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Like a local Xmas—Christmas programs for foodies

As Christmas approaches, Budapest comes alive with sparkling lights and amazing flavors and smells. If you want to enjoy the festive atmosphere, but would like to go beyond the classic mulled wine and chimney cakes, read our tips for an unforgettable gastronomic experience!

Christmas is all about baking and cooking at home, sharing a meal together and eating lots of delicious treats, but it’s also worth exploring new flavors after the stuffed cabbage and countless portions of fish soup. Budapest’s gastronomic palette will not let you down during the holidays, so combining it with a pleasant stroll around the city or a hike in the Buda hills can be a great culinary experience. If you’re heading out, do so with a purpose, so you don’t miss out on your choices and can warm up with a hearty, delicious meal.

Winter Food Fest

Walking around the city, we practically move from one Christmas market to the next, with music playing everywhere and vendors shivering in their stalls as they wait for customers. Unfortunately, however, attractive scenery is often no guarantee of good value for money, as there is no shortage of places that are aimed more at tourists (and their wallets) but offer no real culinary adventure. This is why the Winter Food Fest on Fröccsterasz is gap-filling: established bistros and restaurants have come to the city center to offer their warming, spicy and authentic dishes to the public. The team at 101Bistro crossed the Danube from Széll Kálmán Square to pour their iconic 12-hour brewed beef noodle soup into glasses, but golden kimchi and soft-cooked onsen eggs are also available. Tereza’s food truck, La Cabina, has smoky roasted tomato soup and fiery chili con carné on offer, while the Mazel Tov team has lentil cream soup and harira lamb soup, and you can also make up the lost calories against the cold with their Reuben sandwich. But let’s also not forget Smoke RidersBBQ meat sandwiches and Chimney Cake’s stuffed cakes!

Exploring steamed dumplings of the city

The Austrian Hütte-feeling, only in Pest and Buda—why not? You don’t have to travel all the way to the Alps to taste a real, all-time favorite steamed dumpling, just visit one of the bistros on a cold winter day where they make it professionally. There’s no consensus on where to find the best one, which also means the competition is getting tougher: fans of the genre know that they can always rely on Édesmindegy on Pozsonyi Street (in addition to the classic plum and poppy seed, there’s also apple and cinnamon and Nutella and vanilla), while on Saturdays, adventurers keep an eye on the website of the másik bolt in Wekerletelep, which every week on this day produces more and more exciting variations, whether it’s filled with Raffaello or with duck and pho. You can also taste traditional and weekly changing savory dumplings at the Czakó Farmer’s Market, but the Vendéglő a KisBíróhoz and the Normafa Síház also offer inimitable Alpine flavors.

Discovering new favors

New Year lentils with an Indian twist, steaming broth as they make it in Vietnam or Japan… Find a way to relax and step out of your comfort zone, if you can, by sampling the authentic flavors of world cuisines. If you discover some new recipes made to perfection, you might even be inspired to make something similar at home. The dal makhani, a long-cooked, sauced black lentil stew at Pandzsab Tandoori Indian Restaurant or Curry House is a true classic (which half the country makes at New Year’s, following Zsófi Mautner’s recipe), while pho at Hai Nam Pho and #Bi and ramen from Biwako Ramen House or Ramenka, though in a different way, also bring the deliciously lovable qualities of Hungarian meat soup with a few twists.  There’s fresh Dutch stroopwafel waiting for you at Waffle Wonderland, and you can try the Russian honey cake or Napoleon cake at Cake & More by Garannikova, and exciting Italian Christmas cakes like panettone are on offer at Dolcissimaand Cioccolatte.

Source of pictures: Welovebudapest / Attila Polyák, Ramenka.hu, Offbeat Budapest, A másik bolt, Vendéglő a Kisbíróhoz, Édesmindegy, Socially, Waffle Wonderland Buda, Dolcissima

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