Are you looking forward to traveling to Budapest and have no idea what restaurants to visit or the food to eat? If that’s a yes, then in this article we've listed some of the excellent cuisines and places you need to visit in the city. The meals here are spicy, delicious and of varied flavors. I can assure you that most Budapest travelers have appreciated the tantalizing meals served in the hotels and restaurants.
Therefore, we’ll jump right away into showing you the traditional and modern dishes of the Hungarian culture.
It is a very famous dish in Hungary and my personal favorite too. The name comes from the considerable amount of Paprika source forming its recipe. It is a tender chicken meal that is made by ochre and onion flavored mix leaving the chicken bone poking out of the meat. Each serving comes with sour cream and spatzle, a dumpling that resembles pasta.
I encourage you to try it, and you will be addicted to this dish for its tantalizing taste.
Where to have the best Chicken Paprikash in Budapest
I have my Chicken Paprikash at Pest-Buda because of the ‘grandma cooking style.' The dish is one hundred percent hearty and traditional. The chefs at Pest-Buda are devoted to preparing the recipe with love honoring the quality tradition of the restaurant for the past decades.
If you visit Budapest eventually and find yourself in the Danube on the Buda side, find this restaurant and try out the Chicken Paprikash for an unforgettable eating experience.
Another famous dish from the Budapest gastronomic repertoire is the Goulash. Based on the ancient history, Goulash or gulyas (adapted from the name of traditional herdsmen) was prepared by the herdsmen on a kettle over an open fire. That cooking style has stayed to date, and I can’t help but think it’s the reason the food is so original and rich in taste.
The dish falls between a soup and stew, though sometimes beef, pork or veal is added to the broth. Other key ingredients are carrots, potato, spices and the famous paprika. Make sure to taste this food while in Budapest to have the authentic taste of the Hungarian uniqueness.
Where to have the best Goulash in Budapest
To get the real Goulash recipe, visit Budapest Bisztro which is famous hotel countrywide for the traditional Goulash soup. This restaurant stands a few meters from the newly refurbished Kossuth Square and Parliament. The design of the venue is modern with current service; however, it serves the best traditional dishes under the right setting.
These are the best cuisines if you are looking for something light to bite on the go. They are the favorite pastry sold at festivals and outdoor shops. I have developed a sweet tooth for the Kürtoskalács, and after you try them out, I can guarantee that you and I will be in the same boat.
During preparation, sweet yeast dough is cut into long strips then rolled around a cylinder to give them their shape. They are then rolled in sugar and baked over hot coal as butter is smeared on them to give a golden brown look. The sugar slowly caramelizes on the snack to form a shiny, crispy crust.
With a single bite of this pastry, you will get hooked forever. You can try it with different toppings like cinnamon, cocoa, coconut, and almonds depending on your preference.
Where to have the best Kürtoskalács in Budapest
Café Ruszwurm is a perfect place to grab this tempting pastry and several others of its kind. The café has been around for decades improving their recipes with every bite of a snack. It is located a few meters from Matthias Church and Fisherman’s Bastion; you can’t miss it.
It is a part of the integral traditional dishes in Budapest. Just like the goulash, its preparation is in a kettle over an open fire. It is treated with much esteem to satisfy the clients. The ingredients include mixed river fish which can be either carp or catfish, perch, or pike. Red hot paprika gives it the bright red look.
There are various ways of making it one of which involves thick pasta and carp known as a la Baja. The Szeged involving four types of fish is the most popular. It is another of my alternatives when looking for a rich, hearty meal. If you are a soup and broth kind of person, then I encourage you not to pass on this meal.
Where to have the best Fisherman’s soup in Budapest
It can be a hard task to choose between the restaurants offering this dish. However, you can pass by Duna Garden and avoid trouble and confusion. Besides having the best Fisherman’s soup, they also have excellent customer service for both the tourists and the locals.
Just to point out, it isn’t a burger with sprinkles of cheese but rather a burger prepared by grilled cheese. In its preparation, two chunks of bread sandwich the fried cheese. What follows is smothering with onion flavor. This meal is nothing but to die for each time you have a bite.
Where to have the best Fried Cheese Burger in Budapest
Visit the Karavan for this fantastic dish. Feel the taste of grilled cheese ooze onto your tongue as you sink your teeth on the burger. It is as far as street food goes.
If you are a pastry lover, then you have to try out the Dobos torte in Budapest. This is a multi-layered divine snack with chocolate buttercream sprinkled between thin layers of a tantalizing sponge cake. It also comes with a solid caramel crust with the side sprayed with chopped nuts or chocolate slather.
Where to have the best Dobos Torte in Budapest
Once again I recommend the Ruszwurm Café for a delicious slice of the Budapest Dobos torte.
I am a fried dough fan and all the similarly prepared dishes. The Lángos is one of such in the shape of a personal-sized Pizza. They are popular in festivals. You can have this street on-the-go snack with a variety of toppings such as garlic sauce, cheese, sour cream, ham, and even sausages.
Where to try the best Langos in Budapest
The vendors of this must-have pastry can be difficult to locate on the streets. This is because the pedestrian streets get real busy making them hard to spot. Hence I’ll recommend the Langos Florian Square near the underpass. Also, you can check just beside the bank of Lake Balafon.
It is a unique dish in Budapest which is a soup-like thick vegetable stew. It is also a healthy culinary choice that is both easy to make and practical. Once you visit Budapest and are looking for a quick, healthy Hungarian meal experience, you can duck into one Főzelék bar.
It comes in several variations such as potato, peas, beans, lentils, and carrot which are simmered and made into broth by flour and sour cream.
Where to try the best Főzelék in Budapest
Főzelékfaló Ételbár is the one stop site for grabbing the right Hungarian Fozelek. It is quite reasonably priced and has four outlets within Budapest.
This is undoubtedly the favorite cake in the whole of Budapest. It is a delicious cake for dessert involving a sponge cake tiered with chocolate, walnuts, some rum, and small amounts of whipped cream on the crust. It has a history and has been an award winner at the Brussels World’s fair.
Having mentioned that, it would be a shame leaving Budapest without you eating Somlói Galuska. The creator keeps the secret original recipe; however, there have been variations keeping the essential ingredients.
Where to try the best Somlói Galuska in Budapest
Michelin-stare Onyx Restaurant serves the original recipe of the dish. However, you can get a classic variation of this amazing cake at Gundel Restaurant, which is an award winning hotel and a leader in the food industry in Budapest.
Also known as stuffed cabbage leaves, this dish is very popular in Budapest. The recipe involves a mixture of cooked cabbage with pork mince, rice, paprika, pepper and sour cream. You should visit the Budapest taverns and feel the real taste of Hungarian cuisine.
Where to try the best Töltött Káposzta in Budapest
You can eat it at Csarnok Vendéglő at the best price and quality.
These are some of the Budapest dishes you shouldn’t miss when you visit the country. Once you do, you will be hooked to the Budapest restaurants just like I am!
My name is Zoey Molnar, and I'm the Editor-in-Chief of Stag Kiss Budapest. I'm local, and I know all the useful secrets about Budapest. This city has a soul and I'll show you!