While visiting Budapest make sure you try some traditional Hungarian dishes during your stay. After all, as any real foodie will tell you, food tourism is more than just fine dining at the world’s most expensive restaurants.
Food tourism is the chance to uncover new food while experiencing the lives and cultures of the locals. Although celebrity chefs, fusion menus and experimental gastronomy all have their place, sometimes all you need is traditional, humble cooking.
Hungarian dishes are often hearty stews and aged old family recipes that have been passed down through the generations. However, alongside rich bowls of goulash, you can find sweet treats accompanied with locally produced dessert wines.
5 Hungarian Dishes You Must Try in Budapest
Within this blog, we take a look at 5 Hungarian dishes you must try in Budapest:
- Fisherman’s Soup
- Kürtös Kalács
With paprika used as a key ingredients and dry meats often served up at lunchtime, traditional food from Hungary goes much further. In fact, rather than just being associated with Goulash, Hungarian dishes are often some of Europe’s best-kept secrets.
Although a food tour in Budapest is also a chance to discover something new, it’s also the best way to try old favourites. Without a doubt the most famous of all Hungarian dishes, Goulash is a staple on almost any menu throughout Budapest.
You may however be surprised to discover a traditional Hungarian goulash isn’t quite as you’d first expect. In fact, in many regions it’s much more of a soup rather than resembling a stew. However, it is always likely to be a rich dish of beef, diced vegetables and spices including generous amounts of paprika.
For the most authentic experience, join a Hungarian family in their own home as you watch the dish being cooked over an open fire.
It may not be one of the healthiest things to eat, but Lángos is certainly something you really must try at least once in Budapest. In fact, it’s one of the country’s most widely consumed dishes. The deep-fried flat-bread has been around for centuries and is very much the essence of Hungarian comfort food.
Often topped with garlic sauce or sour cream, it is usually served covered in grated cheese. While other ingredients may include sliced sausage or cured meats.
The chances are you will come across Lángos during a street food tour in Budapest. Although, for the most authentic and lovingly made Lángos, head away from the tourist areas. As you will find the best vendors in Budapest near the underpass alongside Lake Balafon.
Halászlé or “Fisherman’s Soup”, is another popular dish cooked on an open fire in the great outdoors. In fact, cook-outs are somewhat of a tradition in Hungary and as such one-pot cooking is a favourite among even the most renowned of chefs.
As you may have guessed, Halászlé is made using freshly caught fish, cooked up alongside the waters’ edge. Although a soup that can be easily adapted, the most authentic versions will include carp, catfish, trout or pike.
All of which can be caught within the Danube River, that runs through the city. Therefore, if you are looking for Fisherman’s Soup of restaurant standard, try one where you see people fishing in the river nearby.
While many foodies may consider goulash a stew, in reality, for a truly authentic Hungarian dish you should try Pörkölt. It’s ideal for a cold winters day, as it provides a rich and filling dinner that will warm you up inside.
Cooked over a long period of time, all the best stews should contain chunks of meat that just fall apart when eaten. This is a hearty meal of beef or pork, usually served with potatoes or dumplings, pasta or egg noodles.
One of the great things you will learn about cooking Hungarian stews is that they’re a good way to use up left-over vegetables. Although the meat should be of decent quality and if you really want to add some flavour, a dash of red wine will go a long way.
Many of Hungary’s favourite dishes are heavily routed in old fashioned comfort food. It’s no surprise then, that the same can be said for Hungarian desserts.
This particular pastry is as sweet as they come, with sugar it’s sugar-coated dough covered in chocolate and cinnamon. Often found with the addition of chopped nuts or desiccated coconut
While Kürtös Kalács can be shop bought and pre-packed, they’re best over the counter from the bakery section. Alternatively, they’re even fresher at the local market while out on a street food tour. After all, they’re traditionally baked over a charcoal fire, giving them a unique barbecued flavour.
Food and Drink Experiences in Budapest
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