Even though Budapest might not be the first destination that comes to mind when thinking about food, it will not disappoint the hungry foodie tourist. I visited Budapest for 5 days, ate and drank a lot, and now I’m here to help you experience the best Budapest has to offer.
In the last post, which concludes my culinary experiences in Budapest , I’ll be taking you on a street food journey through the alleys and markets of Budapest. I promise it will be tasty!
At the end of the post you’ll find a map with all the places mentioned for your convenience.
Karavan is such a fun place – it’s a small street food market with something for everyone, with both international and Hungarian dishes. It has great vibes both during the day and during the much busier night. This cozy backyard is tucked in a bubbly neighborhood filled with ruin bars, night clubs and restaurants.
Unfortunately the Kiortosh stand was still getting prepared when I got there, but I didn’t leave unsatisfied. I assembled my lunch from two food stands – Lángos Máshogy and Zing Burger & Co and my vegan friend bought a meal from the cheesily-named food stand Las Vegan’s.
You probably had, or are planning to have the famous Hungarian street food Lángos, but have you thought about grabbing a Lángos burger? Well, at Lángos Máshogy you can! I got the Lángos Beef Burger (1450 huf / $6 / 20₪) with grilled paprika, sheep cheese and arugula. This mix might sound weird at first but it was so damn tasty.
Since there are no side dishes at Lángos Máshogy, and the experience of eating a burger is not complete without fries. I got my fix from Zing Burger & Co, which were from the thick-cut kind, crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Together with BBQ sauce I payed 550 huf ($2 / 7.5₪).
Zing Burger & Co Online:
Lángos Máshogy Online:
Las Vegan’s Online:
2. Downtown Market
Downtown Market was our first stop after arriving at the the hotel, seeing as how we were starving and the place was a minute’s walk away. We got to the market at 15:30 and it was practically empty, giving the large space a cold and gloomy atmosphere.
The ground floor is filled with food stalls that sell produce like meat, fruits and vegetables. On the second floor there are a few street food vendors, including traditional Russian cuisine, Italian food, hamburgers and more. We sampled two place, Lakatos Műhely and Kobe Sausages.
I found out about Lakatos Műhely from the vividly colorful Instagram uploads. This food stand specializes in gourmet sausages and soups with a menu that changes daily. The stand, as well as the plates and dishes itself look absolutely stunning, so it didn’t come as a surprise that this place was founded by a stylist.
We got the Ginger Butterbut Sausage Soup (590 huf / $2.5 / 8₪) and the Orange Oreango Sausage (1690 huf / $6.5 / 23₪). The soup was out of this world. It was boasting with sour, sweet and salty flavors with a ginger kick. The sausage was very interesting, but we couldn’t feel much of the orange flavors. The pan-toasted rustic break had an extra crunchy exterior. Amazing food!
From Kobe Sausages I got the Sausage with Bacon and Roasted Onion in Cone Bread (1190 huf / $5 / 16.5₪). Unfortunately they were out of the Hungarian sausage so I got only he Bavarian one. The sausages are great – very juicy, and the onion crunch is great and there is a lot of it! Unfortunately the bread was the weakest link, being very challenging to eat. We only added mayo and kudos to them for putting both at the bottom as well as on the top.
Not sure this market is worth the visit though, but if you are in the area and are looking for a delicious meal, head up to Lakatos Műhely.
Lakatos Műhely Online:
Kobe Sausages Online:
3. Great Market Hall
If you started planning your Budapest trip, you probably read a lot about the Great Market Hall, so I’m not going to waste words. This place is the largest and oldest indoor market in Budapest. The stalls on the ground floor offer produce such as meat and poultry, fruits and vegetables, cheese, spices and more. The second floor has souvenirs and eateries.
I spent some time on the ground floor, purchasing some spices and admiring the selection. On the second floor I mostly just tried to evade other people, since the place was was so packed it was hard to move around. This and the crazy long lines led to the decision of forgoing getting food here. My tip to you: try to steer clear of rush hours, and hope for less tourists.
Great Market Hall Online:
1. Bors Gastro Bar
On the same street as Karavan is this quirky little hole in the wall, serving soups, sandwiches, and very long lines. Their menu has some very interesting combinations, and their walls are covered with Star Wars arts, statues and even one pumpkin with a Stormtrooper carving! Bonus nerd points – some of the menu is written in Aurebesh.
We ordered two baguettes: Barack Obama and their most popular sandwich – French Lady. While waiting for our order to be ready, we stalked the other people sitting at the small bar to grab one of the very few seats (most people eat standing outside or having to-go).
Barak Obama (980 huf / $4 / 13.5₪) has BBQ sauce with confetti pork, apricot and american grilled cheese. French Lady (980 huf / $4 / 13.5₪) has raspberry jam, chicken breast and edam cheese. The bread was great – crunchy crust and soft inside, served hot with lots of goodies inside. Although the combinations sounded odd at first, taking a bite reassures that these guys know what they are doing, and the fruity flavors really complimented the meat\chicken.
Of course I couldn’t pass on dessert and ordered the Salted Caramel Soup with Cream and Pretzel. The only downside – the menu items are written in Hungarian.
Bors Gastro Bar Online:
TöLTő is a small food joint selling sausages that look like a piece of art with home made bread and unique toppings. They have 5 different options of sausages, such as: Venison sausage with red currant, pistachio sauce, tapioka crisp with beet root and marinated carrot, and paprika-chili pork sausage with paprika sauce, tomato jelly, kumquat.
We sampled two dishes: Wild Boar with Shiitake, wakame salad, chinkiang sauce and spirulina sponge (1590 huf / $6 / 22₪) and Goose Sausage with pumpkin sauce, pumpkin sushi and pumpkin seeds (1490 huf / $6 / 20.5₪). If you are not a daring person when it comes to flavors, I would advise you to let this one pass. This place is definitely worthwhile for the sausage lovers.
Make sure to go to their website and get their coupon for a glass of homemade lemonade with Thai basil and one cup of extra sauce for free.
3. Retró Lángos Büfé
Most cultures has a staple dish made of fried dough, and Hungary is no different. Lángos is a popular Hungarian street food, made from deep fried dough. Traditionally sour cream and grated cheese are added on top, but there are many variations, including sausages, ham, garlic, mushroom and more.
Some say Retró Lángos Büfé is the best Lángos in town. It was located a minute walk from our hotel, so we passed by this place almost every day. Only on our last day have we tried this decadent dish, after visiting another fried dough hall of fame – Mr. Funk. I went for the classic option – Lángos with Sour Cream and Grated Cheese (650 huf / $2.5 / 9₪) – although they offer many different toppings to go along with your sinful bite, savory and sweet alike.
Retró Lángos Büfé Online: