Huszár, named after the Hungarian light cavalry soldiers, is the type of restaurant where everyday local Hungarian families go for a Sunday lunch. It's an unchic restaurant that doesn’t try to be more than what it is—an unfussy neighborhood joint serving Hungarian dishes without twists or updates to traditional recipes. Huszár also satisfies my occasional nostalgia for the type of gruff service and weathered interior that defined Budapest restaurants in the '90s.
The food is hit-and-miss. Be sure to avoid the truly awful, gluey hortobágyi pancake, but I can recommend the goulash soup (€2.5), the beef stew (pörkölt; €8), and the paprikash (€7). If pork fat doesn't intimidate you, go for the cigánypecsenye, a pork neck cutlet topped with fried fatback (€8). Round out your meal with gesztenyepüré (€3), a puree of sweetened chestnuts coated in whipped cream, similar to a Mont Blanc dessert.
Prices are somewhat lower than at comparable restaurants, reflecting the fact that Huszár is located outside the city center. Several hotels are nearby, that's why tourists occupy the tables during the week in this offbeat area, and also why two Roma musicians perform Hungarian folk songs on violin and cimbalom every evening between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. The music is enjoyable, but they can be annoyingly persistent about soliciting tips from tourists.