Where To Find The Best Street Food In Budapest10 February, 2022by Bounce
Budapest is the perfect city for travelers and foodies. There is a vibrant traditional Hungarian food tradition that combines perfectly with modern wine, beer, coffee, and food to make this city a foodie haven. Great street food is a big part of Budapest’s culinary scene. The city’s walkable layout is ideal for food trucks, street food carts, farmer’s markets, and casual takeout restaurants.
There are many squares and boulevards lined with food carts, and many of Budapest’s most famous sites are located right next to amazing restaurants where a quick snack might end up being your favorite thing you ate on your visit! So take a walk, and keep your eyes peeled for some of the Budapest street food favorites. And don't forget to drop off your bags at a Bounce luggage storage in Budapest. Traveling light means you'll be able to keep your hands free for all the delicious street food the city has to offer.
The Best Street Food Vendors in Budapest
The proprietors (brothers Paolo and Enrico Bartolomeo) of this pizzeria are from Lecce in Southern Italy, so you shouldn’t be surprised by the reverence with which they treat their pizza. Located just a minute’s walk from Andrassy Avenue, Pizzica is easy to get to and has freshly-baked pizza waiting for you to walk up and order. The attention to detail is remarkable, from the hand-tossed dough and fresh ingredients to the stylish boxes you’ll carry your slices out in. There is rock and roll blaring on the stereo, so Pizzica is a fun destination in between pubs. The Margherita is highly recommended, as the freshest basil in Budapest is on offer.
Located literally under an overpass just blocks from Óbuda, this casual eatery makes up for a lack of finesse with delicious authentic Hungarian food. Lángos are comprised of deep-fried dough, covered in garlic sauce, sour cream, and cheese. This may sound like something out of the Wisconsin State Fair, but this is absolutely the most authentic Hungarian street food you can find. Choose from a variety of toppings like tzatziki, veggies, sour cream, and delicious meat dishes. With a snack like this, you will probably want to take a walk down the Árpád Bridge back to the Pest side of the Danube River, or maybe check out one of Budapest’s many amazing hikes.
Bors Gasztro Bar
Located in the heart of the city center, this edgy (but not sketchy) hangout specializes in casual comfort foods and soups. The aforementioned soups are local favorites, as these hearty dishes are easy to walk away with and come in a variety of creative flavors. Gazpacho is the foodie’s favorite, but classic Hungarian options like sweet dessert-like fruit soups offer an authentic street food experience. Some of these are hard to believe, like Nutella pancake or black forest gateau. Don’t sleep on their sandwiches either, especially if you’re sightseeing in the area.
This food court in the city center is centrally located in one of Budapest’s best neighborhoods, with Elizabeth’s Square and St. Stephen’s Basilica just a minute’s walk away. Vegan Garden focuses exclusively on plant-based street food. Everything from Middle Eastern to Mexican food are on offer, and the vegan burgers are some of Budapest’s tastiest handhelds period. The vegan chimney cakes bring a fresh spin on a Hungarian classic, all with dairy-free custard and ice cream on offer. The most flavorful options might be the Indian-influenced dishes like palak paneer, but classic Middle Eastern snacks like hummus and falafel are the most popular. If you have more time to sit-down breakfast, the authentic Budapest favorite shakshuka has a vegan twist you won’t soon forget.
Gulyás Tunkoló Büfé
This is your quintessential Budapest hole-in-the-wall. Located on Kazinczy Street, they specialize in the classic soup with a rich paprika sauce, goulash, which is probably the first Hungarian dish that comes to mind. There are other stews and soups on the menu, most of which are classic dishes with modern twists. If you’re in town for a few days, the Goulash soup is the best option to grab a steamy cup of before a brisk autumn walk.
Gyros Kerkyra Etelbar
This Greek eatery is located north of the city center and is close to the highly-recommended City Park. The atmosphere looks to replicate an Athens café and restaurant. Everything is casual and relaxed, and it’s convenient to order a gyro for carryout. After all, handheld gyros might be the original street food in Europe!
Budapest may be a few thousand miles away from Manhattan, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find world-class bagels in town! Like any proper bagel joint, there are a variety of toppings and schmears available. The salmon cream cheese comes highly recommended. Stop by their tiny shop near Kalvin Tér for a quick bite and a coffee; it’s the perfect morning breakfast if you have a full itinerary ahead of you.
Kürtöskalács (Chimney Cake)
There are hundreds of places to find kürtöskalács, the sweet chimney cakes that are most often associated with Christmas markets. They are comprised of a cake-like bread that has been rolled in sugar and roasted over charcoal until golden. Toppings like chocolate and nuts are common, but you can find some truly zany creations throughout Budapest. Every resident might tell you a different place to get one. Perhaps the most common recommendation would be the vendor at Bajcsy-Zsilinszky Street and Andrássy Avenue. It’s right in front of the Nyugati Train Station, but you won’t miss it, as there will most certainly be a line. If you want to experience great street food in Budapest, you cannot skip these.
Where to Find the Best Spots for Street Food In Budapest
Budapest’s walkability and scenic beauty make it the perfect city for a vibrant street food culture. Everywhere you turn, there is a pleasant town square or boulevard where you can find classic and modern Hungarian street food creations. Markets and pop-ups are common throughout the city, so don’t be surprised to come across some hot spots where multiple vendors are adding to the bustle of Budapest’s busiest thoroughfares.
Street Food Karavan
Located next to the ruin bars on Kazinczy Utca in the Jewish Quarter, the Street Food Karavan is a collection of a dozen trucks serving tasty food and drinks. You’ll find everything from gourmet burgers to Mexican food. And of course, lángos, kolbász sausages, fried cheese, and chimney cakes. They also offer some of the best vegan food in the city at Las Vegan’s stand. Being situated squarely in the middle of Budapest’s biggest party streets, it's the ideal spot for a bite before hitting one of the many pubs, and even better as a late-night snack. The atmosphere is lively and young, but there is comfortable seating and it’s never difficult to find a place. There can be lines at some of the more popular stands, but everything moves quickly, as some of the partiers are anxious to get back to the classic ruin bars! Beer and cocktails are served at most stands, so there’s no reason to hurry.
Great Market Hall Budapest / Central Market
Locally known as Nagycsarnok or Vasarcsarnok, the Great Market Hall was built in 1897 and is the largest space of its kind in Budapest. And that’s saying something because there is an extremely high concentration of market halls in this city. The Hall’s ornate architecture and central location make it a must-visit attraction for tourists.
Fresh fruits and vegetables, butchers, cheese, and wine merchants all sell their wares here. There are three floors of food vendors where you can buy some of Hungary’s best produce and foods. If you are staying in an apartment with a kitchen, you won’t find a better place to find ingredients for cooking your own dinner. There are foods you can easily purchase for takeout, such as langos, fried cheese, and chimney cakes, and then there are specialty items like Hungarian paprika, pickles, cheese, and other fine artisanal goods.
The Great Market Hall also has merchants selling clothing, antiques, and souvenirs. But no matter what you buy, the most important part is the actual experience. This is a historic place, with amazing architecture and plenty of photo opportunities. There is good reason why you’ll find this on so many lists of Budapest’s top tourist attractions.
Szimpla Farmers' Market
Held every week on Sundays in an indoor market in the Jewish Quarter, this is one of Budapest’s best farmer’s markets. Thirty to fifty local producers offer a variety of fresh products including produce, meats and dairy, cheese, honey, and a variety of other local delicacies. Many of these goods are easy to sample or purchase for takeout. Because there are so many town squares nearby, it’s common for families to make a picnic with food purchased here.
There is live music and a lively atmosphere, so you can do away with your perception of a snoozy Sunday farmer’s market. Despite the central location in one of Budapest’s best neighborhoods, locals swear by the Szimpla Farmer’s Market. Szimpla is located immediately next to the Street Food Karavan, so it makes sense to stop by both! You might need a vegetable or two after sampling the fried and salty goods down the street…
Festivals Celebrating Street Food in Budapest
Held every night from 5 pm to 11 pm throughout August, this popular event showcases the best of Budapest’s vibrant Asian street food scene. The event features ten food stalls throughout the market where you can find everything from dim sum favorites to Chinese pancakes, Vietnamese spring rolls, or even teppanyaki. Drinkers will have their choice between Tsingtao beer or Bubble Tea.
You won’t find a more faithful recreation of Chinese food markets in all of Europe. So take advantage of the beautiful summer weather and grab some casual Chinese street bites.
Christmas Market on Vorosmarty Square
Every year, Europe’s city centers are converted into Christmas-themed festival markets where food, drinks, and a variety of handcrafted gifts are on offer. The best Hungarian street food favorites, with a beer or wine, are perfect for keeping warm during the winter strolls through downtown Budapest. The Vorosmarty Christmas Market is the oldest and most prominent holiday fair in Budapest, and its festive atmosphere and variety of excellent Hungarian foods make this the perfect destination for winter vacations.
Budapest Street Food Show
This festival is a relatively new fixture on every Budapest foodie’s calendar, but it’s a beloved addition to the street food scene. Held on Hold Street in a historical Hold Utca Market Hall in downtown Budapest, this event showcases how locals eat and drink. The atmosphere is lively and casual, and you’ll find groups of foodies and locals standing with their samples and snacks drinking coffee or beer and hanging out. Local restaurants, bakeries, cafés, and even food bloggers set up their stands to sling Hungarian favorites and a variety of international flavors
This whole festival is set up to feel like a classic street food place. It's a comfortable setting in a convenient location, and if your vacation overlaps with the event in May, it’s a worthwhile trip to check out the scene, especially given that admission is free.
Winter Food Fest
Starting in late November and running through January, Deák Ferenc Square is turned into a culinary playground, where hundreds of restaurants, vendors, and cafes set up shop to showcase their best street foods. This is not explicitly a “holiday” event, but there is a festive atmosphere with most attendees sipping on glühwein, beer, or punches to keep warm.
The menu leans international, with everything from Mexican to Moroccan cuisine represented. There are also traditional dishes like Classic Hungarian pork sausage, deep-fried langos with sour cream, and of course, Hungarian chimney cake for dessert. Taiwanese food is a standout, given the hearty and spicy nature of their beef noodles and even ramen.
There is no shortage of outstanding food options, and the festival acts as a way for visitors to sample a wide variety of dishes from local restaurants. Budapest residents also use this festival as a means to discover their new favorite restaurants.
Budapest is a walking city. The city center and other central neighborhoods are perfect for wandering around and getting to know the culture. Street food in Budapest plays an integral role in demonstrating the city’s vibrant culture and amazing culinary scene. So let Bounce take care of the luggage, and go explore this historic city’s amazing streets, and don’t forget to grab something fried to snack on!