One of the main attractions in Budapest is undoubtedly food. Hungarian cuisine is famous all over Europe, so if you are a food lover Budapest will not disappoint you. In addition to its great cafés and restaurants, Budapest is home to many acclaimed food and wine festivals. From national to international, you can find just about any gastronomic event on both side of Budapest.
Best Food Festivals in Budapest
Unfortunately not many visitors to Budapest are aware about these great festivals, so I decided to put together a list of the best gastronomic events that take place in the Hungarian capital.
The Gray Cattle Festival (Szürkemarha)
One of the best food and wine festivals in Budapest is the famous Gray Cattle Festival (Szürkemarha) takes place every year in September, on the grounds of the Vajdahunyad Castle, in the City Park. The purpose of the festival is to make people more familiar with the different ways of preparing the grey cattle (Szürkemarha).
This breed of cattle, tall and slender and of a very distinctive bright silver color, is one of the many symbols of the country. It grows on the Great Plains (puszta), especially around Hortobágy.
The festival started only a few years years ago at the initiative of the Association of the Hungarian grey cattle breeders. We stumbled upon it totally by accident, while strolling through the City Park.
There is no admission fee for the festival. You’ll find vendor booths all over the castle grounds, offering delicious foods and drinks, as well as local arts and crafts.
If you are a food lover, this is a great place to spend a day. From goulash, spicy salami, and cured dried kolbász (sausage) with paprika, to cheese, lángos, and hot strudels, you can try it all. The dishes prepared at the festival are based on the meat of grey cattle.
In addition to the food stands, there are performances of traditional folk music and dances all around the grounds. While strolling through the City Park, you can also visit the Vajdahunyad castle, which houses the Agricultural Museum of Hungary, the biggest agricultural museum in Europe.
Budapest Christmas Fair
Budapest Christmas Fair is another popular food and wine festival that take place every year in Vörösmarty square from the end of November until Christmas. The smell and aroma of chestnuts and hot cookies, mulled wine and all kinds of spicy winter drinks fill up the air.
The famous Café Gergeaud’s façade is decorated as an Advent calendar, with its windows being lit day by day. It is a real Christmas Wonderland! Besides the food delicacies, you can enjoy entertaining cultural programs, local arts and crafts, and Santa’s personal visit.
If you happen to be in Budapest in winter and need to buy some souvenirs, this is the best time to do it. You can get beautifull wooden or leather boxes, hand-made jewelry, Christmas ornaments, candles, shoes, toys. Everything here is of really good quality and at a bargain price.
Flavors of Hungary Gastro Fair
Flavors of Hungary is a semi-annual gastronomic event featuring homegrown Hungarian products. Over 150 vendors from all around Hungary gather to present their home made specialities.
You can sample delicious homemade jam, honey, cheese, sausage, ham, chocolate, wine and palinka and watch how traditional Hungarian foods are made.
The ticket price is 1500 HUF and the amount can be used at the shop of Craft Hungarian Flavors when shopping for 5000 HUF or more. There is also a cooking show, featuring traditional Hungarian recipes.
Best Wine Festivals in Budapest
Budapest International Wine Festival
Budapest International Wine Festival, an event equally awaited by the locals and tourists, is held every year in September in the Buda Castle courtyards.
The International Wine Festival is a great opportunity to taste award-winning Hungarian and foreign wines. You’ll learn about their history, meet renowned wine makers, and taste culinary delicacies.
This event is one of most sought after food and wine festivals and the top attraction in Budapest Old Town in September. People from all around Europe gather here to taste great wines.
The price to get into the festival is around 2.800Ft ($10). The admission ticket buys you a beautiful wine glass that you can use for wine tasting and then keep it as a nice souvenir from Budapest. The ticket also allows you to get into the Budapest History Museum. You can enjoy some local cheeses, salami and snacks with the wine, but they are way overpriced.
Budapest Goose & Wine Festival
November is all about goose and new wine in Hungary, so Budapest joins in the celebration. For 4 weeks around St. Martin’s Day, the area of Erzsebet Square turns into a gastronomic promenade.
Goose floods the menus of Hungarian restaurants in all forms. From roast goose, foie gras (goose liver) and goose soups, you have a lot of specialties.
Besides the goose delicacies, the festival also features traditional sweets, as well as mulled wine, coffee and tea. There are covered terraces where you can enjoy your meal and drinks. There is such a party atmosphere all around town!
On weekends, they have a flea market in this area as well. This is great place to buy beautiful local crafts and toys made in Hungary.
I missed my opportunity of visiting Budapest ten years ago (I changed jobs and I couldn’t take my already booked long weekend to Budapest) 🙁 we should add Budapest for September and enjoy the wine festival
Sally's Tips 4 Trips
Some delicious looking foods – the cheese platter had me. Love that you can enjoy such yummy food at such colourful festivals.
Hungary is on my “short” travel list, Anda. When it is time to go, i will be coming to your blog for advice, Anda. I know you are the expert:)
OOh these all sound like awesome festivals! Plus, anything to do with Hungary is just so exciting!! 🙂
I feel like you can’t go wrong with a wine festival in a beautiful city like Budapest. Sounds to be like a great excuse to go back. The food also looks delicious but my favorite Hungarian food is goulash. #TheWeeklyPostcard
My favorite Hungarian food is veal paprikas.
What a fabulous list for a foodie! I haven’t made my way to Budapest yet, but I have plans too soon and had no idea there were so many festival options for food and wine lovers, like me 🙂 Thanks so much for sharing! You’ve made me even more excited to visit!
I’m glad I did, Andrea.
I love Budapest!!! We visited the city few months ago and we had a great time.
Seems like this is another reason to visit Budapest during November and December time! 🙂
Oh my goodness … that food looks fantastic! My husband and daughter went to Budapest last year but I was on another trip. It looks like I may need to go just to try all the cuisine!
If you are in town during any of these food festivals, make sure you pop in, Cherri.
We love food too and Budapest looks like it won’t disappoint! It’s definitely on our bucket list and now we have some good festivals to try to plan to see! The Christmas Fair looks so nice! What was the grey cattle meat like?
It’s like beef and it’s delicious!
I was in Budapest in August so missed this by a month. I’ve been to wine festivals in many places but didn’t realize Budapest had one, too.
I love traditional folk music and dance. Sometimes I’m sure I was born in the wrong country!
Fiona @ London-Unattached
I seem to have a knack of missing festivals when I travel! The Gray Cattle festival looks great fun!
Everything looks so delicious and so tempting! I love food and wine festivals and this one looks like one I shouldn’t miss
Elaine J. Masters
I do love wine and food festivals. We have several in the San Diego area. You’ll just have to visit and try a few!
Jennifer (Dr. J)
Festivals are always a great excuse to visit a place. We’ll have to use this list as a reason to go back to Budapest for a weekend city break from Dublin. Thanks for sharing.
I have got to stay away from your Budapest posts or else I won’t be able to stop myself from booking a trip! 😉 The wine festival looks perfect, as well as the gastro fair. Now I’m thinking about doing a few trips to Budapest next year!
If you go, you should do it in fall, Vlad, when all these food and wine festivals take place.
I LOVED all the wine and beer festivals in Budapest when I was there. So much fun just wandering around. The Christmas market was definitely my favourite though.
Isn’t Budapest fun, Adelina? I love going there.
OMG, I was clearly in Budapest at the wrong time! Thanks for linking up to #SundayTraveler again.