Lángos is Hungary's most beloved anti-health food: lángos, a feast of deep-fried dough with various toppings. It should be crisp, but also soft and crumbly, and the toppings (usually gralic butter, sour cream, and shredded cheese) are also important. We sought out the best lángos places in Budapest: we mapped the city center, walked through the markets, looked around the outer districts of Buda, and even found a fancy restaurant dish featuring lángos.
The lángos at the M3 metro station of Arany János Street is rightfully a favorite of Budapest locals. They are open all day, until two in the morning on weekdays, and until six in the morning on Saturdays – that is the time when the little buffet becomes a greasy oasis for tired party faces. The buffet is characterized by large portions and a wide variety; a plain lángos is 280 forints, the one with cheese and sour cream is 480 forints, but they also have Hungarian, Bavarian, or Bolognese lángos as well. The filled lángos are very popular, and they never go easy with the toppings: ham, cheese, sour cream, hot dogs, bacon, sausage, onion, and cabbage in any combination and quantity. The weirdest version is called the “nuclear attack” (“atomtámadás”), and has three kinds of spicy peppers, ham, cheese, sausage, and red onion in it, all for 790 forints.
Address: Pest V, Podmaniczky Square (at the metro station of Arany János Street)
Contact: +36 20 345 3525
Fény Street Market – Lángos Land
Lángos Land opened at Fény Street Market only a few months ago, and is already a worthy competitor for the other two lángos vendors at the market. The young vendor, Géza, tells us that his parents ran a lángos stand at the old market as well. From 1985, the place of his parents, which stood right across the old Fény Street Market, was legendary for about ten years. Older citizens still remember that lángos – some of them came to the market all the way from Pesterzsébet, because this place has the best fried flat bread. The recipe is a secret based on expertise, Géza said, and is passed down to the younger generations. He told us, however, that they fry with palm oil. Their lángos is large, but not pale or holey, and appropriately crispy. Sometimes they sell 300-400 lángos in a day, since their selection is wide; a plain lángos is 250 forints, the one with cheese and sour cream is 450 forints, but there are some other versions including ones with potato or cabbage, and even filled with the toppings.
Address: Budapest, Fény Street Market, 3. floor A
We also recommend:
Lángos at the Bosnyák Square Market
Lángos at the Lehel Market (ground floor, in the middle)
Lángos at the Kispest Market
Lángos at the Garay Square Market
Lángos at the Hold Street Market
Lángos in Hűvösvölgy
The lángos in Hűvösvölgy is a concept in itself, and the favorite of the locals since forever. The buffet has been operating for 50 years now, and its current owner, Ferenc has been frying hot, crispy lángos here every day for a decade. The selection is nothing new: there is plain lángos (250 HUF), lángos with cheese (350 HUF), lángos with sour cream (380 HUF) and lángos with cheese and sour cream (400 HUF). The place has lots of regulars – locals, retirees, students, workers – and sometimes there are customers who travel to Hűvösvölgy just so that they can eat a crisp, fresh lángos. When the weather is nice, a good number of hikers also appear in the area, and most of them time their tours so that they can eat lunch here, in the form of lángos. "I always have some kind words for my guests. I really love to talk with them, which is probably why they keep coming back, and the food is not half bad, either,” says Ferenc. They are open every day, all year long.
Address: Hűvösvölgy Street – Szipka Street corner (near the Hűvösvölgy terminus)
Opening hours: 10:00 - 18:00, every day
Contact: +36 30 286 0119
We also recommend:
Lángos at Flórián Square
Mezzo Music Restaurant
We know that lángos is not really a gourmet food, but we still found a few dishes that include freshly fried flat bread, although these are a bit different than the ones sold by street vendors. We found an interesting lángos dish at Mezzo Restaurant in Buda: spicy pork medallions on sour cream lángos (2,900 HUF). We received a rather massive portion: the two small, yet thick lángos were piled up like a tower on our plate, with the spicy pork medallions on top. The chef told us that the lángos is made with a special recipe that is spiced up with some sour cream, and the pork medallions rest in a marinade made of mustard, onion, and spicy pepper. The meat is tender, the lángos has everything it needs, and the paprika and mustard give a spicy flavor to the dish. However, if you eat it all in one sitting, do not expect to get anything done for the rest of that day. By the way, Mezzo tries to work with homey flavors – the homemade lángos is a good example of this.
We also recommend:
Menza: Garlic soup with sour cream and cheese lángos (990 HUF)
Zöld Kapu Vendéglő: Sirloin served on potato lángos (3,790 HUF)