Budapest and Amsterdam
So, we're going to Budapest and Amsterdam this holiday season... Budapest for Christmas and Amsterdam for the New Year. I've read through a lot of these posts--thanks for all the helpful advice!
Our constraints: we are young, don't like things too stuffy, and don't have too much money. However, food is a priority for this trip, so I'm pinching my pennies to be able to afford some yummy things.
In Budapest (four days) I plan on going to the Central Market, Kadar, maybe Klassz or Csalogany 26 (the latter for lunch, maybe)?
In Amsterdam (six days) I think we'll be eating a lot of street food--fries and olliebollen, etc. Maybe try out Zus en Zus for New Years Eve?
Any ideas on what might be open in Budapest on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day? Any Jewish or Asian restaurants, maybe? Or should we wing it? Will restaurants like Kádár be open after Christmas?
In Amsterdam, any tips for keeping things yummy and cheap? Sandwich shops?
Singel 404 has fantastic sandwiches at very decent prices. Fries are a good way to go, too, which can be found all over the place.
Thai Snack Bar Bird on Zeedijk is also cheap and fantastic. Most of the Chinese restos in the Red Light District are very decently priced, tho they are probably not a culinary revelation...
Christmas Eve in Budapest is as quiet as it gets - when they wrote Silent Night, this is what they meant...About the only places you'll find open for dinner will be hotel restaurants, including a lovely little cafe, the Gerloczy (http://gerloczy.hu). I would book a reservation there for Christmas Eve if I were you...Christmas day things will start to reopen, especially in the tourist areas. You might check whether Rosenstein is open (a wonderful restaurant with Jewish roots: http://www.rosenstein.hu/en/index.html )...Csalogany would be my choice between Klassz and Csalogany ... both wonderful, but they are in different leagues. I might also opt for the outdoor grilled dishes at the Christmas Market in Vorosmarty ter over the Central Market steam tables, but perhaps you can do both.
I am in Budapest, right now! We got groceries over the past couple days and are planning on cooking xmas eve dinner in our room (it is a condo that we rented), but I just walked past a Turkish cuisine place that is open (it is Xmas eve). I'm not sure the name or the exact address, but it is just South of here: http://bit.ly/8LqcNB
Hope that helps.
In Budapest lots was closed on Christmas Eve & Day--we missed Kádár, which I was sad about, but ate the most delicious pullet and oyster mushroom stew at the Christmas market. Gerloczy was really great; we had their "traditional" Hungarian dishes, which were on the cheaper side of the menu but seemed pretty authentic and left us full for days. We both found Menza sort of weird--we had the most bizarre pumpkin and cold smoked goose appetizer. But the pastries from Lukacs were not to be believed.
In Amsterdam we had a great time. Spang Makandra in De Pijp for Surinamese/Javanese food--we went twice. Singel 404 for sandwiches--also went twice. Dinner at Zus en Zus--the service was off and the meal was a little spotty, but it's a nice location and the clientele is mostly Dutch, which was a great change. Reasonably priced, too--€25 for 3 courses.
The highlight, though, was Holtkamp, which I hadn't read about and stumbled on by chance. When I got outside with my bags bulging with pastry, a Dutch man looked at me and said, "You realize that's the best bakery in Amsterdam, no?" I had had an inkling, but it was confirmed by tasting the apple strudel.
All in all, we spent more money than we wanted to, but made up for it in Amsterdam by eating some of the most amazing meals I've had all year.