Review: Café Eklektika

Café Eklektika
Nagymező utca 30
1065 Budapest

Remember this place? I had my first sips of goulash here on my first Sunday in Budapest. Back then, more than an unbelievably fantastic month ago, I was too disoriented to realize that this café is half a block from my apartment. Maybe I love it for that reason, or maybe because the soup made me so happy after a cold day of sightseeing. In any case, Eklektika is on my good side. My flatmate and I took the less-than-a-minute walk there tonight out of laziness for food that needed more work than pointing a finger on a menu. My happily growing food baby approves of the choice.

With inexpensive, everyday food of many persuasions (pizza, pasta, salads, soups, meat pies, various pork concoctions, dishes with lots of paprika, and desserts with claims to Brazil and Belgium), Eklektika is pretty pleasing. Nothing spectacular, nothing bad. Yaniv put it best: “For a café across the street, it’s pretty good.”

He likes to be deep, this one.

We were too hungry to bother with pictures of food. I inhaled a mozzarella and prosciutto salad (pretty okay), and Yaniv gulped down goulash (good), spaghetti (rich), and grillázstorta (also good). I’ll forgive my waiter for enjoying my struggle to spell the WiFi password—mestergerenda, meshtegrejgrgrwkrgwejkgra, or something like that—and give him top marks for speedy service and attention. Both somewhat rare in Budapest. He only disappointed when he couldn’t recommend a dessert. Didn’t like sweet foods, he said. (We tried not to stare.)

 The décor is also memorable. Nice, warm, and odd, with lots of posters of fat fish in suits.

If you’re ever in the corner between Bajcsy and Andrássy and need a quick bite, I really do recommend this place. It’s many a step up from the dry sandwiches and microwaved “Mediterranean” dishes that dominate the eateries in the area (and, well, the rest of the city too). And if you do this before April, either walk around the corner to my place or just across the street to Mozsár Kávézó, where I’ll probably be sitting with a cup of coffee and my Hungarian homework. (Details on that find coming soon!)

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