Budapest food, culture and other things

December 9, 2014

Budah mulled wine signCome lunch-time, the Christmas market was the place to be. Mulled wine—gluhwein—was everywhere.  But which booth would we choose? We decided to eat first. Because Budapest food is very tempting fare.

food pig with glasses

Pulled pork doesn’t ordinarily come to mind when someone says Budapest food.  But there it was. I had to look at this little fellow while we waited. As usual, when confronted with what eating creatures really means, I considered vegetarianism.

food pulled porkBut not yet.  These sandwiches were our lunch and OMG INCREDIBLE.
Budah gulash signGoulash, Gulash, potato, patata–it was everywhere. Because of course, it is Hungarian.

food steam tableSteaming pans of Budapest food smelled wonderful.

We had to cross a few streets and saw this car, painted with a nature scene. Completely painted:

car design

But instantly were back in marketland, among stalls of food
cinnamon signFor dessert, we had to have these. The price is in the Hungarian foin. They aren’t big on the Euro.

cinnamon rolls mmWe watched ours being cooked over red-hot coals, rolled in cinnamon. I can’t remember when I’ve had a more delicious dessert.

pretty vuolinI just thought this was lovely. The colors, the design, all of it.

We decided to walk off the beaten path, and away from the main market, we found more stalls.

hung hellsAnd we found The Hungarian Hell’s Kitchen, which was a stall with friendly people serving tea and mulled wine.

Hungarian hells mugsThe wine is steaming in the copper vat, which made it seem all the more festive.

mulled wine m handWe had to have it. Another fantastic “find” that went down way too easily. M had two and I took sips of his, figuring I was so sleep deprived that any more and I’d be on my ass. Literally. We could see how a few of those would disappear quickly on a cold day without even realizing how much we’d had. So I’m going to try some of the mulled tea soon. HERE IS the wine recipe;

mulled wineYou can see that we were making short work of it.  I say I only took sips, but maybe they were gulps.

dogs wineThese dogs were also interested. Or maybe it was their owners.

Hungarian hells mugsM. knows I’m a fan of the TV show, Hell’s Kitchen, where I have picked up many good cooking ideas.

“Why don’t you buy a mug?” he said.  But I have lots of mugs and cups. I took this photo so I wouldn’t have to buy a mug.

angel girlI wasn’t sure if she was a dragonfly or a Hungarian Christmas angel, but she was happy to pose.

pastriesOh, the pastries!  We resisted these.

breadsAnd the bread.

meringuesOh the pastries! These meringues were HUGE. We didn’t get any. But they were so pretty!

hungarian goulashThis is…wait for it…wait for it….Hungarian Gulash. Or goulash. Or whatever. It was tasty!


Brit embassyWe found the British embassy around the corner from our hotel.

Brit embassy barricadesM pointed out the “we-mean-business” barricades.

hotel rm sausage2These were on our hotel room desk when we arrived. I had no idea how long they’d been there, so we passed.

Buda paprikaPaprika is made from these, oh yes it is!

pole paperHandbill on a pole on our way back.

In case it’s your birthday, here’s a greeting in Hungarian!

happy bdayThe old city is awfully pretty. How about a little history?

Budapest has some 1.7 million people and is the merging of two cities that span two sides of the Danube: historic Buda and the more modern Pest.  It’s called the Paris of Central Europe for good reason.  Baroque, neoclassical and Art Nouveau all come together.

royal palace budThe massive Royal Palace. Very imposing.

St StephansSt. Stephan’s basilica…he is the patron saint of the city, which is largely Catholic. St. Stephan was actually King of Hungary.

archangel bestThe archangel Gabriel is very popular. He apparently appeared to Stephan in a dream and offered the crown to him. So we see him everywhere holding the crown of Hungary.

St. Elizabeth's. Elizabeth is a common name here.

St. Elizabeth’s. Elizabeth is a common name here.

It’s easy to forget this was a communist country in the early part of my lifetime. But here are some bullet holes from the 1956 Hungarian revolution. Soviet tanks came in and won bigtime.

bullet holes from 56 russian tanks

I’m not a big fan of pastries in the shops, but this charming cafe was our last stop in Budapest:

cafe buda1A final cappucino and then…

cappucino vertical…we said goodbye to Budapest–but only for now–because we want to return….and now, off to Vienna, one of the most beautiful cities I’ve ever seen.

17 comments on “Budapest food, culture and other things
  1. CARLA says:

    oh how Id love to go there.
    my father is a professor and has taught there many times. it is one of his fave places as well.

  2. I love your observations, and tales about what all of your senses experience when you travel. It’s inspiring and reminds me that travel, when it’s carefully planned can be enriching on so many levels.

  3. I love it when you travel it’s as if you sneak me into your luggage! Can’t wait to see Vienna!

  4. Excellent post! I think I’m right on your path – I head to Budapest, Vienna and Bratislava next week. Thanks for the preview – can’t wait!!

  5. Ruth Curran says:

    It is so cool to hear you exploring a place at the right time in your life – one where you can be present for each moment – and with the right person and, as result loving its details, big and small, so completely. The photos are so amazing!

    Here’s to finding even more joy in the Christmas markets!

  6. ryder ziebarth says:

    DE-Freaking-Lish! I want those pastries.

  7. Love all the photos Carol. I’m so hungry now!

  8. I love seeing the photos of this trip – what a wonderful place to visit.

  9. donna says:

    Oh CAROL! I am chartreuse with envy….and I think I gained five pounds just READING this post. The hubby and I are so looking forward to traveling once we are on the OTHER side of parenting…just 17 months to go :).
    For now, I will live vicariously through you and I cannot WAIT to read about Vienna…a bucket list destination of mine!
    BTW, I believe the girl with the wings is dressed in “Steampunk” fashion. Her gloves are what lead me to think that. If you are not familiar with steampunk, here’s a link…I think this is such a fun look!

  10. Sheryl says:

    What a wonderful tour! Thanks for all the inspiration I need to plan a visit sometime soon…and enjoy Vienna, another place I’d love to see.

  11. Beautiful pictures. And now I’m hungry.

  12. Lisa Froman says:

    What an adventure! I loved the photo essay…everything is so rich and colorful–and yummy-looking. And yes, the meringue looks divine!

  13. Oh how fun! What a truly inspired post, I feel as if I were there with you, Carol. I only wish time weren’t so tight these days, I need to go backward and read your earlier posts when I have time to spend. Love the photos! Safe travels!

  14. Perhaps I’ll add Budapest to my Christmas destination list. One thing I could not do? Eat anything with it’s head still attached. Ugh!

  15. Myke Todd says:

    I enjoyed this leg of your travels, to a place I doubt I will ever see first hand.

  16. I forgot to eat all day and now I’m STARVING as I read this right before dinner time. I want goulash. Or pastries. (But not meringue.) I chuckled at your wondering if the gal was an angel or dragonfly; amusing mix up.

    I look forward to visiting Vienna vicariously through you.

  17. Michelle says:

    Oh gorgeous…I would love to go there…everything looks amazing.

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