At Rosenstein, a Hungarian-Jewish family is gloriously preserving their generational cuisine and forging a new chapter in Budapest’s gastronomic scene. Opened in 1996 by Tibor Rosenstein, the family business is run by the semi-retired chef, his wife, and kids. Today, Rosenstein is the centerpiece of Budapest’s historic Jewish Quarter, which has flourished in recent years with kosher establishments revitalizing once derelict buildings with modern takes on Hungarian-Jewish culture.
An evening at Rosenstein is a timeless experience fueled by fine Hungarian wines and paprika-spiked classics, like the crowd-favorite chicken paprikash and matzo ball soup. A leatherbound menu also features lesser-served delights, like roast goose, a cholent Sabbath stew cooked overnight, as well as paprika-braised tripe, a tangy lung stew, and other offal-centric dishes (which have, notably, been served here long before nose-to-tail cooking was hipster-cool).
The restaurant is a triumphant outcome for a man who survived World War II and the Soviet occupation in Budapest. After his parents were murdered at Auschwitz, Rosenstein was raised by his grandmothers and learned to cook with modest means. It led to an impressive culinary career at important Hungarian establishments like Kispipa and the Grand Hotel before he realized his lifelong dream of opening his own establishment.
While Tibor’s adult children keep the business rolling, the octogenarian and his wife still take great joy in cooking and seating patrons during their golden years. Yet, it would be remiss to say Rosenstein is stuck in the past. Despite the richly preserved wooden interiors, the menu stays dynamic with changing chefs’ specials and, recently, the younger Rosensteins’ came out with a deli line of kosher coffee roasts and craft beers. Many of the family’s recipes were also published in The Rosenstein Cookbook, with a new edition planned for the restaurant’s 30th anniversary in 2026.
Know Before You Go
Reservations are essential, so be sure to book well in advance.