We are launching a new series on the blog http://varosban.blog.hu/ because together with you we also love series: we found out where the best burgers, gyros' and ice creams are in Budapest and now so to fill the gap we are about to search for restaurants where we can get decent Hungarian food on a reasonable price.
The idea came to our mind together with Adam: when our friends are looking for a restaurant we can always offer them something. But when they would like to show the Hungarian cuisine for a few thousand HUF to their foreign friends, usually we get confused. We know places which prepare pretty good international meals at a reasonable price. And we also know places where perfect Hungarian meals can be consumed – at an upper price category.
But then we are just scratching our heads nervously when we have to offer a high quality, Hungarian place at a reasonable price. This is how the 'I'd like to eat something Hungarian' series were born. Its first station is big gun right away: The Kádár.
The restaurant was established in 1957 by Béla Kádár, whose name was similar to the leader of the country at that time. The story has a beautiful frame structure because the owner nowadays is Mr. Orbán, who owns the restaurant for more than 20 years. Though twenty years ago Antall was the prime minister.
But the story isn't only about the owner: he is the cook, he is the one, who goes around and has a chat with the guests, who are sometimes foreigners. He is the one who welcomes the regular guests and he is also the cashier. You can pay him next to the entrance. It is like an honor based cash register.
Trustworthy place, there's no problem with it.
The Kádár is absolutely cozy mainly because of the owner and the staff: for example Katika who served our food and who is working there since 1987. And the clichés are of course pretty funny: checked table covers from the lower middle class of the 70s and 80s, soda-water siphons on the table, engaging soc-real environment, pictures and signs on the wall:
We can feel immediately that we are like regular guests and it is mainly because of the coherence of the positive attitude of the staff and the good mood of the guests. While we were checking the menu Katika has started to tell stories. It turned out that each day has its special offer next to the constantly changing meals. On Tuesdays they have slowly stewed beef with brown sauce and dumplings, on Wednesdays they have goose risotto, on Fridays Székely cabbage is the right choice and on Saturdays they serve every kind of cholent. These are all world famous.
So the Kádár has a first class Jewish-Hungarian cuisine according to the spirit of the neighborhood (on the Klauzál tér where the restaurant is 3000 dead bodies were found after liberating the getto). To be precise: when Kádár operates on its top level, it offers such a food you can only eat at grandma. Kádár is not a fine dining place.
It is a decent Hungarian restaurant and it also reflects on the prices: soups cost a few hundred HUF and the main dishes are around 800-1400 HUF. And they are extremely stodgy.
Adam enjoyed his cold fruit soup and the green bean stew with meat loaf pretty much: I can’t stand the last one based on some memories from the kindergarten, but in the Kádár it was quite good.
The ‘Savoya’ pork ribs I ordered were absolutely wonderful! It gave me the abandoned joy of guzzling, the kind of happiness you can only experience at family lunches. I stuffed the fried potato and the massive slices of pork loins into me. Mostly because it was generously seasoned – not in a kind of EU-compatible way- but happily with pepper, salt and it was so nicely fried together with the onion I was hardly able to stop eating. We could have had a bit fresher bread and some kind of crispy baked good from a good bakery would have been perfect to the dish, but the whole story was as good as it was.
At the end with Adam we ate piling but we were so full we hardly dare to order it no matter how kindly Katika offered it for us. She looked at us and asked if she can divide the portion to two for which we said happily yes. After that we were happy eating the last bites from the great dessert.
The Kádár is a superb place if we would like to eat something Hungarian at a good price. The lunch with the soup, main dish, half portion of dessert, pickles, soda-water, bread (you also have to mention them at the register) takes about 2200-2600 HUF, which is the lowest price available if someone would like to eat decent food.
So it is strongly recommended.
1072 Klauzál tér 9.
Opening hours: Tuesday-Saturday 11:30-15:30
If you want to get to know the authentic side of Budapest, the best bars, restaurants, clubs and events, join our Facebook group where you can find all the information you need.