As we have already talked about how Hungary is a nation of soup and that soup is served as all three meals, you may be wondering where to get a nice bowl of it. Really any Hungarian food place, fast or otherwise will give you quite a large variety of soup to choose from, and will be a good example of how Hungarians enjoy soup for each meal. But there are special soups that you NEED to try if you come here, and we also want to name some of the places where they make them best.
The stereotypical Hungarian food is the thick and hearty Gulyás soup, also sometimes called Goulash. This soup has many recipes, but the mainstay of this delicious broth is beef, chunky potatoes, carrots and other vegetables (like parsnip, celery root and sometimes even beans), and of course tons of onions, lard and paprika as well as cumin seed and salt to taste. The soup is the food of the cow herders in the South East of the country, and is traditionally cooked in a bogrács. A bogrács is a metal pot that is quite stout and made of black cast iron, and food is cooked in it in an open fire.
The best place to get Gulyás, along with any other typical, meat heavy Hungarian food is the Paprika Csárda, where it just doesn’t get any more Hungarian. They are one of the few places in Budapest here the Gulyás is made on an open flame in a bogrács, giving it its delicious smoky flavour, and its perfect consistency. You can find them and even book a table here: http://www.paprikavendeglo.hu/
Being a landlocked country, one would not expect good sea food in Hungary, and although there isn’t that much seafood, there is plenty of river and lake food to go around. Hungary is filled with lakes and has two enormous rivers, the Danube and the Tisza, along with many smaller ones, which are teeming with fish. And the fish foods here have a completely unique flavouring and spicing, and as with all things, there is a soup of it in Hungary. Halászlé (literally meaning “fisherman soup”) is a perfect example: a bit spicy, chock full of paprika and making use of most of the fish, this tasty fish soup is quite difficult to make, and only the best institutions will give you one that is enjoyable.
One such place is the Bajai Halászcsárda. Baja is a town on the Danube, and the food served here is from Baja, and they make delicious Catfish paprikás, fried trout and carp, as well as the famous Halászlé mentioned above: http://bajaihalaszcsarda.com/
Bean soup is one of those foods that has a thousand different recipies. In the land of soups (Hungary), beans are used in many ways in broth: there is spring bean soup with just some vegetables and light seasonings, there is the delicious sweet and sour bean soup from the Hungarian highlands, perfect for summer as it is good cold as well as hot, the there is the sour cream and mushroom bean soup of the fall, but the winter has the best one of all. The winter bean soup, named after the famous poet Jókai, is made of smoked pork, sour cream, noodles, beans, carrots and the most delicious spice combination ever. The food is savoury and is usually eaten as the only part of the meal, on account of it being really heavy. They make it well here: http://www.fatalrestaurant.com/