What’s your first thought when you imagine what to eat in Budapest? Is it the thick goulash, mountains of spätzle, or packed plates of pickled vegetables? How about a zesty cheese soup and an ice cold beer at a ruin bar? The famous city was the first stop on our Hungarian adventure, and we were ready to dive into what we heard was an amazing food scene. With zero advice or Budapest food guide to speak of, we roamed the streets hoping we’d be able to hunt down all the good stuff! The food in Budapest is hearty, flavorful, and will always leave you wanting more. Whether you’re traveling through Budapest on a budget or looking for some lavish meals, we’re about to take you on a food tour of one of Europe’s most underrated cities!
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Where and What to Eat In Budapest Hungary
Coffee & Breakfast
Where: Central Market Hall
Order: Dish of Choice (We Loved the Stuffed Cabbage Rolls with Sauerkraut)
Open Hours: 6am-6pm
Location: Budapest, Vámház krt. 1-3, 1093
Visiting the Central Market Hall is an experience in itself, and the perfect place to start your Budapest food tour. On the second level of the market you will find multiple stalls and restaurants specializing in all the traditional food of Hungary. With so many options it can be overwhelming choosing something, but you really can’t go wrong.
We started off with a Hungarian treat… A shot of espresso and mound of freshly whipped cream! After that, we indulged in a hearty breakfast of stuffed cabbage and sauerkraut. Not the typical morning meal I know… Yet when searching for what to eat in Budapest there’s no time for messing around!
Where: Drum Cafe Budapest
Order: Cheese Soup & Goulash with Nokedli (Spätzle)
Open Hours: 11am-11pm
Location: Dob Utca 2, Budapest 1074, Hungary
We stayed close to Drum Cafe in the Jewish Quarter and can attest that this place is packed from morning to night. Small tables fill the outdoor area while the inside of the restaurant is fitted in a classic design. The menu is massive and definitely caters to you if you’re traveling through Budapest on a budget.
This was hands down one of the best goulash and spätzle dishes we had in the city. For a starter make sure and try the cheese soup. It’s just as cheesy, gooey, and yummy as it sounds. Hey, we never said this would be a light eating day!
Where: Lángosh Gozsdu
Order: Lángos Topped with Sour Cream and Cheese
Open Hours: Sunday-Thursday: 11am-10pm Friday & Saturday: 11am-4am
Location: Budapest, Zrínyi u. 14, 1051 Hungary
When searching for what to eat in Budapest you may need a doughy snack! If you haven’t heard about the Langos get ready to throw away all your ideas of what fried dough should be. This is a staple of the city and no Budapest food guide would be complete without it.
They can be found at many restaurants and snack shops throughout area, specifically near the pubs. A large piece of dough is fried and topped with almost anything you could imagine. We kept it simple with the traditional Langos, sauced up with sour cream and a mound of cheese.
The ONLY thing we would say is that if you’re not hungry for an afternoon snack this also makes a great post-ruin bar treat after you’ve enjoyed some drinks. That must be why on weekends this Langos spot is open until 4am!
Order: Hummus Plate
Open Hours: 10am-1am
Location: Mazel Tov- Budapest, Akácfa u. 47, 1072 Hungary
Budapest is very culturally diverse so we wanted to highlight one meal that isn’t traditional to the country. Middle Eastern food is wildly popular in Hungary and can been seen all over the city.
Mazel Tov not only holds the title as being the most upscale ruin bar, but it’s also crazy popular. We stopped in for dinner once and actually had to come back another night because they were completely full!
Most people around us were ordering the falafel pita, but we would recommend getting hummus and an assortment of other dips and vegetables as well. If you can’t get a reservation or if you’re traveling through Budapest on a budget, the Hummus Bar is a great alternative. We ate at both and they are amazing in their own special ways.
Where: Any Chimney Stand in the City
Order: Kürtőskalács – Hungarian Chimney Cake
Don’t worry, we saved the best for last on our Budapest food tour! The Hungarian chimney cake is made by wrapping dough around a thick wooden spool then baking it. Typically it’s cooked over a fire, but you will also see this done in large glass ovens.
Now to say we wen’t a little overboard on our first one is probably an understatement… The dessert is so rich in itself that you might not need the Oreo ice cream filling we got. We actually would have preferred whip cream so it didn’t melt all over us. Nevertheless, with it’s crisp exterior and soft doughy center your only issue will be what toppings you want.
Ruin Bar Drinks
Where: Szimpla Kert & More Ruin Bars
Order: Cherry Beer
Open Hours: 12pm-4am Daily Except Sunday 9am-4pm
Location: Budapest, Kazinczy u. 14, 1075
Truly the ruin bars are unlike any other nightlife scene we’ve experienced. The brilliant concept has turned abandoned buildings into funky bars that double as music venues and art spaces.
The original ruin bar Szimpla Kert is the most exciting of all, and a must see after figuring out what to eat in Budapest. Each room has everything from bathtubs to jungle trees, ladders, and even massive boat sails! Go early to beat the crowds and really explore this ruin bar while sipping on your drink of choice.
Once you’re done at Szimpla Kert you’ll be in the heart of the Jewish Quarter which has all the best pubs and bars in the city. They’re also perfect for people visiting Budapest on a budget as beer and wine prices range from 1-3 Euros. Cheers!
Have any questions on our Budapest food guide ,or your own tips to add to our self-guided Budapest food tour? Please let us know in the comments below!
Brigitte & Jake
Where in the world are we? Follow our daily adventures on Instagram @nothingfamiliar!
Where To Stay In Budapest Hungary
Ultra Luxury– The Ritz-Carlton – What really can we say? The Ritz-Carlton is the premier luxury hotel throughout the world, and that’s no different in Budapest! Enjoy the most central location in the city with all the amenities you’d expect from the Ritz.
Fun Vacation – D8 Hotel – Just steps from the chain bridge, this hotel is located in the heart of the city. Unique interior design and a great breakfast to get you started on your Budapest food tour.
Hostel Life – Wombats City Hostel – Located in the center of the city close to popular cafes and bars. Daily buffet breakfast, shared kitchen, and large common room. Private rooms are perfect for travel couples, and this is a great option if you’re doing Budapest on a budget.
For more places to stay in this Budapest Food Guide you can explore the latest prices here!
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Hungary Travel Planning
Tours: Check out Get Your Guide for hundreds of activities around the country. You can book a Széchenyi spa full day pass in Budapest, try a Hungarian wine tasting, or jump on a sightseeing river cruise.
Rental Car: We use Discover Cars to rent vehicles on our travels. In Hungary, there are many beautiful cities and small towns to explore.
Travel Insurance: Never travel abroad without being covered! We’ve been using SafetyWing for the last few years on the road and they are there when we need them.