Eastern Europe dining
Thanks for all the great, current info. So much better than store-bought guidebooks. And, thanks to those of you who corrected my geography knowledge. I really had thought these places in the former Communist bloc were considered Eastern Europe and it is curious that the places are all included in common tours of Eastern Europe.
In Berlin-- check out Monsieur Vuong (http://www.monsieurvuong.de/mvweb/en/...) for amazing food from Indochina and a relaxed crowd from Berlin. Also, Babel, on Kastanienallee (walk from Torstrasse) offers the best and cheapest falafel in town.
And no, this is not Eastern Europe you are going to :)
You are not in eastern Europe when you are in Berlin, Prage, Vienna, Warsaw or Budapest. You are right in the middle, in Central Europe. Eastern Europe is: Baltic States, Russia, Bielorussia, Ukraine, Moldawia and the Caucasian nations such as Georgia and Armenia.
Just my 2 c ...
But when you are in Vienna, you can get something special: try the kosher restaurant Simchas in Taborstrasse 47 (closed Friday and Saturday), there you get real jewish cuisine from central Asia !!
For the rest look for older postings on his board. Vienna is chowhounds heaven.
In Krakow you must visit Wierzynek right in Rynek as Grodzka Ulica opens out into the square. It's one of Poland's oldest and most famous restaurants. I'm sure there are other places to go for newer and more daring culinary advenutures, but Wierzynek is unmatched in history. It's been there in some form or another since 1300-something. For the most unbelievable pastries in the world, and particularly the Cremowka, go to Cracovia Hotel on Focha, it's within easy walking distance of the Old Town (Stary Miast). Old Town is surrounded by a park/promenade called Blonia, and Cracovia is just outside it on the west side of town. There's a retail bakery on the street level that sells wonderful cakes by the slice. It's not much to look at, if you don't feel like sitting at the one and only table while in the middle of people lining up, get a box of assorted cakes and go back to your hotel. My mother used to special order an entire "makowiec" (poppy seed cake) or even two, and take them back to the States in her suitcase. This might not sound like much, but each of those cakes was nearly three feet long.
In Budapest, and the restaurant scene is varied. (I don't have a computer that gives me the ability to do Hungarian characters)
Authentic Hungarian restaurants from my personal experience:
- Fatal (translated:wooden leg, with an accent over the 1st a, so it isn't the unfortunate English word)
- Kispipa (old-fashioned)
- Kisbuda Gyöngye.
Other recommended restaurants from my own personal experience:
- Cafe Kor
- Spoon (on a ship docked on the Danube)
- Club 57
- Voros es Feher
I know you want just dinner recs, but do go to a cukraszda. It is a cafe to enjoy fine cakes or pastries and an espresso. (the standard coffee there) Hungarians have quite the sweet tooth. The most famous, Gerebeaud is a tourist trap. Daubner is probably the best for quality, but not so much for environs, and there are queues. (on the Buda side and a bit off touristy path)
Do be aware that Hungarian waitstaffs can be notoriously bad. However, if you're not at the typical restaruant that caters to tourists, you may get better service because you speak English. Americans are well-known to tip more generously as the standard tip is 10% there versus our ~20%. Also, do be aware when paying that they do the transaction correctly.
Go to www.chew.hu, an opinated Hungarian gastronomy blog run by expats. They have a link to their restaurant directory so you can get more info and maps for the restuarants.