We probably went to the Kehli (pronounced "kay lee") restaurant more than any other eating place in Budapest. The menu (available in Hungarian, English and German) has a good variety of traditional Hungarian specialties at moderate prices. We found that the lower priced dishes were every bit as good as the top end ones. It is hard to recommend a specialty since everything we had was good.
Here is an account of one of our visits:
We took Eva's cousins to the Kehli Restaurant for dinner. A place that is within walking distance of our apartment -- a mix of Hungarians and tourists -- If you pay attention you can have a good dinner for $7 a person. They immediately noticed that the restaurant, both in its menu and with signs on the walls is very proud of being the hang-out of Krudy, Gyula a famous Hungarian writer of the first part of the 20th century. "Oh," they observed to Eva, "your grandfather used to spend lots of time with Krudy Gyula -- they were good friends." So there we were, sitting in a restaurant where our son Mickey was probably the fourth generation of his family to eat.
(Directional hints: the river runs north and south with most of Budapest being to the south. The Buda hills are to the west.)
The band, clarinet, base, and two violinists and a vocalist, was playing what might have been traditional Hungarian folk songs -- except that according to Eva the lyrics ran towards: "My Mother-in-law is the ticket collector on the number 46 trolley ..."
The address is Mokus u. 22: Located in Obuda (district III) just west of the Arpad hid. The resturant is a block behind (west of) the Corinthia Aquincum Hotel.
The landmark for finding the restaurant is the Catholic Church that is just south of the road that comes over the Arpad Bridge. (There are two churches south of the road -- the Protestant church is more to the west and plainer and smaller than the Catholic church which is closer to the river and has a clock and many statues.) Walk one block south on Mokus utca which runs just behind (west) the Catholic church.
- Take the number 1 trolley to the Szentlelek ter stop (the first stop west of the Dunna.) Walk south
- Take the HEV to the Arpad hid stop. Walk south. (Note: the trolley stop is on the south side of Szentlelek ter while the HEV stop is on the east side of the square, so they are within 200 yards of eachother.)
- Take the 6 or 86 bus to Pacsirtamezo Utca, the first stop south of the Florian ter stop. (read the placards in the bus) and walk east.