10 Things to eat in Budapest and where

Who I am
Martí Micolau

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

Author and references

If it is true that tastes are tastes, it is also certain that the Hungarian cuisine turns out to be a mix of some European gastronomies and this makes it rich and varied.
Hungary, a few centuries ago, was in fact divided into seven nomadic tribes, which had to continually move to survive. Each shift involved the transport of various provisions, in this way, long-life dishes and dishes were created. The proximity to the Carpathians also saw the introduction of pork into the Hungarian diet, the Italian influence came thanks to the marriage of the King of Hungary Mattia Corvino (apparently an ally of Count Vlad, who then turned into Dracula literature) with Beatrice of Aragon and also the Turkish domination, which lasted 150 years, brought further enrichments of the culinary tradition, in particular the use of paprika. We have already stated several times that part of the visit to a city also passes through the knowledge of its cuisine, which is why we present you a list of 10 things to eat in Budapest.


  1. Goulash
  2. Halàszlé
  3. Töltött káposzta
  4. Dobos cake
  5. Làngos
  6. Lecsó
  7. Palacsinta alla Gundel
  8. Pörkölt
  9. Rétes
  10. Kurtőskalács
  11. Where to eat in Budapest: best restaurants, typical bars and street food
  12. User questions and comments

1 - Goulash

È the Hungarian dish par excellence. Its original name gulyás derives from the custom of one of the seven nomadic tribes to cook soup in the cauldron. The variations are many, every family and every cook has his own recipe, but basically it is a soup made from beef enriched with potatoes, peppers and lard, flavored with the beloved paprika.

  • Recommended to: Lunch Dinner
  • Average cost: around € 4,50
  • Main ingredients: beef, potatoes, peppers, paprika

2 - Halàszlé

It's a kind of fish goulash in which, instead of beef, various fish are used such as catfish, carp, pike or catfish. Also called fisherman's broth, this dish is obviously complemented with the addition of paprika and is one of the traditional Christmas Eve dinner dishes.

  • Recommended to: Lunch Dinner
  • Average cost: around € 4,50
  • Main ingredients: sautéed, fish, paprika

3 - Töltött káposzta

Typical dish of the Christmas holidays, is based on stuffed cabbage. The cabbage leaves are salted and then stuffed with minced meat, rice and various spices. The cooking is completed in the pot, with the addition of sausage or bacon and paprika. The rolls are then served with sour cream.

  • Recommended to: Lunch Dinner
  • Average cost: around € 12,00
  • Main ingredients: cabbage, minced meat, rice, spices

4 - Dobos cake

Favorite dessert of Princess Sissi, Dobos cake is probably the most famous Hungarian dessert in the world. It was the Princess who tasted it for the first time at the Universal Exhibition in Budapest in 1884, together with her husband Francesco Giuseppe. The cake is made up of five layers of sponge cake, on each of which a chocolate and butter cream is spread. The last layer, the external one, is instead covered with caramel.

  • Recommended to: snack
  • Average cost: around € 2,50
  • Main ingredients: sponge cake, chocolate, butter, caramel

5 - Làngos

Hungarian cuisine also has its own street food specialties just like the langos, nothing more than a kind of fried pizza topped, usually, with sour cream and cheese. The variants, however, are many, there are both sweet and savory. The name of the specialty derives from the word lang which means fire: the dish comes in fact traditionally cooked on hot coals, even if today the fastest frying is used.

  • Recommended to: always
  • Average cost: around € 2,50
  • Main ingredients: fried pasta, various toppings of your choice

6 - Lecsó

It is a dish made up of stewed vegetables, in particular onions, tomatoes and peppers, enriched by the omnipresent paprika.

  • Recommended to: Lunch Dinner
  • Average cost: around € 4,00
  • Main ingredients: onions, tomatoes, peppers, paprika

7 - Palacsinta alla Gundel

This dessert was created about a century ago from Karoly Gundel, a famous Hungarian chef who also founded a famous and historic restaurant in the city. A great lover of French cuisine, the chef took inspiration from those recipes to create dishes such as palacsinta, which is nothing more than a stuffed crepe of chopped walnuts, raisins, rum and orange peel. Everything is then covered with a hot chocolate and vanilla sauce.

  • Recommended to: always
  • Average cost: around € 2,50
  • Main ingredients: egg, dried fruit, chocolate and vanilla

8 - Pörkölt

It is a less soupy variant of goulash, usually served with dumplings or potatoes. In addition it also has a pinch of tomato sauce and the cooking is also longer.

  • Recommended to: Lunch Dinner
  • Average cost: around € 4,50
  • Main ingredients: beef (or wild boar), potatoes, peppers, spices

9 - Rétes

È the Hungarian version of the strudel, a much loved dessert prepared all over Hungary. It is made from puff pastry and can be stuffed with apples, plums, cow's milk ricotta with raisins, sour cherries or pumpkin, although the most popular version is the one with poppy seeds.

  • Recommended to: always
  • Average cost: around € 3,00
  • Main ingredients: puff pastry, filled with dried or seasonal fruit, poppy seeds

10 - Kurtőskalács

Known as the oldest dessert in the country, it is possible to find it not only in pastry shops but also in flea markets and fairs. Is composed by a thin sweetened pastry wrapped around a special wooden stick. Then everything is placed directly above the fire, a process that transforms the dough into a cylinder of dough then covered with cocoa, chocolate flakes, cinnamon, poppy, walnuts, vanilla and almonds according to preferences. As if it wasn't sweet and caloric enough, caramelized sugar is also added to give it crunchiness.

  • Recommended to: always
  • Average cost: around € 2,00
  • Main ingredients: puff pastry, chocolate, various other coatings

Where to eat in Budapest: best restaurants, typical bars and street food

Hungarian cuisine is full of intense flavors and its origins are influenced by foreign contamination, especially the Turkish ones.

Within the menus of the city you can find soups for every palate, fish, meat, vegetables and many delicious desserts. The most famous Hungarian dish is goulash, a soup with onion and paprika, beef, carrots and potatoes, which is often accompanied by the typical galuska, very tasty Hungarian dumplings.

In the panorama of Hungarian street food, lángos is the master, or rather one fried focaccia covered with sour cream, cheese and other ingredients of your choice, accompanied by kürtőskalács: a leavened and sweetened pastry, cooked on a cylindrical skewer and enriched with vanilla, cocoa, cinnamon, almonds or other delicacies according to personal taste.

The best neighborhood to eat is the Jewish one, where there are many lively clubs and restaurants. Typical characteristic of the city are the ruin pubs or old abandoned buildings reinvented as very original places furnished in an eclectic way in which to eat or have a drink: a must not to be missed if you are in Budapest.

1 - Kiosk

  • Description: traditional restaurant, with typical cuisine with abundant dishes
  • specialty: Goulash
  • Average price: from € 10,00 per person
  • Address: Get directions - Facebook page

2 - Nagyvásárcsarnok - Central Covered Market in Budapest

  • Description: riot of typical smells and flavors, it is a covered market where you can taste the traditional dishes of Budapest, especially that of street food
  • specialty: lángos
  • Average price: from € 3,00 per person
  • Address: Get directions

3 - Gerbeaud

  • Description: historic pastry shop in Pest, with an elegant atmosphere
  • specialty: dobos cake
  • Average price: from € 5,00 per person
  • Address: Get Directions - Official Site

4 - Paprika

  • Description: a restaurant with typical Hungarian cuisine, with a particular wooden location, and excellent quality
  • specialty: goulash with Hungarian dumplings
  • Average price: from € 15,00 per person
  • Address: Get directions - Facebook page

5 - Karavan

  • Description: an area dedicated to street food, created between old abandoned buildings
  • specialty: goulash, hamburgers, lángos
  • Average price: from € 5,00 per person
  • Address: Get directions - Facebook page

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