Budapest is one of the great culinary destinations in Central Europe. There’s so much on offer, from street food to Michelin Star restaurants, from bakeries to ruin bars.
In this guide, I share the best food tours in Budapest and explain the differences between available tours.
Budapest Food Tours
When contemplating a food tour of Budapest, consider the number of dishes, snacks and drinks included and the sights you will pass as you walk around the city.
While it’s great to try well-known dishes like goulash and langos, there’s a lot more to Hungarian cuisine and a quality tour will highlight more than the classics.
An experienced guide will make all the difference, so I recommend tours from Taste Hungary.
Top PickBudapest: Food and Wine Tastings Tour
Duration: 4 hours.
The tour starts at the Central Market Hall, one of the most incredible food markets in Europe, before walking around the stunning 5th district where the remainder of the tastings take place. You’ll find more than just fresh produce at the market, there are spices, a huge variety of Hungarian salami, cheese, bread, cakes, wine and spirits. The tour includes an unusual meal at a butcher, handmade chocolates, cake at a famous coffee house and other specialties.
- Guided tour of the famous Central Market Hall.
- Stops at a further 4 or 5 food venues.
- Tasting of 3 wines from different regions of Hungary.
- Canvas tote bag and bottle of water.
Pros: An excellent, highly-rated tour by Budapest’s most established food tour guides.
Cons: Not wheelchair accessible. Not available on Sundays and public holidays as the market is closed.Check Availability
Meeting Point: Central Market Hall
Meet inside the main entrance of Central Market Hall near the up escalators.
If you’re interested in food tours in Budapest, I highly recommend this walking tour as my top pick.
However, if you’re looking for a different type of food tour, I have some alternatives you might like.
Budapest: Wine, Cheese, and Charcuterie Tasting
Duration: 1.5 hours.
Located in a beautiful area of Budapest’s 8th district is the Taste Hungary cellar where you can try a range of Hungarian wines accompanied by cheese, charcuterie, bread and artisan oils.
I used to live around the corner from here and was welcomed by the owners for a wine tasting a number of years ago. The hosts are open, generous and knowledgeable in their field.
This tour is a good option if you enjoy tasting new wines or if you don’t want to do the full food tour mentioned above.
Budapest: Jewish Cuisine and Culture Walk
Duration: 4 hours.
A newer food tour in Budapest, this tour is focused on exploring the historic Jewish Quarter and the delicious food available there.
The Jewish Quarter is in Budapest’s 7th district and is one of the most interesting neighbourhoods in the city. You’ll find an amazing array of cafes, restaurants, ruin bars, markets, delicatessens, specialty coffee and old-style coffee houses.
Your guide will give you an overview of Jewish history and culture in Budapest while tasting specialties at 4-6 venues, including a Jewish lunch meal.
Budapest: Hungarian Whisky, Gin, and Pálinka Tasting
Duration: 3 hours.
For something a little different, head outside of Budapest to tour a distillery that produces Hungary’s most popular spirit, palinka. Palinka comes in all kinds of fruity flavours and on this tour, you will get to sample 8 different spirits that include gin and whisky as well as palinka.
What to Eat in Budapest
If you’re looking to try the most famous foods and traditional dishes of Budapest and the surrounding region, here are some must-try items, some of which you’ll encounter on a food tour:
- Goulash: This hearty beef stew is one of Hungary’s most iconic dishes, seasoned with paprika and other spices.
- Strudel (Rétes): This flaky pastry is filled with sweet or savoury ingredients, such as apples, cherries, or cheese. Very similar to what you’ll find across the border in Austria.
- Dobos cake: This layered cake is made with chocolate buttercream and topped with caramel.
- Túrós csusza: This savoury dish features noodles topped with curd cheese and crispy bacon.
- Fisherman’s soup (Halászlé): This spicy soup is made with river fish, paprika, and other seasonings.
- Tokaji wine: This sweet dessert wine is made from grapes grown in the Tokaj region of Hungary.
- Unicum: This bitter herbal liqueur is a popular digestif in Hungary, made with a secret blend of more than 40 herbs and spices.
This guide is part of our series on Hungarian food. Read the full series for more information on where to eat and what to expect when in Hungary.
Street Food in Budapest
If you’re curious about the street food scene in Budapest, here are some popular options to try:
- Kürtőskalács (Chimney cake): This sweet pastry is often sold by street vendors and is a popular snack among locals and tourists alike.
- Lángos: A deep-fried dough that’s usually topped with garlic, sour cream, and grated cheese.
- Töki pompos: A traditional Hungarian street food that’s made by wrapping fried dough around various fillings, such as sausage, cheese, or sauerkraut.
- Hungarian-style hot dogs: Known as “kolbász” in Hungarian, these sausages are often grilled and served in a bun with various toppings.
- Fried fish: Many street vendors in Budapest offer fried fish, usually served with a side of potato wedges.
- Stuffed cabbage rolls: A traditional Hungarian dish that’s often sold as street food, stuffed with a filling of minced pork, rice, and spices.
- Kürtős kalács ice cream cone: A twist on the classic chimney cake, this dessert features a kürtős kalács cone filled with ice cream.
- Gofri (Waffles): Sweet waffles topped with whipped cream, fruit, or Nutella.
- Palacsinta (Crepes): Sweet or savoury crepes that are often filled with Nutella, cheese, or jam.
- Fried doughnuts (Fánk): A Hungarian-style doughnut that’s deep-fried and dusted with powdered sugar.
What this short video to get an idea of what you can expect on a food tour.
Hungary is an incredibly rich and diverse place to visit. Budapest is wonderful but there is much more to see if you have the opportunity. Visit Hungary has excellent information if you’re planning a trip or looking for inspiration on where to go and what to eat.
Sustainable Food Tour Tips
If you’re looking for a sustainable food tour in Budapest, here are some things to consider:
- Emphasis on plant-based options: Look for a tour that places emphasis on vegetarian or vegan food options. These options tend to have a lower carbon footprint and reduce the environmental impact of the tour. Budapest has many plant-based options, including traditional dishes like stuffed peppers and potato stew.
- Minimising food waste: A sustainable food tour should aim to minimise food waste as much as possible. Look for a tour that works with local vendors to ensure that food is prepared and served in the right quantities and that any excess is either donated or composted.
- Supporting local producers: When choosing a sustainable food tour in Budapest, look for one that focuses on local, sustainable producers. This supports the local economy and reduces the carbon footprint of the tour. Budapest has many local markets and small producers that offer sustainable, locally-sourced food.
- Avoiding overconsumption: A food tour should encourage moderate consumption and avoid promoting overconsumption. Look for a tour that offers small tastings or encourages sharing dishes rather than large portions.
- Social impacts: Also consider the social impacts of the tour on the local community. Look for a tour that works with local organisations to promote sustainable food practices and supports social initiatives, such as community gardens or food banks. Budapest has many organisations that promote sustainable food practices and support local communities.
Overall, a sustainable food tour in Budapest should aim to reduce meat and dairy consumption, minimise waste, support local producers, avoid overconsumption, and consider the social impacts of the tour.
Taking this kind of tour is one way we can limit our environmental impact when travelling.
Budapest is a city that’s rich in culinary traditions, and taking a food tour is an excellent way to experience the city’s diverse and delicious cuisine.
A food tour can help you discover local dishes, learn about their history and culture, and get a taste of the city’s unique flavours.
When choosing a food tour in Budapest, it’s important to consider your preferences, dietary needs, and the tour’s sustainability and social impact.
Look for tours that offer a variety of plant-based options, work with local producers, and prioritise minimising waste and overconsumption.
Ultimately, a food tour in Budapest is a great way to explore the city’s culinary scene and learn more about its history and culture.
With a little research and planning, you’re sure to find a tour that suits your tastes and interests and leaves you with memories and flavours that will last a lifetime.
If you have questions or want to leave a tour review, please do so in the comments.
Recommendations are independently chosen based on personal travel experiences and extensive research. This post contains affiliate links to tours in Budapest, Hungary. This means I get a small commission from any bookings at no extra cost to you.