As I heard lunch menus are very common here in Budapest. I could definitely see this was true. With many business people having their lunch break and students eating after (or in my case before) classes, there is a huge audience who uses the offer of a lunch menu.
What are lunch menus? There are all different kinds of places, sometimes fancier than other restarants, pubs or bistros. They serve 2 or 3 courses for a really cheap price – sometimes less than half of the money you would pay in the evening. Mostly, you cannot choose what you’ll receive, but because eating several plates for a small amout of money is a great thing, I decided to give it a try. I found out about a lot of places and finally visited a small restaurant called Ruben (Magyar utca 12-14) – very near to the faculty of humanities, 3 courses for 890 forints. Also the place had a very stylish look, it was the perfect choice.
So around midday, I entered Ruben, which is in fact a chic and posh place. There are modern chandeliers all over the place, black tables and a balcony, that connects the first and second floor. We were the first visitors and we were sure that there had to be some sort of a catch, it just looked too expensive to have a menu for under 1000 forints. But we just went for it and ordered. We even added a lemonade, small ones are available for around 130 Forints. Soon, the place was crowded with businessmen, as well as with people who seemed like they were looking for some cheap lunch.
Our menu contained a soup at the beginning, Lasagne as the main course and palacsinta (pancakes) for dessert, and it was totally okay. However I have to admit I expected something else at the beginning, because of the appearance of the restaurant. While eating I discovered that it was more like ‚feed as many people as you can in the shortest amount of time‘ – they had our dessert ready while still eating the Lasagne and so on. Then I thought that that’s the reason they can offer food so cheap – just have one menu and as many guests as possible. And it’s just the right thing to eat quickly at your lunchbreak.
In a nutshell, the place looks very nice and the food is a great deal for what you pay. It’s definitely an alternative when you are fed up with eating at the same Cafeteria every day and just want to see something new.
And if you’d like to experience some more lunch menus, there are a lot of other places to go, for example Beszkart Ori Bufe on Akacfa utca 15, where you can get soup and a main course and additionally free water and bread for 750 or Most (on Zichy Jeno utca 17) where you can choose different, and very tasty, plates for not much more than 1000 Forints. For eating cheap and tasty lunch, there are endless possibilities in Budapest.
By Sarah Schäfer