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11 best places in Budapest for kakaós csiga – Hungary's very own cocoa roll

Hungary puts the cocoa roll on a pedestal. These sweet little treats are childhood favourites you never have to grow out of – a tasty and flaky line of pastry swirled around a sweet cocoa cream filling. Kakaós csiga is pure excitement until you reach the best bit, the middle, which when offered to a Hungarian is a bigger gesture than a confession of affection. Our editorial team tried cocoa rolls across Budapest, finding the 11 best places, nine traditional and two with a twist. Whichever you chose, you are in for a treat, but do have a serviette handy as brown lipstick hasn’t yet made a comeback.

1/10

Artizán Budapest

At this Hold utca bakery, cocoa rolls are made from two kinds of pastries, puff and yeast. We went with the yeast-based, as a few cherries had been sneaked into the filling, and were not disappointed. These sizeable treats have a flaky pastry and are just sweet enough. They would go well with some plain fruit yogurt. Very tasty, but nothing like the classic cardamom-vanilla roll here, for which we would travel across town at any time of day. 

  • Type: puff pastry or yeast pastry
  • Price: 450 forints
  • Extra flavours: cardamom-vanilla

2/10

BITE Bakery

These rolls are more American style and will make you understand what we mean about that middle bit. These sweets have always been top-notch at BITE. Besides classic cocoa and cinnamon flavours, the most outstanding creation is hazelnut cream, which is softened with a bit of mascarpone.  

  • Type: yeast pastry
  • Price: 450 forints
  • Extra flavours: hazelnut cream

3/10

Butter Brothers

The super chocolatey, melt-in-the-mouth and buttery cocoa rolls of Butter Brothers have been number one on our list for years, and are still very close runner-ups. Here, they pride themselves on the effort put into these sweet treats, which is evident from every bite. There is not even a need to fight for the middle as these cocoa rolls are just as great all around. 

  • Type: puff pastry
  • Price: 390 forints
  • Extra flavours: occasionally poppy-seed or pistachio

4/10

Három Tarka Macska

This is definitely the most evenly shaped cocoa roll we tried. The first bite is dominated by the pastry in flavour, and cocoa comes in later, but not so intensively. This one will not cover your whole mouth with cocoa – unfortunately – but has a French-style elegance, always attractive in a pastry.  

  • Type: puff pastry
  • Price: 420 forints

5/10

INEZ

At INEZ, the focus is more on bagels that come with a daily soup at lunchtime. But the city's best cinnamon rolls are made here, too. If you are the kind of person who drools over those perfect looking cinnamon rolls in cooking shows, well, you'll find them at INEZ. 

  • Type: yeast pastry
  • Price: 350 forints

6/10

Jacques Liszt

Jacques Liszt's cocoa rolls normally sell out awfully fast. The filling is dominant, but does not overpower the flavour and texture of the excellent pastry. Our editorial team collectively voted this one the best cocoa roll in Budapest.  

  • Type: puff pastry
  • Price: 350 forints
  • Extra flavours: cinnamon, pizza and wholegrain

7/10

JM6 Bakery & Café

Ever since its opening, this little bakery overlooking Jászai Mari tér has been getting better and better. Now not only their sandwiches entice you inside, but also their cocoa rolls made of French ingredients. Just buttery enough, with a cocoa filling that is not too sweet, nor too dominant. The pastry and the filling are in perfect harmony. This one was a big surprise – we are sure to be back for another.  

  • Type: puff pastry
  • Price: 380 forints
  • Extra flavours: zserbó (Hungarian sweet with walnut and apricot)

8/10

Kiskovász Bakery

Every morning on Nagymező utca, long rows of cocoa rolls fill the shelves, but you have to come early to find any left. These are a bit small in size, unfortunately, but the proportion of pastry to filling is just right. The hint of powdered sugar on top is a nice, traditional touch. 

  • Type: puff pastry
  • Price: 250 forints
  • Extra flavours: cinnamon

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