Cold Weather, Hot Broth: Where to Find Budapest’s Best Soup Spots
Tom Szigeti 2016.11.14.
It’s getting colder, the days are getting shorter, and that means one thing: soup. On a brisk fall or winter day, nothing is as good at making a cold day just a bit warmer. So if you need something hot to warm you up on one of these increasingly frigid days, check these five restaurants out.
Are you in the mood for some mouth-wateringly good ramen? Then make sure to check out Komachi, a Japanese restaurant located in Budapest’s 7th district, on Kertész street. And just to be clear, this is nothing like the overly-salty, borderline inedible ‘ramen’ that comes in a package and that you may have eaten from time to time when there was literally nothing else in the house. No, this ramen is made with wonderfully light chewy noodles, with tender, flavorful pork floating alongside an egg, various vegetables, and a few shrimps, all suspended in a broth so good you’ll want to drink it all at once. No matter what you do this winter, make sure you find time to check out this hidden gem. Check them out at their website.
If you ever find yourself on Budapest’s Calvin Square, be sure to stop by Leves. While this restaurant may be small and unassuming, lacking even a proper indoor dining room for guests, don’t be fooled by its unassuming atmosphere: the soups here, which change daily, are always interesting and creative, drawing from virtually every cuisine imaginable, from Tandoori Chicken soup to Ghanan peanut to much-loved Hungarian classics. More importantly, though, their soups are always delicious. Check out their Facebook page here.
Located on Andrássy Boulevard, this restaurant serves up a wide variety of traditional Georgian delicacies, including this soup. Chikhirtma is a chicken soup of sorts, although perhaps not one that the average Hungarian or American might recognize. Made with only a minimum of vegetables, this soup has eggs slowly beaten into it, and is spiced with garlic, onion, coriander, and lemon or vinegar. But while it may be unusual, it is undoubtedly tasty. Here’s their website.
Abszolut Pho—Beef Pho
Located just past the corner of Király and Kazinczy streets, this small Vietnamese restaurant serves a Pho soup that is both gigantic and absolutely delicious. A colossal bowl of steaming-hot beef broth, full of rice noodles and tender pieces of beef, this is a soup that has some assembly required, as the bean sprouts, cilantro (coriander), onion, and basil come on the side, and can be added (or not) according to one’s own particular tastes. A tasty soup that you can adjust however you like: what’s not to love? Take a look at Abszolut Pho’s Facebook page here.
Menza—Garlic-Cream Soup with Lángos
A retro, 70s-style interior hiding modern, innovative cooking, Menza is a popular restaurant with delicious cooking that will make you want to come back time and time again. Located on Liszt Ferenc Square, just off Andrássy Boulevard, Menza has varied menu, complete with weekly and daily specials, but when it comes to soups, one of their permanent dishes truly stands out: a garlic cream soup that is topped with (and this is truly incredible) a mini-langos, complete with sour cream and cheese. For those of our readers who are unfamiliar with it, Lángos is a traditional Hungarian summer snack, a piece of dough deep-fried, then covered with a variety of savory toppings. It is reminiscent of a funnel cake or American elephant ear, only much, much better. In topping their garlic soup with a Lángos, Menza has created what is perhaps the ultimate comfort food: creamy, cheesy, crispy, and unapologetically decadent, it is enough to make one want to visit this restaurant again and again. You can find more information on their website.
Plus 1—Nagymama (Grandma)
While all of the soups mentioned above are undoubtedly delicious, If we’re talking about soup, there’s one undisputed queen: my grandmother. Or yours. Or your mother. Or your friend’s mother. It doesn’t matter; on a cold winter day, nothing feels quite as good as eating a hot soup that has been made with love. So this winter, make sure to take a break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, and spend some time with the best bowl of soup money can’t buy.