Now that we’re back home, everyone is asking us how the trip was. Although we talk about the architecture and history, we can’t stop talking about the food! Before the trip, we didn’t know what traditional Hungarian food was. Whenever we looked, the top answers were goulash (a meat and vegetable stew) and sausage.
To our surprise, Budapest has incredibly diverse options for what to eat! We were surprised by the amount of Asian food, particularly wok bars, pubs and grills, and Israeli/Jewish restaurants.
Food in Budapest was so cheap - there was never a time that we worried about a menu or dreaded paying the bill. Tips are usually included, which gave us less to think about when we paid. The only challenge we had was finding gluten free/vegetarian food (for Jess), so we will be listing restaurants that cater to those needs, as well!
We both enjoy a good cup of coffee, so we were pretty excited to go through the list of cafes we had made. As a whole, the majority of coffee we tasted was relatively fruity, which both Jess and I aren’t huge fans of. We have friends who love light coffee, so if you are someone like that, coffee in Budapest is for you. We both like dark coffee, so the flavor was never quite there for us.
My Little Melbourne
This cafe is in the Jewish Quarter, which is our favorite area of Budapest. The slogan “We love to make coffee for coffee lovers” drew us right in. We were able to sit together and plan our day around the Jewish Quarter, while checking out all of the Australian memorabilia that hung on the walls. Both my cappuccino and Jess’s latte were very milky, which I’m a huge fan of. My cappuccino was incredibly smooth, and even with the fruity flavor, it was my favorite coffee drink that I had all week.
We heard that this was the best espresso in the city, so we were excited to check it out. As soon as we got there, Jess literally squealed when she saw there were gluten free muffins. (We didn’t know this then, but we found out after that they have homemade almond milk for a non-dairy option.) We ordered that and our regular cappuccino and latte. While the coffee was fruity, it was made well! The atmosphere definitely was the best though. We admired the brick walls, vaulted ceiling, and the buzz of people working on their laptops around us. You could tell it was a local favorite, and we definitely recommend it.
I know this isn’t coffee, but we both loved Juiceline! Jess convinced me to go in but I’m so glad we did. The store is decorated with pantone colors. Each pantone color is associated with one of their juices, which color is the same as the pantone. We chose the juice mainly for the color (Pantone 1805), but it was made from pomegranates, oranges, apples, and carrots. We wish we had found this place sooner; we would have loved to try more flavors!
A very popular type of restaurant that we had never heard of before was the wok bar. We saw them everywhere and decided to try one. We liked it so much that we actually went back to it for one of our last meals of the trip! You choose a base (lo mein, glass noodles, rice), a protein (tofu, chicken, duck), and a sauce (teriyaki, garlic, curry), and it’s all cooked in a wok. There were so many options for both of us that it was easily our favorite! We are definitely missing wok bars now that we’re back home.
This place is a must! It has a set, five course meal that is based on a popular book which changes every week. We were anxious to find out what book our meal would be based on, and that evening we found out ours would be Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. Neither of us had read the book but we read the summary on Wikipedia on our way to the restaurant. This place was so fancy that I felt out of place taking out our camera so we snapped pictures with our phones. Since we had never read the book, our waiter explained what each part of our meal represented. We were floored by the creativity of the manager and kept asking our waiter questions about how they came up with so many ideas! The food, ranging from salmon ceviche to duck breast, was all delicious. Jess was excited for the experience and ate everything that was served. There was a separate menu that I am sure you could order a different meal if you couldn’t eat something from the five course meal. Honestly, we should have each gotten our own because the food was so good, it was hard to share!
This was hands down my favorite restaurant. Although it is considered a ruin bar, it is gorgeous. I kept snapping pictures of the greenery hanging all around. Jess ordered a falafel “burger” on sweet potato buns, and I ordered Yemen chicken soup. I had never tried falafel before, but Jess’s meal became my favorite food of the whole trip.
We had seen this restaurant for days and were always tempted to go in. On our last night in Budapest, we decided to try it. This restaurant is actually split into four sections, one for beer, one for coffee, one for burgers, and one for tacos, with seating all around. We were lucky enough to go on a night when they had live music, which added to the fun experience. Most people hopped around, getting something at each station. We chose the Taco Market - Jess ordered veggie tacos on corn tortillas, and I got a quesadilla. This was Jessica’s favorite meal; she couldn’t stop talking about it! We don’t have any pictures of our food because we decided to leave the camera at our hotel that night, but trust us, it was good.
More Gluten Free/Vegetarian Suggestions
We know how hard it is to find gluten free/vegetarian/vegan options at restaurants. Although these places didn’t make the list of our favorite places to eat, they were still good, and we recommend them!
The Drop - Everything is gluten free and there are vegetarian/pescatarian options.
SlowFoodies - We went here for breakfast, and there are a lot of gluten free and vegan options!
Naspolya Nassolda - This cafe had good drinks, and a lot of vegan/gluten free/raw desserts.
HummusBar - We never actually went here but this chain has locations all around Budapest if you are in need of something vegan. This was on Jessica’s list of places to go, but we ran out of time!
We didn't get photos of every place we ate, and we didn't quite cover all of the places we got photos of. Here are a couple more photos of our foodie experience in Budapest. Going into our honeymoon, we both had pretty conservative expectations of the food we would eat. However, Budapest absolutely blew me away with the quality and diversity of the food we encountered.