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Dining near Erkel Theater

For my six day stay in Budapest, I booked opera tickets for three of them, and with the opera house under renovation, I'll be spending quite a lot of time at the Erkel Theater. Could someone recommend some restaurants and/or wine bars near there?

Posted by
9305 posts

The Erkel isn't in the greatest neighborhood. There are two places fairly close that are interesting; Rosenstein Restaurant and the New York Cafe. The first is innovative Hungarian/Jewish, the second one of Budapest's landmark historic venues.

Posted by
38 posts

Thanks - since it's not in the best neighborhood, am I better off taking an Uber/taxi to get back to my apartment after the opera rather than using the metro? I don't mind spending a few extra forints if I'll feel more comfortable since I'm a lone female.

Posted by
9305 posts

You wiil be within a short walk of the M2 and M4 metro stations and the 4/6 Tram Line. If I knew where you were staying I might be able to suggest a place on the way home from the theater. Check show times and restaurant hours.

For a wine bar, Kadarka Wine Bar is my favorite local neighborhood wine bar.

Posted by
9305 posts

The metro is safe day or night. If you want a taxi, call City Taxi. I think Uber is still illegal in Budapest, but not sure.

Posted by
9305 posts

Okay, i see you are a solo woman. While i think its safe enough not to worry about my 23 year old daughter walking home at night, you might feel better in a taxi to a place closer to where you are staying and then enjoy a stroll the final leg.

Posted by
38 posts

I did put Kadarka on my list of good wine bars/eateries from one of your other posts - along with some other suggestions that sounded good. I think you're right about Uber; it seems it was there for a while and then got banned. I've never felt uncomfortable in Vienna at night, so if Budapest has the same vibe, it should be fine. I'll probably play it by ear when I leave the theater and use a taxi I feel it's necessary.

Posted by
9305 posts

That particular neighborhood will be a tad less comfortable than Vienna. Not that it's dangerous, but because it's not well restored yet. But it's about a 5 min walk to Rakoczi ut which is a bit more inviting and another 5 to the NY Cafe which is on the outer loop road and the 4/6 Tram Line which will connect you to any part of town you want to go to. Personally, there are more interesting neighborhoods to see and I suspect one of them is between the Erkel and your accommodations; and I would take a taxi to one of those and walk the last leg. Taxi might cost 3000 forints or less to most of central Pest.

Posted by
332 posts

We were at the Erkel a couple weeks ago. ( Absolutely wonderful production of Cosi fan tutte. ) The metro station is right next to the Erkel. It is the very spiffy M4 line. Lots of opera goers leaving at the same time. We simply transferred to the M 1 line we needed to get back to our hotel. Easy and safe. We actually took the tram on our “ dry run” and it involved a walk through a “ not as nice” neighborhood. The biggest concern was poor street lighting and uneven pavement. That led us to opt for the M4 Metro which is very modern and more efficient than the tram. Just be aware that part of the M3 line is closed and they have substitute buses for those areas.
We generally just eat a big late lunch on opera nights and then travel directly to the theater. If we want something to eat/ drink after the performance we take public transport back to wherever our hotel is located since it is an area we have some familiarity with.
You will be very pleased with the quality of the orchestra, voices, timing, sets etc. The Erkel itself is an experience and a stark contrast the opulent opera house.

Posted by
13017 posts

Yes, after the opera, there will be lots of people heading for the metro. There will also be a lot of people trying to get taxis, so lots of competition. I didn't feel unsafe. The metro is very well lit.

Posted by
38 posts

Thanks, everyone - I'm definitely looking forward to spending some time at Erkel! It's nice to know that the performances are good too.

Posted by
9305 posts

One of the advantages of the theater in Budapest is that it is still a very local event. Performances are great in Vienna and Prague, but you will be among mostly tourists. In Budapest it will be mostly local people. There is a certain authenticity about that which is priceless.

I suspect there will be a number of people walking towards Blaha Lujza ter. From there you can get the M2 or the 4/6 Tram. Two stops down on the tram is Kiraly utca. Not to make another gratuitous plug for my friends a Kadarka Wine Bar, but its about a 3 minute walk from the tram stop.

Posted by
140 posts

James' recommendation of Rosenstein is right on - I have enjoyed meals there a few times.

Near there is another spot, Fulemule - not as innovative but their version of Hungarian Cholent (a smoky version of cassoulet) is really good.
The NY Cafe is a great room - ornate, elegant, frescoes on the ceiling - a blast from the past.

Enjoy your trip -

Posted by
9305 posts

Copied from: https://toriavey.com/toris-kitchen/cholent/

Cholent is uniquely Jewish. It was created because Jewish law does not permit cooking on Shabbat. To adhere to this prohibition, Jewish cooks began to create meat and bean stews in heavy pots that would slowly simmer inside a low-heat oven overnight. They would prepare the stew on Friday before sundown, cook it partially, and place it into the oven to continue cooking throughout the night. That way, there would be no need to kindle a fire or light a stove during the hours of Shabbat; they would simple remove the stew from the oven at mealtime and it would be fully cooked and ready to serve.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DLBSS3BqJws

Posted by
34 posts

I give a giant thumbs down on the New York Cafe recommendation, it's the worst type of tourist trap, even though it's very pretty.
Thanks James for tutorial on Cholent!

Posted by
9305 posts

Everything has it's purpose. The NY cafe reveals a time in the past. It reveals so much more if you know the history up through the Soviet era. Go on a weekday early or between 3 and 5 to miss the rush. One of my fondest memories is my 2 sons wasting away the afternoon on one of their chess boards.