Budapest, the capital city of Hungary, is known for its rich culinary history and vibrant food scene. The city’s cuisine is a reflection of its diverse cultural influences, including Turkish, Austrian, and Jewish.
Budapest has gained a reputation as a foodie destination, with its wide range of traditional Hungarian dishes, fine dining restaurants, street food vendors, and bustling food markets.
In this post, we are going to talk about Where to Eat in Budapest Hungary on your trip.
Traditional Hungarian Food in Budapest: What to Expect
Hungarian cuisine is hearty, flavorful, and often uses simple ingredients. It is known for its use of paprika, which adds a distinct taste and colour to many dishes.
Some popular Hungarian dishes include goulash, paprikash, and lángos. Goulash is a traditional Hungarian soup or stew made with meat, vegetables, and spices. Paprikash is a dish made with meat (usually chicken or veal) cooked in a creamy paprika sauce. Lángos is a deep-fried dough topped with various savoury or sweet toppings.
Food holds great cultural significance in Hungary, and meals are often seen as a time for family and friends to come together. Traditional Hungarian cuisine is often enjoyed during special occasions and holidays, such as Christmas and Easter.
It is also common to find Hungarian dishes served at festivals and street fairs throughout the city.
Top Restaurants in Budapest for Fine Dining
Budapest is home to several Michelin-starred restaurants that offer exceptional dining experiences.
Onyx, located in the heart of the city, has been awarded two Michelin stars for its innovative take on Hungarian cuisine. The restaurant combines traditional flavours with modern techniques to create unique and visually stunning dishes.
Another top fine dining restaurant in Budapest is Costes, which was the first restaurant in Hungary to receive a Michelin star. Costes offers a tasting menu that showcases the best of Hungarian ingredients and flavours. The restaurant also has an extensive wine list, featuring both Hungarian and international wines.
New York Cafe
For special occasions, Budapest offers a range of upscale dining experiences. The New York Café, often referred to as the most beautiful café in the world, is a stunning venue that serves gourmet Hungarian and international dishes. The restaurant is located in a historic building and features ornate decorations and live piano music.
Best Places to Try Goulash in Budapest
Goulash is one of the most iconic Hungarian dishes and a must-try when visiting Budapest. It is a hearty soup or stew made with meat, vegetables, and spices, including paprika. Goulash has a long history in Hungarian cuisine and is often considered a national dish.
To taste the best goulash in Budapest, head to one of the city’s traditional Hungarian restaurants. One popular spot is Kádár Étkezde, a no-frills eatery that has been serving authentic Hungarian dishes for over 60 years. Their goulash is made with tender beef, potatoes, and plenty of paprika.
For a more upscale dining experience, try Rosenstein Restaurant. This family-owned restaurant has been serving Hungarian cuisine for over 20 years and is known for its high-quality ingredients and traditional recipes. Their goulash is rich and flavorful, with a perfect balance of spices.
Vegetarian and Vegan Options in Budapest
Budapest has seen a growing trend in vegetarian and vegan cuisine in recent years. Many restaurants and cafes now offer plant-based options, making it easier for vegetarians and vegans to find delicious meals in the city.
One top restaurant for vegetarian and vegan cuisine is Napfényes Étterem. This cosy eatery offers a wide range of plant-based dishes, including vegan versions of traditional Hungarian dishes such as goulash and stuffed cabbage. They also have a bakery section with vegan pastries and desserts.
Another popular spot is Great Bistro, which offers a variety of vegetarian and vegan dishes made with fresh, locally sourced ingredients. Their menu includes options such as vegan burgers, salads, and soups. They also have a selection of vegan desserts, including cakes and ice cream.
Street Food in Budapest: Must-Try Snacks
Budapest is known for its vibrant street food scene, with numerous vendors offering delicious and affordable snacks throughout the city. One popular street food option is lángos, a deep-fried dough topped with various savoury or sweet toppings. Some popular toppings include sour cream, cheese, garlic, and sausage.
Karaván Street Food Court
For a taste of traditional Hungarian street food, head to Karaván Street Food Court. This outdoor food court is home to several food trucks and stalls serving a variety of dishes, including lángos, chimney cake (a sweet pastry), and kürtőskalács (a spiral-shaped pastry).
Another must-try street food snack in Budapest is the Hungarian sausage. You can find sausage vendors throughout the city, serving up grilled sausages with various toppings and condiments. One popular spot is Fény Utcai Piac, a local market that has several sausage vendors offering a range of flavours and styles.
Best Cafes and Bakeries in Budapest
Budapest has a thriving coffee culture, with numerous cafes and bakeries offering a wide range of sweet treats and pastries.
One top cafe in the city is Gerbeaud, which has been serving coffee and pastries since 1858. The cafe is known for its elegant interior and delicious cakes, including the famous Gerbeaud slice, made with layers of chocolate sponge cake and apricot jam.
Another popular cafe is Ruszwurm, located in the historic Castle District. This charming cafe has been operating since 1827 and is known for its traditional Hungarian pastries, including strudels and cream-filled cakes. The cafe also offers a selection of coffee and tea.
Szamos Gourmet Palace
For a unique cafe experience, visit Szamos Gourmet Palace. This cafe and chocolate shop is located in a beautiful historic building and offers a wide range of handmade chocolates, pastries, and cakes. They also have a cafe section where you can enjoy a cup of coffee or tea with your sweet treat.
Hungarian Wine and Beer: Where to Drink
Hungary has a long history of winemaking, and Budapest is a great place to sample a variety of Hungarian wines. The city is home to several wine bars and cellars that offer a wide selection of local wines.
Doblo Wine Bar
One top wine bar in Budapest is Doblo Wine Bar, located in the Jewish Quarter. The bar has an extensive wine list, featuring both Hungarian and international wines. They also offer wine tastings and have knowledgeable staff who can help you choose the perfect wine.
For beer lovers, Budapest also has a thriving craft beer scene. One popular spot is Élesztő, a craft beer bar located in a former factory building. The bar has over 20 taps, offering a rotating selection of local and international craft beers. They also have a beer garden where you can enjoy your drink in the sunshine.
Affordable Eateries in Budapest
Budapest offers plenty of budget-friendly dining options that don’t compromise on quality.
Frici Papa Kifőzdéje
One popular spot is Frici Papa Kifőzdéje, a traditional Hungarian eatery that serves hearty dishes at affordable prices. Their menu includes classics such as goulash, stuffed cabbage, and chicken paprikash.
Another affordable option is Bors GasztroBár, a small sandwich shop that offers a variety of creative and delicious sandwiches. The shop is known for its friendly staff and affordable prices. They also have vegetarian and vegan options available.
For traditional Hungarian dishes at affordable prices, head to Belvárosi Disznótoros. This cosy restaurant specializes in Hungarian comfort food, including dishes such as pork knuckles, sausages, and stews. The portions are generous, and the prices are reasonable.
Best Places for Breakfast in Budapest
Breakfast is an important meal in Budapest, and the city offers a variety of cafes and restaurants where you can enjoy a delicious morning meal.
One top spot is Szimply, a cozy cafe that focuses on simple and healthy breakfast options. Their menu includes dishes such as avocado toast, granola bowls, and freshly baked pastries.
New York Café
Another popular breakfast spot is New York Café, mentioned earlier for its fine dining options. The cafe also serves a delicious breakfast menu, featuring classics such as eggs Benedict, pancakes, and omelets. The elegant interior and live piano music create a luxurious atmosphere.
For a unique breakfast experience, visit Művész Kávéház. This historic cafe has been operating since 1898 and is known for its beautiful Art Nouveau interior. They serve a variety of breakfast options, including traditional Hungarian dishes such as scrambled eggs with sausage and Hungarian-style omelets.
Unique Dining Experiences in Budapest
Budapest offers several unique dining experiences that are sure to leave a lasting impression.
One such experience is dining at 360 Bar, a rooftop bar and restaurant that offers panoramic views of the city. The restaurant serves a variety of international dishes and cocktails, making it the perfect spot for a romantic dinner or special occasion.
Széchenyi Bath Party
Another unique dining concept in Budapest is the Széchenyi Bath Party. This popular event takes place at the Széchenyi Thermal Bath and combines a pool party with live music and food stalls. Guests can enjoy a soak in the thermal baths while sipping cocktails and sampling street food.
For a themed dining experience, visit Púder Bárszínház. This quirky restaurant and theatre offer a variety of shows and performances while you dine. The menu features a range of Hungarian and international dishes, and the atmosphere is lively and entertaining.
Food Markets in Budapest: Where to Shop for Local Produce
Budapest is home to several food markets where you can shop for local produce and traditional Hungarian ingredients.
Great Market Hall
One popular market is the Great Market Hall, located in the city centre. The market offers a wide range of fresh fruits, vegetables, meats, and spices. It is also a great place to try traditional Hungarian street food.
Hold Street Market
Another market worth visiting is the Hold Street Market, a smaller market located in the Jewish Quarter. The market specializes in artisanal and organic products, including locally produced cheeses, breads, and pastries. It is a great place to find unique and high-quality ingredients.
Rákospatak Farmers’ Market
For a more local experience, visit the Rákospatak Farmers’ Market. This market takes place every Saturday and offers a variety of fresh produce, homemade jams, honey, and other local products. It is a great place to support local farmers and artisans.
Food Tours in Budapest
Pizza and Beer Cruise
For a price of 32 € you can go on a Pizza and Beer Cruise, You can enjoy an 85 minutes of boat cruise along the Danube. What we would suggest is to take the cruise during the night so that you can enjoy the beautiful sight of the Chain Bridge and the Parliament Building.
Summary (Where to Eat in Budapest Hungary)
Budapest’s food scene is diverse and vibrant, offering something for every taste and budget. From traditional Hungarian cuisine to fine dining experiences, and street food snacks to vegetarian and vegan options, the city has it all.
Whether you’re a foodie looking to explore new flavours or simply looking for a delicious meal, Budapest is sure to satisfy your culinary cravings. Don’t miss the opportunity to try goulash, sample Hungarian wines, and indulge in sweet treats at the city’s cafes and bakeries. With its rich culinary history and innovative dining concepts, Budapest truly is a food lover’s paradise.