti Restaurant and Café, Tihany: Apáti in Sajkod is the place to go for a decent pizza. They are open from Fridays to Sundays.
Zománc Bisztrócska, Vászoly: Friendly prices and rethought homely meals – Zománc adopts a simple, honest approach when offering high-quality Hungarian cuisine at weekends.
Pántlika Cellar, Dörgicse: The seasonal kitchen at Pántlika awaits a stone’s throw from Káli Basin. In spring, they open from Fridays to Sundays.
Neked Főztem Gastropub, Zánka: They started out as a beach buffet and now they have one of the most trendsetting restaurants around Zánka, with a continuously changing selection and ingredients straight from local producers. They open from Wednesdays to Sundays.
Káli Art Inn, Köveskál: Káli Art Inn is like a cozy grandmother's house in the Káli Basin – but with four stars. Their restaurant opens every day but reservations are required.
Kővirág, Köveskál: Kővirág with its Instagram-worthy garden is a prime example of a rural romantic restaurant. They offer food, drinks and lodgings.
Mi a kő, Köveskál: Tamás Trombitás used to make statues but now he manages his winery and restaurant in Köveskál, where Hungarian cuisine is the focus. They open from noon on weekdays and from 10am at weekends.
Borbarátok, Badacsonytomaj: This place of pilgrimage for Hungarian gastrophiles is already running but it’s best to double-check with the venue before you go.
Tilia Borvendéglő, Badacsonytomaj: Hotel Neptun’s recently renovated restaurant pairs an attractive appearance with a quality kitchen. It’s the best to make a reservation here, too.
Laposa Winery, Badacsonytomaj: Wines from the best vineyards shaded by small hills, dishes made from veal, mangalica, rooster and duck – if you want to savor fine flavors and prime labels, make a reservation here.
Istvándy Winery, Káptalantóti: The Istvándy family not only has great wines, but they also keep animals, and manage a restaurant. They have a daily offer and only open at weekends during the off season.
Pura Vida Dine, Tapolca: Even in spring, you can enjoy the unique mix of the Hungarian countryside mingled with the Spanish Mediterranean – but only from Wednesdays to Sundays.
Kreinbacher Winery, Somlóvásárhely: Kreinbacher Winery is not only known for its volcanic wines, traditional champagnes and award-winning design, but also for its quality bistro-restaurant that you can sample every day.
Terazza Bistro & Bar, Sümeg: Hidden on the hillside of Sümeg, this spot is imbued with a Mediterranean atmosphere, complemented by an exceptional kitchen and a terrace with an amazing view – all open from Thursdays to Sundays.
Attila Bakos' Family Restaurant, Szigliget: Every day but Monday, you can enjoy homely dishes amid photos of numerous famous guests hanging on the wall.
Kikötő Restaurant, Szigliget: This waterfront restaurant has organized its opening just in time for Easter. Starting from March 31, you can enjoy traditional flavors while being surrounded by the boats docking at the jetty.
Villa Kabala, Szigliget: The rethought Hungarian dishes at this restaurant are best when paired with the wines of the Fölföldi family, the owners of the establishment.
Bock Bistro, Vonyarcvashegy: The Balaton bistro of legendary chef Lajos Bíró is open all year round. If you’re looking for reinvented Hungarian flavors and excellent quality, this is the place to go.
Kastélypince, Keszthely: Visiting this age-old castle of a Hungarian count is a special experience in itself, the tasty dishes and wide selection of wines a bonus. Make sure to make a reservation.
Kristinus Gastro Műhely, Kéthely: It's bustling every day at this high-tech wine estate, so you won't miss out on their exciting combinations of flavors.
Hubertus-Hof Hotel & Restaurant, Balatonfenyves: Hubertus isn’t a classic lakeside restaurant; rather it represents the hills of Somogy stretching behind the south shore. Diners can taste their amazing game specialties and home-bred Angus beef steaks once they reopen over the Easter weekend.
BL Yachtclub, Balatonlelle: Besides the chance to rent boats, Balatonlelle yacht club has so many other services it's worth their while staying open throughout the year – and gastronomy is always in season here.
Mango Restaurant, Balatonlelle: Mango is located a few minutes' walk from the boat stop at Balatonlelle – and they’ve put themselves on the culinary map of Lake Balaton thanks to a decent bistro kitchen. You find them open every day of the week.
Chateau Visz, Visz, Berencspuszta: Lake Balaton has fine dining options as well – if you ever want to feel like a duke, Chateau Visz operates all year round.
Anno Taverna, Balatonszárszó: Anno Taverna offers a more refined cuisine than the usual classic eatery, and they open all through the week.
Kistücsök Restaurant, Balatonszemes: The restaurant owned by the Csapodys is continuously cited among the best in the country, and they are always open, whatever the weather.
Mala Garden, Siófok: Excitingly reconceived Far Eastern flavors are served in beautiful lakeside surroundings – visiting Mala Garden is always an exotic adventure, and they open through the year.
Rozmaring Kiskert Restaurant and Pizzeria, Siófok: Chef Sanyi keeps working so that people can enjoy Balaton's best pizza in this hidden corner of Siófok. They open from Wednesdays to Sundays.