The picturesque town of Szentendre, just outside of Budapest, has attracted many artists throughout the years. It’s a town of small treasures, Baroque facades, cobblestone streets, red-tile rooftops, churches, art museums and galleries. Szentendre is located on the banks of the Danube, which makes this small town even more attractive and easily accessible from Budapest. It’s a favorite destination for Danube cruises and many locals and tourists go to Szentendre to spend a relaxing day away from the city. These are all great reasons to visit, however another great reason is for its lángos (langosh).
Located in a courtyard halfway along a steep and narrow alley leading up to the church on the top of the hill is what I consider to be one of the best lángos vendors in Hungary. Don’t look for any signage, you’ll know you’re in the right place when you see people queuing up in the alley. It’s a hole-in-the-wall with only a single bench and a couple of counters in the courtyard. The menu, written in English and Hungarian, is posted on the wall with pictures of their delicious offerings. On their menu lángos is translated as ‘oil-fried yeast doughs’, but I prefer to translate it as fry bread or not to translate it at all. Don’t let the surroundings or the English translation for lángos distract you, as this place alone is truly worth the trip to Szentendre. Their lángos is always fried to order and if you prefer something sweet, they also make excellent palacsinta (thin pancakes).
Lángos is very similar to the fry bread associated with Native American cultures and can be served with a variety of toppings. In Hungary the origin of lángos comes from the times when families baked their own bread at home. Little pieces from the end of the dough were flattened into disks and deep-fried in oil to make snacks for the kids. Lángos is best served plain or spread with sour cream and/or grated cheese and sprinkled with salt and garlic. It’s delicious and filling.
After your lángos experience be sure to walk around this lovely town, you will need the exercise anyway. Take a stroll along the cobblestone streets and the riverfront and visit some of the museums and art galleries (my favorite is the Kovács Margit Collection).
Getting to Szentendre is easy. The quickest is by HÉV (suburban rail) and the most scenic is on a Danube cruise or you can combine the two.
Finding the lángos vendor: from the main square locate and face the church on the top of the hill and look for the narrow alley leading up to it. There is a small sign on the wall pointing to the entrance of the alley with ‘Lángos’ written on it. The lángos vendor is located about half way up the alley.