It’s extremely hard to recognize quality meat. Therefore we decided to entrust ourselves to experts and visit places where they know more about ham, sausage, and salami, than Daniel Day-Lewis knows about acting. Turns out we don’t have to go far in order to stack up on some quality ham and salami in the form of sandwiches. It’s especially important to look around the ham selection, since Easter is coming.
However, this compilation is for meat fans only. Okay, maybe for sandwich fans, too.
We were looking for places offering quality meat wrapped in excellent baked goods in the downtown area.
In many places, we could take home the meat itself, not just the sandwich.
Even though we very much believe burgers are the best thing since sliced bread, you won’t find any of them in this compilation. If you’re hungry for burgers, check out this article.
Whether it’s about SzendZsó or Kolosy Ébresztő, we simply love the what the two Zsolts have done in Budapest. Their baguette sandwich is one of the best in the business, and extra kudos to them for finding Balázs Tornyos, the chef of Oliva restaurant, and his project, which allows them to put authentic Hungarian delicacies in those wondrous French baguettes. Aporpos: the baguettes do come from France and are baked on the spot in SzendZsó‘s oven. This time around, we had the one with sausage, olives, and fresh vegetables. With the salad soaked in homemade pesto on the side, it could constitute a hearthy meal if paired with a soup.
Not far from , the mood’s always set for a good ol’ pig slaughter (without the mandatory pálinka drinking). The Butcher’s meat sandwiches are courtesy of a fine dining maestro, but no need to worry, they fill you up nicely and their quality is guarenteed by the meat coming from the famous buthcer’s at Nagyvárad Square. From the selection of cold sandwiches, the one with chicken liver and lentil took the cake; as for the fresh creations, the Porchetta (garlic mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, caramelized onions, roasted pork meat, smoked cheese, jalapenos) with roasted boiled potatoes (1350 Ft) was tasty and substantial.
As we stroll on Rumbach Sebestyén Street, we might suddenly find ourselves at a display window with a real Vespa stretching behind it. If the sight not only scares us (what if it falls out?!) but wakes our curiosity, that’s another reason for us to take a look at the Spanish meats Sonkapult works with. Alberto brings new supplies regularly, so we’ll mostly find Serrano and speck ham behind the counter that we can’t even compare to the foil-wrapped monstrosities in supermarkets. We can eat some nifty sandwiches just for about 5-800 Ft, and we can even choose if we want our ham served in Marmorstein bakery’s ciabattini or focaccia – along with sour cream, olives, mozzarella and dried tomatoes. The guys are very flexible: we can combine the ingredients found in the shop any way we want.
Sonkapult (the place ceased in September, 2017) Address: 1075 Budapest, Rumbach Sebestyén utca 7. Opening hours: Mon-Wed 7 am-10 pm, Thu-Sat 7 am-midnight, Sun 4 pm-10 pm
We didn’t know what to expect when we ordered the SonkaArcok sandwich (1990 Ft), but when we got the three-layered wonder, we decided never to look at Subway ever again, unless we wanted to remind ourselves of our past sins. The gigantic baguette (and every other bread) arrives frozen from Búzavirág bakery, and gets baked on the spot for an even fresher sandwich experience. The SonkaArcok sandwish featured Hungarian ham along with edami cheese and vegetables, but most of the selection has Spanish meat in them. Mostly because the place’s owner visited Spain on several occasions and as a Padawan of Catalan ham masters, knows the real difference between Serrano and Serrano. If we want to know more about hams, too, there are some educational boards upstairs. Besides the hams that can be purchased locally and the Serrano sandwich (1450 Ft), we can also pick from several warm dishes or eat from the daily menu.
SonkaArcok Address: 1053 Budapest, Kecskeméti Street 2.
Few restaurants have such a cool interior design as the Mediterranean ham oasis next to the renewed Vigadó. We can imagine vegans sneaking in secretly, just to admire the rustic design and the ham army lining up in the refrigerator behind the counter. Divin Porcello got this year’s Budapest Brand Award’s acknowledgement, and works with Hungarian, Italian and Spanish meats: they have everything from the works of a ham master in Etyek to Parman and Italian pigs’ ham. We can always take away our sandwiches, but starting a meat-and-wine night with them isn’t a bad idea, either. The baguette is from the neighbouring Jacques Liszt bakery, arriving warm and crispy. While Divin Porcello is probably one of the best from the Mediterranean tapas ham line, the prices won’t empty our wallets: 900 and 1500 Ft are realistic for sandwiches of this quality. We tried a Serrano ham version, and the only thing we missed were a bottle of Sangria.
Akácfa Street‘s calorie supplier is meat lover’s Mecca, because apart from the classic, juicy burgers, it found its place in top lists with its fried sausages, as well. The most extreme choice of the place is the Elvis sandwich (500 Ft) that consists of Marmorstein bakery‘s white bread, Dutch peanut butter, banana slices, and two big slices of bacon. This bizarre creation must be more divisive than Christopher Nolan’s Memento. The bitter-sweet-sour flavor confused our taste buds is a good way, but then again, we come from families who gladly ate vadas with cranberry jam. What’s sure is that the owner pays special attention to the meat’s quality, and gets it from a reliable supplier from the .
Pig 37 Blitz-Grill (closed) Address: 1072 Budapest, 24. Akácfa Street
Pista bá is meat and beer lovers‘ wonderland with warm meals, sandwiches, and different Hungarian craft beers. From the sandwiches we’d like to feature the pastrami, because it’s undoubtedly one of the best in the category. According to the owner, domestic beef and pastrami don’t mix well, so the sandwich meat gets imported from South America or Austria. Due to this, the price is slightly higher than for the other sandwiches (1880 Ft), but we must consider the 20 decagramme premium beef on our plate. The result with the meat and Dijon mustard is beyond harmonic. The bread is supplied by meat places’ best friend, Marmorsteinbakery.
As we step into Gastronomia in Arany János Street, the Hungarian flag takes a 90 degree turn and we find ourselves in an Italian village’s convenience store. This might be thanks to the neighbouring of Gianni, but the two places’ kitchens operate independently. Gastronomia is specialized in cold dishes and provides us with the kind of sandwiches we’d get as guests of a rural family in Northern Italy, urging us to try their homemade buffalo mozzarella, pronto. We can choose from three breads, provided by : foccaccia, ciabatta, and piadina. As for what goes in these, there are about 30 default options, but we can ask for anything that’s possible with the present ingredients. We shouldn’t be surprised when faced with the kind of ham smoked on juniper shavings, or smoked mozzarella that even head-to-toe Italians might not have heard about. We tried a sandwich made with roasted sirloin (1750 Ft) with some kind of spicy-sweet mustard. The vegetables compensated the meat’s salty flavor well, and the pure olive oil didn’t hurt the result, either. There are sandwiches for 900 Ft as well, but the price scale goes up to 3000 Ft -these more expensive dishes could be seen as full meals, so the price seems right. The Italian hams and mortadellas are up for takeaway if we’d like a feast a la mamma at home, too.
The selection is so wide in Pozsonyi Street‘s delicatessen that we’d prefer to camp in front of the terrifyingly high wine shelves and to take a taste from everything from olive oils through cheeses to Spanish orange juices. But let’s stay with the sandwiches, because there’s a ton of those as well. We tried one with Italian turkey ham and matured cow cheese from a cheese master (1390 Ft) with homemade spicy butter, olive oil and vegetables. The fresh, natural flavors knocked us off of our feet like 300 Spartan soldiers, and all of them are so intensive that it’s not just the ham pampering our taste buds. The seasonal offers from their Swabian ham master living in Bátaszék and the different Spanish and Italian meats are treasures that make visits to Pozsonyi Street a real adventure. With the arrival of spring, white meats are becoming more popular and the more full-bodied ones retreat to a summer slumber. Let’s not forget that all the meats and cheeses here are available for takeaway, as well.