What to eat in Budapest: must-try Hungarian dishes

Not sure what to eat in Budapest? Check out these delicious Hungarian dishes that are sure to make you hungry…

Today I’m going to be talking about what to eat in Budapest. A warning: if you’re not hungry now you certainly will be very soon! Let’s get to it…

I’ve just returned from a wonderful five days in the Hungarian capital, which was even more magical than I expected. In winter Budapest turns into something of a winter wonderland, where everything is cast in soft greys and blues, the air is crisp and cold, and the beautiful ornate buildings come frosted with powdery white snow, like something straight out of a fairytale. Oh yes, and there’s the glittering fairy lights which are draped over every bar and restaurant. It really is just gorgeous from all angles.

With all this chill in the air, however, you really need some hearty Hungarian food and drink to warm up with. Luckily, Budapest does an awesome job at serving up delicious and filling food and drink.

Here’s my guide on what to eat in Budapest


What’s round, tastes like a doughnut and comes topped with sour cream and cheese? A traditional Hungarian lángos, that’s what. As soon as I read about these on the flight to Budapest I knew they would be right up my street, and it certainly didn’t disappoint. A deep-fried flat bread that’s often described as a Hungarian pizza? What could be better?

The great thing about langos is that they’re super versatile, and you can have them sweet or savoury. I went for the classic topping of sour cream and cheese but I also spotted sweet versions in the Great Market Hall in Budapest that came with a variety of toppings including honey, chocolate, walnuts and nutella. So if you have a sweet tooth there’s a langos for you!

Langos also make the perfect street food, and I ordered mine at the Budapest Christmas market. However, there are plenty of other places that serve them throughout the city, including one we walked by called Lángos Papa that looked delightful. I actually really wish we’d gone into it!


Not sure what to eat in Budapest? Well, you can’t go to Hungary and not order goulash so make that your first port of call. A traditional Hungarian goulash is a soup or a stew with tender beef, vegetables, and spiced with paprika. A great big hug in a bowl basically! This was another thing that we ordered at the Budapest Christmas market and it was another winner. If you’re looking for hearty, delicious food goulash is a must-try.

Soup in a loaf

There’s something kind of beautiful about having your soup served out of a rustic bread bowl, and you see it a lot in Budapest – such as with the goulash above. I opted for garlic cream soup in one of the restaurants we stopped in for lunch one day. Topped with a smudge of molten cheese, and accompanied by a delicious glass of red wine, it was divine from start to finish and totally worth smelling of garlic for the rest of the day.

Hot fruit tea

Maybe I’ve been living under a rock but I’d never come across hot tea before. Hot wine, hot cider, but never hot fruit tea. We were served it as a welcome drink on the Danube boat cruise we got and it was absolutely delicious. Hot, sweet and spiced, it was exactly what I needed after the freezing walk down to the river – and much better than the watery red wine they dished out later. So when we came across it the next day in one of the smaller Budapest Christmas markets in the city I didn’t hesitate to get it again, and it was just as good second time around. Definitely try it.

Liquor coffee

Nothing new about this one, but sipping a cup of coffee while you people watch at one of the many cosy cafes almost seems like a rite of passage when you’re in Budapest. Unfortunately, bad blogger that I am, we ended up in more of a tourist trap place – we were freezing and needed to plan our route to our next destination – so that was that. Despite the less than instagrammable backdrop, my amaretto coffee was delicious and did the job nicely in warming me up. Not feeling bad at all.

Chicken stew with dumplings

With its cosy surroundings, traditional gingham table cloths, and friendly service, cosy cafe Ildiko’s Kitchen near the castle district was exactly what I needed after a long morning trudging around in the snow. The Hungarians love their sour cream and so do I, and the great big dollop of it here definitely added an extra level of deliciousness to the dish.

The pasta-like dumplings were also especially good – the picture above really doesn’t do it justice because it was SO tasty. The restaurant was packed out and you could tell why, as the food is great; simple, hearty and tasty, exactly what you want on a cold day. Make sure you stop by.

Like this? Check out my post on the best free things to do in Budapest right here!

4 responses to “What to eat in Budapest: must-try Hungarian dishes”

  1. I am DROOLING. That soup in a roll looks insane!! Garlic is one of my absolute favourite flavours, too. Budapest sounds right up my street food-wise (and everything else-wise!). Myself and my partner are yet to visit but it is definitely on our list 🙂
    Alice Xx

    1. It was definitely amazing from the food perspective! I also ate lots of pasta weirdly, it must have just been the cold that had me craving stodge 🤷‍♀️

  2. […] it’s a traditional langos topped with sour cream and cheese in Budapest or a bratwurst in Manchester, you have to be made of steel to be able to walk through a Christmas […]

  3. […] less likely to be tempted by all the delicious looking food on offer. This is where I first spotted the traditional Langos I wanted to try. Take your time having a wander around; it’s a treasure trove of traditional food, Hungarian […]

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