Budapest's Non-Hungarian Must Eats
Budapest is a great place to eat in, but well, maybe you've had your fill of goulash, sausages, stews, langos, and paprikas . I totally understand, I can only take so much of it before I go crazy. Luckily Budapest has a few alternatives for you from pizza, mexican, Indian, and more. Keep reading for my list of go-to places for Non-Hungarian food in Budapest.
But if you haven't tired of Hungarian food, check out my article Budapest's Must Eats.
You can hardly stumble anywhere in Budapest (or Europe for that matter) without bumping into a cheap gyro/doner/kebab stand. They are the quick, drunk food of the continent. But Turkish cuisine has so much more than that to offer, and Szeráj is the best place in town to experience it. It's a cafeteria-style restaurant with an absolutely famous array of Turkish delights on offer (including Turkish delights probably). You can find gyros, meat kebabs, baklava, falafel, fatoush, grilled eggplant, hummus, and all the other amazing delights from the ancient civilisation of Turkey.
The lines get pretty long, so either come at off-times or be prepared to wait. And the prices are a bit higher, but you get what you pay for. You're probably looking around 1000-1500 forint for a meal.
Falafel sandwiches are equally ubituious as the gyros, but again, they vary widely in quality. Hummus Bar, however, is considered the go-to place for Israeli cuisine, including delights like falafels (deep-fried chickpea balls), sabich (eggplant and boiled egg), shakshuka (eggs poached in spicy tomato sauce) and just general hummus consumption. It's a chain-restaurant throughout town, but the food is great, and the prices are good. Whether you'll looking for a chicken and hummus filled pita sandwich, or a heaping plate of falafels (and hummus, of course), then this is your place. They absolutely douse the sandwiches in sauces and hummus, the pitas are fresh, and it comes with a nice green chili sauce on the side. Delicious, reasonably healthy, and filling.
Budapest is also ridiculously filled with cheap pizza counters, and honestly, well, they taste just as cheap most of the time. But there are diamonds in the rough. Pizzica is widely considered the best pizza place in town, with good reason, as the ingredients are fresh and delicious. A big slice is 300-500 depending on how fancy it is. It's damn good.
If you're not nearby or it's 3 in the morning, go to Pizza Me, a local chain that claims to be 100% Italian. They're not lying. A bite into a slice of Pizza Me's pizza will remind you of being in Naples itself. The ingredients are fresh and Italian, and the crust is just like they make it in Italy. Grab a slice and enjoy.
Text Mex is slowly staging a coup to supplant kebabs as Europe's go-to street food. Well, that's doubtful, but it's at least starting to become a thing in Budapest. If you have a hankering for good old fashioned tacos, quesdillas, and burritos, then you better take your extremely large appetite down to the nearest Arriba! They serve up absolutely gigantic portions (at rather comparatively gigantic prices), so you could probably share it with someone, as burrito will run you 1900 forint. They are damn good though if you're willing to fork out the extra cash.
Hungarian cuisine is hardly known for its wide array of delicious vegetarian dishes, instead being a rather chest-pounding homage to meat and basic starches. Govinda has vegetarians covered. It's a food counter-style joint with a couple locations in town that serve up fresh Indian-inspired vegetarian dishes and fresh salads. Come in and take things at random, or grab a lunch or dinner combo featuring soups, mains, and a form of starch. If you're hankering for some quick vegetarian food that tastes great, then Govinda is the place to go.
Bangla Bufe is actually probably my favourite restaurant in town. After spending a few months in India, I crave both the flavours of that crazy sub-continent and the opportunity to eat with my hands. Bangla Bufe satisfies both with excellent Bangladeshi food, which is very similar to Northern Indian cuisine. You can find meat curries, aloo gobi, palak paneer, biryanis along with favourites like samosas, pakora, and mango lassis. Their chapati are gooey and fresh. Ripping them apart and dipping them in curry is an absolute delight.
It's a tiny, simple place with bangladeshi cooks that start cooking your food when you ask for it, so it's fresh. You can get it spicy if you like, but they'll check with you first, so don't worry about losing your tongue. Come with a few friends and grab a few curries and appies to share, that's the way Indian food is meant to be eating.
Budapest has its fair share of sandwich joints in town as well, and many are actually delicious. I absolutely love Bors Gastrobar, it's easily one of my favourite places to eat in the world. But, it is fairly Hungarian in a lot of its ingredients, so if you want a little bit for traditional, yet still rather unique, offering, check out Meat and Sauce. It gets its name because its primary sandwich, featuring their legendary roast beef, is fully dipped into the gravy before being served. If eaten quickly the bun will still be nice and crunchy, but the sauce explosion will be amazing.
They also have fancier options featuring duck confit, pork ribs, fish cake, and even rotating favourites like philly cheese steak and marinated goat cheese. Get a sandwich on its own, or grab it with soup and french fries. The prices aren't cheap, but the ingredients are good quality and a bit more upper scale.
Enjoy the options
As always, I'm just one man with one stomach, so this is hardly an exhaustive list of all the Non-Hungarian options that Budapest has on offer. This doesn't touch on bigger restaurants or fine dining establishments, just some cheaper grab and go options. Try these out, and please let us all know in the comments below if you have other go-to favourites in town.
And if you are hankering for some Hungarian goodies, check out my other article on Budapest's Must Eats.