The Top Foodie Spots in the Hungarian Capital
You already knew Budapest was one of the coolest capitals in European. You might have known that Budapest is the perfect place to spend Christmas. But friend, did you know that Budapest is one of the top foodie destinations in Europe?
Before I went I had high expectations of the city but relatively no expectations of what I would eat while there. (And if you know me, you know food is one of my favourite parts of travel). Think Hungarian food and you think meat and potatoes, right? But while there is a whole lot of that, there’s a whole lot more, too.
Make the most of your time in the Hungarian capital by discovering just what culinary gems the city has to offer. From langos and chimney cake to comfort food and fine dining, Budapest has it all. Hung(a)ry yet? Dive straight into this guide to get the scoop on the top foodie spots in Budapest.
Read More: 15 Epic Things to do in Budapest On A Budget
Where to Eat in Budapest
Best for: Traditional Hungarian Food
While Budapest is home to cuisine from all over the world you can’t go past a good old-fashioned Hungarian meal. For one of the best dinners you’ll eat in Budapest head to Hungarikum Bisztro.
This small, cosy restaurant is decked out in checkered tablecloths and homely decor, and the food is just as comforting. Hungarikum Bisztro focuses on classic Hungarian dishes done in the traditional style, so expect yes, meat and potatoes (the roasted duck was a highlight).
The service was exceptional, the local wine tasty, and overall Hungarikum Bisztro was great value for money. We ordered an entree, mains, dessert and drinks and spent 13,832 HUF (roughly €20 per person). Make sure to book ahead; Hungarikum Bisztro is often booked a month in advance.
Keen for more goulash, paprikash, and all things Hungarian? For another classic Hungarian meal make sure to check out Cafe Kor.
Offbeat Budapest describes Cafe Kor as a “pre-war, middle-class Budapest restaurant.” And though I (clearly) wasn’t alive in pre-war Budapest, that description sounds about right. A homely, if slightly dated bistro, Cafe Kor serves up traditional Hungarian dishes served as Grandma would have made them. Browse the daily specials board and go prepared for a large meal. The portions are generous.
Best for: Budapest Street Food
Street Food Karavan
I love a good street food stall. I mean, you get to feast on every cuisine imaginable, so what’s not to love?
For the best street food in Budapest you can’t go past Street Food Karavan. An open-air food court lined with food trucks, Street Food Karavan offers everything from nachos and fried chicken to vegan food and Pad Thai. Make sure to check out Langos! The langos here are so good they were included in EasyJet’s list of the top 10 best street food stalls in Europe. Traditional langos not your cup of tea? Up your langos game and get a langos burger. Um, heck yes!
You can eat your food standing or perch in the colorful seating area at the end of the food trucks. Though I went in winter (and it was still great), Street Food Karavan would be the perfect dinner spot during summer.
Best for: Modern Hungarian Food
How do you know when a place has good food? When you arrive at 3pm for a late lunch/early dinner and still have to wait half an hour for a table. The wait was worth it though; our meal at Menza was the best we had in Budapest.
From duck risotto and paprikash to duck burgers and goulash, Menza serves up excellent Hungarian food with a modern twist. Save room for dessert; I honestly wish I could have tried everything on the menu.
Reservations at Menza are a must.
Best for: Breakfast in Budapest
Bank3 Palacsinta Bar
On the Google hunt for the best foodie spots in Budapest I came across this gem; Bank3 Palacsinta Bar. My co-adventurer is a pancake fiend so I knew we had to go, but the pancakes were so good we went back twice.
Bank3 Palacsinta Bar is the place pancake dreams are made of. The restaurant offers a huge selection of sweet and savoury toppings ranging from pumpkin and camembert to oreos (drool) so make sure to bring your stretchy pants. A word of warning; the portions are huge.
Bank3 Palacsinta Bar is open 7 days from 11am.
Best for: Cake in Budapest
Did someone say cake?
Ruszwurm Confectionery, magnet to sugar addicts everywhere, is another of the top foodie spots in Budapest. This famous confectionery store is owned by the Szamos family who’ve been making delectable sweet treats since 1827.
Be prepared to wait for a table inside the small store as there’s always a queue, but trust me; it’s worth the wait. Grab a slice of cake (I could have tried anything in the cabinet) and a steaming mug of hot chocolate and while away the time in one of Budapest’s most charming eateries. Let them eat cake, I say.
Dishes You Must Try in Budapest
Remember all that meat I was talking about? That pretty much describes goulash.
A hearty beef stew or soup traditionally flavoured with paprika, goulash is one of the national dishes of Hungary. Known locally as “gulyás” the popular dish can trace its origins back to the 9th century to stews eaten by Hungarian shepherds. (The word “gulyás” literally translates as herdsman or shepherd).
While most Hungarian restaurants will sell goulash you can also find it at Street Food Karavan. If you visit during Christmas any of the Christmas markets will have a goulash stall.
Langos is so ridiculously good I could eat it all day. (Except I’m a little gluten intolerant so probs shouldn’t…)
A Hungarian fried bread (sometimes known as Hungarian pizza), langos is a street food favourite in Hungary. This delicious snack was introduced into Hungary centuries ago during the Turkish occupation and is essentially made of yeast dough with mashed potatoes and flour.
Though traditionally topped with sour cream and cheese you can also add sausage, onion, cabbage or bacon to your langos.
You’ve probs heard of chimney cake, or seen videos of this delicious treat on your Facebook feed. You know, that delectable, tube-shaped pastry covered in sugar?
Chimney cake originates from Transylvania and Hungary and is known as the oldest pastry treat in the country. Kürtőskalács, as it’s known locally, is made of a sweet yeast dough wrapped around a cone-shaped spit in strips and roasted over charcoal. Though delicious on it’s own, chimney cake is often topped with cinnamon or chocolate and filled with ice cream or cream. HOW GOOD?
Once considered a festive treat you can now find chimney cake stands all over Budapest. Seriously, you can’t go to Budapest and not try chimney cake.
Damn, that got my stomach rumbling.