If you want to be up to date on what is new and trendy on the Budapest gastronomic scene, you can’t miss a visit to Bestia. The restaurant that casually calls itself an upscale pub actually serves simple dishes but of a high quality, which is good news – especially for meat lovers. With its prestigious location immediately opposite St. Stephen’s Basilica and its trendy interior, this is an ideal place for an unforgettable meal.
When you enter you immediately notice the professionalism: dark wooden floor, a lot of metal, bare light bulbs – Bestia’s interior design is carefully planned, successfully applying the “industrial chic” style that is more and more popular in European cities, deliberately similar to the design in the US. Creative architect Ákos Bara’s design fits the whole concept of the restaurant perfectly, since it bases its menu card on American influences as well.
‘Rock star’ of the kitchen
Even if they only serve sandwiches, burgers and grilled dishes here, Bestia has the highest standards: the restaurant contracted one of Hungary’s rising star chefs only recently: Gábor Krausz, who is often described in the media as “the rock star of the kitchen”, first completely turned around the menu card in Bestia and then he worked out a brand-new concept, inventing taste combinations and aromas, and implementing new techniques in preparing the dishes.
The focus of the menu card is on roasted and grilled meat. Thus the kitchen has both a rotating spit and a charcoal grill oven of the brand Josper, which is quite well known among indoor-grill fans, and even a real BBQ smoker.
The professional equipment allows not only preparing a crispy piece of duck and an amazingly soft piece of pork loin, but also explains why the BBQ dishes are the real trademark of Bestia.
The BBQ ribs can hardly be outmatched: the juicy meat is soft as butter and it drops right off the bones without having to do anything. However, its taste is strong and aromatic, thanks to the home-made BBQ sauce. The ribs spend 12 hours in the smoker and they are sprinkled with apple juice every half an hour. The spicy BBQ wings are also worth a try.
If you prefer the grilled taste instead of the smoky flavour, you can try the tomahawk steak – which is basically a ribeye with an extra-large rib bone – made of Chianina beef, or an Angus T-bone steak. However, in Bestia they also grill salmon, whole groupers and lambs in the grill oven, ready to be ordered on your plate.
You can pick from a variety of garnishes and sauces on the side, and you can even add a few truffle shavings if you please, for an additional HUF 550.
Due to the large portions served, you really do not need to order a soup or appetiser. These rather serve as an option for the smaller appetite.
For a lunch on a hot day we suggest the corn-gazpacho, a cold vegetable soup with flakes of spicy Italian raw sausage, while in the evenings you could opt for a rich bone marrow served on toasted bread.
Although the dishes using bone marrow are an integral part of Austrian-Hungarian cuisine, you can rarely find them in Hungarian restaurants. In Bestia, the toasted bread with bone marrow is a real specialty for connoisseurs. The marrow is very attractively presented in a clean, halved bone topped with a layer of breadcrumbs and placed on a small wooden board.
The best of both a restaurant and a pub
Although Bestia’s kitchen delivers the quality of a high-class restaurant, it still emphasises being a pub. This is why the restaurant also offers a surprisingly creative drinks card in addition to the menu: you can choose from numerous artisan beers from Hungary and from around the whole world, imaginative smoothies and lemonades, and even home-made cucumber-vanilla lemonade – it sounds a bit challenging when you hear it for the first time, however it’s surprisingly refreshing.
Bestia leaves nothing to be desired concerning cocktails as well, and they offer their own creations such as “Caprese” – a gin tonic spiced up with salt and pepper, and garnished with fresh basil and appetising cocktail tomatoes.
What you must try: Only one visit to Bestia will certainly not be sufficient to try everything from its trendy kitchen. However, if you have to make a choice, don’t miss the grilled peach salad with goat cheese and chili, in addition to the BBQ and grilled dishes, of course. The unusual salad creation is a secret hint for a visit to this restaurant.
You should also try the banana-coconut-chia smoothie as a small refreshment between courses. A banana-smoothie may sound banal but this mixed drink is not only extremely delicious, it even works as wonderful miracle cure that helps prevent heartburn after the heavy meal.
9-11 Szent István tér, District V
Open daily from noon-midnight and from Thursdays to Saturdays until 2am
Reservations at (+36) 70 333-2163 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Appetisers and soups: HUF 950-2250
Salads: HUF 1850-3750
Main dishes: HUF 1950-9900
Desserts: HUF 950-1450