Budapest, the capital of Hungary is cut into two parts by the river Danube. The new hip, vibrant part called Pest and the more traditional side with the palace called Buda. How to find the best places to eat and get a taste of Hungary? I joined a Budapest Food Tour in Buda to explore and learn more about this side of the river. Getting insider tips for eating out on the Pest side is easy. Loads of hipster coffee places and cosmopolitan bars. But if you really want to get the inside scoop on what to eat in the Buda side of Budapest, I have you covered with this Food Tour in Budapest.
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Buda side of Budapest
As mentioned, Buda is the more traditional side of Budapest. The oldest part of town originated from Roman times. It houses many tourist attractions like the castle and Saint Stephan’s Basilica and Fishermen’s Bastion. The views across Budapest are magnificent from the hills on the Buda side. This green, hilly part of Budapest houses many residents and locals. Parks, green areas and big government buildings. This is where people in Budapest live, the party is on the other side of the river.
But Buda houses some really great places to have cake and coffee, shop for delicious traditional Hungarian food and eat local delicacies. I got a taste of Hungary with this Budapest Food Tour in Buda.
Budapest Food Tour
I was invited by Taste Hungary to join their Buda Food Walk in Budapest. As always, I tasted everything myself and formed my own opinion (everything was delicious!). If you’d like to learn more about Hungarian food in Budapest, I can recommend A Taste of Hungary to show you around town and take you to the best eateries that no hipster has shared on the internet yet.
Read more: Food Tour of Nice, France.
Traditional cake and coffee
We started the Budapest Food Tour by getting to know the group over delicious cake. I didn’t have breakfast yet and I was already quite hungry. But then I saw the mouthwatering cakes and sweets and I knew I was in trouble! How can you ever choose what cake to take when they look this delicious?
We sat in the garden in the shade, each of us ordered coffee and cake. This might have taken us over half an hour because there is so much to choose from. Our guide explained the differences between Austrian coffee and Hungarian coffee and the origin of the coffee in Budapest. It was almost like a culinary history lesson from Ottoman empire to Austrian Hungarian Aristocracy, which all resulted in delicious layer cake (Eszterhazy) and freshly brewed coffee.
Read more about Budapest Cafe Culture.
Local Market with local produce
I think I could have sat there in the garden eating cake all day, but it was time to move onwards to the next stop on our Food Tour in Budapest. We visited the nearby market place where locals shop for the best produce. This is a covered area with stalls and shops. Open 6 days a week, we were the only tourists here. We got a stomach strengthener which is considered a good digestive drink before sampling the next hearty Hungarian delight: Lángos.
Lángos – sinfully delicious
This fried dough is stuffed with garlic sauce and topped with cheese. Did anyone say fried treat with cheese? I am all in for that. We sliced 2 Lángos into pieces and devoured them all. This is quite the hearty snack so I could only eat a small piece. But my oh my! I’m not sure if I ever tasted anything so delicious. Our breath smelled of garlic afterwards but it was all worth it!
We continued on the market in Budapest and sampled some delicious slices of cold pork cuts. This Hungarian pig breed, the Mangalica (or Mangalitsa) is a hairy pig breed that is over 200 years old. Cherished by the Hungarian, the slices of ham coming from this little fellah were divine! Such rich, earthy flavours of ham, you only sample in Spain or Italy, but the Mangalitsa pig is a good contender.
Read more: Food Tour of Malaga, Spain.
Eating at grandma’s place
At this point in the tour you already start to think you can’t eat any more. After the cake, the Langós, some fresh strawberries and the ham, you’re already pretty stuffed. We took the tram and walked a little to visit Grandma’s place. As we arrived and saw the cute adorable place I knew I had to eat some more!
The tradition of Buda food culture is that of Sunday lunches prepared by your grandmother or mother. Hungarians living in Buda are all about the family and having a meal prepared by the head of the family is all part of that. In this tradition, Grandma’s place offers just that: cozy little living room and home cooked meals that are traditional for family gatherings.
There wasn’t a menu, we just ordered what grandma would cook today. We had some soup to start and then came out the homemade pasta and the pork paprika. Grandma’s place is only open for lunch and once the eating is done, the kitchen will close.
After this lunch at Grandma’s place, it was time for our last stop. We would get something to drink at an old communist era bar. Grey walls, old chairs, communist propaganda and cranky waitresses. We had some coffee and talked some more about food culture on the Buda side of Budapest. The coffee came in these mega cute retro 70’s cups that screamed communist era. Not really my preferred place to lounge for a couple of hours but it sure was fun and very stereotype.
Buda Food Tour Budapest
By now, my stomach was so full, I couldn’t eat a single bite. In just a couple of hours, we learned a lot about the food culture in Budapest and what the Buda side has to offer gastronomic wise. We didn’t have the traditional goulash or tasted Hungarian peppers but we did sample some authentic Budapest food in the best places Buda has to offer. All in all, I really liked the tour and I can recommend it to you if you like to eat something different and stray away from all the hipster bars on the Pest side.
Have you ever been to Budapest? Where did you eat? Buda or Pest side? Let me know in the comment section below!