After Bratislava, the nest stop on our mini-Eastern-Euro trip was Budapest! It actually ended up being one of my favourite cities in Europe, but unfortunately end of the semester school work prevented me from making this post….until now.
My first impression of Budapest came from me and the bf walking around the city centre around midnight looking for a place to eat. The places that were open were bars that no longer served food. We must’ve walked past a sketchy looking Greek gyros place with a seemingly grumpy looking man inside a few hundred times before we came to the conclusion that we either get food there, or starve.
In an amazing turn of events, the shop owner ended up being like a Hungarian version of Santa Claus…he was so friendly and probably gave us one of the best service experiences we had ever received in Europe, and wished us a happy new year as we merrily went along our way.
The gyro was amazing too.
While we had been forewarned about the coldness of the people in Eastern Europe, Budapest turned out to be entirely different. Perhaps it was the 10% tips that were mandatory at restaurants (as opposed to most of Europe where tips aren’t necessary), but even in non-restaurant environments, everyone we met were really friendly.
In my upcoming post I’ll talk about Budapest itself, but in this post let’s go back to talking about food because the food in Budapest is amazing! ah-maaaaaaze-ing.
First off, 1 euro = 300 Hungarian forint (FT), so the euro goes a long way in Hungary. So of course being hungry backpackers, Eastern Europe is definitley a good place to dine away!
One of the first places we went to was this restaurant that was given a Certificate of Excellence in 2013 by Trip Advisor. When you see that on a restaurant door, you know it’s going to be good!
…and it was!
One word of warning that we learning from our walking tour guide is that if you say “thank you” to your waiter at a restaurant when you hand them the bill, they won’t give you any change because they assume the money you’ve given them includes your tip.
We had to try extra hard to remember not to say thank you until after getting our change back, because the bank machines gave us such large bills, an accidental “thank you” could set us back 10-20 euros!
Next came this a candy shop called SUGAR!!!!!!
Can’t remember how many exclamation marks it had in its name, but there definitely was quite a few. The excitement in its name is totally understandable once you step into the store…
The next day Tania suggested a family run Hungarian restaurant called Pesti Vendéglő. It was hard to find, and its name is impossible to pronounce (unless you’re Hungarian) but the food was delicious!
Then came the Georgian restaurant that we accidentally stumbled upon when we walked past its windows and saw everyone eating something delicious from a bread bowl, and we decided that we needed whatever that was in our lives as well…
And last but not least, another random find turned out to be my absolute favourite! (you can find them all over Prague as well!)
They’re called trdelnik…or chimney cake in English and they’re made like this:
And then they put it in a clear bag, so you can enjoy it on the go. Because it’s made fresh, the first time you bite into it, it tastes so heavenly…with its mixture of soft chewy dough on the inside, and a crispy outer layer thats covered in your choice of vanilla, cinnamon, coconut, walnut or chocolate. I think I had dreams of trdelnik after the first night I had them!
If I ever plan on living in Budapest, I’ll make sure I get a gym membership ASAP!
Have you guys tried trdelnik? or any Hungarian food?