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Taste of Budapest
Hungarian cuisine
Hungarian wines
International cuisine

“It's not just the food, not just the decoration, I simply love being served and pampered in restaurants in Budapest. With Gypsy music or without. And it doesn't necessarily mean kilos added.”
(Television anchorwoman, Perth, Australia, 37)

Budapest has over 1,000 restaurants offering Hungarian and international cuisine. You will not have any difficulty in finding a place to eat which suits your taste and budget. Only larger restaurants have their menus printed in foreign languages.

Waiters usually receive a tip in restaurants, which is about 10-15% of the bill. Service is included in the price at some places, where no tip is expected. Before ordering make sure you know the prices (a five-digit price for one dish is unrealistically high).

Hungarian cuisine

The great traditions of Hungarian cuisine have, in the last ten to fifteen years, successfully mingled with modern sophistication. At its roots, classic Hungarian gastronomy is nothing less than French bonne bouches reaching Hungary via Austria and mixing with ancient Hungarian peasant dishes - many of them originated in Asia - offering every gourmand something to his/her taste.

The first thing that people recall about Hungarian cuisine is goulash, which is, contrary to popular belief, not a stew but an artistically prepared thick soup. Sour cream is often used to soften the flavour. You must try fish soup, chicken paprika, a good home-made pörkölt (stew) and the excellent fresh-water fish: grilled pike-perch, trout with almond. Also compulsory is goose liver. Whether fried or grilled, cold or hot, it is simply unforgettable.

Desserts really deserve a separate chapter. The most delicious ones are strudels, Gundel pancakes, somlói dumplings and gesztenyepüré (cooked chestnuts mashed, topped with whipped cream). Specialities include salty and sweet pastas, of which túrós csusza (pasta with curd and sour cream) is warmly recommended.


Hungarian wines

Hungary's annual wine production totals 4.2 million hectolitres mellowed in 22 historical wine regions. Budapest is known for its sizeable storage and bottling capacity.

Louis XIV, the Sun King, was such an admirer of world famous Tokaj wine that he termed it the "Wine of kings, the King of Wines". Wine of the Balaton region, the full-bodied Villány-Siklós, the famous wines of Eger and the Egri Bikavér (Bull's Blood) in particular also enjoy a wide international reputation.

Take a sip of world famous Hungarian wines in Budapest, or enjoy a Tour de Vin!

Here are some great wine shops and places you can sample wine in town:

On the Buda side

  • Budapest Wine Society (Budapesti Bortársaság) - I. Batthyány utca 59.
    Free wine-tasting on Saturdays 14.00-17.00
  • Demijohn - II. Margit utca 27.
  • House of Hungarian Wines (Magyar Borok Háza) - I. Szentháromság tér 6.
    A several-hundred-metre-long cellar labyrinth holds 450 different types of quality wine from 22 historical wine regions in Hungary. Visitors get a tasting cup at the entrance and are allowed to wander around and taste up to 70-80 different wines.
    Open: daily 12.00-20.00

In Downtown

  • La Boutique des Vins - V. József Attila utca 12.
  • Wine House (Borház) - VI. Jókai tér 7.
  • Le Sommelier - V. Régiposta utca 14.
  • Prés Ház Wine Shop and Museum - V. Váci utca 10.
    Over 300 quality wines; free of charge wine-tasting; engraving and decorative packing; incentive wine presents for companies; reference books and antiquities related to wine-growing
    Open: Monday-Friday 10.00-18.00, Saturday 10.00-14.00

In City Park

  • House of Historic Wines (Történelmi Borok Háza) - XIV. Hungarian Agricultural Museum, Vajdahunyad Castle
    A Gothic annexe of a neo-Baroque building hosts the exhibition presenting the past and the future of viticulture and wine production, housing the interior of a traditional pressroom from the Balaton wine region, the interior of a small peasant cellar and a wine-press from 1825.
    Open: Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday 10.00-17.00

In Budafok

  • Törley Champagne Factory - XXII. Budafok
    Visitors are shown around the factory in groups (booking essential), glimpsing the huge wine cellars of Budafok.

International cuisine
In the past ten years the choice has been growing fast: French, Chinese, Russian, Italian, Serbian, Indian, American, Greek, British, Czech, Danish, even vegetarian and kosher eateries have been opened. We are doing well in fast-food operations too: all the major chains have outlets in Budapest.

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