One of my favorite things to do when visiting another culture is checking out what’s going on at their market place. What local fruits and veggies do they have? What are their crafts and jewelry like? What kind of local grub can I grab for lunch? Central Market Hall [Budapest, Vámház krt. 1-3, 1093 Hungary] is Budapest’s largest market and boy oh boy does it have a lot going on in its three floors.
A metric ton of paprika. Paprika with traditionally dressed dolls, paprika with wooden scoops, paprika in decorative shakers, paprika in and around just about anything. Paprika is extremely prevalent in traditional Hungarian cooking, so make sure you have a paprika dish whilst in Hungary. You will also find many other little odds and ends which make great souvenirs, like these silly pickled veggies I got for my dad.
My bag was getting so heavy I picked up a new one for $2 and sported it throughout the rest of the trip. If you’re not into shopping, one thing you can’t miss up here is the awesome lunch selection. They have all sorts of meals for any palate, but I had my heart set on trying a langos.
The base of a langos is fried dough. It is different from the American fried dough I am used to, better. More dense and spongy. Less greasy. Instead of a sweet powdered sugar this is a savory dish. You can try one of their premade concoctions or you can point and pick which toppings you want like I did. I loaded up on veggies and some cottage cheese infused with…you guessed it…paprika!
Trying to find a seat up here in the crazy crowded corridor while juggling a loaded langos, good luck. We found one eventually and it was so worth the insanity. Normally I am not a cottage cheese lover, but this was out of this world yummy. I loved it paired with all the different flavors of the crunchy veggies and the dough. This is a messy situation, grab a lot of napkins. For dessert I got a huge chunk of juicy looking watermelon, oh yeah!
They sell fish and there is a supermarket. If you’re a pickle fan get you can get your fix down here. Central Market Hall is loud and packed, filled with people and goods that you should to experience. Grab some lunch, some souvenirs, and make some memories.