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10 cheap eats for your Budapest bucket list

Budapest, the capital and largest city in Hungary, is an absolute gem with so much to see and do. Whether you are exploring the environs of Andrassy Avenue, Heroes’ Square, the Buda Castle Quarter or along the banks of the mighty Danube, Hungarian culture is everywhere. Feeling peckish for some goulash, meaty sandwiches or deep-fried treats? Look no further. We’ve got your Budapest food needs covered without breaking the bank! We’ve teamed up with Kash Bhattacharya (aka @BudgetTraveller) to round up some of the very best cheap restaurants in Budapest…

1. Castro Bisztro

During the day, Castro Bisztro  looks like a cosy restaurant serving tasty dishes, but as night falls the scene transforms into a parTAY! Have a drink or two, and choose from the wide selection of traditional dishes (the goulash here is INSANE and only costs 950 HUF). Castro Bisztro have created an atmosphere and menu to be reckoned with!
Address: Budapest 1075, Madách Imre tér 3.

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Mon-Thurs: 11.00-24.00; Friday: 11.00-01.00; Sat: 12.00-01.00; Sun: 14.00-24.00.

2. Ruin Pubs – ‘Szimpla Kert’

Ruin Pubs are the brainchildren of Hungarian innovation. Derelict buildings and abandoned outdoor spaces have been given face-lifts,  emerging as revitalised hot spots for drinking and socialising. One of the very best in Budapest is ‘Szimpla Kert,’ which has become a hub of nightlife in the city, and a model for several other Ruin Pubs. Make sure you try the Pálinka (a traditional fruit-brandy, often made from apricots) along with cheeses, sausages and bread #omnomnom

📷: @trailingrachel

Address: Budapest 1075, Kazinczy u. 14.
Hours: Mon-Thurs: 12.00-04.00; Friday: 10.00-04.00; Saturday: 12.00-04.00; Sunday: 09.00-05.00.

3. Central Market Hall

You’ve gotta check out this huge building that sports a Gothic façade, and houses every kind of food stall you can think of (scattered over three floors). You will find fresh produce, meat, spices, spirits,  food stalls, souvenir shops, pickles, and a fish market. Definitely try the deep-fried lángos when you visit!

📷: @petrschlauch

Address: Budapest 1093, Vámház krt. 1-3
Hours: Monday: 06.00-17.00; Tuesday-Friday: 06.00-18.00; Saturday: 06.00-15.00; closed on Sundays.

4. Bors Gasztro Bar

When in Budapest, one must sample the delicious street food at Bors Gasztro Bar. You’ll find drinks, soups and sandwiches, all with a creative twist. There might be a bit of a queue, but the service is fast and the food is worth the wait! Try the Thai Massage or Paris Baguette, or if you’re feeling adventurous, there’s the infmous Brain Sandwich (1200-2000 HUF)!
Address:  Budapest 1075, Kazinczy u. 10.
Hours: Daily 11.30-21.00

5. Kádár

Kádár is a cosy lunchtime restaurant serving Jewish-style Hungarian soup and meat dishes. This eatery comes as close to home-style Hungarian cooking as you can get! Come on a Saturday to try the sólet – a kidney bean-meat stew with barley and onions that have been slow cooked to caramelised perfection. Prices are reasonable, but make sure to bring cash (1250-2500 HUF).

📷: @sgaboka

Address: Budapest 1072, Klauzál tér 9.
Hours: Tuesday-Saturday: 11.30- 15.30. Closed Sunday and Monday.

6. Mozaik Teaház és Kávézó

Tucked into a nook of the trendy neighbourhood of Király Utca, this teashop/coffee shop offers tasty beverages along with breakfast, lunch or brunch. Upon entering, you are invited to roll some dice. If you roll three sixes, food and drinks are on the house! You can even play a board game or a hand of cards while you eat if the mood grabs you.
Address: Budapest 1061, Király utca 18.
Hours: Monday-Sunday: 09.00-22.30

7. 2 Spaghi

Street food at its yummiest! 2 Spaghi offers affordable Italian food to Budapest’s hungry masses, and is incredibly popular with the locals! There are a couple of locations in the city so make sure to check them out on social media beforehand. That homemade pesto though!
Address: Various Locations
Hours: Monday-Wednesday: 11.00-22.00, Thursday: 11.00-23.00, Friday-Saturday: 11.00-00.00, Sunday: 11.00-21.00

8. Gyradiko

As the name probably suggests, Gyradiko is bursting with Greek deliciousness! They cater for those avoiding meat or gluten, and every ounce of the food tastes authentic. The staff are always offering amazing specials, and you’d be insane not to try their legendary baklava bites.
Address: Various Locations
Hours: Monday: 13.00-22.00, Tuesday-Wednesday & Sunday: 11.00-22.00, Thursday: 11.00-00.00, Friday-Saturday: 11.00-23.00

9. Hummus Bar

Who doesn’t love some top notch hummus? Hummus Bar is all about mastering their craft, and they’ve absolutely  nailed it! Whether you’re after pita sandwiches, laffa wraps, soup or full hummus plates, they’ve got a long list of tasty options that won’t make your wallet cry.
Address: Various Locations
Hours: Monday-Friday: 11.00-23.00, Saturday-Sunday: 12.00-23.00

10. Szeráj

Look out meat-lovers, this one’s for you! Szeráj offers scrumptious Turkish eats, with incredible kebabs, gyros, and other deliciousness at street food prices. The setup is more like a fast food place than anything else, and don’t worry Veggies, their selection of salads is legit!

📷: @bogi_abu_raya

Address: Szent István krt.13, 1055
Hours: Monday-Saturday: 09.00-04.00, Sunday: 09.00-00.00
Want to save time finding accommodation? Check out our pick of the 10 best hostels in Budapest.
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More Hostels in Budapest

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