Dine al fresco or dive into a welcoming bistro; spend hours wandering around markets or discover local secrets on a food tour. If you fancy eating in Michelin starred restaurants or snack on street food, Kimberly shares her top tips. With pleasant temperatures and fewer crowds, Autumn is the perfect time for a city break foodie adventure. In a four part series Kimberly Button will explore Europe’s freshest culinary destinations which make for a perfect gourmet Autumn break. You can get Kimberly’s top tips for Barcelona here and Lisbon here. This week we explore Budapest.
Traditional Hungarian gastronomy is well known for its goulash, but the country’s sophisticated cooking style goes well beyond this hearty dish, and has influences from Austrian, Slavic, Italian and Turkish cuisine. The food is heavy but flavoursome: Hungarian cooking uses a great deal of pork or goose fat, which creates strong tastes and often sour cream, potatoes, or pasta are added to the dish. Soup is an important staple and bogrács, a cast iron cooking pot first introduced by the Magyars, are still frequently used.
Budapest was celebrated as a food capital in the 19th and first half of the 20th century, and after a fallow spell in the communism period, is today regaining its reputation as one of Europe’s most exciting foodie destinations. The gastro scene of the city is flourishing with exciting new chefs, inventive eating places, street food and markets teaming with fresh produce and national specialities.
Autumn is the season when red pepper pods are harvested and ground into the spice that adds colour and warmth to Hungarian cuisine. You’ll taste paprika in everything from soups and stews to sweet pastries.
Head to the First Strudel House of Pest to see this tasty pastry dish prepared in front of your own eyes, with seasonal fillings such as cherry, plum, pear, apple and fig.
For a satisfying Hungarian feast try specialties such as stuffed csülök (pig’s trotter) and roast malac (roast piglet) at Kispiac Bistro.
To get a taste of how the locals shop, check out Budapest’s central market Nagycsarnok for seasonal produce, deli items, jars of paprika and fresh pastries.
Pálinka and Sausage Festival (3-5 October 2015) is an excellent excuse to try pálinka (Hungarian brandy) in the majestic grounds of the historic Buda Castle.
A favourite gastro hub in the historic Buda Castle area, Balazar is a boutique hotel with a superb grill and wine bar. Dishes include gourmet street food and flavoursome meat dishes, and are made by one of the country’s most celebrated chefs Mr. Zsolt Litauszki.
About the writer:
As a writer and digital consultant to travel brands, Kimberly shares her passion for off the beaten track adventures. Currently she lives and writes from her home in the French Alps.