Budapest on my plate!

If food can be the sole reason to travel then I am sure Budapest should be on every food enthusiast’s list of places to visit. In fact, it wouldn’t be an exaggeration if I said Budapest is the place to be if you are a foodie who also loves to travel as there is a long list of must try foods in Budapest which not only satisfy but also surprise your taste-buds.

The city has, undoubtedly, evolved as a foodie’s paradise over only a few years of time after it opened doors to a gastro-revolution of its own kind at the onset of this decade. But, in reality, the exciting food scene in Budapest has been there forever to lure foodies from all corners of the globe and impress them with its multi-cultural offerings.

The reason I am excited to write about my own ‘foodie adventures’ way before writing a post about the city is that Budapest had surpassed my expectations in terms of the variety it offers when it comes to catering to travelers with diverse backgrounds. I went expecting cheap and nice food and I came back tasting cheap and amazing food.

Budapest lived up to its reputations and everything beginning from the gorgeous Buda Palace to the much-loved thermal baths was truly impressive. We braved the summer sun and explored everything we could in a week long trip but the best part of our trip to this city was definitely the eating-out part. It is because we not only got to taste diverse cuisines but also got to explore the city’s much-loved coffee-culture as well as the enthralling nightlife born in the ruins hidden in its alleys.

I just wish I took better photographs! But when it comes to food I just forget my camera. Somehow I managed to click some with my cell phone camera which do not compliment the foods. So request you to just ignore the quality!

Of all the famous foods to try in Budapest, some we ate and some we missed but the foodie journey in this beautiful city was incredibly satisfying nonetheless.

So where do I begin? Do I begin with the delicious Hungarian pork roast or the yummiest cream-cake I have ever tasted?

I guess it would be better to start with the prettiest Gelato we had in Budapest. This cute little shop tucked in the lane in front of St. Stephen’s  Basilica in Budapest that attracts all kinds of people visiting the city and everybody likes a pretty cone or two, no matter what time of the year it is. One just has to look for the lovely sigh that says ‘Gelarto Rose’ just to the right side of the Basilica.

 

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rose

 

I admit that when the city is strewn with so many famous places to enjoy a good and filling meal then why should anyone bother going to a particular one! But trust me when people talk about a place so much then it is better to go and see it for yourself.

So out we went to Zoska Breakfast cafe, a tiny place filled with early birds waiting for their breakfast. I wouldn’t be the first or the last one to talk about this place but as long as I am committed to documenting my foodie journey, this had to find a place in my scribbles. The yummy breakfast of Hungarian sausage with eggs and American pancakes with whipped cream was just a perfect start to a long day in Budapest. The cozy vibe of the cafe was the bonus.

zoska-coffee
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zoska
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Address:

Budapest, Ferenczy István u. 28, 1053 Hungary

Apart from this special shop there are other amazing breakfast places strewn all over the city but if I have to mention another favourite place for a light breakfast, it has to be Sock’s Coffee near the Jewish quarters of Budapest. I know, the name isn’t that appealing but their pastries surely are. However, I sincerely hope ‘Sock’ means something else in Hungarian. We tried traditional cream cake made with pastry sheets and loved it.

coffee-socks
pastry

Address:

Budapest, Dohány u. 1, 1074 Hungary

The rest of our breakfast were eaten here and there at random places but overall every place was good. This particular one near the Budapest-Keleti Train station was also worth our pennies.

 

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We missed out on tasting Goulash, the most famous dish the city offers and it is a shame! Since we do not eat beef we desperately looked for a version with pork or chicken but were laughed at big time as the very essence of goulash lies in the beef used to cook it. I intend to cook my own version with the nice paprika powder I brought from Budapest’s Great Market Hall.

However, we tried to compensate the loss with another traditional Hunagrian this called Chicken Paprikash.  Again, almost every restaurant in the city offers this delicacy but we tried it at the cafeteria of Rudas Bath which is one of the main tourist hotspots of Budapest.

paprikash
chickenpaprikash

The chicken was nice and tender and interestingly shaped and it kind of resembles Indian curry minus all the fragrant spices and chilies. But I wish they served it with rice instead of homemade pasta. I am not sure if a better version of the dish exists but when in Budapest you have to try it.

Bu the best experience came from this amazing coffee shop with a legacy of 200 years hidden near the Fisherman’s Bastion where every well informed traveler make it a point to stop to take a bite. The winner here was their amazing cream cake. So when in the vicinity just ask for Cafe Ruszwurm. The cake is named the same- Ruszwurm Cream Cake.

Creamcake
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Creamcake-3

Address:

Ruszwurm Confectionery
1014 Budapest
Szentháromság u. 7.

The next ‘must-try’ item on our list is the much loved  Kürtőskalács a.k.a Chimney cake. You can find this warm and mildly sweet delicacy everywhere. Just look around or drag a deep breath-the aroma will hit you and you will know from where it is coming. We tried it at a little street shop located near Deak Ferenc Square. This is an ideal snack to have on the go or works as a light breakfast with coffee. It is traditional and one of the most famous Hungarian delicacies to try in Budapest.

Chimney Cakes are a very common sight during the Christmas period but it is available all round the year for food enthusiasts to take a taste. The most interesting part is they are cheap!

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But when it comes to traditions, we just can’t ignore this interesting thing called Lángos we were suggested to try. It is definitely not a very healthy item to try but when in travel I don’t mind loading some calories. As if a huge piece of fried though wasn’t enough they load it with all kinds of fatty toppings such as cheese, butter and sour cream. The taste is kind of salty but the salty taste is subtle. The actual flavour comes from the toppings!

If you like sinking your teeth into things soft and crunchy at the same time then Lángos is a dish you ought not miss. Like Chimney Cakes, this dish is also available in every nook and corner of the city. Just look for the word Lángos written on the shop menus.

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langos-2

Another pretty regular but very Hungarian dish is Hungarian pork roast served with Thick potato wedges and salads. This is also a standard dish served in most of the restaurants and if you are a pork lover you will absolutely love it. Teamed with some cocktails it was the perfect dinner for us.

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Apart from the traditional foods what made me so happy was the amazing hole-in-the-wall Chinese and Thai foods restaurants. They were absolutely delightful as compared to the ones we have here in Helsinki. So you can imagine my excitement. I did not take photos of some meals but I would really recommend visiting one of them.

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Moreover, more than any food one should definitely visit the Budapest Great Market Hall where one can buy all sorts of foods and souvenirs. The hall in itself is a tourist spot as its grandeur can be only felt by walking through it, checking out its pretty stalls. One special thing you should not miss eating there is Dobos Torte, a traditional cake. AT the entrance of the hall there is a delightful sweets shop where one can buy all sorts of sweets including this must try pastry. The verdict was, simply wow!

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Foods apart, Budapest is a great city to enjoy pub hopping as liquor is comparatively cheap, especially in the city’s much-talked about ruin bars. We met this amazing American couple and also a Hungarian wine tour guide at a ruin bar and they insisted that we tried Pálinka, a traditional brandy. You have to try it to know how it feels to gulp it down your throat! The feeling is not very nice but the after effects are amazing.

Unfortunately, I don’t have picture to show but the internet is available with pictures of both Pálinka and people under its influence!

I was kind of appalled to  see people sipping Starbucks in Budapest because when the city ha so many nice and pretty cafes why go to a regular place? But I guess, Starbucks fan have their own logic. For me, all those little coffee breaks I had in Budapest were incredibly fun. No wonder, the coffee journey in Budapest dragged on and only ended in the airport just before we boarded the flight back to Helsinki.

If I am to return to Budapest again in life I would like to go on a ‘foodie cum researcher mode’ but, for now, I think I am content with all the drool-worthy memories I have.

 

 

 

 

 

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