In relation with the FINA World Championships we chose a quote from Károly Gundel, a former master of Hungarian cuisine and hospitality, which perfectly describes the everyday challenges of athletes and chefs: “Excellence is not hereditary. Quality is not something, which is born with you. You may only become the best if you compete with the best”.
It is a great pleasure for us to receive so many positive feedbacks and reviews about local cuisine, so if it’s your first time in Hungary, make sure you try some of our dishes. In general, Hungarians like to consume different kinds of soups (as a starter/first course) for example, the world renowned Gulyás, or the Újházi chicken soup, for example, which is a rich soup packed with all kinds of vegetables, small slices of chicken and (preferably self-made) noodles. Vegetarians will be happy about the great offer of vegetable soups, on the other hand.
Other than that we eat a lot of meat, potatoes, noodles (galuska), dumplings (nokedli, which is somewhat similar to gnocchi) as a garnish. Hungarian food is often spicy, due to the use of hot paprika. Sweet (mild) paprika is also common. Additionally, the combination of paprika, lard and yellow onions is typical of Hungarian cuisine, and the use of the thick sour cream called tejföl.
Hungarians are quite sweet-toothed, so there is no lack in sugary delicacies either. The sweet scent of the traditional kürtőskalács (chimney cake) fills the air of every Christmas fair – it's a favourite among the locals. The Somlói galuska (sponge cake spilled with rich chocolate sauce and topped with light whipped cream) is a dessert offered at every proper Hungarian restaurant. The Dobos cake is a truly special Hungarian invention,a sponge cake layered with soft chocolate butter cream topped with a thin slice of caramel cracking in your mouth.
Hungarian wine dates back to at least Roman times. The best-known wines are the white dessert wine called Tokaji (after the North-Eastern region of Hungary, Tokaj) and the red wines from Villány (Southern part of Hungary). Famous is also the wine called Bull's Blood (Egri Bikavér), a dark, full-bodied red wine. Hungarian fruit wines, such as redcurrant wine, are mild and soft in taste and texture.
Though not as famous as the country's wines, Hungarian beer has a long history as well.
Hungary's most notable liquors are Unicum, a herbal bitters, and Pálinka, a range of fruit brandies (plum and pear are popular). Also notable are the 21 brands of Hungarian mineral waters (for example Apenta and Kékkúti).[ Some of them have therapeutic value, such as Mira.
In Budapest, there are currently 5 Michelin star restaurants: Costes was awarded in 2010, Onyx in 2011, Borkonyha in 2014 and Tanti in 2015. Costes Downtown joined most recently the list, gaining a Michelin-star in the beginning of March 2016. Hungarian chef Tamás Széll wins, at home, the Bocuse d’Or Europe 2016, the most prestigious reward in the world of European gastronomy
On top of that, there are several other places – offering local, international, fusion kitchen and the ever so popular street food – where you can indulge in Hungarian gastronomy.