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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.
With winter and the holidays upon us, traditional Hungarian Christmas specialities have flooded cafés, restaurants, and Christmas markets. We are here to give you some recommendations on what to try, whether it's the Ashkenazi Jewish delicacy flódni, the sweet poppy-seed-based bread dessert mákos guba, a special cupcake, tons of szaloncukor – a chocolate-covered candy traditionally made with fondant and hanged on the Christmas tree, the seasonal must-have sweet yeast dough chimney cake (kürtőskalács) sprinkled with sugar or cinnamon, or a bubbly waffle with hot chocolate. There's something to satisfy every sweet tooth.
Cupcake Tortaműhely – cupcake
Fabulous cupcakes with light, creamy fillings in a sponge cake and a mascarpone cream or marzipan topping on each. Cupcake Tortaműhely has a selection of cupcakes with a real festive feel, and they can make an amazing gift, too. Reindeer, Santa, angel, or snowflake cupcakes are usually filled with Belgian mascarpone chocolate and covered with marzipan on top. They are available in boxes of 1, 4, 6 and 12, in various sizes. Click on the link to order them. In addition, you can also buy cake pops or whole cakes, but while you're there, make sure to have a hot chai latte to warm you up!
Sütizz Confectionery – bejgli and flódni
Around Christmas, Sütizz Confectionery is a place to go for classic desserts, but they always try to add something special, as well. This year, they've introduced a pistachio bejgli with Amarena cherry pieces, for an even more exciting treat for the festive table. Their Christmas boxes include a special Ischler (a round cookie made of shortcrust pastries coated with chocolate) with homemade red currant jam, pastry made with almond flour, and Belgian chocolate. The Gerbeaud slice is almost indispensable, but there are not many places in town where you can get a traditional flódni either, the latter is based on an old recipe book of owner and master pastry chef Eszter's grandmother, and it is her personal favourite for a reason. The dough is not yeasted, the apples are steamed in wine and filled with plum jam on top and bottom. And of their French desserts, the orange caramel and the now-trademark 'Eszter-házi' dessert are the best sellers at this time of year, and the latter is even gluten-free.
Stühmer Quality Chocolate & Pastry Shop – szaloncukor
Whether you want to surprise someone with a fabulous selection of szaloncukor or a box of bonbons you made yourself, it's worth stopping by Stühmer's largest sample shop in Budapest, on the ground floor of GoBuda Mall. In addition to small chocolate figurines, there is also szaloncukor in the shape of angels and handmade chocolate Santas, but Christmas bauble chocolates, liquorised desserts, and 6 types of no-added-sugar szaloncukor are equally popular. The nearly 40 flavours include Sicilian pistachio, Piedmont hazelnut, and apple cinnamon, as well as classic butterscotch and chocolate truffles. Once you're there, you can also choose a delicious coffee and cake before heading off into the pre-holiday rush.
Polo Pub – Somló sponge cake and mákosguba
The legendary Buda-based Polo Pub's winter dessert speciality, mákosguba cake with vanilla sauce (poppy-seed-based bread dessert), has become more popular this year than the equally beloved Somló sponge cake (a world-famous Hungarian dessert, sponge cake dough with chocolate sauce and whipped cream decoration). What's more, it is made exactly the way Zsuzsa, the shop manager, dreamed it thirty-four years ago. To this day, the Polo Pub is still a favourite hang-out for artists and sportsmen. In the evenings, listening to live music, guests can enjoy the legendary csülök (pork leg), the famous Sztrapacska, and the sweets, the Somló sponge cake, the pancakes, or the mákosguba cake, all sweetened by the hospitality of Zsuzsa. In addition to delicious food, the Polo Pub is a nice place to get in a festive spirit, and you can even host corporate events in a private room.
Ahoy! and Waffle & Love – waffle and hot chocolate
Just a few hundred metres apart, both of these places are worth a visit on a chilly winter's day. Waffle & Love serves bubble waffles in sweet or savoury flavours and has a version with fruit pieces mixed into the dough itself. The waffles can also be topped with Bailey's dark chocolate or white chocolate cream, or the creamy liqueur flavour that always reminds us of Christmas can be added to coffee and cocktails. It is not easy to choose between white chocolate, dark chocolate, and caramel hot chocolate for your hot sandwich or waffle at Ahoy!, which recently moved to Kecskeméti utca.
Vitéz Kürtős – chimney cake
You can find the stands of the Vitéz Kürtős on Vörösmarty tér, at the Advent Basilica, and in the festive bustle of the Városháza Park, next to the skating rink. And if you're in the City Park, near the zoo, you might want to stop by their confectionery called Édes Mackó (we wrote about them in more detail here). In addition to the traditional cinnamon, walnut, and vanilla flavours, the lyophilised raspberry and pistachio are our personal favourites. We always take some of their homemade chocolate home or as gifts.