There are plenty of Hungarian delicacies to try while visiting Budapest, but if you’re a healthy eater then you’ll want to stay away from lángos. This deep-fried disc of dough is commonly served smothered in sour cream and cheese as a beach-side treat at Lake Balaton, but it’s equally useful as a hangover cure. Since it’s primarily found at the lake, however, this chewy street food is not so easy to find in the city, so we’ve tracked down the best places to try lángos in Budapest.
Fried dough with cheese and sour cream fresh from Lángos Papa | Courtesy of Lángos Papa
The typical method of eating lángos is not sat down inside a restaurant, but for those who would like to enjoy the taste of street food while inside (and during a Hungarian winter that’s not such a bad idea) then Lángos Papa is a great pick. It’s centrally located on the main boulevard running from Pest to the City Park on Andrássy Avenue, and has other traditional Hungarian dishes.
Lángos is mostly eaten in Budapest as a means of soaking up alcohol. Lángos Land, part of Fény Street Market, might only be a relatively new addition to the area, but the heritage is there. The current owner’s parents produced street food at a very similar spot, and already this stall has built up a reputation as preparing some of the best lángos in the city.
Inside Drum Cafe on Dob Street in Budapest | Courtesy of Drum Cafe
The prime location in the middle of District VII makes Drum Cafe a stellar choice for anyone enjoying the countless watering holes of the area, but better still it’s also a fantastic choice for those looking for a classic Hungarian goulash, too. It might not look like much from the outside, but the traditional Hungarian interior and friendly staff makes it a fitting place to munch on fried lángos, or any of its numerous Hungarian dishes too.
We won’t tell you that this is the best lángos in the city, but in terms of atmosphere there are few places like Zsiráf. Only open during the summer months, this relaxed drinking stall in the middle of Eiffel Square feels completely separated from the hustle and bustle of the city. The on-site lángos stall has undoubtedly made the difference between a splitting headache and a fresh start the morning after on more than one occasion.
A little more trendy than the other options on this list, but the Street Food Karaván courtyard near to Szimpla Kert is nonetheless a good place to pick up a lángos before heading on to explore Budapest’s other famous ruin bars. It’s also one of the few places in the city where you’ll be able to try the latest trend in Hungarian fast food: the lángos burger. This Frankenstein of a meal swaps out the bread bun for two small portions of lángos. Because it simply wasn’t heart-clogging enough before!
As one of the most popular tourist hotspots of the city, it’s perhaps no surprise to learn that it’s possible to pick from any number of traditional Hungarian dishes to eat here, well-known or otherwise. And lángos is no different. It’s cooked ahead of time to cater for the sheer number of visitors, so the lángos here is often drier and therefore not quite as appealing as the other places already mentioned. All the same, grabbing a lángos here and gobbling it as you wander around the beautiful grand market is a great addition to the list of must-do things in Budapest.
We’ve saved the best till last. Ask any Hungarian where the best lángos in the city is and their number one suggestion will be Rétro Lángos, an inconspicuous-looking fast food stall located at the entrance to Arany János metro station. Not only are the options for toppings endless – though, honestly, why would you mess with the classic combo of sour cream and unnecessary amounts of cheese? – but it’s cheap, freshly prepared and most certainly the best you’ll find in the city. Incidentally, the neighbouring burger stall is one of the best fast food burger joints in Budapest, too.