The tourists with their snapping cameras do not seem to be bothered by the fact that the Vajdahunyad Castle is not the home of some Hungarian king from the Middle Ages, but a “relatively” new construction of a man called Ignác Alpár. He built the castle 111 years ago, on the occasion of the nation’s millennium celebrations.

The building integrates elements from different Hungarian constructions, ranging from John Hunyadi’s Castle, he being the father of the legendary King Matthias Corvinus, up to the St. George Abbey in Ják. However, the castle is a castle, after all, and there is no other place in the Hungarian capital where you can test your knowledge about architecture as well as here.

The multifaceted castle is surrounded by a broad moat that opens into the City Park Lake on its right side. If you cross this moat and stop in front of the gothic castle gate, you will probably notice a small “secret” path leading left along the castle walls. It leads to the terrace by the water, which belongs to the bistro that opened only this year, called Anonymus Bar&More.


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Grill terrace, bar and more

There is enough place for almost 100 guests. The design of the tables and chairs focuses more on practicability than aesthetics. They are comfortable and still more elegant than the usual beer-garden set.

From the direction of the open grill kitchen you can detect a temptingly smoky aroma and see some paprika chains hanging up here and there, which add a little bit of folklore to the atmosphere.

Passing the thick castle walls you can reach the interior space, where there are also some seats although the place is dominated by an imposing bar, with a glass balloon hanging over it, filled with pálinka from the Árpád distillery.

What is this “&More” promise anyway, offered so generously in the restaurant’s name? As a response, we are led to another part of the extended premises and encounter a cultural shock – Hungarian souvenirs are facing us from all directions.

Anonymus features a well-stocked souvenir shop, as we learn. Besides Hungarian paprika, pálinka and wine you can buy honey, syrups and lavender products from the vicinity of Pannonhalma. The assortment contains an impressive selection of national art craftsmanship and items for fans of legendary Hungarian footballer Ferenc Puskás.


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The best of Hungarian cuisine

The menu card of Anonymus looks like a hit parade from the most popular Hungarian dishes. Of course, goulash soup cannot be omitted from the selection of appetisers, likewise a plate of Hungarian foie gras.

If you would prefer to try a larger plate of traditional delicacies, we suggest ordering the tasting plate, which comes in a different arrangement – you can choose between cheeses or meats – and can be ordered for one or up to four people.

The territory of main dishes continues with classics from the Hungarian kitchen, such as Mangalica steak and fried liver. However, Anonymus adds a surprising modern twist here – instead of offering an overload of heavy national dishes, which often sound too adventurous for tourists, it takes the favourite ingredients of the country, such as lecsó, grey cattle steak and liver, and simply puts them between two half buns. These burgers are a good compromise between the classic and street-food trends.

To close a hearty meal, a dessert should not be missed, of course. Unfortunately Anonymus does not offer the Hungarian dessert classic Madártej (“bird’s milk” in English), which would clearly be a winner at the Olympics of most delicious Hungarian desserts, but it does offer a broad selection of strudels, cakes from the traditional Végvári pastry shop and – a consolation for the missing Madártej – Somló dumplings, a specialty made up of fluffy sponge cake, rum, cream and neat chocolate sauce.

By the way, the restaurant’s name comes from the mysterious statue in the courtyard of the castle. You can find it opposite the entry of the Museum of Agriculture, which is also housed in the castle, and it displays a man dressed in long robes, seated on a throne.

A low-hanging hood hides his face and there is a pen in his hand. The writing on the base reveals that this statue was erected to honour an anonymous historian working at the beginning of the 13th century, called Anonymus. He is believed to be the author of the first Hungarian chronical, by the order of King Béla IV.


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Evaluation

Of course, Anonymus Bar&More is primarily directed towards the touristic audience, as defined by its location and represented in its menu card, which offers popular local classics. So you will not experience any culinary surprises here.

However, there are other things this restaurant has to offer, such as the picturesque atmosphere. The view from the terrace crammed in between the castle walls and the water can be enjoyed until dusk, when they switch on the garlands and you cannot really see anything outside anymore.

So if you are looking for a romantic place for an intimate rendezvous, or you would like to not only present one of the most beautiful sights of Budapest to your guests but also introduce them to the culinary highlights of the country at the same time, this is the perfect place for you.

For Budapesters, Anonymus is a good place to drop by during a walk through City Park or visiting one of the many festivals that take place almost every week. In the wintertime the terrace changes into a wonderful little Christmas market, and mulled wine specialties are offered in the interior for warming up.


Anonymus Bar&More

Budapest, District XIV, Vajdahunyad Castle in City Park

Open daily 09.00-23.00

Reservations at (+36) 70 882-1242

See www.anonymusbar.hu

Prices

Appetisers, soups and salads: HUF 970-2870

Cold plates: from HUF 3500

Burgers and main dishes: HUF 1670-4700

Desserts: HUF 700-1270

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