Hungarian cuisine is more than just goulash and paprika. Hungary is home to a diverse range of cuisines. Budapest, in particular, is seeing an emergence in its food scene, catering to every type of eater. From the good-old classic goulash in local restaurants to molecular cuisine or farm-to-table delicacies, everyone will have something to suit his or her palate. Hungarians take their food seriously and Budapest is a city that follows that tradition. Check out, below, some of the best food to try while you are spending some time in the beautiful city of Budapest.
Kürtőskalács is the local name for a spit cake which is unique to Hungary as well as Hungarian-speaking regions such as Romania. Kürtőskalács used to be a festive treat during occasions such as weddings and baptisms but it is now consumed on a regular basis. The name of this delicacy comes from its shape which is a strip of yeasted dough that is wrapped around a spit. The dough is then rolled in granulated sugar and baked over charcoal cinders. What results is an irresistible chimney-shaped cake, topped with a caramelized sugar coating. Enjoy the blend of the soft and crunchy with every bite that you take.
Address: Budapest, Váci u. 31, 1052 Hungary
Website: Molnár’s kürtőskalács
Gulyás is the Hungarian name for the country’s good old classic goulash. This dish is a traditional Hungarian stew made up of meat which is well seasoned with paprika and other local spices. This comfort food originated from medieval Hungary and was traditionally prepared by herdsmen. The meat, which is usually beef, is chopped into chunks, seasoned with salt and then caramelized in a pot with oil or lard. Paprika is added along with water or stock and then left to simmer. Other ingredients such as garlic, vegetables like peppers and carrots and herbs may be added. Gulyás is sometimes served with small egg noodles.
Address: Budapest, Wesselényi u. 18, 1077 Hungary
Website: Gettó Gulyás
Kolbász is essentially a sausage made of chopped or minced meat and bacon. It is mixed in with salt and spices like paprika are added in. This is an indispensable part of dinner where pork takes a prominent position. The cuisine of Hungary produces a large number of different varieties of sausages, with influences from their neighboring countries. Different parts of Hungary have their own sausages which can be boiled, dried, or smoked.
Address: Wesselenyi utca 31., Budapest 1077, Hungary
Langos is a Hungarian specialty, a deep-fried dough made of flour, yeast, salt and water. Instead of water, yogurt, sour cream or milk can be used. Boiled mashed potatoes are sometimes added in and known as potato lángos. Langos is eaten fresh and it has to be warm. This is then topped with sour cream, grated cheese and garlic. Many restaurants feature Langos in their menu and are a must try! Langos is popular throughout the year and it is affordable.
Retró Lángos Büfé
Address: Budapest, Podmaniczky Frigyes tér 4, 1054
5. Dobos torta
Dobos torta is also known as Dobosh and it is a Hungarian sponge cake which is layered with chocolate buttercream. This cake is then topped with caramel to form a delectable dessert. This layered cake lasts for long and it serves as a good gift as well. The round sides of the cake are coated with various types of nuts such as minced hazelnuts, chestnuts, walnuts or even almonds.
Address: Vorosmarty ter 7-8., Budapest 1051, Hungary (District V / Inner City)
6. Töltött káposzta
Töltött káposzta is the local name for a Hungarian method of cooking stuffed cabbage. This is typically a winter dish and it is eaten widely in many parts of Hungary. In this dish, a variety of fillings are put into cooked cabbage leaves and then wrapped. The stuffing is usually made with ground pork, beef, sliced smoked pork butt and sauerkraut. There are many restaurants around Budapest which offer Töltött káposzta on their menus. Do give this a try and see if you like it.
Address: Oktober 6 Utca 16-18, Budapest 1051, Hungary (District V / Inner City)
Website: Urban Betyar
Nokedli are yummy and fluffy Hungarian egg noodle dumplings which are used when making Hungary’s favorite dish, Chicken Paprikash. These dumplings are also used in a German dish known as ‘Spätzle.’ These nokedli can also be used as a base for anything which may require noodles. They can be added to soups, stews and gravy dishes.
Address: XIII. Ipoly u. 28/b., VI. Weiner Leó u. 17., VI. Aradi u. 22. Budapest, Hungary
Website: Nokedli kifőzde
Palacsinta is the local name for the Hungarian version of a thin crêpe-like variety of pancake. This dish is a common one throughout Central and Eastern Europe. Palacsinta are traditionally rolled with spreads like apricot, strawberry or sometimes even plum jam. A variety of fruit sauces may also be used. A popular version of palatschinke is the Gundel pancake, locally known as Gundel palacsinta. This is made with ground walnuts, raisins, candied orange peel, cinnamon, even rum filling. This pancake is then served flambéed in dark chocolate sauce. While this is a sweet pancake, there is a savory version which is usually served as a main course. This is known as Hortobágyi palacsinta and it usually is filled with meat, cheese or vegetables.
Address: Bank utca 3, Budapest 1054, Hungary
Gyümölcsleves is the Hungarian name for the cold fruit soup which is famous in the country. Although the name might suggest that this is something which you might consume as a dessert, Gyümölcsleves is typically served as a chilled starter or even as a light summer item. The most popular version of Gyümölcsleves is one that is made from sour cherries, sour cream and a bit of sugar.
Address: Budapest, Hold u. 13, 1054 Hungary
Website: Kispiac Bisztro
10. Rántott sajt
Rántott sajt is essentially fried cheese and it is a vegetarian’s favorite. This is a very simple, yet tasty dish which can be found in street stalls as well. Hard cheese is used for this dish and it is dipped in breadcrumbs and egg before it is fried to golden brown perfection. A common item on menus in local restaurants, this dish is suited for people of all ages.
Kis Kapucinus söröző és étterem
Address: Budapest, Százados út 25-27, 1087 Hungary
Website: Kis Kapucinus söröző és étterem
Tickle your palate
Are you already whetting up an appetite by reading the above? If so, pack your bags, set off to Budapest and enjoy all the best dishes the city has to offer.
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