The Cost of a Meal in Budapest: A Budget-Friendly Guide

by | Mar 7, 2024 | Pub Crawl Budapest

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Budapest, the capital of Hungary, is known for its beautiful architecture, rich history, and delicious cuisine. With a wide range of dining options, from street food stalls to high-end restaurants, you can indulge in traditional Hungarian dishes without breaking the bank. In this guide, we will explore the cost of a meal in Budapest and provide you with tips on how to enjoy a budget-friendly culinary experience.

1. Traditional Hungarian Dishes

Hungarian cuisine is famous for its hearty and flavorful dishes. Goulash, a paprika-spiced meat and vegetable stew, is a must-try when visiting Budapest. Other popular dishes include langos (fried dough topped with various ingredients), chimney cake (a sweet, spiral-shaped pastry), and Túrós Csusza (a pasta dish with cottage cheese).


  • Look for “Étkezde” or “Vendéglő” signs: These are budget-friendly eateries serving traditional Hungarian dishes at affordable prices.
  • Consider trying the daily lunch menus: Many restaurants offer fixed-price lunch menus, known as “napi menü” or “menü ajánlat”. These menus often include a soup, a main course, and a drink at a reasonable price.

2. Dining Options

Budapest offers a wide range of dining options to suit every budget. From casual cafes and bistros to fancy restaurants, you’ll find something for every taste. To experience the local food culture without spending too much, consider these options:

a. Street Food

Budapest is a paradise for street food lovers. You can find delicious and affordable options throughout the city. Try “kürtőskalács” (chimney cake) from street vendors or grab a “langos” from a food stall. These tasty treats will satisfy your hunger without emptying your wallet.

b. Market Halls

Visit the famous Great Market Hall (Nagyvásárcsarnok) or other local market halls in Budapest. These markets offer a wide variety of fresh produce, local ingredients, and street food stalls. You can enjoy a meal at one of the food stalls or purchase ingredients to make your own budget-friendly meal.

c. Budget-Friendly Restaurants

Budapest has numerous restaurants that offer great food at affordable prices. Look for local restaurants frequented by the locals, as they usually provide good value for your money. Do some research, read reviews, and ask locals for recommendations to find hidden gems that won’t break the bank.

3. Average Meal Prices

The cost of a meal in Budapest can vary depending on the type of establishment and the neighborhood. Here are some average prices to give you an idea:

Meal Average Price Range
Street Food (e.g., langos) 500 – 1500 HUF ($2 – $6)
Lunch Menu 1200 – 2500 HUF ($5 – $10)
Casual Restaurant 2000 – 5000 HUF ($8 – $20)
Mid-range Restaurant 5000 – 8000 HUF ($20 – $30)
Fancy Restaurant 8000+ HUF ($30+)

Note: These prices are approximate and can vary based on the location and quality of the establishment.

4. Saving Money on Dining

Here are some additional tips to help you save money on dining in Budapest:

  • Opt for tap water: Instead of ordering bottled water, ask for tap water, which is safe to drink in Budapest. This will save you money on drinks during your meal.
  • Share large portions: Hungarian portions are often quite generous. Consider sharing a dish with a friend to reduce costs and avoid food waste.
  • Enjoy street food festivals: Budapest hosts various street food festivals throughout the year. These events offer a great opportunity to sample different foods at affordable prices.
  • Look for daily deals: Some restaurants offer daily deals or discounts during certain hours. Keep an eye out for these promotions to enjoy a meal at a reduced price.

Now that you have a better understanding of the cost of a meal in Budapest and how to dine on a budget, you can fully enjoy the city’s culinary delights without worrying about your wallet. Bon appétit!

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The Cost of a Meal in Budapest: A Budget-Friendly Guide