In Hungary no meal is complete without dessert. Dobos cake (Dobos torta), krémes, cream filling topped with a crisp pastry, chestnut purée (gesztenyepüré) and Gundel palacsinta, a pancake with walnut filling and chocolate topping, are just a few of the must-tries. Whether it's cakes, pancakes, pies, strudels or cookies, Hungarians like sweets, so it's no wonder, that there are so many pastry shops (cukrászda) in Budapest. Here are some of my favorites:
In the business since 1901, Daubner is probably the busiest pastry shop in Budapest, despite its location outside the city center. They make all kinds of desserts, cakes, parfaits, cookies and traditional pastries, like pogácsa, a Hungarian biscuit and bejgli, a pastry with poppy seed or walnut filling. In the summer, Daubner's signature ice creams make the lines queuing outside the doors even longer. (Szépvölgyi út 50, Buda, District 2)
Classic, multi-layered and deliciously rich cakes are some of the specialities at Nándori. Most people pre-order these delicacies for birthdays and holidays. Their Somlói galuska, a chocolate and vanilla sponge cake and their pogácsa, available in several flavors, are also hard to resists. One of my personal favorites is their mignon, which is also available in a variety of flavors. (Ráday utca 53, Pest, District 9)
Fröhlich offers traditional Hungarian-Jewish baked goods. Their speciality, the flódni, an apple, walnut and poppy seed pastry is a must-try. Period. Their Dobos cake won't disappoint either. Fröhlich also has a seating area, which is usually packed around the Jewish holidays. Challah bread and Hannukah donuts are also available. (Dob utca 22, Pest, District 7)
Established in 1870, Auguszt was known as the Gerbeaud of Buda. This confectioner has a varied history. The original shop was destroyed by a bomb during WWII and then the state took ownership during the communist era. The Auguszts reopened their business in Fény utca in 1957 and they have been making delicious pastries, cakes and ice-creams according to the original recipes ever since. They have three locations in Budapest. Try their krémes.(Kossuth Lajos utca 14-16, Pest, District 5)
This charming, old-fashioned, family-run pastry shop near the Parliament Building has a legendary reputation. The walls are plastered with awards and most customers are regulars here. Try their strudel (rétes) and you'll understand why. (Balassi Bálint utca 4, Pest, District 5)
Most Hungarians buy their desserts to go, so many of these shops have standing bars or limited seating only, but the desserts are amazing.
Want to taste and learn more about Hungarian desserts? Sign up for a Sweet Budapest Culinary & Cultural Walking Tour.