In recent years the popularity of street food – a long well-known phenomenon in many countries – has been increasing in Budapest. Besides typical fast food (i.e. gyros or noodles) the range and amount of street food points around the city is getting wider and bigger.
The notion of street food means more than the name reveals. It is not simply eating on the street. Open air terraces of cafés and restaurants in themselves don’t make a street food point, although street food can be anything, not exclusively fast food. Also, street food points may also have an indoor section, too.
Most of us associate street food with cheap and easy, fast to prepare dishes that we don’t have to wait for long and that we can eat on the go or comfortably sitting at a table in front of the place, watching people walking by. Luckily, in most cases low price is not directly proportional with quality. It is not rare to come across surprisingly tasty and unique dishes in places like these.
Walking in downtown Budapest you can’t find a street without at least one street food point, which is extremely helpful when you’re on the go, you’re hungry and running out of money and time.
Street food is a pleasant and extraordinary phenomenon that offers something quite different from fast food franchises and fancy restaurants alike. In case you haven’t tried any yet, pick one from the list below, or walk up to the first one you pass by next time.
And even if you are a habitual street eater, Budapest surely has a lot more such places to discover.
One more reason to eat out in the near future is Budapest Essentials. The 4-days urban festival which takes place at the end of May, will incorporate not only cultural programs and concerts, but besides these leisure activities many restaurants and street food points will offer great discounts for participants with a wristband.
Finally, here comes a selection of the finest and best-known street food places in BP:
A perfect example of the great variety in street food is Churros Up!, the very first churros fast food restaurant in Hungary. Besides the characteristic Spanish dessert, churros (with a number of flavors) you can have shakes and quesadilla (which is salty), too. Sadly, there is only one in the city, in the 8th district (Üllői út 2-4.), however, it is open from 8 am to 8 pm, and prices are very favorable.
Looking for a brunch? Don’t look further. This is an excellent place to grab a bite between meals. There are two shops downtown, both in the 5th district (Kristóf tér 3. and Arany János utca 32.), relatively close to each other, so if one is full, you can explore the other. Innumerable types of sandwiches, good coffee and fast service. In addition to your food being prepared in front of you, you can chose the ingredients of your salad, too. Portions are huge and prices aren’t high.
Soup. A place you are bound to love even if you’re not fond of soups. Located in the 5th district (Vámház körút 14.) is Budapest’s probably most popular street food place, Leves. Soups are really worth the price and a wide selection is available, with a daily menu each day. Opens at 11 am.
The other beloved takeaway place of budapesters is in many aspects very similar to Leves. Pasta is only a couple of steps from the tram stop (47, 48, 49) Kálvin tér (5th district), and it offers a great variety of all kinds of pastas at similar prices to Leves. Here, you will find everything from special to ordinary. Pastas are prepared right there on the spot and they definitely make you full.
Burger & Love
Burger & Love deserves to be part of this list not only because without it the list would lack a good burger place, but because it is very classy for its kind. The venue is the very core of the city (Október 6. utca 6.) and open hours are from 11:30 am to midnight. Good news, that on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays the place is open until 4 am. You can choose from menus based on the numerous sorts of burgers. Compared to McDonald’s it’s pricey, but much higher quality.