City guide
Fall Flavors: food festivals around Budapest
Photo : Petra Pikó/Főzdefeszt
Fall Flavors: food festivals around Budapest

From juicy Hungarian paprika-seasoned sausages to inventive new-wave street foods to heavenly sugar-coated chimney cakes, local delights star alongside many international delicacies at plenty of gastro gatherings happening around Budapest this autumn. All of these festivals are sited in stunning settings amid impressive monuments of Hungary’s capital, and along with the edible attractions, they also feature fun entertainment and abundant beverages.

International Horse Racing and Food Truck Show Főzdefeszt and Street Food Market Sweet Days Chocolate And Sweets Festival Kürtőskalács Festival Sausage Festival

International Horse Racing and Food Truck Show

Photo: Food Truck Show
Savor a day at the races beside the historic track of Kincsem Park, the vast equestrian-sports complex in Budapest’s District X, hosting numerous programs throughout this three-day jamboree. Along with watching horse races during the day and at night, guests enjoy an assortment of international meals on wheels provided by diverse food trucks. Limber acrobats heat up the scene as street musicians provide pleasant background tunes, as guests navigate the tasteful trucks to gobble graceful gastro specialties like Kolbice’s hearty sausage cones or the steamy soups-to-go of Nyakleves – and it all can be complemented with a glass of fine Hungarian wine from DiVino’s lorry. With a range of child-friendly programs on offer, this is a perfect event for families this weekend.

Date: September 4 – 6
Location: Kincsem Park
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Kincsem Park

Főzdefeszt and Street Food Market

Photo: Petra Pikó/Főzdefeszt
The ever-growing popularity of small-scale brewing around Hungary is celebrated with the annual Főzdefeszt (“Brewers’ Festival” in Hungarian), this year taking place just a short stroll away from the towering statues of Heroes’ Square. Make the most out of Indian summer and chug down a few chilled craft beers from the carefully selected collection of local and imported suds, and make sure not to miss the excellent ecclesiastical pints brewed with righteous spirit by some of Hungary’s monasteries. Beside the refreshing tipples, visitors can devour delicious eats provided by Budapest’s popular street-food vendors, including Befaló Bill’s smoky barbecue specialties and the exotic seafood treats of Vörös Homár. The highlight of the event is the surreal circus performance by a celebrated underground troupe, the Freak Fusion Cabaret.

Date: September 11 – 13
Location: Felvonulási Square (take metro line M1 to Heroes’ Square)
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Sweet Days Chocolate And Sweets Festival

Photo: Edina Gyalog/Édes Napok
Amid the majestic setting of the Buda Castle, overlooking iconic Budapest sights like the Chain Bridge and the Parliament House, the sweetest festival of Budapest boasts a variety of superbly composed local and international confections. Silky chocolates, tastefully crafted cakes, and frosty ice creams pamper our taste buds, while jazz and lounge music pervades the imposing open space. The festival’s highlights this year are sugar-free treats, so anyone on a special diet can join the fete and sample some guilt-free delights. Beside the sweetie seductions, the event offers arty theater and dance performances, various family programs, and live pastry-making shows.

Date: September 18 – 20
Location: Buda Castle
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Buda Castle

Kürtőskalács Festival

Photo: Kürtőskalács Fesztivál
Celebrate Hungary’s unique type of chimney cake – called kürtőskalács – with a festival set within Budapest’s City Park, at the fairy-tale Vajdahunyad Castle. Here we can enjoy all kinds of this glazed or sugar-dusted sweet made of sweet yeast dough, then wrapped around a wooden cone before being baked over an open fire. The toothsome treat comes in many flavors, like walnut, cinnamon, chocolate, coconut, or vanilla, and it’s best to consume them fresh and hot. Beside the savory confections, guests can sample a range of local traditional cheeses and select sausages, and wash it all down with fine wines or shots of pálinka – Hungary’s flavorful fruit-based brandy.

Date: October 9 – 11
Location: City Park – Vajdahunyad Castle 
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Vajdahunyad Castle

Sausage Festival

Photo: Disznótoros és kolbászfesztivál
To pig out at a traditional fall feast, head to the Hungarian Railway Park (showcasing vintage locomotives in a ten-hectare site) to experience this high-spirited jamboree. Here a whole variety of luscious local links sizzle at assorted stands, where meat lovers enjoy perfectly blended Hungarian sausage in flavors ranging from mild to spicy, and even participate in events like the meat-kneading competition. Apart from the hearty countryside foods and drinks, a lineup of musical programs, old-fashioned games, and contests entertain visitors. A designated bus transfers guests to the festival free of charge from Nyugati Railway Station, departing every 20 minutes throughout the event.

Date: October 16 – 18
Location: Hungarian Railway Museum Park (Vasúttörténeti Park)
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