Dining
11 best places in Budapest for kakaós csiga – Hungary’s very own cocoa roll
Photo : Sándor Csudai / WLB

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.

Artizán Budapest BITE Bakery Butter Brothers Három Tarka Macska INEZ Jacques Liszt JM6 Bakery & Café Kiskovász Bakery Panificio il Basilico Pékműhely – Bartók Béla út The Mill

Artizán Budapest

Photo: Csudai Sándor / WLB

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
Artizán Budapest
  • 1054 Budapest, Hold utca 3.

BITE Bakery

Photo: BITE Facebook

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
BITE Bakery Café - Király utca
  • 1073 Budapest, Király utca 59.

Butter Brothers

Photo: Medgyesi Milán / WLB

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
Butter Brothers
  • 1093 Budapest, Lónyay utca 22.

Három Tarka Macska

Photo: Csudai Sándor

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
Három Tarka Macska
  • 1137 Budapest, Pozsonyi út 41.

INEZ

Photo: Csudai Sándor / WLB

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

Jacques Liszt

Photo: Csudai Sándor / WLB

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
Jacques Liszt
  • 1052 Budapest, Apáczai Csere János utca 7.

JM6 Bakery & Café

Photo: Csudai Sándor / WLB

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)
JM6 Bakery & Café
  • 1137 Budapest, Jászai Mari tér 6.

Kiskovász Bakery

Photo: Hartyányi Norbert / WLB

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
Kiskovász Bakery
  • 1065 Budapest, Nagymező utca 36.

Panificio il Basilico

Photo: Balkányi László / WLB

This place is a haven for cocoa rolls: savoury and sweet flavours both feature, especially if you arrive early. The signature sweet is a double roll – something like Princess Leia’s hair style – which is not made of usual puff pastry, but of a yeast-based dough. The filling is generous, the chocolate is a bit more bitter inside, and remember, there are two middle bits. Sometimes puff pastry rolls also feature, best in pistachio flavour. 

 

  • Type: yeast pastry
  • Price: 280 forints
  • Extra flavours: olive-cream cheese, pistachio, cinnamon-plum
Panificio il Basilico - Pest
  • 1054 Budapest, Hold utca 13.

Pékműhely – Bartók Béla út

Photo: Szabó Gábor / WLB

Pékműhely‘s cocoa roll is the best in Buda. It is traditional, not too buttery nor too sweet, and every crunchy bite leaves flakes all over your shirt. This is the best in price-value ratio. 

 

  • Type: puff pasrty
  • Price: 200 forints
  • Extra flavours: cinnamon, walnut, cherry-cocoa, wholegrain
Pékműhely - Bartók Béla Street
  • 1114 Budapest, Bartók Béla út 15b.

The Mill

Photo: Hartyányi Norbert / WL

Ideally buttery and very chocolatey. These cocoa rolls are super tasty, which is not a surprise after learning that one of the owners used to work at Butter Brothers. The Mill does not have its own outlet, but their cocoa rolls feature in several Budapest cafés – at varied prices. Just to mention a few: Coffee Stand GutenbergÉbresztőChez DodoDouble ShotKaffeineMy Little MelbourneFlow. They stay fresh even after a whole day spent in our bag, perfect for dinner dessert, too.

 

  • Type: puff pastry
  • Price: varies with every place, usually around 350 forints
  • Extra flavours: walnut, pistachio