IGEN Pizza

Many pizzas in Budapest’s Italian restaurants feel like afterthoughts, added to the menu for the sake of completeness. This isn’t the case at Igen, a spacious pizza joint located in an unremarkable part of Buda, but not far from the city center.

As Neapolitans like to say, “when it comes to clothes and pizza, it’s always Naples over Rome." This proverb is taken to heart at Igen. They churn out Naples-style pies all day long inside a wood-burning oven fueled by beech to achieve high heat and a bit of a smokey flavor. The Naples variety is known for an airy crust with splotches of char, and a soupy center. As customary, Igen uses a highly-refined, type "00" flour for its pizza dough.

The undisputed highlight at Igen is the margherita pizza DOP (€10), the signature Neapolitan pie. San Marzano tomatoes and fresh basil leaves are drizzled with premium cheese imported from Italy: buffalo mozzarella from the Campania region (hence the DOP designation) and parmesan from Parmigiano-Reggiano.

And finally, two notes of caution. First, Igen's pizzas are on the pricer side: the traditional 32cm / 12-inch pies range from €7 to €10. These price points are higher than those in comparable pizzerias. I also wasn't satisified with the service. The service staff gets overwhelmed during peak hours (a 30-minute wait isn't unusual) and they seem to channel their frustration to the customers.