Hungarians love to fill their stomach with delicious things - and luckily the country has plenty to offer, from great beers and wines, to rich, tasty food dishes made from local meats, produce and spices for which Hungary is famous
If you’re coming to Budapest and would like to indulge as the locals do, try and time your visit to coincide with one of the food and drinks festivals that take place every year. Really, though, it shouldn’t be hard as there are literally dozens to choose from.
Mulled Wine Festival - January
Everyone’s favorite winter time tipple is well enjoyed in Hungary, especially considering the bitterly cold temperatures Budapest can endure in the winter months. Pop along to the Allee mall in January and enjoy a mug of it, made by local vendors - or tasty teas, coffees, and hot chocolates if alcohol is not your thing.
Mangalica Festival - February
The Mangalica is Hungary’s prized woolly pig, known for its extremely delicious, soft, fatty taste and texture - the ‘kobe beef’ of pork they say - and, the Mangalica Festival is your chance to try some sumptuous dishes made alfresco-style, and perhaps learn a little more about this unique animal from the producers attending the event.
Food Truck Festival - May
Food trucks are an increasingly regular site in Budapest and this festival is a chance for them to come together and delight the public with the wide range of modern and more traditional foods they create. Come with an empty stomach, because there is going to be a lot on offer.
Craft-Beer Festival (Főzdefeszt) - June
It is all about the craft beer these days, right? Hungary is no exception to the new global trend of enjoying a nice pint of hand-crafted, much-loved, fruit-infused, hop-based, joy-inspiring, hipster-craved fizzy stuff, and this festival, held in the city’s beautiful City Park, is the place to go to taste the hard work of over 60 microbreweries from all over the country.
Palinka & Sausage Festival - October
Palinka is Hungary’s famous (and strong) fruit brandy, typically made from apricot, cherry, pear, grape or plum. Varying production methods produce a versatile liquor which can be a real treat to drink - or gag-inducing experience depending on who you ask.
Either way, if want to come try for yourself, the Palinka & Sausage Festival will have dozens of types available from some of the countries best distillers - oh and some saudage too!
Chimney Cake Festival - October
Chimney cakes are this country’s all-time favorite sweet snack. Imagine rolled pastry, baked and shaped over an open-coal fire, then dusted with all manner of delicious toppings like cinnamon, cane sugar and coconut. This festival celebrates the snack’s traditional preparation techniques
Christmas Markets - December / early January
Not a food festival in itself, but the place to find the best of Hungarian cuisine on offer as you browse the work of local artisans and retailers for the perfect Christmas present. Served from huge stalls, open-buffet style, you have the chance to see the dishes that locals like most - like stuffed cabbage, goulash stew, and chicken paprika.
Tuck in and enjoy!
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