By Youmna Benmaymoun
Have you ever found yourself thinking a lot about where you should take your friends for dinner when they come to visit you in Budapest? Isn’t reason why you were so perplexed about where to take them is because you have been living here for a while and you don’t get too excited to the idea of having another Goulash soup for now? That’s why so wish to go somewhere where you can enjoy a nice (gourmet) burger while your friend’s taste buds get enchanted to a delicious Hungarian dish. Your wish shall come true by going to Menza. It is the orange colored restaurant that you cannot miss if you walk down Liszt Ferenc Tér.
“Menza”, explains Szilvia Ispán the general manager of the restaurant, “means canteen in Hungarian. It is a concept that was quite popular during the socialist era.” This explains the idea behind the beautiful retro design that was taken to a whole new level and that only prepares you to get a high dose of politeness and warm welcoming from the staff as soon as you cross the restaurant’s door. Their smiles are the first appetizers offered by the house, and then their willingness to speak English comes next to make your experience there brighter as a Hungarian speaking wannabe.
As soon as you sit down on your table, an orange gerbera gracefully standing in a porcelain vase completes the perfect picture for you to get ready to order. At this point whether you decide to have a glass of wine or fresh squeezed orange juice, you can get either of the two. As you get ready to order, you can count on your waiter to informatively guide you through the menu if you are not familiar with the Hungarian cuisine and help you choose a dish that will dilates your pupils. “Our menu is well diversified to suit all needs and tastes. Here you can have a burger while your friend has a goulash soup”, says Arpad Laurenczy the general manager. The menu includes soups, pasta, beef stews and they also have a weekly offer menu that suggest an excellent variety of exquisite dishes inspired from different cuisines around the world.
To top it all, the prices make the Menza experience easy on your pocket as you can enjoy a garlic soup alongside a langos, the famous Hungarian fried flat bread, for 990 Forints. If you opt for a bit more sophisticated dish such as grilled Dorado with pesto spaghetti, you will have to give up 3,990 Forints but it surely will be worth your while.
The bottom line is you don’t have to have a friend visiting to feel like going back to Menza: it is the kind of restaurants that offers you the coziness you need in winter nights and gives you the opportunity to enjoy a sunbath on the terrace when it gets warmer, the right recipe to draw you back time and again to its tables, no specific reason needed.
1061 BUDAPEST, LISZT FERENC TÉR 2.
+36 1 413 1482
Open everyday from 10.00 to 24.00