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Budapest Food Guide: 10 Must-Try Hungarian Foods and Drinks

Welcome to Budapest! Nestled along the banks of the Danube River, Hungary's capital city is not only a treasure trove of stunning architecture and rich history but also a haven for foodies eager to explore the rich flavors of Hungarian cuisine which is a delightful blend of influences from its neighbors and invaders over centuries, resulting in a diverse tapestry of flavors. Known for its hearty and robust dishes, Hungarian food is characterized by the use of paprika, onions, garlic, and various spices, creating dishes with depth and complexity. On this delicious journey, we’ll explore Budapest's bustling streets and cozy cafes, uncovering the delights of Hungarian fare from hearty stews to delicate pastries, and everything in between. So, grab your fork and raise your glass as we embark on a delectable exploration of 10 Must-Try Hungarian Foods and Drinks in Budapest!

⬇️ Check out our “Hungarian Food Tour | What & Where to Eat in Budapest, Hungary” travel vlog for a closer look at our foodie adventures in Budapest! ⬇️


⬇️ For the best Tours, Tickets, and Experiences in Budapest, check out GetYouGuide! ⬇️


⬇️ Looking for the perfect stay while visiting Budapest? Check out our recommendations on Plannin! ⬇️

⭐⭐⭐⭐Prestige Hotel

⭐⭐⭐ H2 Hotel (where we stayed)


Now let’s get into the good stuff… The FOOD!!!

Somlói Galuska (pronounced SHOM-loy Gah-LOO-shkah)

A decadent Hungarian dessert that combines layers of sponge cake, chocolate sauce, rum-soaked raisins, and ground walnuts, all topped with whipped cream. Named after the Somló Hill in Hungary, this indulgent treat offers a delicious balance of textures and flavors, with each bite delivering a heavenly combination of sweetness and richness. It's often served chilled, making it a refreshing finale to any Hungarian meal or a delightful afternoon treat. Or if you’re like us, then you have it for breakfast with your coffee or tea!

Where to try: Café Gerbeaud (Budapest, Vörösmarty tér 7-8, 1051 Hungary)

Somlói Galuska at Café Gerbeaud in Budapest, Hungary

Dobos Torte (pronounced DOH-bohsh Tort)

A classic Hungarian dessert that's as visually stunning as it is delicious. Named after its creator, Hungarian confectioner József C. Dobos, this indulgent cake consists of multiple layers of sponge cake sandwiched together with rich chocolate buttercream. What sets Dobos Torte apart is its signature caramelized sugar topping, creating a glossy, crackly finish that adds a delightful crunch to each bite. It’s often adorned with intricate chocolate decorations, making it a true masterpiece of Hungarian pastry artistry.

Where to Try: Café Gerbeaud (Budapest, Vörösmarty tér 7-8, 1051 Hungary) 

Dobos Torte at Café Gerbeaud in Budapest, Hungary

Meggyes Rétes (pronounced MEH-dyesh REY-tesh)

A delightful Hungarian pastry that combines flaky layers of phyllo dough with a luscious filling of sour cherries, sugar, and sometimes poppy seeds for extra little bursts of flavor. This traditional treat offers a perfect balance of tartness and sweetness, encased in a crisp, golden crust. Served warm with a dusting of powdered sugar, Meggyes Rétes is a beloved dessert that captures the essence of Hungarian culinary heritage in every bite.

Where to try: Első Pesti Rétesház (Budapest, Október 6. u. 22, 1051 Hungary)

Meggyes Rétes at Első Pesti Rétesház in Budapest Hungary

Lángos (pronounced LAHN-gohsh)

A beloved Hungarian street food, Lángos is a crispy yet fluffy deep-fried bread that serves as a canvas for an array of savory and sweet toppings. Traditionally made from a simple dough of flour, yeast, salt, and water, Lángos is fried until golden brown, resulting in a delightful contrast of textures. The traditional way to enjoy it is slathered with garlic-and-oil sauce and sour cream, and topped with grated cheese, but Lángos can be topped with a variety of savory, and even sweet additions! One thing is for sure, whether enjoyed as a savory snack or indulgent dessert, Lángos is a must-try delicacy that captures the essence of Hungarian street food culture.

Where to try: There are so many great places to have Lángos throughout the city, but we recommend Retro Lángos (Budapest, Bajcsy-Zsilinszky út 25, 1065 Hungary)

Lángos at Retro Lángos in Budapest, Hungary

Kürtőskalács (pronounced KOOR-tohsh-Ka-LAHCH)

Also known as chimney cake, Kürtőskalács is a traditional Hungarian pastry that's as visually stunning as it is delicious. Originally popular in the Hungarian-speaking regions of Romania, more predominantly the Székely Land, this sweet treat is made from sweet yeast dough that's wrapped around a wooden cylinder, and then roasted over an open flame until golden brown. The result is a crispy, caramelized exterior with a soft, fluffy interior. Once baked, Kürtőskalács is often coated in various toppings such as cinnamon sugar, chopped nuts, or cocoa powder, adding layers of flavor and texture. Modern shops have started offering these cakes filled with ice cream and elaborate toppings, but the traditional way is to keep it simple. Regardless of your how you chose to enjoy this treat, having a Kürtőskalács hot off the grill is a must for anyone visiting Budapest.

Where to try: You’ll see these all over the city, but we recommend trying them at Molnár's Kürtőskalács (Budapest, Váci u 31, 1052 Hungary)

Kürtőskalács at Molnár's Kürtőskalács in Budapest, Hungary

Túró Rudi (pronounced TOO-doh ROO-dee)

A favorite Hungarian snack that's as iconic as it is delicious. At its core, it's a creamy túró (quark cheese) filling encased in a thin layer of rich, dark chocolate. This delightful treat offers a perfect balance of tangy and sweet flavors, with the smoothness of the cheese complementing the intensity of the chocolate coating. Whether enjoyed as a quick bite on the go or savored as a satisfying dessert, Túró Rudi is a must-try for anyone exploring Hungarian cuisine. I must say, I was pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed this treat!

Where to try: Any convenience store, grocery store, or market

Túró Rudi in Budapest, Hungary

Goulash (pronounced GOO-lahsh)

Known as "gulyás" in Hungarian, Goulash is a hearty and flavorful stew that has become a symbol of Hungarian cuisine. This traditional dish features tender chunks of beef or veal, slow-cooked with onions, paprika, and a variety of spices until it's meltingly tender. What sets Hungarian Goulash apart is its rich, red color and robust flavor, thanks to the generous use of sweet or hot paprika. Often served with a dollop of sour cream and crusty bread, this soul-warming stew is the perfect comfort food, especially on chilly Hungarian evenings.

Where to try: Goulash can be found at just about any Hungarian restaurant, but we recommend trying it at Terv Presszó (Budapest, Nádor u. 19, 1051 Hungary)

Hungarian Goulash

Chicken Paprikash (Chicken PA-pree-kash)

A quintessential Hungarian dish that embodies comfort and flavor in every bite. Tender chicken pieces are simmered in a rich sauce infused with sweet paprika, onions, and bell peppers, resulting in a vibrant red hue that's as visually striking as it is delicious. This hearty stew is often finished with a dollop of sour cream, lending a creamy texture and tangy contrast to the bold flavors. Served over a bed of fluffy dumplings or buttery egg noodles, Chicken Paprikash is a soul-warming dish that epitomizes the essence of Hungarian cuisine and was a favorite of ours during our visit.

Where to try: Chicken Paprikash can be found at just about any Hungarian restaurant, but we recommend trying it at Hungarikum Bisztró (Budapest, Steindl Imre u. 13, 1051 Hungary)

Chicken Paprikash in Budapest, Hungary

Kolbász (pronounced KOL-bahss)

A traditional Hungarian sausage renowned for its robust flavor and savory aroma,  Kolbász is made from a blend of pork, beef, or sometimes even game meats. It's seasoned with a variety of spices such as paprika, garlic, and pepper, lending it a distinctive taste that is both smoky and spicy. Kolbász can be enjoyed in various forms, from fresh and juicy to smoked and dried, making it a versatile delicacy often served as a standalone snack or incorporated into hearty dishes like goulash or stews. Whether grilled on a summer barbecue or simmered in a bubbling pot of soup during the winter months, Kolbász is a beloved staple of Hungarian cuisine, embodying the country's culinary tradition and heritage.

Where to try: ​​​​Belvárosi Disznótoros - Király utca (Budapest, Király u. 1d, 1075 Hungary)

Hungarian Kolbász

Palinka (pronounced PAH-leen-kah)

A fruit brandy that is renowned for its strong, fiery kick, and rich fruit flavors. Crafted through centuries-old traditions, this potent spirit is typically made from a variety of fruits, including plums, apricots, cherries, and apples, each imparting its distinct character to the final product. Whether enjoyed as a digestif or a celebratory toast, Pálinka offers a spirited glimpse into the country's vibrant culture.

Where to try: You can find it at practically any restaurant or bar, but we recommend trying it at Szimpla Kert (Budapest, Kazinczy u. 14, 1075 Hungary)

Palinka in Budapest, Hungary

BONUS... Unicum (pronounced YEW-nee-kum): A classic Hungarian herbal liqueur known for its unique and complex flavor profile. Infused with a secret blend of more than 40 herbs and spices, including gentian, ginger, and juniper, Unicum delivers a bold and bittersweet taste that is both invigorating and unforgettable. Often enjoyed as a digestif, this iconic spirit embodies the spirit of Hungarian hospitality and tradition, making it a cherished part of the country's culinary heritage. To be honest, Unicum tastes more like medicine than a beverage, but trying it is a must when exploring Hungary’s food culture!


We hope that this guide has helped you make the most of your culinary adventures in Budapest, and if it has, we hope you’ll consider following us on Instagram and subscribing to our YouTube Channel for more travel content!

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