How to eat cheap in Budapest

Budapest | Nicole Navigates

It's no word of a lie that Budapest has some great food available.

It's also no word of a lie that Budapest is a great cheap getaway. There's always speculation that when you go away on a city break, you are literally going to break the bank.

However, with Budapest, that couldn't be far from the truth.

If you saw all over my social media, Josh took me on a surprise trip to Budapest - which obviously, I had NO idea about!

So naturally, I didn't have much of a chance to do my usual foodie research as I would usually do when I'm in control of knowing what the next location is. I admit it: I am a planner when it comes to trips away!

I like to have a list of best foodie spots, but alas, I had no idea I was going to Budapest so I didn't have this list - so finding foodie spots was a very spur of the moment, quick Google search in the car on the way to the airport!

As Josh was the one that was paying for the both of us, as he wanted to fully spoil me, plus seeing as I was skint due to having 6 weeks of no pay, it was ideal to find cheap eats in Budapest and surprisingly, we managed to find a lot!

I've listed below some of the places we found for cheap eats in sections like breakfast, lunch and dinner - so you can plan your day!

Plus, I have added prices, to help those out there who are also looking for a cheap getaway with cheap, but still good food and drink - the best of both worlds!

Budapest | Nicole Navigates

Breakfast

You can literally go to any train station and purchase breakfast items such as croissants, pan au chocolate, sausage rolls and more all for a really decent price. Plus, you can grab your coffee to go before getting on the train to your next location.

I picked up coffee most mornings for as little as 1 euro 50 and a pastry was literally equivalent to 50p in British pennies!

There are also many cafes in Budapest to choose from. We found an adorable little cafe called Let Eat Be that was connected to an art gallery where I had a smoked salmon bagel, whilst Josh went for eggs, a slice of banana loaf to share and a coffee each all for roughly £8 - you'd pay more for that in big chain coffee shops in the UK!

Budapest | Nicole Navigates
Budapest | Nicole Navigates

Lunch

We never did big lunches apart from when we treated ourselves to a Hard Rock Cafe lunch, just because we would usually fill ourselves up from breakfast and we wanted to make room for dinner later.

We kept going back to the same pizza place, PizzaMe, which had several locations across the city and was convenient to grab a slice from when we were feeling peckish. You could grab a slice for around one euro, whilst a big 13" box would cost us 7 euros.

We didn't explore many food options during our stay, just because we loved the pizza here so much as it reminded us of Rome.

However, we found a place near our hotel called Grill & Panir, where we picked up what was basically Hungarian takeaway of fried chicken, salad, cheesy mushrooms and potato wedges. It was simple but no less tasty!

Altogether, this was roughly 8 euros and was a quick bite to eat as we arrived in Budapest.

Budapest | Nicole Navigates
Budapest | Nicole Navigates

Dinner

Apart from the first night where we settled for some PizzaMe pizza, we didn't explore as many restaurants for dinner as we would usually on a city break. But for our last night, we managed to get a great deal for some excellent local cuisine.

We went to a restaurant called Cafe Kor on the path opposite St Stephen's Cathedral, where there are many restaurants to choose from. As it was Friday night, it was particularly hard to find somewhere that didn't have reservations, but luckily they had space for us.

We had two wonderful and warming starters each, mine consisting of traditional goulash soup and Josh's of a Hungarian broth with ravioli and two mains, mine being a garlic chicken and mushroom risotto and Josh's a pan-fried chicken with rice and veg.

We were incredibly stuffed afterwards but we washed our dinner down with two drinks each which made for a relaxing last night.

This meal still only came to about 40 euros for both of us, which was the most we spent on food, but as it was our last night, we wanted to treat ourselves.

Budapest | Nicole Navigates
Budapest | Nicole Navigates

Snacks

When in Budapest, you need to get yourself a Chimney Cake.

The concept is very similar to a Trdlínk which is served in Prague, but those who don't know, it's essentially a sugar-coated long doughnut with a hole in the middle to stuff whatever you want inside. We got ours at a place called Fragola.

I went for Nutella on it's own stuffed inside my Chimney Cake. A Chimney Cake cost us around 5 euros each, which as it's a Hungarian tradition, you can easily forgive as you definitely get your money's worth.

Another huge recommendation I got given whilst we were out in Budapest was to go to the Central Market Hall, which is essentially a huge market hall selling fresh fruit, veg and other food delights.

It's great for exploring and great for picking up a snack to eat but be warned, it gets incredibly busy and you'll be lucky to find yourself a table and seats.

However, we picked up Sweet Lagos, which is essentially Hungarian fried bread covered with toppings of choice. You can have savoury ones that consist of things like cream cheese and smoked salmon, or you can have sweet ones as I did.

I went for a classic Nutella and bananas, which was really messy, but so sweet!

Budapest | Nicole Navigates
Budapest | Nicole Navigates
Budapest | Nicole Navigates

Drinks

Budapest has lots of places to buy a drink or two whether it be a bar, a restaurant or a pop-up bar whilst you're walking around.

If you head to Vajdahunyad Castle, which FYI, is one of the prettiest and most romantic castles I've ever laid eyes on - you will find lots of pop-up stalls. We found one right at the front and got ourselves a cup of Mulled Wine for 4 euros each and sat on a bench admiring the view of the castle.

You can also buy a pint of beer from most places and we found beer as cheap as 1 euro! So it's especially good if you're looking for that kind of weekend away.

Another great place we were recommended for cheap drinks and nightlife, was the Ruin Bars. The Ruin Bars are a selection of 'ruined bars' that have been converted from old buildings like courtyards, warehouses and even churches!

They make for a great night out but are also good for passing by if you fancy a drink. We had a couple of G&T's when we visited one and for 3.50 each, they filled those cups high with gin - I felt rather tipsy after three glasses!

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I hope my post has given you an insight to just how cheap you can eat in Budapest.

This guide is definitely for those who are looking to visit Budapest on a budget. You don't need to go to a fancy restaurant every night and day to enjoy yourself.

However, next time we visit, I definitely want to explore the foodie scene a bit more, but it's nice knowing we can survive Budapest on pizza and mulled wine!

Will Budapest be your next foodie getaway?

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