Are you going on a holiday soon to Hungary‘s capital and is looking for the best food in Budapest to try while you’re there? Fret no longer, this is the post just for you!
Not only Budapest has been a significant tourist destination in the last few years for its stunning architecture, traditions, and culture but also for its innovating Michelin fine-dining restaurants and, of course, its delicious traditional cuisine.
Most of the dishes mentioned in this post are traditional Hungarian food delicacies that are also enjoyed by the locals. Here are the best foods in Budapest you must not miss!
Table of Contents
- 1 Top 10 Best Food in Budapest You Must Try (Hungary)
- 1.1 Lángos (Deep-fried dough topped with cheese and sour cream)
- 1.2 Túrógombóc (Cheese curd dumpling)
- 1.3 Töltött káposzta (Stuffed cabbage)
- 1.4 Túrós Csusza (Cheese curd noodles)
- 1.5 Lecsó (Vegetable soup)
- 1.6 Gulyás (Goulash, meat stew)
- 1.7 Kolbász (Hungarian sausage)
- 1.8 Chicken Paprikash
- 1.9 Főzelék (Vegetable dish)
- 1.10 Halászlé (Fisherman’s soup)
- 1.11 Rakott krumpli (Potato gratin)
- 1.12 Túró rudi (Cottage cheese roll covered in chocolate)
- 1.13 Dobos Torta (Layered sponge cake)
- 1.14 Kürtőskalács (Chimney bread)
- 1.15 Palinka (Famous Hungarian fruit Brandy)
- 1.16 Tokaji (Hungarian wine)
- 2 Are you on Pinterest? Pin these for later read!
Top 10 Best Food in Budapest You Must Try (Hungary)
Lángos (Deep-fried dough topped with cheese and sour cream)
Lángos is a deep-fried dough topped with sour cream, grated Hungarian cheese, and garlic – and it is a piece of heaven I kid you not. Quite funny, though, the tale says that once upon a time, there was a bunch of bakers doing their usual baking stuff when suddenly they felt hungry and could not wait for the bread to get ready because you know, bread needs to rise and it could take hours.
So, one genius baker said “Hey, why don’t we deep-fry a little bit of the dough and top it off with some naughty ingredients?”, Then voilá – lángos was born — such a story.
One thing I figured while I was in Budapest is that you know lángost is close when you smell something greasy, and I am serious when I say that this thing is the bomb, so when you smell the fatty aroma, you go get it, tiger!
As a little awareness, though, Hungarian food is not exactly going to keep your waistline happy, but you know that already when you decided to go on a holiday.
→ What you should look for: Greasy, salty, and garlicky ones – this is the traditional one!
→ Where can you get Lángos in Budapest: It is everywhere but the ones in the Market Hall are great!
Read also: Top 15 Medieval Castles in Europe
Túrógombóc (Cheese curd dumpling)
If you ask a local what is one thing they always enjoyed eating as a child and most likely they’ll say it got to be Túrógombóc.
This delicious deep-fried cheese curd ball is just legit the bombest thing you’ll probably eat besides Lángos if you love fatty and greasy goodness piece of heaven.
That said, this is actually a very simple dish as it is made out of cheese curd, eggs, sugar, salt, and coated with bread crumbs and then deep-fried – simple but oh so good!
It is served either hot or cold with an option to eat it with sweetened sour cream. Both ways are good!
→ Where can you get Túrógombóc in Budapest: There are many restaurants that serve Túrógombóc and some of the famous and easily located are in the center of the city, here are few of the restaurants where you can taste this amazing dish – Börze, Gettó Gulyás, and Café Bouchon.
Töltött káposzta (Stuffed cabbage)
If you have read our things to do in Budapest post, you’ll know that the city and the country was once part of the Ottoman empire. Therefore, it is no surprise that it has also adapted some of its dishes and Hungarians adopted this as their own, as well.
Töltött káposzta is one of the best food in Budapest that was influenced by the Ottoman and it is basically stuffed cabbage (Finland also have something similar called kaalikääryleet – you can read our Finnish food guide also if you want) and it is filled with minced pork, rice, garlic, and seasoned with Hungarian spices such as paprika powder.
The traditional way of cooking this is by layering sauerkraut at the bottom of the pan and placing the cabbage rolls on top of it and is cooked either in the oven or in the pot.
→ Where can you get Töltött káposzta in Budapest: You can get this dish from more traditional Hungarian restaurants such as Rézkakas Bistro, Kéhli Restaurant, and Nagy Fatál Konyhája.
Túrós Csusza (Cheese curd noodles)
You can probably already tell that Hungarians do enjoy their cottage cheese or cheese curds! Túrós Csusza is basically a pasta dish but not the kind you have in mind – the pasta (csusza) is a type of Hungarian handmade pasta and the dish itself composes of that and cheese curds. On some occasions, Túrós Csusza is also topped with fried bacon.
This is perhaps an easy dish to order almost from all restaurants in the city and it is also a well-loved traditional dish by the locals. Simple always win and this dish is exactly that – simple and easy to make!
→ Where can you get Túrós Csusza in Budapest: Regos Restaurant and Újpesti Kakukk Vendéglő.
Read also: Top 20 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Europe
Lecsó (Vegetable soup)
This dish is proper comfort food on a cold winter day. It is a vegetable soup made out of tomatoes, peppers, onions, and paprika – very simple yet delicious!
Some people enjoy adding sausages, eggs, and beans as extra condiments in this dish for more volume and as well to make it more filling served with bread.
If you’re wondering, this dish is also quite similar to France’s Ratatouille or Israeli’s Shakshuka.
→ Where can you get Lecsó in Budapest:
Gulyás (Goulash, meat stew)
Yet another comfort food day in and day out regardless of the season may it be a hot summery day or cold winter day, Gulyás never fails to take people to what may heaven taste like.
Also known as the national dish of Hungary, Gulyás is one of the best food in Budapest you must not look over when you visit the city as it is one of those dishes best eaten from the country it originated from.
Gulyás is a stew often made with meat, vegetables, paprika (of course), tomato paste, and seasonings. It is rich in flavor and quite filling on its own. However, it is also sometimes served with nokedli Hungarian dumplings or a side of bread for dipping.
→ Where can you get Gulyás in Budapest: Gettó Gulyás, Bálvarosi Disznótros, and Szóda Bar
Kolbász (Hungarian sausage)
Kolbász, in fact, is not a very special dish on its own but is usually an ingredient added to stews, soups, or fried and served with side dishes.
What makes this Hungarian sausage different from the rest of Europe is the fact that it is heavily seasoned with paprika powder, garlic, sugar, salt, and other Hungarian spices that give this sausage its distinct taste.
→ Where can you get Kolbász in Budapest: Bálvarosi Disznótros
You may or may have not heard about Chicken Paprikash from before or even have tasted this at one point elsewhere. It is a popular chicken dish topped with creamy paprika sauce served with boiled nokedli Hungarian dumplings.
It is yet another comfort food beloved by the locals and tourists alike for its rich flavor.
→ Where can you get Chicken Paprikash in Budapest: Magyar QTR, Pörc & Prézli, and Két Szerecsen Bistro
Főzelék (Vegetable dish)
Neither soup nor a stew, Főzelék is an infamous canteen dish (yes, you read that right – canteen) and is a dish composes of whatever seasonal vegetable there is (or whatever vegetable you have in the pantry in general) cooked in lard, thickened with flour, and served (or mixed in) with sour cream.
It is a simple and basic dish but rich in flavor for sure!
→ Where can you get Főzelék in Budapest: Főzelék Faló
Halászlé (Fisherman’s soup)
You probably know by now that Hungary is a landlocked country meaning it doesn’t have access to a large body of water like the sea thus most of its dishes are meat and vegetable-heavy.
However, Halászlé is an unusual treat as it is a fish soup spiced with hot paprika, onion, white wine, and tomatoes.
The fish usually used are carp, catfish, perch, and pike – river and freshwater fishes.
→ Where can you get Halászlé in Budapest: Szegedi Halászcsárda, Bajai Halászcsárda, and Keszegsütő Budapest
Rakott krumpli (Potato gratin)
Yet again another dish that Hungarians adopted as their own, Rakott krumpli is a variation of potato gratin that is a popular dish in other European countries, as well.
It is popularly cooked by layering thinly sliced potatoes with sour cream, salt, pepper, and eggs.
Túró rudi (Cottage cheese roll covered in chocolate)
Túró rudi is a popular treat eaten by children and adults alike, it is a chocolate-covered sweetened cheese curd and it is divine!
You can get this snack from almost all stores in Hungary.
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Dobos Torta (Layered sponge cake)
We’ve now come to the best part of this food in Budapest post and that is cakes and desserts! Dobos Torta is named after its famed creator chef József C. Dobos, a brilliant patisserie and bakery owner in Budapest.
Dobos Torta is basically a layered sponge cake filled with buttercream and topped with a generous amount of caramel. It is moist, sweet, and absolutely heavenly.
You can try Dobos Torta from Café Gerbeaud.
Read also: Top 11 Beautiful Castles in Hungary
Kürtőskalács (Chimney bread)
It is made out of sweet dough flattened and rolled thin and wrapped around a metal tube it is then cooked on an open fire until it is golden brown. Once cooked, it is rolled over a mixture of cinnamon and sugar.
You can get Kürtőskalács from almost everywhere in the city as it is one of the street food in Budapest.
If you do come to taste some of the best food in Budapest, don’t miss out on some of its awesome spirits! You’ll see Palinka almost everywhere and if you do visit the Great Market Hall for some snacks, you’ll find that there are a lot of stalls that also sell this famous fruit brandy.
Don’t miss the chance of tasting it while in Budapest, it is really good!
Tokaji (Hungarian wine)
If you don’t know yet, Hungary is also a wine-producing country and it is famous for its Tokaji wine from a small region with the same name.
Tokaji borders Austria and is a famous region in Hungary for this specific wine. Tokaji is actually a sweet wine and is produced from grapes affected by “The Noble Rot” meaning the fruits are exposed to a drier climate until it is dried out like a raisin and they make the wines from that.
You can get Tokaji wine form almost all the shops in Budapest. However, the price might depend on how the harvest was the previous year.
Pro travel tip:
If you’re in a time crunch and would like to get a chance to taste all of these amazing delicacies in Budapest, check out this Budapest food tours which not only takes you to awesome places in the city but also give you the opportunity to taste all of the amazing food mentioned in this post – 3-hour Private food tour in Budapest.
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