Eating in Budapest on a Budget

Budget travelers, rejoice! Budapest is an incredibly affordable city to visit, and great food can be found without breaking the bank. Below are some tips on how to stretch your forint and still enjoy all the fantastic foods the city has to offer.

Location is Key

Surprise surprise, the tourists areas will rip you off. So if you need a bottle of water or a quick snack, pop into a grocery store like Spar or Tesco. Buying from vendors right outside points of interest like St. Stephen’s Basilica and you’re pretty much guarantied to pay twice to three times as much.

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An easy way to keep away from tourist prices is to chose places past the two first streets parallel to the river.

Bonus! On the Buda side of the city and Margaret Island, there are water fountains that you can use to fill up your water bottle for free.

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Bakeries are Everywhere 

You will see convenience bakeries all over, especial around metro and bus stops. For under $2 you can get a filling breakfast of fresh pastries and other breakfast items like yogurt and juice. Most of the time, the baked goods are fresh and pretty tasty, so not a bad way to start the day.

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The Markets are your Friends

The market stalls scattered around the city are great for a cheap lunch. Buying bread directly from the baker can be as inexpensive as ¢7 (usd) a roll! You can get a nice collection of bread, meat, fruit, vegetables and drinks for a few bucks than can feed multiple people.

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For example, my sister and I had a picnic lunch in the park of potatoes and sausage, pickled vegetables, bread, salami, raspberries and water for about $5.

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The Street Food is Legit 

Try some local Hungarian street food like langos. Good news dairy lovers, Hungarian food includes a ton of sour cream and cheese, and langos is basically that on fried bread. Whats not to like?

There are plenty of options ranging from kabob to burgers, and a great place to try a bunch of street food is in the Jewish section of the city. It’s become a trendy spot for both ruin bars and food stands/trucks.

 

Don’t be Afraid of the Fancy

Budapest is such an affordable city, don’t be afraid to check out shops and menus that may look very fancy or expensive, because a lot of the time the prices will be surprisingly inexpensive.

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Even a traditional Hungarian dinner can be as inexpensive as $20 for two people, without sacrificing quality or quantity.

And treat yourself- stop at at least one cafe, it’s so worth it!

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Go Forth and Eat!

For the most part, I had great meals in Budapest, and even the mediocre ones were not terrible. Whatever your budget, you can feast in this great city.

Katie is the food and travel blogger behind The Tasty Traveler. An American living in Tokyo, she now also gives tours and does promotional work on social media for locations and business around Japan.
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