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Hungarian Goulash

Hungary is the birthplace of goulash, a delicious meat stew spiced with paprika.

TravelCurious Tip

Why not learn to make your own? There are many cooking courses you can take in Budapest. Recipes served with dollops of history

Hungary has many delicacies: lángos, the fried dough topped with sour cream and cheese; Kùrtöskalács, the sweet bread that is baked rotisserie-style over charcoal; Dobostorta, a chocolate layered sponge cake topped with crystallized caramel. The list goes on, and you should try them all. But one thing you may already be familiar with is Gulyás: the famous Hungarian Goulash.


Goulash is a Hungarian original. It’s a hot stew with chunks of beef, potatoes and vegetables, and they don’t hold back on the paprika. It was originally made by cattle herdsman, who used to dry the cooked meat under the sun and pack in into bags produced from sheep’s stomachs. Then they just added water to make it into a meal: a Middles Ages pot-noodle, more or less.


The result was pure comfort food: hearty and hot. Everyone has their own recipe, omitting this or adding that, so don’t limit yourself to one sample. Try the Hunyadi Restaurant, a lesser known eatery which focuses on local meals and wines, or head to the elegant and spacious ÉS Bistro in the Kempinski hotel, where you can also enjoy Latin themed events on Friday and Saturday nights in the summer.

Nearby Attractions

See all attractions in Budapest
Great Synagogue
Europe's largest - and the second largest in the world - this imposing Moorish Revival synagogue dates from 1859.
Great Market Hall
Budapest's oldest and largest indoor market, selling a vast range of local delicacies.
Gellért Baths
This thermal spa is part of the famous Géllert Hotel, containing eight pools in elegant Art Nouveau style.
Inner-City Mother Church of the Blessed Virgin
In 1046, Bishop St Gellert was buried at Budapest's Inner City Parish Church, the main parish church which stands today.
Weeping Willow
Designed by Imre Varga, and adjoining the The Central Synagogue, this magnificent Holocaust memorial has the names of the dead or the missing on 30,000 inscribed leaves.
Dohany Street Synagogue
Also known as the Great Synagogue or Tabakgasse Synagogue, it's a historical building in Budapest and the largest synagogue in Europe.

Related Tours

Foodie Tour of Budapest
In Budapest, the food scene is a journey through Hungary’s landscape and its bordering nations, coupled with a few exciting adventures into history. 

  • Enjoy authentic Hungarian tastings on the city’s most delicious food tour
  • Guided by a local foodie who will take you on your own culinary journey
  • Browse food markets, cafes, bars and restaurants to experience the food scene
  • Try delicious, typical Hungarian food and flavor-filled fresh produce
  • Eat like a local and meet chefs, kitchen staff and food vendors 
  • Learn the history behind the nation’s favorite dish
  • Get the inside scoop on the best places to eat in the city
  • Try some of Budapest’s tastiest street food
Budapest boasts a diverse array of different dishes with abundant culinary influences. In its soups and stews, there are the tell-tale signs of Slovakia, Ukraine, and Romania, while stuffed vegetables and pickled salads are from Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia. To Austria it owes many of its pastries and to Turkey, its coffee, with German and Russian occupation also leaving its mark. Yet with the regional towns and villages Hungary’s culinary heartlands, Budapest’s focus is squarely on home-spun dishes - albeit with a modern, contemporary twist. 

Delve into the city’s gastronomic history, meet some of its chefs, watch kitchens in the throes of creativity and get to know Hungary through the realms of its incredible food. Experience for yourself how history and societal changes continue to add new complexity to the city’s foodscape. In the markets, in the cafes, in the kitchens and at the food stalls we will touch and smell food, listen to it pop and spit, and before we finally taste it, devour it with our eyes: proving firsthand that exploration isn’t purely a physical thing, it utilises all five senses.

Budapest’s favourite local dishes read like a Hungarian map, with every corner of this landlocked country represented in restaurants in the city. Like any capital city, Budapest is a home to people from all over the globe, adding further culinary bites to the city’s mouthwatering food mix. Want to order like a local? Try delicious Hungarian goulash, succulent paprika chicken, fisherman soup and dumplings washed down with a Hungarian-style spritzer or a glass of white wine from the vineyards of the south of the country.  This tour is a tantalising tasting adventure of authentic Hungarian baked goods, sumptuous slow-cooked meats, freshly cooked soup, pies and fresh local produce. Traditional Hungarian cuisine is heavy, no surprise given the bitterly cold winters, however demand in Budapest is increasingly for modern interpretations of these robust dishes, so lighter and smaller portions.
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