A year or so ago we predicted on this site that the next Michelin star for a Budapest eatery would be bequeathed upon either Stand 25 or Babel. As it happened, both earned stars last week, bringing the total number of stars awarded to currently operating local establishments to six.
It was a mere 9 years ago when Michelin awarded its first star to a Budapest restaurant, giving the honor to Costes, which was situated on the one-time low-rent street Ráday Utca. A lot has changed since. Ráday has become a well-touristed walking street loaded with quality restaurants and shops, Costes has opened a second location, Costes Downtown, and dozens of other haute cuisine restaurants have opened.
One of those, Onyx, was helmed by Tamás Széll, an emerging Hungarian chef, and his co-chef Szabina Szulló. After winning a star for Onyx, Széll went on to open the less formal Stand 25, which features quality updates of Hungarian classics (their gulash soup is a legend in the making). The reasonable prices, downtown location, and casual feeling made Stand 25 a hit with diners. The feeling around town was that it was perhaps too casual for a star, but lately Michelin is moving beyond the white cloth experience, even awarding stars to street food stands. But Stand 25, despite the name, is far from street food, and if you have eaten there you know the star is well deserved under any conditions.
Babel had been accumulating buzz for a while, and many were surprised it was passed over for the honor last year. Despite this, it won International Restaurant of the Year in 2017 from Decanter Magazine, which heaped praise on chef István Veres’, who draws inspiration from his native Transylvania when composing his dishes.
In profiling the restaurants in its just released 38th edition of the red guide to the ‘Main Cities of Europe’, which covers 38 cities in 22 countries, the Michelin critics had this to say of Stand 25: "A smart, formal restaurant with contemporary monochrome styling and a kitchen on view behind glass. The cooking is modern, but the unfussy dishes have their heart in the Hungarian classics; the confident kitchen taking a just a handful of top quality ingredients and allowing them to shine."
Of Babel Michelin said, "Cooking is innovative and flavorful: dishes on the Babel Classic menu are informed by the chef's Transylvanian heritage and each has a story to tell, while dishes on the Tasting Menu are more ambitious, with some playful elements." It also complimented the entire aesthetic of the restaurant.
If there are other deserving restaurants in Hungary that might have been over-looked for a Michelin star, leave them in the comments. We are always looking for great places to entertain guests and recommend to the professionals who come to Budapest and Hungary to take advantage of the delicious conditions here for film production.
Flatpack Films has many years of experience dedicated to offering expert servicing. It has brought the best of Hungary to countless brands, agencies, and production companies through its unique locations, exceptionally skilled crews, top of the line equipment and technical solutions. Backed by an impeccable track record, Flatpack Films has worked with world-class clients including Samsung, Samsonite, Toyota, Braun, Chivas Regal and many more - bringing their projects to life through a highly bespoke approach.