Best places to eat and drink in Budapest from a local

It's very easy to fall into the tourist trap when you're travelling in a foreign city. But don't worry - if you're headed to Budapest you're in luck! Here are the best places to eat and drink according to an Aussie expat local.

Where to eat

If you want really, really good coffee: You’re in luck - Budapest does a GREAT coffee. Three options to try, which have all got my seal of approval are: Espresso Embassy (who also do a mean cheese stick!), Blue Bird Roastery (not the cafe!!!) and last but certainly not least, Tamp & Pull . 

If you want a quick, cheap and delicious lunch try: Hummus Bar. In my opinion, Hungary doesn’t do a quick lunch very well (like, you’ll never find a cheap and easy sandwich place!) The best equivalent that I could find was Hummus Bar. Ok, so not traditional Hungarian food, but there are lots of these around and their hummus falafel pitas are sooooo good and will keep you going all arvo all for under $10!

If you want a nice dinner out with traditional food try: Menza. I love this place! The food is really reasonably priced, but warning: the wine is expensive. Try the pork knuckle, it was probably the best I had in Budapest. Bookings recommended.

What to eat

- Langos. Not for the figure-conscious (actually, most food in Budapest is not for the figure-conscious!) it’s basically like a kind of fried bread dough, like a fried pizza base maybe? Whatever, it’s fricken delicious! I like mine with fresh garlic, sour cream and cheese.

- Lechor. If you’ve already done the goulash thing, try this sausage and capsicum stew.

- Paprika chicken. Served with nokedli, these little noddle dumplings which are SO GOOD.

- Goose liver. Sounds gross, but isn’t.


Where to drink

Budapest has lots and lots of great spots but probably the most iconic are the ruin bars. The most famous of which is Szimpla Kert. Worth going because you can’t describe the place, it has to be seen!

If you’re after something more chill, I cannot even begin to describe how much I love this place. It’s cozy, off-the-beaten tourist track and just blissful. 

What to drink

- Wine! Bet you didn’t know that Hungary actually has a thriving wine scene and produces some drops that rival France (at like a tenth of the price!) so you must try some. Just make sure that what you order is what your waiter pours you because there’s a bit of a scam going where they tell you that they’re out of the wine you chose and offer you another one, hoping you won't realise it’s four times the price! Always check the price.

- Palinka is like the grappa or vodka of Hungary. You can get it in all flavours eg apricot, cherry, apple etc. It’s quite nice if you get a good one, and pretty potent.

- Unicum. This is one of the national drinks and… let’s just say it’s a very unique flavour! Don’t say you haven’t been warned.


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