As temperatures sink below zero, many prefer to warm up with spicy food rather than strong spirits. We trawled the city in search of our favourite fiery dishes, from Indian to Chinese to Mexican. Jalapeño fans, step this way!


Bangla Bufe/chicken vindaloo

Deep in the Jewish Quarter, the Bangladeshi flavours of the Bangla Bufe Premium beckon along Akácfa utca. Their vindaloo chicken cooked in powerful chili sauce gives extra fire to the cumin. Accompanying it with naan bread, but rice is another option. At first, you might think it’s not hot, just smooth, but then it starts to attack from the throat down, and provide that winter warmer sensation you’re looking for.


Biang Bisztró/biang biang

Master Wang really knows his onions, that’s not in question as almost every one of his restaurants is a big hit. For spicy biang biang noodles that are both elegant and tasty, head to the Biang Bisztró on Vámház körút, which showcases the various levels and layers of chili cuisine. The taste and texture of the dough are superb, the proportions excellent, the spiciness, too, all boxes ticked. The crab is outstanding, but you can ask for beef and vegetable, too.


Bp BARbq/tacos

It's now five years or more since Zsolt Serényi and Roland Urbán set up Bp BARbq and their tacos taste just as great. Whether it’s chicken or suckling pig, the meat will be delicious. The standard variety is not brutally spicy, just playful and elegant, but you can up the ante on the chili according to taste.


Burger Bár-hol/cheese & chili burger

Take Charolais beef, homemade burger sauce, homemade Jack Daniel’s BBQ sauce with extra spice, a little extra special chili mix, jalapeño, pickles, iceberg lettuce, red onions, cheddar cheese, bacon and – ta-da! – you have Ákos Balla and Zsófi Czerődi’s signature cheese & chili burger, sizzled and served since their food-truck days of seven years ago. The sky’s the limit where extras are concerned at Burger Bár-hol, or you can go the Billy Joel route and love it just the way it is.


Spicy Fish/spicy fish

Time was when you had to go all the way down to Kőbánya for one of Budapest’s fieriest dishes, but in 2021, Spicy Fish also opened up an outlet in the Corvin Quarter. The eponymous speciality comes with plenty of chili and sizeable pieces of fish, which you can strain with the perforated ladle provided alongside your bowl. Gourmets will love it but be prepared to deal with a few bones. Portions are humungous, easily enough for two or three people.


SZAFT/wild hog

The recently opened SZAFT gastropub is a dunker’s paradise, awash with soups and stews just begging for a slice of fresh bread to be plunged right in. There are also sandwiches packed with meat, spiced up with chilis delivered by local expert Peti, jazzed up with citrus and even tropical fruit, to create an extremely complex taste. A fine example is the SZAFT wild hog variety, stuffed with homemade coleslaw, a beast of a sandwich with a real kick.


Tereza/chili con carne

On chilly evenings, the Mexican residence of Señorita Tereza is worth a trip because of their spicy chili con carne, among other things. Made according to a traditional recipe, this one-course dish is cooked with Mexican chili, minced sirloin, black beans, corn, jalapeño peppers, sauerkraut and dark chocolate, instantly warming body and soul. Advanced chili hedonists should be interested in Tereza’s homemade salsa and fiery spreads, with a few special jars lurking in their Mexican pantry.