Best Hungarian Traditional Food | 5 Must-Try Hungarian Meals

Rate this post

On my most recent trip to Hungary, I learnt a lot more about what distinguishes traditional Hungarian cuisine. Hungarians eat seasonally, and many recipes use meats, fresh vegetables, and dairy products. I also discovered that Jewish and Austrian cuisines have inspired many classic meals.

And, of course, no discussion about Hungarian cuisine would be complete without discussing paprika. Hungarians use the spice liberally, and it seems to find its way into practically every meal, particularly ones with a sauce.

I present to you, in no particular order, my favorite Hungarian dishes.

Pogsca is a popular savory bread, similar to a Hungarian scone.

We had them for breakfast numerous times with strong coffee. While they may not seem to be hefty, they are often substantial and full.

Flodni is a traditional Hungarian-Jewish cake. Apples, walnuts, poppy seeds, honey, and plum jam are among the ingredients in its four layers.

Those of you who do not have a sweet craving, like myself, may still enjoy this cake. The walnuts and poppy seeds serve to balance out the sweetness of this meal.

Meggyleves was the one meal I didn’t really like during my Buda walking food tour. But, since it is a very traditional Hungarian dish that many people like, I believed it should be included.

The dish is a cold fruit soup. It is considered a summer delicacy and is also known as sour cherry soup.

Resztelt mj, or liver and onions, may have shocked me the most since I am not a big fan of liver.

Yet, the liver in this meal is fork-tender, the onions are wonderfully caramelized, and both are presented in a gravy-like sauce that complements the potatoes well.

You can’t discuss Hungarian cuisine without discussing goulash. The stew has meat, usually beef, vegetables, and a generous amount of paprika in the sauce.

This recipe was significantly different from others in that it was served with spaetzle noodles, a probable Austrian influence I described before.

With good reason, Hungarians are proud of their Mangalica pork.

It’s some of the greatest cured pork I’ve ever had. The pig is a crossbreed of domestic pigs and wild boars from Hungary.

Mangalica literally translates to “hog with a lot of fat” and, although it may not seem healthy, it is really tasty.

Cholentwas undoubtedly my favorite meal from the Jewish Cuisine Walking Food Tour.

Although this stew is a traditional Jewish cuisine, it has also become a popular local speciality due to Budapest’s huge Jewish community. The stew is prepared with beans, barley, meat (in this case, goose leg), and entire eggs.

To comply with Jewish tradition, which prohibits cooking on the Sabbath, this meal is begun on Friday afternoon and let to gently cook overnight before being served for lunch the following day. Its a hearty dinner and one I still want.

Hungarians are highly serious about their pastries and sweets. This breakfast pastry was stacked high with layers of flaky crust and custard or pudding-like filling and topped with a heavy sprinkle of powdered sugar. It was a little sugary, but I enjoyed the flaky crust.

This fruit tart appealed to me more. It has a buttery crust as well, but it is covered with fresh fruits cooked to a chewy texture. I thought it was fantastic.

I know I said I wasn’t going to offer this list in any particular sequence, but I saved the best for last in terms of cuisine.

Langos was a near-obsession for me, and it may be my new favorite Hungarian dish. The meal consists of fried bread topped with your choice of toppings.

Other people like it simply, with only fried dough. Some use garlic oil or cream on theirs. Some people prefer to add onions.

As you can see from the photo above, I enjoy it all! I wish this meal was healthier, since we ate it almost every day, accompanied by an ice-cold beer, of course.

These are my favorite Hungarian foods, however the list would be incomplete without listing some local beverages.

Unicum, I didn’t like for it, but it is Hungary’s national drink and deserves to be included.

Unicum is a digestive or aperitif herbal drink prepared from a secret mixture comprising over forty plants. It is matured in oak barrels and, in my view, tastes quite similar to Jgermeister.

But I really like the Hungarian wines.

Hungary, in my opinion, is grossly underappreciated as a producer of high-quality wines.

Hungary really has 22 wine districts which collectively generate approximately 100 native wine varietals.

I participated in a tasting table experience with Taste Hungary, which educated us a lot about the country’s wine industry while also allowing us to taste some of the greatest wines. If you’re interested in wine tourism, I strongly suggest stopping by their tasting room.

Visiting other European countries? See our other guides:

  • Where to Find the Best Schnitzel in Vienna, Austria
  • 9 Best Vienna Restaurants
  • 10 Fun Things To Do In Vienna
  • The 13 Best Budapest Restaurants
  • 8 Best Brno Restaurants
  • Where to Find the Very Best Apple Strudel in Central Europe

Have I persuaded you to try Hungarian cuisine? Which meal did you think looked the best? Please share your thoughts in the comments box below!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *