Budapest: KönyvBár & Restaurant Review!

November 20, 2018|In #europe-eat, Budapest, Europe, Europe Reviews, Hungary|By paraphernalia.coShare This

Wander District Vll, or the Jewish Quarter, in Budapest and you’ll find incredible street art, funky ruin bars and marvellous street food courtyards. In addition to this laid-back cool, you’ll find a dining experience particularly suited to book-lovers.

Table of Contents hide Preface. Chapter #1. Claire Cooks. Chapter #2. Clothes Left Behind. Chapter #3. In the Cage. Chapter #4. Christmas Dinner Again & Again. Chapter #5. The Healing Coffee. Epilogue. Getting there. Pin this for later!

KönyvBár, or Book Bar, is a casual fine dining restaurant with a quirky weekly book based menu. Bibliophiles adore it, especially if a favourite is on the menu, but if you’re not a reader, what appears on your plate will equally delight. Let’s take a look inside KönyvBár & Restaurant.



The concept of KönyvBár comes from husband and wife team Gábor and Ildikó. Reducing her hours in Real Estate, Ildikó is the bookworm in the family while Gábor swapped his commercial construction career for cooking school.

Gutting a down and out pub in Budapest’s funky Jewish District, KönyvBár portrays the uncomplicated interior of a Scandinavian apartment, totally lined with the expected book ladened shelves.

Their friends thought they were mad, convinced no one would come to eat, they’d simply come to read.

Four years later, the restaurant continues to make headlines with a new book weekly. The concept is fun and if you happen to have read the menu’s book, it adds to the humour while dissecting the courses.

However, when it comes down to tin-tacks, the fare really has to stand up for itself and let me assure you, it does!

The table is set, pre-dinner drinks arrive and your waiter proceeds to introduce her/himself, the restaurant, and tonight’s book. A brief synopsis before the action commences.

It’s at this time you’ll decide whether to follow the book offer or order à la carte. Of course, you’ll go with the book offer and why not add the Hungarian Wine pairing?

On our visit, the book in question was Audrey Niffenegger’s, The Time Traveler’s Wife. An unconventional love story between Henry and Claire that travels through time.


Chapter #1. Claire Cooks.

Claire most definitely cannot cook, while straight from the gate we learn Gábor most definitely can. His duck liver paté is served with pickles and beetroot bread, all made in-house.


Chapter #2. Clothes Left Behind.

With Henry’s time-travelling, he loses his clothes in the process, arriving naked in his future or past. Claire, as the dutiful wife ensures clean clothes for his next visit.

In this course, wild garlic ricotta is enclosed in a ravioli parcel, layered with ham, and washed in butter foam.


Chapter #3. In the Cage.

Appearing in the rabbit cage wasn’t really Henry’s most elegant entrance.

The cage is removed as the story is told to reveal baked rabbit leg on pear and kohlrabi purée. Chickpeas accompany with the dish dressed in Hungary’s favourite fruity distilled pálinka.

Freshening the palate in preparation for the fourth course, a sorbet arrives outside of the story.


Chapter #4. Christmas Dinner Again & Again.

Repeated events are unavoidable in time travel.

This slow cooked lamb leg with horseradish and root vegetables could be eaten again and again and Henry does!


Chapter #5. The Healing Coffee.

Time travelling takes a lot out of you which is why Claire would leave Henry a thermos of coffee to restore his energy.

This coffee/ chocolate dessert is mousse based with a bouncy coffee gel layered before a cream foam. Topped with rich chocolate sauce and nuts, it’s a wonderful end to a delightful experience.



Regardless of your reading interest, this dining experience is one for the books. Pun intended 😉

A talented chef has surrounded himself with six like-minded and equally talented cooks. The personable waiters enjoy the banter created from their involvement in the storytelling, and observing other diners, the book concept fills any first date awkwardness.

At the end of your extra-ordinary dining experience, a copy of the book in question arrives containing your bill. An opportunity to flick through and settle any storyline disagreements discussed over dinner.

KönyvBár’s intimate setting makes reservations a necessity. Follow KönyvBár on Facebook where they share the book of the week, give directions, and take reservations through messenger.

Their website is receiving a facelift but here is the link for later and their email address is

This unique dining experience will have you drawn into an evening of fabulous food, divine wine, and you can even swap the book you’ve just finished for one on the shelves. KönyvBár & Restaurant, it’s a place we love….


Getting there.

KönyvBár & Restaurant is located at Dob Utca 45 in the Jewish Quarter or District Vll.

Show your cab driver this address: 1074, Vll. Kerület. Dob Utca 45.

KönyvBár’s central location makes for an easy walk from District V and the Danube. If you get distracted and lose your bearings, you can always give them a call on +36 20 922 7027.


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