When I first saw Kevin and Amanda’s popular post: Everything I Ate in Budapest!, I showed it to Kyle and we used the article, along with several others, to get some ideas about different foods we wanted to try in Budapest. Because we found it useful and have made similar type posts in the past, I decided to try something like it with the desserts we tried in Budapest!
If you know me, you know I love my sweets, and Budapest did not disappoint. There are many markets, bakeries, cafes and so on where you can find various types of sweets. I included coffee in this post because the few cups we tried out were pretty dessert-esque. We were in Budapest for nearly a month and a half so we had time to try a few spots. Like most other places, we also didn’t have an oven (for baking) which made it necessary to find items to satisfy our (mostly my) sweet tooth. With as many sweets as we did eat, there were plenty of great places (or, at least, places with great reputations) that we didn’t make it to during our time in Hungary. Feel free to make a comment if there was another place you loved in Budapest!
Onto the sweets!
Chimney Cakes (Kürtőskalács) from a stand
Once you take in the scent of this sweet dough roasting, you will find it necessary to try some! I first saw chimney cakes at a mall in Kuala Lumpur (so much international food there!) back in January of last year. We considered getting one, but we had already eaten and they cost a little too much for us at the time. Unfortunately, when we returned to KL in May, we found the place was no longer there. Budapest was already high on our list, though, and I figured we would get it there- and we did. Depending on where you go, you can find different flavors like cinnamon, walnut, and coconut.
Where to find it: We saw many stalls roasting and selling them at the Christmas markets, as well as a few others throughout the city. If you do a lot of exploring you’ll probably come across one. We ate at a random stand near a train station.
Cost: Prices vary widely, but I think the more permanent stalls tend to run cheaper. We found some for 350forint ($1.21) but we saw them going for around $10 other places. They will especially run high at the Christmas markets, but Christmas markets and chimney cakes are a pretty great combination! You will also find that some of the variation in price is due to size. Different stands may have different sized chimney cakes.
If you want to learn more about chimney cakes and better specifics on prices and where to find them, check out The Best Winter Treat in Budapest on the We Love Budapest site. We used this site quite a bit during our time there. Additionally, we didn’t go here, but this place looks delicious and highly rated and I have seen other bloggers mention it.
Ice Cream-Filled Chimney Cakes at Street Cakes
Now, take that chimney cake, choose your preferred flavor, cover the inside with nutella, and add ice cream and toppings. During one of our first days in Budapest we were out walking down Andrassy street and saw a few people eating these treats. At this point we hadn’t had chimney cakes at all. I knew I had to try one!
The shop is small and might be easy to miss if you don’t notice anyone eating ice cream outside. I wondered why the place wasn’t better known yet- it’s probably because it’s new. You can also add all kinds of toppings like fruit and chocolate bar pieces, cookies, candies, etc. but we just stuck to the basics because we weren’t sure how much it would cost. If you’re curious about the pumpkin decoration- we got these in late October. I assume they might add cute decorative toppings for other holidays as well.
How it works: First you choose a flavor for the chimney cake, then decide if you want Nutella, jam, or whipped cream spread on the inside, choose your ice cream, pick your toppings, and add sauce (chocolate, caramel, etc.) if you want. When we visited, the only ice cream flavor options they presented to us were chocolate, vanilla, or swirl soft-serve but I think I’ve seen pictures with a pink strawberry-looking ice cream online. They have savoury options and drinks as well. P.S. I loved the cinnamon flavor for the chimney cake.
Where to find it: Budapest, Andrássy út 61, 1062 Hungary.
Cost: It will vary depending on your choices, but it cost us $6.94 (~$3.47 each) for chimney cake + ice cream + Nutella in one.
Website: Here is the Street Cakes Facebook page.
Also to consider if you’re interested: Later on in Budapest we were walking around and found this other place that looked amazing- chimney cakes filled with all kinds of other things- I think pudding, whipped cream, etc. (hey! we couldn’t try everything) so if you are on the lookout you may find other places which offer interesting twists on the chimney cakes.
Cake at Ruszwurm Cukrászda
Located in the Castle District close to many attractions, this pastry shop is known for being one of the oldest in Budapest (from 1827). Therefore it’s extremely popular and likely the most famous pastry shop in Budapest. If any blogger/traveler, etc. has one dessert recommendation, aside from chimney cakes, it’s typically this shop. You can sit inside or outside. We sat outside because it was all that was available at the time and, for November, it was a really nice day! You can also get drinks here- from alcohol to coffee. Though I thought we ought to just share a piece, Kyle didn’t have to twist my arm to convince me we should each get our own slice. The chocolate piece was very rich, almost like fudge, and the caramel cake had a nice flavor and creaminess to it. Let’s just say they’ve been around nearly 200 years for a reason.
Where to find it: 1014 Budapest, Hungary Szentháromság u. 7.
Cost: A slice is somewhere around $1.50-$3. It cost us 1245 forint (~$4.42) for the two pieces you see above. I believe drinks cost more but we didn’t get them. Small water cups came with our cake.
Website: The Ruszwurm Cukraszda website includes more information about the origins of the shop.
Tip: If you’re looking to get the cake that any person/blog/website always shows for Ruszwurm Cukraszda, it’s called “Cream Cake” (perhaps the “Traditional Cream Cake” or something along those lines). I originally thought I would get this slice but the menu has no pictures so it’s difficult to discern the appearance of a given piece simply from its menu description. The servers also tend to be busy due to the place being so popular.
So now you know about that cake but if you are looking for another particular slice, or want to be prepared, just scroll through the pics on TripAdvisor– many visitors label their cakes. Additionally, though I didn’t realize it, at first, you actually can go inside and look at some of the cakes on display (though you might have to navigate a small crowd for a peek). I was actually a bit more in the mood for chocolate anyway when we visited so it was fine. In the end we both had absolutely delicious desserts so I really don’t think you could go wrong with anything here, but it’s information to keep in mind.
Ice Cream at Gelarto Rosa
Rose-shaped ice cream. Pretty + sweet = pretty sweet, right? Interestingly enough, this was not the first time we found rose ice cream. We first tried such a treat in Seoul at a place called Milky Bee. We both love ice cream and it’s such a fun idea. I don’t always expect things which look so pretty to taste amazing but this ice cream was GOOD. If I’m going to be honest, the rose ice cream was a tad bit better in Budapest than Korea. If nothing else, they certainly had the advantage of more decent flavor options. You can choose either two or three flavors. I think I chose pistachio, sour cherry, and lavender white chocolate and Kyle chose mango and strawberry. They serve other desserts and drinks as well.
Where to find it: Budapest, Szent István tér 3, 1051 Hungary (near St. Stephen’s Basilica).
Cost: ~$2.35/piece. It cost us $4.69 for two ice creams- one with two flavors and the other with three.
Website: Gelarto Rosa
Gelato at Fragola
One night we were craving ice cream so I did some research to find the best option factoring in cost and distance from our location. It was Fragola. I tried strawberry cheesecake ice cream and it was the last bit of it for the night so the woman really filled my cone. Kyle ordered a nut ice cream. Both were good. We visited a different location while out another night something and I got lemon and Kyle got something with chocolate in it. The ingredients are Italian and they don’t use any artificial flavors which is nice (I believe both of those statements are true about Gelarto Rosa as well). Flavors include white chocolate, gorgonzola, caramel, chestnut mascarpone, and more.
Cost: 280-300 Forint, or ~$1. It cost us 560forint (~$2) for two ice creams. The second time it was a little more because we opted for waffle cones over cake cones.
Shake at Sweetheart Milkshakes
This was a pretty cute little place. We decided to share the Salted Caramel Pretzel Shake but they have waffles and regular food as well. It was a little more salty than I preferred but it was still good and Kyle was fine with the saltiness level.
Where to find it: Budapest, Wesselényi u. 18, 1077 Hungary
Cost: The item we got cost ~$3.49. Most of the other items were more expensive which is why we elected to just share the one item.
Website: Sweetheart’s Facebook page.
Crepe (Gundel Pancake) at Frici Papa
I came across Frici Papa when I was scouring small blogs for interesting/different things to do and try in Budapest. Kyle had mentioned that one of the dishes he most wanted to try in Budapest (there were a few) was the chicken paprikash. A particular blogger (sorry, no longer remember where I found it) raved over this dish there and it was reasonably priced so we decided we would give it a shot one day. The restaurant actually has pretty good prices. I was a little bit more in the mood for sweets at the time so I chose to get a crepe. Yum! It was very different from other crepes I’ve tried. Re-examining the menu I noticed it was actually called a “Gundel Pancake” which is a type of Hungarian crepe. You can find the menu here. My crepe was so good. The inside was filled with a sweet cheese and the outside was covered in yoghurt and chocolate (or so it seemed). It was pretty filling too.
Where to find it: Budapest, Király u. 55, 1077 Hungary
Cost: Our whole meal cost 1500 forint ($5.34). My crepe specifically was 539 forint ($1.86).
Honey Gingerbread Cream Dessert from Panineria
It was our last night in Budapest and we were hungry. We thought about our options and decided on Panineria which we had passed quite a few times, but hadn’t yet tried. We ordered sandwiches (we’ll talk about them in another post) but I was thinking I might want a dessert after since we had none left at home. Though I couldn’t find the menu online, I believe it was “mézes puszedli pohar kremIt” which translates as “macaroon cream cup honey”. It was basically cream with little gingerbread (that’s what it tasted like to me) pieces with honey and, as good as it looks and sounds, it tasted even better.
Where to find it: Oktogon tér 4., Budapest, Hungary
Cost: The total cost for two large sandwiches and the dessert was $8.95. I don’t recall the specific cost of the dessert but I believe it was somewhere around $1-$2.
Website: They don’t have a website but they are right next to a place called Made in Pasta and I think they might be run by the same people.
Donut from The Donut Library
We went here late one evening after trying to go to the Pinball Museum (unfortunately it was closed at the time). Because it was evening, there weren’t many donuts left so we just chose one to split. For the same reason (I assume), the donut was a little on the dry side. We chose an oreo donut which was good, but I’ve had better. Maybe try them in the morning. They are supposed to have really cool flavors. Either way, the place was cute and cozy.
Where to find it: There are three addresses: Pozsonyi út 22. XIII. kerület; Karinthy Frigyes út 18. XI. kerület; Károly krt 7. VII. kerület
Cost: Our donut cost 360 forint ($1.24) but some donuts cost more.
Waffle from Habros Goffri Waffle
We came across this place one rainy night on our way somewhere. I thought it looked good and after I checked out the prices I thought it looked even better. We just got one because Kyle wasn’t much in the mood for sweets but it took a little to decide- there were so many spread options like cherry chocolate pudding, peanut butter, and apricot jam. I chose the chestnut cream spread because it seemed fitting for the night and weather. It was good. Overall: good taste, lots of flavor options, and a price you can’t beat.
Where to find it: Ferenciek tere 4. Budapest, Hungary (near Ferenciek square)
Cost: 200Forint ($0.69) waffle one topping
Strudel from a stand in front of Oktogon Bistro
We were walking home one day and this lady was selling all these, strudels (I think) in front of a restaurant. She looked hopeful that someone would buy them and I knew we didn’t have any candy bars at home at the time so I decided to give them a look. I hadn’t tried something exactly like it so I opted to give it a shot. I am not sure exactly what kind of fruit filling I chose but it was decent. The only downside was that there were some really hard pieces (like pits) inside as well. I assume that would not be true of all of them.
Where to find it: Though I’m not positive if it was associated with the restaurant, there are several locations, including Budapest, Teréz krt. 23, 1067 Hungary
Cost: Less than a dollar.
Tiramisu Coffee at Lira Pont
Lira Pont was literally just across the street from us. We passed it constantly on our way across Hunyadi Park to get to the market and our host’s girlfriend recommended it to us while she was over one time. One late morning we decided we were in the mood for some nice coffee and walked over after getting through some work. It’s a cute, pleasant place and our choice (tiramisu coffee) was definitely a good one. It had a great flavor. Lira Pont also offers sandwiches and many other drink choices. There is both indoor and outdoor seating, but on that particular November day we thought inside was best.
Where to find it: Hunyadi ter 5, Budapest, Hungary, 1067
Cost: Varies. It cost 750 forint ($2.58) for the drink we shared.
Website: Lira Pont Facebook page
Cat-puccino at the Budapest Cat Cafe
Everywhere we go, I check to see if the city has a cat cafe. If they do, we try it. There are actually two cat cafes in Budapest but we decided one would be fine. I couldn’t resist getting the cat-puccino (how cute!) but Kyle got something different. They were both good but Kyle’s drink (sorry, don’t remember the name) was really good.
Where to find it: Damjanich utca 38, Budapest 1071, Hungary (The Jewish Quarter)
Cost: It cost us 1600forint (~$5.79) for both drinks and the privilege to spend time at the cafe.
Cake from Hunyadi Square Market
I’m sure you could find similar desserts at any of the markets, but Hunyadi was the closest market to us. I had to get what slightly resembled the cream cake I wanted at Ruszwurm, but the slice of cake I had another time (see below) was even better.
Where to find it: Budapest, Hunyadi tér 4, 1067 Hungary (or any other market)
Cost: The options will range from less than a dollar to a couple dollars. Mine were both at the lower end of that range.
Desserts from Grocery Store Bakeries
We tried many grocery store bakery desserts because we could just pick one or two up anytime we went to the store. Kyle’s favorite pastry which he seemed to get most times is the first one you see above. Each grocery store has a slightly different selection and we shopped at like ten different grocery stores but most of the treats came from a Roni ABC. We always picked them up with other groceries so I can’t say the exact prices but like most other things, they were pretty affordable.
Candy Bars from Grocery Stores
We could have made an entire post reviewing candy bars but we didn’t try anything weird or outrageous and we also didn’t take the time to review them so they will just go here. We found many of the same candy bars we liked so much in Serbia and then some others. The seasonal options were a special treat. There were many great flavors available including bars filled with raspberry and strawberry, caramel, etc. Yum! You can find different candy bars at any grocery or convenience store.
We also saw into both the New York Cafe (known as the “most beautiful cafe in the world”), and the Alexandra Book Cafe and both were stunning. When we passed by we never felt that we were dressed well enough and, especially for the New York Cafe, the prices were on the high side but if you can manage I would recommend either of them just for the experience of dining in such an extravagant place.