Experience the best traditional food in Budapest by ordering some of these classic Hungarian dishes, from hearty meat-loaded main courses to sweet treats and savoury snacks.
These are the Hungarian dishes you must definitely give a try once in your lifetime!
For classic comfort food on the go, pick up a Lángos, a deep-fried doughy flatbread that’s eaten warm and slathered with sour cream and grated cheese or with garlicky butter (or all of the above). These hearty snacks are served all year round and make for an affordable savoury treat.
The perfect Lángos should be crisp on the outside and soft and plump in the middle. Sometimes they’re made with potato (crumples lángos) and are occasionally served with sausage (kolbász) on top. This is one of the main traditional Hungarian dishes.
2. Kürtőskalács (Chimney Cake)
These sweet treats are made from long strips of sugary dough wrapped around cone-shaped spits that are brushed with butter and roasted over charcoal.
The sugar caramelizes to form a crispy coating and when the dough is removed from the spit, steam is released from the centre like a chimney (the English translation of kürtőskalács is ‘chimney cake’.)
Before serving they’re usually dusted with toppings like cinnamon or ground walnuts and are designed to be shared, with each person tearing off a strip of the hot, sweet, crunchy dough. They’re especially popular during the festive season and are sold at Christmas markets throughout the city.
3. Töltött káposzta (Stuffed Cabbage)
Stuffed cabbage is a popular dish across much of eastern Europe as well as parts of Asia. The Hungarian speciality features cooked cabbage leaves stuffed with ground pork and beef, rice, tomatoes, and sauerkraut.
As with many Hungarian dishes, it’s generously flavoured with paprika. This comforting dish is usually eaten in winter and is definitely worth sampling when in Hungary as it’s fiddly to assemble at home.
4. Gulyás (Goulash)
Hungary’s national dish tends to be served as a stew in most parts of the world but an authentic gulyás is actually a thin broth made from chunks of beef cooked with onions, paprika, tomatoes, and pepper.
It’s usually served with fresh white bread and chopped hot paprika on the side. It’s traditionally a peasant dish and was originally cooked by herdsmen in cast iron bogrács cauldrons over open fires.
You’ll still find the dish being cooked up in this way in rustic restaurants across Hungary as it’s considered the best way to make this tasty stewy soup. It is one of the most loved Hungarian dishes.
5. Dobos Torta (Drummer Cake)
This show-stopping sweet treat is served in cafes and bakeries across the country and is a popular celebration cake at weddings and parties.
It’s made up of between five and seven delicate sponge layers, each spread with chocolate buttercream and topped with a thick layer of caramelized sugar (for a satisfying crack when tapped with a fork).
The sides of the cake are usually coated in ground nuts like hazelnuts, walnuts, or almonds.
These hungarian dishes will take your taste buds to a heavenly ride when you are in Budapest!