Pinczi hús-hentesáru bolt

Part butcher shop, part ready-to-eat meat paradise, Pinczi hús-hentesáru is an iconic sausage shop in Budapest, exhibiting a fast-disappearing side of the city. This low-priced, no-frills lunch destination, which opened in 1991, specializes in meat dishes that have traditionally been dear to Hungarians’ stomachs—sausages, meatballs, pork ribs, and the like.

But best of all here is the marinated roasted pork belly. It’s crispy on the outside, with a layer of soft fat yielding to a tender meat as you bite into it. (Unfortunately, pork belly in Budapest doesn't have the prominence it enjoys in places like Japan or China.) My go-to order at Pinczi is usually a paprika-laced sausage with a slice of said roast pork belly and a side of sauerkraut with a slice of bread. All this rarely comes out to be more than €5.

No matter the time of day—in Hungary, many people, still, start the day with a hearty roasted sausage—Pinczi swarms with customers. They're a cross-section of local residents, although there’s a noticeable concentration of middle-aged men with protruding bellies. Note that no seating is available inside, so you'll either have to eat at the high-top tables or sit at the plastic tables on the busy street with a postcard view of the stunning Nyugati Railway Terminal.

We visit all places incognito, pay for our own meals and drinks, and write independent reviews.