Hungarian Food

What to expect from Hungarian food and which dishes you should try in Budapest

Hungarian Drinks

Palinka, Unicum, and wine – these are Hungarian drinks you should try in Budapest


The culinary traditions of Hungary are a reflection of its continental climate, characterized, above all, by cold winters and hot summers. Drawing inspiration from the bountiful countryside and the cultural influences of neighboring countries and ethnic minorities, Hungarian food is certainly a delightful fusion of flavors and tastes. On the other hand, you have to watch your waist: the food is delicious but has plenty of calories!

The traditional Hungarian dishes you should try are, for example, Goulash, Pörkölt (meat stew), Paprikás csirke (paprika chicken), Töltött káposzta (stuffed cabbage), Rakott krumpli (layered potatoes), Húsleves (meat soup), Lángos (Hungarian street food), and Kürtőskalács (chimney cake).


Locals certainly love their drinks. Unicum is a unique Hungarian drink, but not for everybody; the taste is very bitter. One of the oldest herb liqueurs in Europe, Unicum is crafted from a harmonious blend of over forty carefully selected herbs and spices. With a rich history spanning more than 225 years, Unicum’s production process and secret recipe have remained unchanged since its inception in 1790.

Palinka (fruit brandy) is very strong: Vilmos, for instance, from a type of pear grown in Hungary, is the best traditional one. If you can handle it, Palinka Museum is a good place to taste some.

Hungarian wine has a much longer history than beer. If you like reds, Villany and Eger are the best regions. The best whites come from around Lake Balaton. Tokaj is the most famous variety, but it is  sweet.



Paprika chicken

Chimney cake




Budapest has an abundance of restaurants, with food from every corner of the world. Here are some Budapest restaurants we recommend:

⁕ Almost all Budapest restaurants have vegetarian/vegan, gluten-free, and lactose-free options. When checking prices, keep in mind that almost all places will add a 12–15 percent service charge to the bill.  Most places listed here are reasonably priced.

Coffee Shops

Budapest coffee houses, by all means, offer coffee lovers a memorable experience. On one hand, there are many small, cozy specialty coffee places, with tasty brews and relaxed vibes, such as Espresso Embassy, Muterem Kavezo, Apricot, and Kelet Cafe. They usually offer delicious pastries, cakes, and WiFi (without hustling you to leave quickly).

On the other hand, you’ll feel like royalty in grand coffee houses like Parizsi Udvar, New York Cafe, or Central Cafe.