It’s not all burgers when it comes to quick fare in Budapest. Many city outlets are geared towards sandwiches, schnitzel, bagels or Vietnamese bánh mì. Buns can also be filled with a thick slice of classic Hungarian sliced meat. Here’s where to find the most piquant in town.
Run by an Asian couple, Bánh Mì serves the namesake sandwiches deeply ingrained in Vietnam’s street-food scene. Your crispy French baguette can contain a selection of meaty treats, chicken-liver pâté, Vietnamese ham or minced beef seasoned with lemongrass. Whichever sandwich you go with, expect plenty of fresh coriander and vegetables as part of its rich filling.
Tip: Traditional sandwich with chicken-liver pâté and fried egg
Marked on the menu as the customers’ favourite, the BBQ Reuben sandwich is inspired by the classic American treat, named after a Nebraska-based Jewish poker player of Lithuanian origin. What goes into this triangular-shaped fantasy at BpBARbq are rye bread, soft-smoked brisket, sour cabbage, Swiss cheese and Russian dressing, an essential ingredient. Head to Akácfa utca in the historic Jewish District to snack on this piquant treat.
Tip: Reuben sandwich
Ring-shaped bread rolls are baked to perfection in Budapest’s very own bagel store in up-and-coming District VIII. Considered a staple in New York, classic bagels have recently been taken to new heights in the Hungarian capital, such as the avocado and walnut, smoked salmon, duck-liver pâté and pear you find here. You can also find top-notch bagels at the JUICY shop in the city centre.
Tip: Bagel with duck-liver pâté and pear
Champoint 4 Monkeys
Among the newest outlets at the Downtown Market Hall complex of lunchtime eateries is Champoint 4 Monkeys, overseen by Hungarian gastronomy legend Lajos Bíró of Bock Bistro fame. Tailored to the casual bazaar setting is Bíró’s take on the commonly known párizsis szendvics, bread topped with luncheon meat. A thick slice is augmented with a boiled egg, pickled cucumber, crispy spring onions and smooth homemade mayonnaise. Order it with a glass of champagne.
Tip: Chef’s special párizsi sandwich
A short walk from Buda’s Mammut mall is where you’ll find Hungary’s answer to classic hamburger. At recently opened Devil’s Prézli, sesame buns are filled with breaded meat, chicken or pork, homemade sauce and a fair portion of fresh salad. From basic coleslaw-salad-chicken to a double-meat monster, eight varieties are offered in the bun of your choice, regular or cuttlefish black.
Tip: #4 with breaded meat, cheddar cheese, fried bacon, lamb’s lettuce and cucumber jam
Gourmet sausage shop Töltő fills its own links with chicken, beef, pork, even wild boar. What looks like a hot-dog spot at first glance is an innovative sampling station for refuelling on lengthy rolls packed with wakame salad, vegetable chips, spirulina sponge, pumpkin sauce and all kinds of fancy ingredients used for the garnish. Look out for seasonal offers on the regularly changing menu.
Tip: Wild boar sausage with shiitake
Mostly focused on burgers, the Vaslap menu also contains sandwiches jammed with butter-fried breaded meat and served with a sweet twist. For this treat, savoury buns are replaced by abrioche-style bread, sourced from the popular Panificio chain of bakeries. Iceberg lettuce, homemade remoulade and pickled cucumber combine to make your takeaway schnitzel dream come true. It’s all found in the heart of party central.