Whether on the go or at the sidewalk cafe, Hungarian food is a very public affair. Hungarians have been spotted all around town anytime of the day or night with food in hand. Be it a sandwich, pogacsa or even a bowl of gulyas…

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You can see people eating on the trains, trolley busses, metro and just walking down the street. Food has become a necessary accessory to our daily wardrobe that no Hungarian would leave home without.

Since the dawn of humanity, food has been there, first as a necessity and later as a pleasure. Over the years certain foods have come and gone in fashion, diets have been created, followed, and then proven harmful to our health. Yet the one thing that has remained fashionable in Hungary is the passion to eat.

Whether you are Magyar, Jewish, or Roma, I am sure every family has a Hungarian grandmother who makes you eat so much that your chair buckles every time you go home. In the Hungarian home, people learn how to eat. In Hungary, it is ingrained from infancy. “Eat, eat, eat,” is the thinking. In Hungarian culture the food is not just a guilty pleasure or simply something to do in your spare time. Food is life, and therefore you can’t limit yourself to a small plateful.

Walking down any street in Budapest this near obsession with eating is everywhere. Every corner has a restaurant, not to mention the hundreds of small bars and restaurants that line the streets in between. If you were to make a map of Budapest showing all of the restaurants, it would have to be at least 4 meters by 4 meters. This truth just expresses how people love to eat. If in the capitol city of a country you can’t move more than 5 meters without seeing a restaurant, then its inhabitants love to eat.

Now, there are some people out there that might think to themselves “But everyone likes to eat, what makes Budapest and Hungary so different?” Well the answer is simple. It is a trend that has and never will go out of fashion. Weather rich or poor, people can be seen with a Ferineti bag in hand eating a saijtos pogacsa.

In France, for example, people eat a lot, and love to eat. Yet, there is a different attitude towards food. There, they love to eat, but only in the respective confines of a café, bar, restaurant or a home. If they are hungry, then they will take the time to step into on of those establishments. There, they will sit down and take their time with the meal.

However, in Budapest it doesn’t matter where you are. You just need to get food in your hands and, then, to start eating it. Having food in the hand is fashionable in Hungary, more so than any clothing. People do not want to hide their food away. Hungarians want everyone to know just how cool they are to be eating. This explains the plethora of dining establishments sporting outside seating.

Thinky recommends that you go be fashionably hungry at these venues:

In Budapest, you will find more than just Hungarian food. International food has become a fashionable component to the capitol of Hungary.

Bacardi Original Bar Restaurant

This is a nice restaurant with a view of Szent Istvans Basilika. The food is a bit expensive for a lunch but its a good place for dinner. Bacardi’s menu features a mixture of food from all over Europe, not just Hungary. Expect everything from Gulyas to Beef Tartar.

Bacardi Original Bar – Az Utcabár, 1051 Budapest, Széchenyi tér 7-8, Open: Sun-Wed 12:00-24:00, Thurs-Sat 12:00-02:00, Tel +36 70 333 2161, bob@bobbudapest.hu, www.bobbudapest.hu

Hummus Bar

Hummus Bar is a restaurant consisting of food from every culture that has Hummus as part of their traditional culinary experience. Most of their menu is vegetarian, but there is also a small carnivore section. You can order plates of hummus and salads or sandwiches. Being greeted with a small cup of hot green tea is a great way to start a lunch or dinner that won’t break your bank.

Hummus Bar – Multiple locations, our favourite is at 1051 Budapest Október 6. u. 19, Tel: (00 36 1) 354 0108, Open: Mon-Fri: 11:30-22:00, Sat-Sun: 12:00-22:00, www.hummusbar.hu

Caledonia Scottish Pub and Restaurant

Caledonia is, as it’s name suggests, a Scottish bar and restaurant. If you are sick of eating fancy gormet food and are looking for good traditional bar food this is where you should head. Great burgers and delicious fries can only be beat by their hundreds of scotch whiskeys.

Caledonia Scottish Pub and Restaurant – Mozsár utca 9, Budapest 1066, Hungary, +36 1 311 7611, info@caledonia.hu, www.caledonia.hu, www.facebook.com/caledoniabudapest, caledoniabar@yahoo.co.uk

Kisparázs Thai Leves És Wok Bár

Sometimes a good hot bowl of soup and a plateful of curry are just what the soul needs. This Thai restaurant has authentic Thai food at very reasonable prices. Vegetarian friendly and a bit on the spicy side it is a cosy friendly place just down the street from Szimpla.

Kisparázs Thai Leves És Wok Bár Kazinczy utca 7, Tel: 0670 517 4550, Open: Mon Thurs: 11:00 22:00, Fri: 11:00 22:45, Sat: 11:00 22:00, www.parazspresszo.com

Kulacs Restaurant

Kulacs is a traditional Hungarian restaurant with traditional Hungarian food. Its atmosphere is reminiscent of the romantic Hungarian gypsy days of the Victorian era. It is a bit on the expensive side but is an excellent place for ambiance of an exquisitely Hungarian nature.

Kulacs Restaurant – 1073 Budapest, Osváth st. 11. Tel./Fax: (00 36 1) 322 3611, www.kulacs.arteries.hu, info@kulacsetterem.hu

– Dionyos, Reservations Recommended. Home Delivery Available. Belgrád rakpart 16, District 5 Budapest +36 (1) 318-1222, www.dionysos.hu

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