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Ever toasted with pálinka and tucked into chicken paprikash in a Hungarian home? Hungry for Hungary offers this experience.
We've got you covered with the go-to spots to ease those post-night-out munchies.
The star focus of Easter is ham, so our first jaunt takes us to Hússzabóság, where the finest hams await. Not only are the meats divine, but the service is expert – whenever we come here, we always get a few master tips on how to prepare them. The other main character on the festive menu is lamb, also premium-quality here, as well as home-produced eggs and horseradish for the holidays.
Our next stop is Culinaris, which opened its largest and most modern store to date at the Hegyvidék Shopping Centre in early April and immediately stocked up for the holidays with fresh vegetables, pastries and desserts. If you’re bored with plain mustard and horseradish, you’re sure to find something delicious here, such as the beetroot horseradish by Tracklements or the green-pepper mustard by Bornibus. It is also worth lingering at the cold counter, as you can choose from the excellent antipasti – for example, the horseradish-and-pork-knuckle spread is a must for Easter.
In addition to ham and horseradish, another essential for Easter is the braided bread, which is turbo-charged at Culinaris with one of the harbingers of spring, wild garlic, but there’s also a special variety filled with ham and horseradish on offer.
Of course, Easter wouldn’t be Easter without real sweets! At Culinaris, along with the sweet cakes, you will find colomba, the traditional Italian almond version of the Central-European kuglóf, which is sure to crown the festive table. Colomba is similar to panettone, but is made with candied fruit instead of raisins, fashioned in the shape of a dove before baking (colomba meaning dove) before the final touch, the sprinkling with sugar and almonds.
And if you’ve a hankering for even more sweets or want to get hold of chocolate bunnies and eggs, head to Swiss Selection, a mecca for Swiss chocolate. Here you can even choose from your own surprise package of handcrafted candies and truffles, but you’ll also find the best Swiss chocolate brands prepared with real specialities for Easter.
If you’re still missing a dessert or a delicious cake to centrepiece the festive table, it’s also worth popping into Pataki Cuki, where you can choose from the finest examples. For example, a classic Hungarian Dobos torta cake or a spring speciality raspberry-and-white-chocolate cake are sure to liven up the holidays, along with the the Easter braided breads on offer.
For big celebrations
If it’s an Easter feast, wine shouldn’t be missing from the table either, so our next stop is Bortársaság, where we can select from the finest Hungarian wines. For Easter, for example, we recommend a light, fresh St. Andrea Napbor from Eger, or a stylish white from the Ruppert cellar bearing the A Nyúl label.
Festive drinks are also available at Culinaris Wine&Spirit. To accompany the traditional Easter sprinkling and painted eggs, you should find a fine pálinka brandy you’re bound to like. But if you’re preparing for a relaxed festive occasion, you might think about making refreshing G&Ts or select from the craft beers. The service is really attentive, so don’t be shy to ask for advice!
Like any holiday, Easter is all about families and children. We've already told you where to find the best chocolates, but if you’d like to surprise the little ones with something else, it's worth checking out the Játéksziget toy store, and if that doesn’t reap dividends, head to Líra, as a well-chosen book is always a great gift.
If you’re being invited round, you can also arrange a gift for your hosts at the bookstore, but if you’d like to turn up with a beautiful bouquet for your loved ones, it’s worth nipping into florists Brandt Virág. In addition to the wonderful spring bouquets, here you'll also find ideas for festive decorations.
To relax after shopping
If you’re sufficiently tired from Easter shopping, you might want to relax at one of the restaurants at the Hegyvidék Shopping Centre. For something really special, we recommend Acai Spot, where you can try a bowl made of fresh acai fruit sorbet, but if you prefer something savoury rather than a berry superfood, there are also many healthy vegan or vegetarian dishes, wraps, sandwiches and decent salad helpings to choose from, accompanied by a speciality coffee with cereal milk.
Maison Buda is a great option if you’re after a hearty, lazy breakfast, or if you’re looking for a variety of modern dishes during the day for lunch or dinner, accompanied by sumptuous cocktails.
Eating and drinking well, with Neapolitan pizza, al dente pasta, Mediterranean delights, decent wine, delicious cocktails, in that relaxed Italian way of enjoying life together – this is what Felicita is all about. The place is recommended to those looking for top-class Italian dishes, fresh flavours and reinvented combinations – and wish to spend quality time in excellent surroundings.
You can find more information about the exact opening hours of the Hegyvidék Shopping Centre and holiday offers here.