travel: budapest, hungary
After we visited Italy we were off to Budapest! Our friends Dana and Shane moved there about a year ago, so while we were excited for the sight-seeing, food, and exploring, spending time with some of our closest buds made this leg of the trip extra awesome.
The first night we went to Élesztő Craftbeer Garden which is a “ruin” bar that has a huge outdoor space. Ruin bars are popular in Budapest, and are basically bars that move into abandoned spaces, how freaking cool is that? We ordered yummy craft beers and had delicious pastrami sandwiches. There must have been a weird filter on my camera when I snapped this at the bar because we look like super smooth-skinned robots.
Next we hit up another ruin bar, Instant. This place was crazy! It was a maze of rooms, had dance music playing, lights were flashing everywhere, and they served MGD which I was super down for. We had TOO much fun.
All that fun led to quite a headache the next morning, but we were up and at ’em! One of our first stops was the Great Market Hall, or Nagyvásárcsarnok. It was full of fresh produce, meat and meat and meat, pastries, prepared foods, and more – basically my perfect place.
Since we had a few hundred beers the night before, we needed some recharging fuel, so we ordered a little bit of everything. This is lángos, which is fried dough with garlic, sour cream and cheese. Have mercy.
Sausages are everywhere, and they are delicious. We got a blood sausage and a Kolbász sausage.
These potatoes with sausage were amazing. I could have eaten the whole plate myself, easily.
With a full belly, we were off to explore! We saw the beautiful Parliament building which is mammoth and stunning.
Budapest also has some of the most beautiful bridges. This is the Liberty bridge.
Dana snapped some fun photos of us on the bridge. She takes the most beautiful photos all over Budapest (and beyond!) – check out her photos and blog here!
Even the buildings we just happened to be walking by were extraordinary.
After bopping around town we had to hit up a bath. Shane and Dana had been telling us about them for years, so we were SO excited to hop on into one. We went to Széchenyi Thermal Bath, which was beautiful. We even had more sausages! It basically went like this: sausage, activity, sausage, activity, more sausage. I could certainly get used to this life.
For dinner, we went to Magyar Qtr, which was hands down the absolute best meal of the entire trip (including Italy)!
We ordered the Taste of Mangalica pork which was unreal. It was so tender and flavorful – I’ve already been googling where I can get it in Chicago.
We also had the Scallops fried in parsley bread crumbs with green peas veloute. The scallops were cooked perfectly and I could have drank that sauce like juice. Insert Homer salivating sound here.
For the main course I had one of the best meals of my gosh darn life – succulent pork loin, wrapped in crisp bacon on top of thyme polenta with a delectable buttery sauce that I should have written down. The dish was a chef’s special that night, so I kind of feel like I’ve won at life because I was lucky enough to enjoy it. It sounds simple enough, but I’m telling you every bite was better than the one before. It was one of those meals I just didn’t want to end! I loved it so much, I have all the ingredients in my fridge to try to give it a go! Stay tuned for that. 🙂
Dave ordered the rose duck breast with cabbage pasta roll and prune compote. I mean just look at this picture.
Just when I thought the meal couldn’t get any better, we ordered the carrot cake and the chocolate souffle. Yum.
We also had Pálinka, which is a delicious, delicious fruit brandy. BEST DINNER EVER.
After dinner we did a boat cruise on the Danube. The parliament building lit up at night is shockingly beautiful.
After the cruise we were beat from eating the best meal ever and running around all day, so we decided to plop our butts on the porch at our air b’n’b and have a couple o’ beers. Missed these guys so much!
Did I mention we took some selfies? Like a lot of selfies?
The next morning you are just not going to believe what happened. I had the BEST BRUNCH EVER at Kelet Kávézó és Galéria. I’m not even kidding! Two of the best meals I’ve eaten – one right after the other. How do I not live in Budapest!?
I started with my first Flat White. Loved it.
We had the cheesy omelette with paprika chutney and a panini with ham, cheese, and some sort of magical pesto situation served on crispy, buttery warm bread. The flavors were bold and unlike anything I’ve tasted before. I’m going to attempt to make some paprika chutney because I can’t live without this omelette in my life.
Since it was raining, we decided to hit up another bath, this time Gellért Thermal Bath. Since I didn’t take any pictures (too busy relaxing), here’s a picture of Anthony Bourdain in the same bath I was in. This works, right?
Believe it or not, we’re already back to more food. Who knew lounging around in hot water could make you work up such an appetite? Since we were all ready for more food, we hit up Szatyor. I ordered the goulash and it was divine. I also ordered a strawberry milkshake, like a total weirdo, but it was yummy.
Since we ate so much on this day, we decided to just head to Dana and Shane’s apartment for a snack and some coffee at night. Little did we know, we were greeted with four of the Hungarian cakes of the year! I’m not a big sweet eater, but these were phenomenal and we ate these up in minutes.
We also got to spend some quality time with one of the best pups I know, Edie.
Alright guys, that wraps up our European adventure (if you missed Italy, check it here)! We had such a fantastic time everywhere we visited, but I’ve got to say Budapest was my favorite. It’s probably because we had amazing tour guides for the trip (thanks Shane & Dana)! The food was excellent, the sites were breathtaking, and the company was obviously the best. We absolutely cannot wait to go back to visit again. Egészségére! (That’s Cheers!) 🙂