Main courses in menus are normally HUF2,500-3,000 in touristy places in Budapest, HUF1,500-1,800 outside it, or in towns like Eger and Szentendre March 2009.

A lunch in Budapest is HUF900-8000 per person, and half or one third of that outside Budapest. Chinese fast food menu is around HUF500.

In restaurants, a service charge is frequently included into bill, 10% or even 12%, but this has to be clearly pointed out on the menu. If it's not mentioned, the place has no right to include a service charge in the bill.

Even if there's no service charge, unless the service was preposterous most Hungarians tend to leave a generous tip 10% minimum. Unlike in most western countries, tip is usually not left on the table, but rather the amount is specified to the waiting staff when you pay.

There were some places mainly in downtown Pest that tried to rip off drunk tourists at night by charging ridiculously high prices for drinks. Most of these places are closed now, but it's still a good idea to always check the prices on the menu before ordering.

In major cities and next to the highways you can find restaurants of the major international chains such as KFC, McDonald's, Burger King, Pizza Hut, Subway and TGI Friday's.


Hungarians are quite proud of their cuisine Magyar konyha, and most of the time not without a reason. Food are usually spicy but not hot by general standards, and it's tasty rather than healthy — many dishes are prepared with lard or deep-fried. The national spice is paprika, made from ground sweet bell peppers and which actually has some flavor when fresh. The national dish is, of course, goulash, but Hungarians call the thick paprika-laden stew known as goulash elsewhere by the term pörkölt and reserve the term gulyás for a lighter paprika-flavoured soup.

Meat is popular- especially pork sertés, beef marha and venison őz. Less common is lamb and mutton. The best fish in Hungary are river fish: Carp Ponty and Fogas Zander, though many restaurants will serve fish from far away. Chicken csirke and Turkey pulyka and common, and you will also find game birds excellent in smarter restaurants and country areas- Pheasant Fácán, PartridgeFogoly and duck Kacsa. A typical meal will involve soup, often like a consommé erőleves, meat with potatoes burgonya and a side salad, and a dessert like pancakes palacsinta.

Less well known in the rest of the world are paprikás csirke, chicken in paprika sauce, and halászlé, paprika fish soup often made from carp.

Goose is also quite popular in Hungary. While tourists gorge on goose liver libamáj, still cheap by Western standards, probably the most common dish is sült libacomb, roast goose leg. Stuffed töltött vegetables of all kinds are also popular, and Hungarian pancakes palacsinta, both savoury and sweet, are a treat. Common snacks include kolbász, a Hungarianized version of the Polish kielbasa sausage, and lángos, deep-fried dough with a variety of toppings mostly sour cream, cheese and/or garlic.

A Hungarian meal is almost always — even at breakfast — accompanied by Hungarian pickles called savanyúság, literally "sourness". These are often dubbed saláta on menus, so order a vitamin saláta if you want fresh veggies. Starch is most often served as potatoes, rice or dumplings galuska' or nokedli, the primary Hungarian contribution in this field is an unusual type of small couscous-like pasta called tarhonya.

It is worth to visit a "Cukrászda" if you are in Hungary. These are very popular with delicious cakes and coffee. Try the traditional Krémes with vanila cream, Eszterházy lots of nuts or Somlói Galuska. You should visit Auguszt, Szamos or Daubner if you want the best! Daubner is a little out of the way, Auguszt Cukrászda is an absolute must. They have a shop downtown near Astoria metro station, founded in 1969.

Another favourite is Lángos, it is basically deep fried bread, similar to "whales-tail or beaver-tail" but in Hungary, it can be served with any fillings imaginable. Most common is plain, with salt, garlic fokhagyma and soured cream tejföl. If you do come across a Langos stand, there are usually a large number of options from pizza langos, or eggs with mayo or nutella and bananas.

vegetarian food

Vegetarians and Vegans will have about as much ease eating out as in any other western country. Budapest is not a problem, as there is a wide variety of restaurants to choose from, but in an ordinary Hungarian restaurant the non-meat mains on the menu are pretty much limited to rántott sajt fried cheese and gombafejek rántva fried mushrooms.

However, in recent years, Italian food has become a lot more popular, so as long as you don't mind a pasta heavy diet as a vegetarian you will find a wider choice.

If one self-caters from supermarkets or local shops and markets, however, the selection of fruits and vegetables is quite good, especially in summer. Hungarian peaches and apricots are delicious buy from farmers at local markets.

There are plenty of vegetarian and vegan restaurants, and a lot's of healthfood stores that offer all sorts of vegetarian/vegan products including cosmetics. Regular stores like Groby among other brands sell everything from vegan sausages to mayonaise. A good place to start is looking at Budaveg ( and Happy Cow ( for specific information.

Over all, apply the same rules as you do at home, and you should be well fed.