What to Eat in Budapest: A Culinary Guide

by | Oct 17, 2023 | Pub Crawl Budapest

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If you’re planning a trip to Budapest, one thing you can’t miss is indulging in the city’s delicious culinary delights. Hungarian cuisine is rich in flavor and offers a wide variety of traditional dishes that will leave you wanting more. In this guide, we’ll take you on a gastronomic journey through the streets of Budapest, highlighting some must-try foods and where to find them.

Goulash – The Iconic Hungarian Dish

When it comes to Hungarian cuisine, goulash is a must-try dish. This hearty soup often features tender beef, vegetables, and an array of spices. You’ll find goulash on menus all around the city, but for an authentic experience, head to one of Budapest’s traditional Hungarian restaurants like Central Café or Local Korner.

Langos – A Hungarian Street Food Delight

If you’re in the mood for a tasty snack, look no further than langos. This deep-fried dough, topped with garlic, sour cream, and grated cheese, is a popular street food in Budapest. You can find langos stands throughout the city, but Retró Lángos Büfé near the Great Market Hall is a local favorite.

Kürtőskalács – Chimney Cakes for Your Sweet Tooth

For those with a sweet tooth, kürtőskalács is a must-try dessert. Also known as chimney cakes, these cylindrical pastries are coated in sugar and often filled with flavors like cinnamon, Nutella, or vanilla. You’ll find kürtőskalács at various street stalls, particularly near tourist hotspots like Castle Hill or Váci Street.

Töltött Káposzta – Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

Töltött káposzta is a traditional Hungarian dish that will leave you feeling satisfied. Cabbage leaves are stuffed with a mixture of minced pork, rice, and spices, then simmered in a rich tomato sauce. For an authentic experience, head to Gettó Gulyás or Stand25 Bistro to enjoy this comforting dish.

Chimney Cake ice cream cone. A mix of traditional Hungarian chimney cakes and ice cream

For a unique twist on traditional Hungarian desserts, try the chimney cake ice cream cone. These cones are made from kürtőskalács dough, filled with delicious ice cream flavors, and topped with a variety of toppings like sprinkles or crushed nuts. You can find them at Gelarto Rosa near St. Stephen’s Basilica.

Paprikás Csirke – Chicken Paprikash for Comfort

Paprikás csirke is a classic Hungarian dish ideal for those seeking comfort food. Tender chicken pieces are cooked in a creamy sauce flavored with paprika, often served with dumplings or nokedli, a Hungarian egg noodle. To experience the authentic taste of this dish, visit Menza Restaurant or Belvárosi Disznótoros.

Strudel – A Hungarian Pastry Delight

No culinary journey through Budapest would be complete without trying traditional Hungarian strudel. This sweet pastry is typically filled with ingredients like apple, cherry, or poppy seeds and layered with thin, flaky dough. For a delectable selection of strudel flavors, visit Rétesbolt near Buda Castle.

Pörkölt – The Hungarian Stew

Pörkölt is a rich and flavorful Hungarian stew that will warm your soul. Typically made with pork or beef, this slow-cooked dish features onions, peppers, paprika, and other spices. Enjoy a bowl of pörkölt at traditional Hungarian restaurants like Kéhli or MATRICA Csárda.

Fisherman’s Soup – A Delicacy from the Danube

If you’re a fan of seafood, don’t miss out on trying fisherman’s soup, a beloved Hungarian delicacy. Made with freshwater fish, paprika, and various other ingredients, this flavorful soup is a favorite among locals. Head to Halászbástya Étterem for a taste of authentic fisherman’s soup with a stunning view of the Danube River.

Conclusion

Budapest is a food lover’s paradise, offering a wide range of delicious and unique dishes to satisfy any palate. From iconic Hungarian dishes like goulash and stuffed cabbage rolls to delightful street foods like langos and kürtőskalács, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Make sure to try these culinary delights at their traditional sources, and immerse yourself in the vibrant flavors of Hungarian cuisine during your visit to Budapest.

Remember to explore local recommendations and try out different places to get a taste of the diverse food scene. Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and discover new flavors, as Budapest has much to offer in terms of culinary exploration. Enjoy your gastronomic journey through this beautiful city!

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What to Eat in Budapest: A Culinary Guide