“Even more innovative and independent of external manipulations” is what to expect this year, according to the authors of the Volkswagen-Dining Guide Top 100. It is the most important national restaurant guide besides the Michelin Guide. If a restaurant isn’t among the 220 selected for the book, then stay away, they say. The book is in stores now, and The Budapest Times takes a closer look.
This year’s edition is the twelfth. What can readers expect? “We would like to provide people with knowledge and hand them a reliable compass to find their way in the Hungarian gastronomic scene,” says Zoltán Herczeg, the restaurateur responsible for supervising and publishing the latest guide.
“We present 220 Hungarian restaurants in total that stand up to our expectations about good gastronomy. This contains those establishments that made it into the ranking of Hungary’s top 100 but there is also a section for restaurants which are not in the top 100 but they are still recommended. A further section of the book presents an overview about the best offers in the field of the more and more popular streetfoods.”
The restaurant guide is especially recommended for citizens living in the capital: 85-90% of the listings are in Budapest. However, there are selected top 100 pearls from other cities and the region around Lake Balaton, for example the Kistücsök Restaurant in Balatonszemes and the Ikon Restaurant in Debrecen.
The restaurant guide attracts with an elegant design, bound in black and gold on the outside, using a reduced palette of colours on the inside and presenting strong contrasts that enhance easy readability. The slim book fits well in your hands and is a handy companion when on the go.
The overview of each individual restaurant is made transparent with the use of simple symbols: pictograms show new openings of restaurants with new chefs, the background colour gives an indication whether you can expect a more traditional or progressive cuisine and finally there are the “golden Dining Guide food covers”.
These symbols – similarly to the stars in the Michelin Guide – serve as a guarantee of quality. The best of the best are rewarded with one, two or even three of these symbols. The guide is available both in Hungarian and English versions.
The Volkswagen-Dining Guide Top 100 Restaurant Guide 2016 costs HUF 1690 from book shops, newspaper stands and service stations. It can be ordered directly from the publisher at email@example.com. There is more information on the website