Eating and drinking with the Hungarians
Budapest seethes with bars, pubs, clubs and restaurants that open and close seemingly with the seasons, and our job at Stag Republic is to make sure you end up at the best of them. From the ruin bars hidden in District VII’s decrepit courtyards, to central Pest’s chichi watering holes and the outrageously fit birds who go there, to the open-air dance clubs lining the Danube, Budapest has all the venues you need for a proper weekend pissup.
Hungary is traditionally a nation of wine-drinkers, but beer (sör) enthusiasts needn’t worry: the close proximity of Germanic Europe has left a fairly strong and beery impression. Several local pilsner-style lagers (quite good, save for the really cheap stuff) are always available on tap, along with a wide variety of imports from neighbouring brewing giants Slovakia, Czech Republic and Austria.
The national firewater is called pálinka, and it’s a sort of brandy made out of whatever rotting fruit is available. Common varieties are distilled from plums, apricots, and pears. Another celebrated Hungarian elixir is Unicum, which is syrupy and black and tastes kind of like Jaegermeister, except much worse. The new plum-flavored Unicum Szilva is much smoother and better-tasting.
On to the vino. Hungarians, who by some statistics are the biggest alcoholics in Europe, like their wine (bor). Quality ranges from poor to incredibly good, and prices, of course, vary. One famous Hungarian vintage is Tokaj, from northeastern Hungary. French King Louis XIV liked it so much he called it “the king of wines, the wine of kings.”