Stepping through the front door of the Taverna Dionysos it’s easy to think you’ve discovered a porthole leading to the island of Santorini. More than just a restaurant, the Taverna Dionysos is a hub of Greek culture, with its elaborate décor of Greek village meets Minoan Palace, live music events from the Sirtos Ensemble every second Friday of the month and its authentic cuisine.
With whitewashed walls, frescoes of Cretan dolphins and character names from Greek history and mythology stencilled onto the back of the chairs, the Hellenic experience begins the moment you go inside.
The restaurant has become a fixture on the Budapest culinary scene. After opening its doors on the banks of the Danube back in 1993, Taverna Dionysos has been a success story for twenty years, and with the marriage of friendly service and incredible food – it’s easy to see why.
The interior might be striking but Taverna Dionysos does not disappoint with the food. The menu tempts diners to a rich selection of freshly prepared Greek dishes, and it’s hard to go wrong.
To start with, there are various bites and dips, like Tzatziki, Skordiala and Aubergine cream, however for those who want to try a bit of everything then Orektiko Piato Krio is the perfect platter to stimulate your appetite. Served in generous proportions, this starter embodies the Greek meze tradition – where you have many small portions of various dishes to share.
With a healthy serving of aromatic Tzatziki, yogurt perfumed with fresh mint and garlic, Htipiti, a tangy cream made from feta cheese spiced with hot green paprika, Dolmades, stuffed vine leaves, and Skordiala, a dip made from potatoes, among other bite-sized samples to try, this platter will give you a representative introduction to the cuisine on offer.
There is a variety of main courses listed on the menu, ranging from grilled meat to fish, Greek classics and even vegetarian-friendly portions. The wine list also offers plenty to those who love a glass or two with a meal, and there is an extensive choice from both Greek and Hungarian wines.
Delving into the mains, for something traditional, the Mousaka is an iconic Greek dish, made with a mix of minced beef and pork, subtly cooked in white wine, baked between layers of potato and aubergine, topped with a béchamel layer and grated cheese. This pot-roasted special is creamy with a delicate accent of spice. The only complaint is that this bubbling dish is tongue-scorching hot, so you have to wait a few minutes before tucking in.
From the sea, try the Octopodi, grilled octopus cooked to buttery perfection, redeeming itself from its usual rubbery reputation, served with a drizzling of olive oil, garlic and lemon dressing.
If the mains might seem too heavy or you’re looking for a healthy option, then fear not, since you can choose from a selection of appetising salads. The house Santorini Salad is an alternative take on the classic Greek Salad, accented with fresh Tzatziki dressing.
If you have an appetite for destruction, or simply love sweets, then there are plenty of Greek pastries and cakes. For something small and sweet, try the Saragli, a baklava pastry made from filo rolls, filled with nuts and sweetened with honey, perfumed with a subtle orange aroma.
Dining at the Dionysos feels like a mini vacation to your favourite local taverna in Greece, with excellent, fresh food combining authentic recipes with the best ingredients, and friendly service that will have you back again for Hellenic flair.
Starters: HUF 590-5,350
Mains: HUF 480-14,950
Desserts: HUF 850-1,500
Glass of wine: HUF 480-790