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Let’s go to the Jewish Quarter of Budapest! Visit the best kosher restaurants, cafes and shops

What does it mean to be kosher? What makes a restaurant kosher and what foods line up on a kosher menu at all? If you’d like to lose yourself in the rich world of Jewish culture, here’s some tricks for you to pay dirt: check out the menu at the following restaurants, as the Matzah soup dumplings, the Cholent traditional Jewish stew, or the Challah bred tell much more about the traditions than you might think.

The best way to connect to the culture of a population is eating what they eat and let them prepare it. It is no different with Jews. Like in other areas of life, Jewish people live their daily lives according to strict rules regarding their dietary regulations. The rules of kosher eating go back a long way in history. The Torah, the oldest religious written record of Judaism, states what shall be considered kosher only, i.e. fit for consumption and ritually pure: land animals that chew their cud and have cloven hooves. In this sense, goats, sheep, chickens, turkeys, geese and ducks are kosher, but pigs, hares and camels are ‘treifs’ that is not in accordance with the law. However, it will not make kosher a food because it is made from mutton, for example. The prerequisite for kosher food is that the animal is properly slaughtered by the ‘shaker’, the Jewish butcher: the butcher shall use a sharp knife to cause the animal to suffer as little as possible and to bleed well. Bloody meat is not kosher in the least. Another important rule of kosher eating is that it is forbidden to consume milky and meaty foods at the same time. You shall wait at least 3-6 hours between eating the two types of food. Moreover, different dishes are prepared in separate bowls: a milky dish can never be prepared in a meat pot for instance.


Despite the strict rules, the Jewish gastronomy offers fanciful and truly unique food, so there is nothing left but to recommend a couple of the best kosher restaurants in the city of Budapest!

Hanna Garden Glatt Kóser

The Hanna Garden Glatt Kóser restaurant, in the courtyard of the Kazinczy Utca Synagogue, dates back to 1920. However, the unit, which is still operating today, opened its doors in 1960 to the Jews from the East part of Budapest (Pest) and to those open to taste real Jewish food. The word ‘glatt’ in the name of the restaurant refers to a set of rules even more strict than kosher regulations itself. The name glatt kosher designates a type of meat of an animal which lungs are intact and undamaged when the shaker access to them. So Hanna Garden, located in the heart of the Jewish Quarter, can serve those who want to follow the rules of the Jewish dietary law the ‘kashrut’ to the very extent. Established next to the Orthodox Synagogue, it is no coincidence that Hanna Garden Glatt Kóser is often home to various religious gatherings and celebrations.

Carmel Restaurant

Just a few steps from the Synagogue, the Carmel is located at Kazinczy utca 31. in the 7th District. Although it is not indicated it in the name, here we get a glatt kosher menu too for our money. The restaurant also serves a separate Sabbath - lunch and dinner - which is a sin to miss. The Sabbath, the period from Friday sunset to Saturday sunset, is a day of rest in the Jewish religion. During this time, Jews are forbidden to do any work, they are not allowed to cook, wash, travel, light a fire, write, or handle money. That’s why you have to pay in advance for a sabbatical lunch and dinner at Carmel. For the Sabbath dinner the restaurant offers you the Challah, a braded potato bred, the soup with Matzah dumplings, as well as Israeli salads and beefsteak. The main course is the Cholent for lunch, but who may arrive here at noon on Saturday shall not miss the Challah and the Israeli salads. 

Tel Aviv Cafe

This kosher restaurant and café evokes at a glance the unique atmosphere of the Israeli capital. Mediterranean flavours are a must: you will find everything from Italian focaccia to Israeli breakfast, pizza and hummus, and of course the food is kosher. Don’t expect great meat dishes here, the emphasis is on milky dishes. Most of the delicacies are vegetarian in addition to a few fish dishes.

Kosher Deli Budapest

The Kosher Deli Budapest restaurant and delicatessen in Síp utca awaits those who are open to Israeli, Hungarian and Italian flavours with a menu on weekdays. In a word, there is no shortage of Mediterranean dishes here either! As far as traditional Jewish dishes go, Cholent is not to be missed! The upper level of Kosher Deli Budapest functions as a restaurant, but in the café on the ground floor you can choose kosher food and groceries to take away.

Kosher MeatUp

Fast food restaurants are the most popular; especially if you are looking for a quick snack at lunchtime. Kosher MeatUp, the only fast food restaurant in Budapest, serves this purpose, where in addition to kosher deep-fried meat and burgers, we can also taste oriental dishes such as Shawarma served in a pita, bowl or sandwich. The latter is the ‘brother’ of doner, gyros and kebab. In addition to meat stuffed into Arabic bread, vegetables and sauce complete the dish.

Kosher market-kosher shop

With the exception of Saturday, the market and shop at Dohány utca 26. is open every day with a selection of hummus and other kosher food of course, for those who want to take home the tastiest delicacies of Jewish gastronomy.

Semes Kosher Bakery

If you want to taste a haman’s bag or a Hungarian Jewish Flódni cake, you should look for the delicacies of Semes Kóser Bakery! Among other things, Semes is kosher because it is milk-free, so those who are sensitive or allergic to any ingredient in milk can taste these Jewish bakery and confectionery products. Challah bred is definitely worth to give it a try. These products, which are well known in the traditional Hungarian gastronomy, very similar to cakes, are made in both salty and sweet versions. Semes’s bakery products are also available at the Kosher Market as well as in the Kosher Deli.