For aficionados of lángos, a disc-shaped slab of deep-fried dough lathered in sour cream, the closure of Retro Lángos at Arany János utca metro station was a bitter blow. Now this summer favourite can again be found here, as Retro Lángos has just reopened, right opposite the old one, and not as a kiosk but as a food bar. We went to see what has been sizzling in the fryer.
The closure of Retro Lángos, big weekend party and all, came with the rebuilding of the metro station that housed it, Arany János utca near the Basilica. Soon afterwards, fate intervened: the RL team noticed empty premises right opposite. They tracked down the owner, agreed conditions and moved in.
Originally, the opening would have been on May 1st, but the coronavirus and subsequent shutdown stymied operations. Now, a few weeks later than planned, Retro Lángos has reopened. And, it seems, much better late than never.
The notion of reopening in the form of a restaurant came up even when only in the planning stage. Of course, they weren’t after anywhere elegant, something more along the lines of a pub/bistro. This means that there’s not only a food counter, but one for drinks, too, so visitors can grab a beer to go with their treats.
For the time being, they’re open from 10am to 10pm, but they want to prolong their opening hours later into the night, and news can soon be expected about a terrace in front of the eatery.
The hallowed process of lángos-making can be witnessed through the open kitchen. The aim of this is to create a sort of market atmosphere, but with more of a refined and unique design. The former folksy, traditional Hungarian image of Retro Lángos is gone, in exchange for modern and fresh elements. However, customers used to love the old design as well, so you can be sure that it will return somehow to the new locale, as some kind of touchstone.
They have a regular kitchen in addition to the open one, where various grilled dishes, fries and salads are prepared. Let’s not forget the pancakes either, another signature item at Retro Lángos. What’s more, chimney cakes will also feature on the menu, according to plans. The quality and the range of offers have been carried over from the old buffet, but there are a few new flavours to be found, such as goats’ cheese lángos, while other seasonal and Hungarian versions are to be available later.
Prices are unchanged. The popular standard cheese-and-sour-cream version is 800 forints, and then, depending on toppings, prices rise up to 1,590 HUF for a real lángos extravaganza. Of course, in addition to the many meaty versions, there is a vegan option, stuffed varieties and sweet ones, as well as lactose-free cheese and sour cream. Pancakes are sold in threes for 900 forints, the prices here as friendly as the portions.
District V. Bajcsy-Zsilinszky út 25
Open: Daily 10am-10pm