Are you in for some tidbits to munch on while roaming the streets of Budapest? We’ve handpicked the best street food options and where to find them.
One can say that a city is as diverse and colorful as its gastronomy. Building on that, a foodie can find pretty peculiar flavors and dishes when it comes to street food in Budapest. From the locals’ favorite, the puffy deep-fried dough ‘lángos’ to the sugar hit chimney cake ‘kürtőskalács’ and its extravagant variants, we’ve collected the tastiest Hungarian delicacies you can grab while roaming the streets of the inner city. Make sure you start the tour on an empty stomach and let the street feast begin.
With a crispy crust and puffy dough, often topped with cheese, sour cream, and whatnot, lángos is definitely a heavy dish, but this deep-fried flatbread is something you must taste while in Budapest. As the ultimate Hungarian street food, lángos has many variations from the classic one with garlic sauce to the most extreme ones, which include packing the flatbread with a full serving of traditional local dishes like chicken paprikash. Although you can also find some sweet topping options like Nutella or marmalade, if you want to eat it like a local, we recommend the traditional cheese and sour cream one.
As lángos is the top summer pick at the lake-side kiosks near Lake Balaton, locals often call it ‘beach food’, but you can surely find many lángos spots in Budapest as well. Retró Lángos Büfé is a centrally located little nook that may offer the most authentic lángos in town. Other options to have great lángos include Retró Lángos Zsiráf and B25 which are run by the same owner as Retró Lángos, and Lángos Papa, offering an extravagant, restaurant-style lángos experience. Here you can munch on lángos with chicken paprikash, beef stew, or even goose liver toppings.
Anyone that has spent some time in Hungary knows that the traditional local cuisine is pretty much all about heavy meaty dishes. Yet, these days more and more culinary inventors play with turning these into street food alternatives. One of our favorites is KOLBice, the Hungarian take on hotdog that merges traditional flavors with a modern look. This sausage-centered dish served in a freshly baked pastry cone with various sauces and toppings is definitely a must-try while in Budapest. For those with a more classic taste, Budapest offers numerous local butcher shops where you can give ready-made meaty meals a go, such as hurka, the Hungarian blood or liver pudding with rice. Would you try it?
Ranging from the globally acclaimed goulash to the locals’ favorite Christmas dish, the fisherman’s soup, and chicken soup, the traditional Sunday lunch meal, soup is big in Hungary. In the past couple of years, a growing number of soup spots came up with extravagant alternatives to grandma’s dishes. Have them steaming hot or refreshingly cold, savory or sweet – yes, soups in Hungary can also be sweet, mostly cold fruit soups – you will surely find your favorite.
The famous Kazinczy utca of Budapest’s 7th district is home to many types of great street food. One of them is the specialty soup and sandwich nook, Bors Gasztrobár, which took the Budapest soup scene to a whole new level. Imagine the most flavorsome pastry and the sweetest cake – the guys at Bors have most likely already made them into soups. Chili-flavored salty caramel cream soup served with crackers and Belgian chocolate? Check! White wine-juniper potato soup? Check! They even made crépe-flavored soups, and don’t get me started on their sandwich creations. As the menu at Bors changes weekly, the list could go on forever, so what are you waiting for? Go ahead and see it for yourself!
With a bit more restrained take on soups, Leves. is another popular soup place near Fővám tér. With a weekly menu of 5 different soups, usually featuring a sweet option, it will give you just the energy you need to explore Budapest.
Probably the most popular delicacy of Christmas markets, kürtőskalács, is as sweet as it gets – and available in all corners of the city all year round. This Transylvanian (székely) festival treat is made from sweet raised dough and roasted over charcoal until the coating becomes golden-brown and the sugar on top caramelized. It can also be topped with cinnamon, vanilla, cocoa, or walnut sprinkles. Reimagining the original flavors and form, some of the kürtőskalács makers in Budapest now create special variations, like filling the cone with ice cream or cutting it half and adding sweet – or savory! – toppings.
If you’re craving for the classic chimney cake, head to Molnár’s Kürtőskalács Kávézó at the Fővám tér side of Váci utca, the main shopping street. Can’t decide between a kürtőskalács and an ice cream? You will love Töltött Kürtős where your scoops of ice cream come in a sugary pastry cone. At Hoppácska, you can munch on a sweet or savory kürtőskalács with many types of classic and extra fillings, such as chocolate cream and fruits, or piquant Hungarian lecsó and spicy meatballs. And if nothing on the menu gets you hyped, order your heart’s desire at Street Cakes. Choose from 20 various sweet toppings, mix and match them as you dare, and invent your very own kürtőskalács flavor.
Are you tired of jumping from one spot to another for different types of street food? We know what you need: some nice food courts where all the local delicacies come together under the same roof.
At some point during your time in Budapest, you will surely find yourself at Szimpla Kert, the most famous ruin pub in the city. If you feel like grabbing a bite in the neighborhood, go no further than Street Food Karaván. Once in, you can choose from meaty and vegan burgers, hummus dishes, Mexican and Italian specialties – topping it all with a sweet kürtőskalács as your dessert. Similarly well-located, the Great Market Hall at Fővám tér is another popular option if you are looking for a variety of street food in one place. Get to the first floor and make your pick from the tasty treats, like lángos, stuffed cabbage, pancakes, or even goulash. Alternatively, for plant-based foodies, we recommend Vegan Garden in Dob utca.
Interested in Hungarian cuisine?
Why don’t you try all staple Hungarian foods on an informative food tour in downtown Budapest? Click here for more info.
- What is the most popular street food in Hungary?
- The most popular street food in Hungary is without doubt ‘lángos’, the traditional Hungarian deep-fried dough with different toppings ranging from garlic sauce to sour cream and cheese, or even sweet variations.
- Are there sweet street food options in Budapest?
- Besides the most popular Hungarian street food, ‘lángos’, which can also come with sweet toppings, chimney cake (kürtőskalács) is a must-try sweet snack on the go in Budapest.
- Where can I find quality street food in Budapest?
- There are many street food spots in Budapest to choose from, such as one of the biggest and coziest food courts, Street Food Karaván in Kazinczy utca, the Great Market Hall at Fővám tér, or alternatively, Vegan Garden in Dob utca.