Dining
Sweet Spots: Budapest’s best destinations for sugary treats
Photo : László Balkányi/We Love Budapest
Sweet Spots: Budapest’s best destinations for sugary treats

Going against the sugar-free trend is a guilty pleasure that almost everyone enjoys from time to time. Sometimes there’s no denying a craving for something sweet, so if your heart starts beating faster when you hear the words “éclair” or “milkshake”, why not indulge your junk-food jones with one of Budapest’s most tantalizingly tempting desserts? We’ve collected a list of the city’s premiere eateries where waffles topped with gummy bears and deep-fried Oreos are just the icing on the cake.

Waffles Shakes Macarons Éclairs Everything else

Waffles

When prepared properly, a good waffle is crisp on the outside and tender on the inside, providing a deliciously doughy platform for all types of toppings – and here in Budapest, this versatile sweet is made exquisitely at more and more places these days. In terms of price, Habos Gofri at Ferenciek Square is the best option; it’s easy to locate their window because there is always a long line of eager customers in front of it. The widest range of toppings can be found at Sweetheart, where you can crown your waffle with salted pretzels, Reese’s peanut-butter treats, or all kinds of fruits. Our third recommendation is Belgian Waffel Bar on Váci Street, where the authentic Belgian atmosphere and flavors await the sweet-toothed. You can even top your waffle with gummy bears here, but we prefer the combination of Belgian chocolate and whipped cream.
Habos Gofri

Shakes

Making a milkshake seems easy, so maybe that’s the reason why we’ve tasted some really bad ones. It’s not enough to attack a few bananas and a deciliter of milk with a hand-held blender; to make an outstandingly creamy concoction, it takes proper ingredients and finesse. One of the newest surprises is One Million Shake Bar on Váci Road near WestEnd. The basis of their shakes is whipped ice cream, guaranteeing a thick and creamy sipping experience; by special request, they can prepare shakes with vegetable milk. Our favorite was the “American Dream”, made with Ferrero Rocher candies, Nutella, and banana – even Vincent Vega would agree that it’s worth the price! Sweetheart near Móricz Zsigmond Square is also a good option when it comes to shakes – the ones they serve are very sweet and less thick than at the aforementioned place. Here the “Vanilla Extasy” is like a rush of sweet-flavors to the head: vanilla ice cream, vanilla pudding, vanilla cookies, and milk. Meanwhile, at Ahoy! we recommend the caramel-banana-biscuits version.

Macarons

After first taking Budapest by sugary storm a few years ago, these crunchy and crispy French confections are popular guilty pleasures offered at varied eateries here, and one of the city’s most popular and beautiful macaron stores is Chez Dodo, where professional products go hand-in-hand with wonderful design. These days, they are seducing fans of sweet things with chai latte macarons. The pastries of Desszert Neked are also outstanding, and yes, that includes macarons too. Zazzi, which moved from Solymás to Budapest, is very proud of its macarons, and they are happy to accept special orders.
Chez Dodo

Éclairs

There are more and more people whispering about éclairs being the new macarons, and ever-more sweet-toothed locals are actively seeking this delicate French pastry. This dessert is just as hard to make as the aforementioned one, but the rich flavors of éclairs make these delights well worth the effort (and calories) when they are properly made, especially when prepared with high-quality chocolate. The éclairs of ’s confectionery are just as tasty as they look, with an exclusive twist. A surprising find is  on Paulay Ede Street – their éclair isn’t really similar to those at a classic French patisserie, but more like a bakery, featuring thin layers of pastry with a lot of cream inside. At the recently opened , you can find some of the city’s biggest éclairs and other elite French sweets.
Pöttyös Bögre Bistro

Everything else

If your head isn’t reeling from a sugar rush just by reading this article and drooling at the pictures, well, we still have some extraordinarily sweet spots for you to sample. One is the deep-fried Oreo of , which sounds like a bizarre thing to eat, but many locals are becoming addicted to this American black-and-white cookie, and like to consume it as though they are at a Midwestern county fair. In the first half of the year, we’ve found one of the few places around Budapest where they prepare French toast according to the properly sweetened variety – at Á la Maison, every day starts amid a cloud of powdered sugar. There aren’t too many places in Budapest where you can have good crepes, but at , you can order giant thin pancakes to go, which you can eat while walking – the apple-cinnamon-caramel combination is strongly recommended.