Top 21 Popular Food In Hungary: A Tour Of Traditional Dishes

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Hungary is famous for its rich culture, history, and of course, its food. The traditional dishes of Hungary are unique and flavorful. From hearty goulash to sweet kürtőskalács, there’s something for everyone in Hungarian cuisine.

The traditional dishes in Hungary are often hearty and use locally sourced ingredients. Exploring the local cuisine while traveling is an excellent way to experience a country’s culture. With paprika as a staple spice, the flavors of traditional Hungarian dishes like goulash, chimney cake, and stuffed peppers will leave you wanting more.

Here we will take you on a tour of 21 popular foods you should know about in Hungary. We’ll cover everything from savory stews and soups to sweet pastries and cakes. So put on your apron and get ready to explore the delicious world of Hungarian cuisine.

Traditional Popular Food In Hungary

Traditional Popular Food In Hungary – You Should Know

Traditional Hungarian cuisine is a flavorful and hearty experience that every food lover should indulge in. From the national dish, Goulash, to the sweet pastry Chimney Cake cooked over an open flame, Hungary offers a wide range of traditional dishes that will tantalize your taste buds.

Whether you’re looking for something savory like Chicken Paprikash or something sweet like Somloi Galuska, there’s something for everyone. Exploring Hungary’s local cuisine is undoubtedly one of the best ways to immerse yourself in the country’s culture while satisfying your cravings for delicious food. Here are 21 Popular foods in Hungary.

1. Goulash (Gulyás)

Hungary’s national dish, Goulash is a hearty and flavorful soup from Hungarian herdsmen. Made with paprika-spiced beef and vegetables, goulash has become a staple in Hungarian cuisine, enjoyed by locals and tourists alike. It is typically served as a main course, accompanied by bread or dumplings.

While this traditional dish has many variations, the authentic recipe remains popular for its comforting taste and cultural significance. Whether warming up on a chilly day or exploring the local cuisine while traveling, goulash is a must-try for anyone looking to experience the essence of Hungarian culture.

2. Chicken Paprikash (Csirke Paprikás)

Introducing the benefits and advantages of Chicken Paprikash, it’s a traditional Hungarian dish that is both flavorful and hearty. This dish is made with succulent chicken, paprika, sour cream, and other aromatic spices and is a staple at family gatherings and special occasions.

The tender chicken is cooked in a rich sauce of onions, garlic, and peppers and served with dumplings or noodles. If you’re looking for an authentic taste of Hungary. Chicken Paprikash will surely delight your taste buds with its comforting flavors and warm aroma.

3. Stuffed Cabbage Leaves (Töltött Káposzta)

Stuffed Cabbage Leaves, also known as Töltött Káposzta, is a beloved traditional dish in Hungary that has been passed down for generations. These delectable parcels are carefully wrapped in pickled cabbage leaves and filled with minced pork or beef and rice.

The dish is often served during special occasions such as weddings and Christmas, bringing families together to enjoy this Hungarian staple’s delicious flavors and rich history. With its perfect blend of tangy pickled cabbage, savory meat filling, and a side of sour cream and paprika for added flavor, Stuffed Cabbage Leaves will satisfy any craving for authentic Hungarian cuisine.

4.Fisherman’s Soup (Halászlé)

The rich and flavorful Fisherman’s Soup (Halászlé) is a must-try dish in Hungary. This traditional soup has a fascinating history dating back to the 19th century when fishermen would cook it using their catch of the day.

Today, the recipe has evolved into a spicy, red-colored soup that’s become a staple in Hungarian cuisine. Typically, people make it with fish, paprika, and vegetables. And serve it as a main course with fresh bread or potatoes.Fisherman’s Soup is popular among locals and tourists with its unique blend of flavors and cultural significance.

5. Meat Stew (Pörkölt)

People know Hungarian cuisine for its hearty and flavorful meat dishes, and Pörkölt is no exception. This traditional meat stew is a staple in Hungarian households, made with paprika, onions, and various cuts of beef or pork. People often serve it with nokedli, a Hungarian dumpling perfect for soaking up all the delicious sauce.

The rich flavors and tender textures of Pörkölt make it a go-to comfort food during cold winter months. Whether you’re looking to satisfy your cravings or want to experience authentic Hungarian cuisine, Pörkölt should be at the top of your list.

6. Lángos (Deep-Fried Flat Bread)

Introducing Lángos, a beloved street food in Hungary that will satisfy your cravings. This deep-fried flatbread is crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, making it a perfect base for an array of toppings. Whether you prefer garlic, sour cream, and cheese or something sweet like Nutella or cinnamon sugar, Lángos has something for everyone.

Not only is this indulgent treat delicious, but it’s also easy to make at home. Gather some dough and your favorite toppings, then fry up a batch for a fun snack or party appetizer. Try out Lángos today and experience the mouthwatering flavors that have made it a popular food in Hungary!

7. Sour Cherry Soup (Meggyleves)

Sour Cherry Soup, or Meggyleves, is a unique dish showcasing Hungarian cuisine’s sweet and sour flavors. People typically serve this refreshing soup cold during summer and make it with fresh sour cherries, sugar, cinnamon, and cloves. Adding sour cream or flour thickens the soup while giving it a creamy texture.

Some variations of this dish also include dumplings or pasta for added heartiness. With its delightful balance of sweet and tart flavors, Sour Cherry Soup is a must-try for anyone looking to experience the diverse range of traditional Hungarian dishes.

8. Dobos Cake (Dobos Torta)

Dobos Cake, named after its creator, is a beloved dessert in Hungary that has stood the test of time. Its delicate layers of sponge cake filled with chocolate buttercream and topped with caramel are a decadent treat for any occasion. What sets Dobos Cake apart is the unique caramel topping that gives it a satisfying crunch.

Developed in 1885, this dessert quickly became popular among Hungarian nobility and remains essential to many special occasions today. With its rich history and delicious taste, Dobos Cake is a must-try for anyone looking to experience the best traditional Hungarian cuisine.

9. Hungarian Tripe Stew (Pacal Pörkölt)

Hungarian Tripe Stew, or Pacal Pörkölt, is a unique dish that highlights the bold flavors of Hungarian cuisine. While some may be put off by using tripe as the main ingredient, this dish is a staple in many households and is often served at traditional festivals and celebrations.

Using paprika and other spices provides a depth of flavor that is hard to replicate in other dishes. Paired with boiled potatoes or bread dumplings, Pacal Pörkölt is a hearty and satisfying meal that will surely please any adventurous foodie.

10. Töltött Paprika (Stuffed Peppers)

Töltött Paprika, also known as Stuffed Peppers, is a traditional Hungarian dish that has become a beloved comfort food. The dish consists of bell peppers filled with ground meat, rice, and spices. It is typically served with tomato sauce and sour cream, adding a refreshing tang to the rich flavors of the filling.

Variations of this dish use different types of meat or vegetables as the filling. Töltött Paprika is an excellent representation of the bold flavors that define Hungarian cuisine and is a must-try for anyone visiting Hungary looking to explore its culinary offerings.

11. Túrós Csusza (Cheese Pasta)

Generations have savored Túrós Csusza, a quintessential Hungarian dish. It is a comforting plate of goodness that will warm your heart and soul. The recipe comes with egg noodles, cottage cheese, sour cream, and bacon.

You cannot afford to miss the culinary delight that the smoky notes of bacon further enhance the creamy and cheesy flavors1. Those looking for an authentic taste of Hungary can enjoy Túrós Csusza as a main course or side dish.

12. Rakott Krumpli (Potato Casserole)

Potatoes are one of the most versatile ingredients in Hungarian cuisine, and one popular dish that showcases their deliciousness is Rakott Krumpli. This hearty potato casserole is a staple in households across Hungary, especially during the colder months.

Bake the dish in the oven with sour cream and grated cheese after layering sliced potatoes, boiled eggs, and smoked sausage to create a warm and comforting meal. Moreover, you can customize Rakott Krumpli with different types of meat or vegetables to suit your individual preferences, making it a versatile and delicious addition to any menu.

13. Kürtőskalács (Sweet Bread)

Kürtőskalács, also known as chimney cake, is a beloved sweet pastry in Hungary that has gained popularity worldwide. This traditional dessert comes with wrapping sweet dough around a spit and baking it over an open flame until crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.

You can top Kürtőskalács with various flavors such as cinnamon, sugar, or nuts. People often serve it at festivals and Christmas markets in Hungary, and it has become a popular dessert in other parts of Europe and North America. Don’t miss out on this delicious treat when visiting Hungary!

14. Gundel Palacsinta (Gundel Crepe/Pancake)

Gundel palacsinta is a delectable Hungarian dessert that you must try. We fill these thin crepes with ground walnuts, raisins, and rum, and then top them with a rich chocolate sauce and whipped cream.

Károly Gundel, one of Hungary’s most famous chefs, created this dish. The dish has become a staple in traditional Hungarian restaurants and will satisfy anyone with a sweet tooth. If you’re ever in Hungary, add Gundel Palacsinta to your list of must-try dishes.

15. Szilvásgombóc (Sweet Plum Dumplings)

Indulging in traditional Hungarian cuisine is an unforgettable experience, and Szilvásgombóc is a must-try dessert for anyone looking to dive into the rich cultural flavors of Hungary. We make these sweet dumplings with potatoes, flour, eggs, and plums that burst with flavor when bitten into.

Beyond its delectable taste, Szilvásgombóc is enjoyed as a symbol of summer months in Hungary and is often served as a dessert or main course during family gatherings. This dish pairs perfectly with sour cream or whipped cream on top and will leave you craving it long after you’ve returned from your trip to Hungary.

16. Esterházy Torta (Eszterházy Cake)

People have been enjoying Esterházy Torta, also known as Eszterházy Cake, for over a century as a traditional Hungarian dessert. This delectable cake consists of layers of almond meringue and buttercream filling infused with vanilla and rum. Its distinct taste and unique design make it a must-try for anyone visiting Hungary.

It is delicious and holds cultural significance as it is typically served during special occasions such as weddings and birthdays. The Esterházy Torta represents the rich history and heritage of Hungary’s culinary traditions, making it an essential part of any food lover’s tour of the country.

17. Lecho (Vegetable Stew)

When it comes to Hungarian cuisine, Lecho is a must-try dish. We make this vegetable stew with bell peppers, onions, and tomatoes and season it with paprika to give it a spicy kick. It’s a versatile dish served as a side or main course, often paired with bread or rice.

Lecho’s origins in traditional Hungarian peasant cuisine make it an excellent representation of the country’s culinary history, while its continued popularity today underlines its enduring appeal. Whether you’re a vegetarian or simply looking for a healthy and delicious meal option, Lecho is worth trying.

18. Meat Pancakes (Hortobagyi Palacsinta)

Meat pancakes, famous as Hortobagyi Palacsinta, are a popular Hungarian dish from Hungary’s Great Plain region. These pancakes come with crepes filled with ground meat mixed with onions and spices. Bake the rolled-up crepes in a rich sour cream sauce for a deliciously hearty meal.

Hungarian cuisine has made this traditional dish a staple and people enjoy it as a main course or an appetizer/snack. With the flexibility to add different herbs and spices, meat pancakes are also easy to customize according to individual preferences.

19. Meggyes Rétes (Sour Cherry Strudel)

Don’t miss out on Sour Cherry Strudel, or Meggyes Rétes, a traditional Hungarian dessert. Imagine biting into the perfect combination of sweet and tart flavors with every bite. This delicious pastry is made by filling layers of delicate pastry dough with juicy sour cherries, sugar, and cinnamon before being rolled up and baked to perfection. One can find this delightful treat in many cafes and bakeries across Hungary. They often serve the warm, crispy strudel dusted with powdered sugar or whipped cream, making it the perfect ending to any meal.

20. Beigli (Poppy Seed Or Walnut Roll)

Locals and tourists alike love Beigli, a delicious traditional Hungarian pastry typically served during the holiday season. Beigli, a pastry made with sweet, yeast-based dough and filled with either poppy seeds or walnuts, has a rich nutty flavor and most bakeries and cafes throughout Hungary sell it. Whether enjoyed with coffee or tea, this pastry offers a unique taste of Hungarian culture. Its popularity during the holiday season makes it a perfect treat to share with loved ones while enjoying the festive spirit.

21. Kürtőskalács (Chimney Cake)

Kürtőskalács, also known as Chimney Cake, is a delightful pastry that has gained immense popularity in Hungary. To make these sweet cakes, people wrap dough around a cylindrical spit and bake it over an open flame.

Once you bake the cake, roll it in sugar or toppings like cinnamon or chopped nuts. You can eat Kürtőskalács plain or fill it with delicious fillings like ice cream or Nutella. A bite of this delectable pastry will leave you wanting more; hence, it is a must-try when visiting Hungary.

Frequently Asked Questions

1.What Is Hungary’s National Dish?

Many people consider Goulash, a hearty stew made with beef, pork, and paprika, Hungary’s national dish. Other traditional dishes include chicken paprikash, langos (a deep-fried dough), and chimney cake. Hungarian cuisine also features spicy sausages, stews, soups, and pastries.

2.What Is A Typical Hungarian Lunch?

A typical Hungarian lunch starts with soup, followed by a meat dish like goulash or pork schnitzel, often served with side dishes like potatoes, rice, or pickled vegetables. For dessert, popular choices include strudel or chimney cake.

3.What Is A Hungarian Dinner?

A Hungarian dinner is a hearty and filling meal featuring dishes like goulash, chicken paprikash, and stuffed cabbage rolls. Side dishes may include potato dumplings or boiled potatoes with parsley. For dessert, popular options include strudel or chimney cake. Overall, Hungarian cuisine is popular for its rich flavors and satisfying portions.

4.What Is The Most Famous Dish In Budapest?

Goulash is considered the national dish of Hungary and is also a popular dish in Budapest. Another famous street food is Langos, deep-fried dough topped with cheese and sour cream. For dessert, Chimney cake or Kurtoskalacs, a sweet pastry made with rolled dough, sugar, and cinnamon, is a must-try.

5.What’s Special About Food In Hungary?

Hungarian cuisine is renowned for its bold and hearty flavors. One of the most distinctive features of traditional Hungarian dishes is the use of paprika, which adds a unique flavor and color to the food.

Goulash, a stew made with beef and vegetables, is considered the national dish of Hungary. Other popular dishes include chimney cake, langos, and chicken paprikash.


Hungarian cuisine amalgamates diverse cultures and influences, making it a treat for food lovers. Hungarian cuisine offers a wide range of flavors that will tantalize your taste buds, from the iconic goulash to the sweet plum dumplings. Hungary’s most popular foods include goulash, chimney cake, and lángos. These delicious dishes are a testament to the country’s cultural heritage and will satisfy any palate.

If you are planning to visit Hungary anytime soon or simply want to explore the cuisine, our guide on 21 popular foods in Hungary is just what you need. So why wait? Prepare to embark on a culinary journey and try these delicious dishes. Don’t forget to share your experience with us on social media!

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