Budapest is a must visit place for many reasons. You have all heard stories of crazy looking bars, gorgeous ladies and perfect summer evenings. But Budapest isn’t just the notorious party capital of Europe, it is also foodie heaven. The food in Budapest has it’s remarkable and unforgetable experience you can’t miss.
I know, I know, when people start budgeting on a trip the first thing that gets cut is food. Going on the road usually means getting on a diet of booze and instant noodles. But despite all your instincts this is a place where you should do things differently. Budapest doesn’t only have amazing food, but it’s also incredibly affordable. Take a break from frozen pizza and losers kebab and treat yourself to a feast of kings, one that won’t put a dent into your wallet.
When one sets foot in a new city it is considered a must to try the local food. In all honesty I’m not the biggest fan of Eastern European dishes…I’m a terrible patriot. A lot of it too greasy and blend for me, lacking the rich flavors I’m used to. However there are a couple things I do love, and probably you will too.
This funnel shaped pastry, also known as the chimney cake, is just fantastic. Its light, its delicious and happens to be very cheap. It usually comes in many flavors, including cinnamon, almond, coconut and much more. You can easily get your hands on one of these at one of the numerous kiosks around town. For those who like living dangerously there is a diabetes supreme edition: filled with ice cream.
Ohh Lángos. The thing of wonders. It is everything you need to die early (yeah, local food doesn’t have a healthy theme). I could describe it best as deep fried fluffy pizza with garlic, sour cream and cheese on top. Now it’s also available in delux versions, filled with meat and various goodies. As well as all other local meals the best ones are available on the countryside, but Retro Lángos at the Arany János utca metro stop is doing a pretty decent job at making them. They cost less than a beer…they also go really well with bear 🙂
This is something everyone must have heard of. Almost every Eastern European country claims it as their own, we will be no different. This thick beef soup, made with potatoes, paprika and various spices isn’t only a very filling meal, it’s also heavenly. If you had it somewhere else…you didn’t. The real deal is Hungarian. It is a meal that’s quite difficult to make just right, and I can’t confidently recommend you a place in the city. If you happen to find the right one make sure to let us know.
From all the local things this one far me was always the hardest to explain. The closest thing would probably be a candy bar, made of cottage cheese, mixed with sugar, coated in chocolate. I still remember the look of horror and disgust on my friends face when I tried feeding it to them. Followed by absolute delight and severe addiction. It’s friggin awesome. If you leave the country without trying one you are an absolute fool. Hop into a supermarket, grab one and be amazed.
The next best thing
The local delicacies are fantastic, but no one seems to be talking about the vast amount of cuisine that can be found in this city. From various European fine dining to Eastern street food this city has it all. You could probably spend weeks here ignoring all the sights and just eating time away. Following are some of my favourite places that aren’t only offering mouth watering menus, but most meals are well under 10 euros. Make sure to try at least one while you are in town.
This small mexican restaurant is a true gem. Badass home made nachos, my favourite lemonade and (according to my mexican friends) pretty authentic mexican food. Meals are fairly priced, delicious and extremely filling. Please note that this a proper restaurant. You don’t have to dress like you are accepting an award, but this also isn’t the place to rock up to wearing your favourite track suit and slippers.
Address: 1054 Budapest, Zoltán utca 16.
This tiny asian fusion restaurant located in the infamous Gozsdu Court is my heroin. Before an intervention takes place I’m digging myself into a financial hole gorging on their dumplings and pho. If you are on the market for some great ambiance and even better asian food this is the place to be. It isn’t the cheapest place to eat out at but also isn’t gonna break your bank.
Address: 1075 Budapest, Holló utca 10
Good bar – Good Burger
Sometimes you don’t feel like eating fancy, you just want to sink your teeth into a juicy burger. You can still do that with style. Not the cheapest burger in town but this ain’t no McMeal…this is the best burger in town!! Nuff said. Go and see it for yourself.
Address: 1053 Budapest, Kecskeméti utca 6.
While this place has a fairly limited menu I can assure you everything on it is top notch. This is a family owned business with their own take on hungarian food, all made of local produce. My love for their food is undying, but my favourite thing about them is probably still the paper and stack of pencils you are provided while you are waiting on your food…I’m a dork. This place is very popular so in case you want to eat here make sure to make a reservation at least a week in advance.
Address: 1077 Budapest, Izabella utca 38.
No list would be complete without the king of street food. This place made soup cool. I’m serious. It’s something you have to see for yourself. Besides the extensive soup in a cap menu featuring new items daily you can also get your hands on some great baguettes and a couple bigger meals. The place is tiny and mostly full of people (khmm, always) so be prepared to take your food on the go. This place is as affordable as it gets. Make sure not to miss it as it create one of the best food in Budapest.
Address: 1075 Budapest, Kazincy utca 10
Please note that this article isn’t in any way, shape or form endorsed by any of the places mentioned above…which is very unfortunate as writing this piece made me rather hungry, and I could do with a free bribe meal. It’s merely a byproduct of years of seefood diet (as in I see food and I HAVE TO eat it), a habit which surprisingly didn’t turn me into Jabba The Hutt but one that gets me one step closer to bankruptcy (a very happy one) one day at a time.
Treat yourself well in Budapest, it’s one thing you sure won’t regret.