My recent trip to Budapest, Hungary was the most exhilarating of my spontaneous trips. Everything about Budapest is amazing – the history, the people, the ruin pubs – but most of all, the food.

Budapest is home to many cultures and cuisines. You could eat great pizza, tacos, and burgers the whole time if you wanted. However, you’d be missing out. The traditional Hungarian dishes are the way to go, in addition to a few other dishes, this city happens to do very well. Going to Budapest soon? Here’s a list of The Best food in all of Budapest:

Goulash (Gulyás)

Goulash is a Hungarian stew with paprika-seasoned beef or pork, onions, peppers, and tomatoes.

It’s really more of a soup than a stew, and it’s so much better than it sounds. I tried it simply because it had been recommended to me, expecting it to be, more or less, beef stew. Perhaps it is the paprika, but it is definitely several steps above your common stew and is the perfect dish for rainy weather. I recommend getting a bowl from Gettó Gulyás.

Gelato rose at Gelarto Rosa

This is a gelato work of art. Delicious and beautiful—the gelato is crafted into rose petals and sculpted onto the cone. You’ll be surprised by how quick the sculptors work, and you might be tempted to ogle or Instagram rather than eat it, but do yourself a favor and enjoy every bite. My favorite flavors are Pistachio and Lavender White Chocolate.


While the highest caloric option on this list, you must try it at least once! Besides, what better way to enjoy other cultures than with calories? Lángos (pronounced “lahn-gōsh”) is a deep-fried, golden dough commonly served with toppings like sour cream, cheese, sausage, or garlic butter.

It is sold at several of the markets, but my favorite is the classic sour cream and cheese topped lángos at the small stand, Retro Bufe.

If you plan on walking (or even moving) afterward, I recommend splitting it with a friend. Traveling alone? Take your lángos to the nearby park and make a friend!

French toast at A la Maison Grand

Why spend one of your meals on french toast? Because it is the most delicious french toast you will ever indulge in. It is rich, yet light—the perfect amount of sweetness.

And there are many delightful options including classic, pink (stuffed with marshmallow and raspberry), Nutella mousse (my personal favorite). A la Maison’s house french toast stuffed with chocolate ganache, strawberry, and chocolate-coffee is a wonderful culinary experience.

Chicken Paprikash

Chicken Paprikash is the national dish of Hungary, so you can bet there is plenty of paprika in this one too. It is a creamy stew with tender chicken that falls off the bone. I prefer it served with nokedli (aka spaetzle). In fact, while the chicken is delicious, it is the spaetzle mixed with the paprika sauce that has me scraping at the bottom of my bowl every time.

Try the paprikash at Paprika Vendéglő.

Chimney cake (kürtoskalács)

This is a popular street food in Eastern Europe. It is a brioche-like dough that is roasted over a fire until golden in order to caramelize its sugar-coated crust. Be sure to get yours fresh! It should be steaming and crispy, but they can be stiff and cold if bought at the end of the day.

Stuffed cabbage rolls

This dish is exactly what it sounds like—rolls of cabbage stuffed with meats, vegetables, and rice. Like most traditional Hungarian dishes, it is unassuming and comforting. The markets and street stands tend to serve the best cabbage rolls. The stand-in St. Stephen’s Square makes great rolls and is in a good area to do some shopping.

Mélange and a dobos torte

Need a caffeine and sugar fix after walking around the city all day?

Head to a café for a mélange and dobos torte. A mélange is like a cappuccino, but with honey. It is often served in a glass so that you can see the layers of honey, steamed milk, and espresso. While it could be a dessert on its own, it is also a great pairing for a dobos torte—a layered sponge cake with chocolate buttercream and caramel. You can find both of these at just about any café in the city. Are you dreaming about going yet?

Bonus Recommendation!

Drink Tokaji. Tokaji is a dessert wine and is fairly inexpensive. It is a great addition to any night, especially if you can enjoy it outside. Palinka is another good drink, but in my experience, it turns light-weights into wild, wild dancers. You have been warned...