Surviving as a business in Budapest’s ‘party neighbourhood’ is actually much harder than it sounds. Places come and go and only those with a true character and a special touch survive. In 400’s case, it’s a combination of excellent Serbian food and the ability to morph from a leisurely restaurant in the afternoons to a crowded feelgood bar in the evening. It occasionally also doubles as a sports bar during footballing tournaments or whenever Serbia are involved in some important sporting undertaking.
This being said, there’s nothing of the tackiness of some ethnic restaurants: the décor is basic and functional, centred around the large wooden bar that becomes the main hub come evening. In summer, the four hundred square metres (if you were wondering about the origin of the name) of the indoor restaurant are more than doubled by a terrace lying on both sides of a narrow alley connecting the iconic Kazinczy street to the Gozsdu courtyard.
While the culinary staples are mostly centred around meat-heavy Balkan dishes such as ćevapčići (my favourite), available in 5, 10 and 15-piece portions, the menu also contains vegetarian options, fish and Mexican inspired dishes, plus a variety of burgers.
As anyone who has lived in Budapest long enough knows, splitting the bill is generally a total nightmare, but 400 has a brilliant solution for that too: separate bills to the name of everyone at the table. The fact that one of your mates always splits without paying is absolutely not their fault.