Monday, June 27, 2022

Food & Drinks in Hungary

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Food in Hungary

Menu prices for main meals are typically 2000 – 4000 HUF in touristic areas of Budapest, and 1500 – 2200 HUF outside of the city, or in towns such as Eger and Szentendre.

A two-course lunch with a soft drink costs between 1500 and 8000 HUF per person in Budapest, and half or a third of that outside of the city (Chinese fast food menu is around 900 HUF – januar 2014).

In restaurants, a service fee of 10% or even 12% is often added in the bill, although this must be explicitly stated on the menu. If it is not stated, the establishment has no authority to add a service fee in the bill.

Even if there is no service fee, unless the service was appalling, most Hungarians will leave a minimum tip of 10%. Unlike in most Western nations, tips are generally not left on the table, but rather stated to the wait staff when you pay.

There were a few establishments, mostly in Pest’s center, that tried to take advantage of intoxicated visitors by charging exorbitant rates for beverages late at night. Most of these establishments are already closed, however it’s always a good idea to double-check the pricing before ordering.

Restaurants of large worldwide brands such as KFC, McDonald’s, Burger King, Subway, Pizza Hut, and TGI Friday’s may be found in major cities and along motorways.


Hungarians are very proud of their food (Magyar konyha), and not without reason most of the time. Food is typically spicy, but not very hot by Western standards, and it’s more about taste than health: many meals are cooked with fat or deep-fried. The national spice is paprika, which is produced from pulverized sweet bell peppers and has some taste when fresh. The national food is goulash, although Hungarians refer to the thick paprika-laden stew known as goulash abroad as pörkölt, whereas gulyás refers to a lighter paprika-flavored soup.

Meat, particularly pig (sertés), beef (marha), and venison (z), is popular. Lamb and mutton are less frequent. Though many restaurants would offer fish from far away, the finest fish in Hungary are river fish: carp (ponty), zander (fogas/süll), and catfish (harcsa). Roasted hake (sült hekk) is another traditional hungarian fish dish. Chicken (csirke) and turkey (pulyka) are popular, but game birds like as pheasant (Fácán), partridge (Fogoly), and duck (fogoly) are also popular (Kacsa). A typical dinner would include soup, typically in the form of a consommé (erleves), meat with potatoes (burgonya) and a side salad, as well as a dessert such as pancakes (palacsinta).

Csirke paprikás, a chicken stew in paprika sauce, and halászlé, a paprika fish soup typically prepared from carp, are less well known in the rest of the globe.

In Hungary, goose is also quite popular. While visitors feast on goose liver (libamáj), which is still relatively inexpensive by Western standards, the most popular meal is sült libacomb, or roast goose leg. Stuffed (töltött) vegetables of various sorts are very popular, as are savory and sweet Hungarian pancakes (palacsinta). Kolbász, a Hungarianized variant of the Polish kielbasa sausage, and lángos, deep-fried flatbread with a variety of toppings (usually sour cream, cheese, and/or garlic), are popular snacks.

Even at morning, a Hungarian meal is nearly always accompanied with savanyság, which translates as “sourness.” If you prefer fresh vegetables, request a vitamin saláta, which is frequently referred to as saláta on menus. Starch is most often offered as potatoes, rice, or dumplings (galuska’ or nokedli), but the main Hungarian contribution in this area is tarhonya, a tiny couscous-like noodle.

If you are in Hungary, you should go to a “Cukrászda.” These are extremely popular since they provide excellent pastries and coffee. Try the classic Krémes (vanilla cream), Eszterházy (plenty of nuts), or Somlói Galuska. If you want the greatest, go to Auguszt, Szamos, or Daubner! Daubner is a bit out of the way, but Auguszt Cukrászda is a must-see. They opened a store near the Astoria metro station in 1969.

Another popular dish is Lángos, which is deep-fried bread served with a variety of fillings. Plain, with salt, garlic (fokhagyma), and soured cream (tejföl) is the most frequent. If you come across a Langos stall, there are typically a variety of choices available, such as pizza langos, eggs with mayo, or nutella with bananas.

Vegetarian food

Vegetarians and Vegans will have roughly the same level of comfort dining out as they would in any other Western nation. Budapest is not an issue since there are many places to select from, but at a typical Hungarian restaurant, the non-meat main courses are pretty much restricted to rántott sajt (fried cheese) and gombafejek rántva (fried mushrooms).

However, Italian cuisine has grown in popularity in recent years, so if you don’t mind a pasta-heavy diet as a vegetarian, you’ll have more options.

For self-catering, supermarkets or local stores and marketplaces provide a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, particularly in the summer.

There are many vegetarian and vegan eateries, as well as numerous health food shops that provide a variety of vegetarian/vegan goods, including cosmetics. Budaveg and Happy Cow are excellent locations to get particular information.

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