Pinczi hús-hentesáru bolt

Part butcher shop, part ready-to-eat meat paradise, Pinczi hús-hentesáru is an iconic eatery in Budapest, exhibiting a fast-disappearing side of the city. It’s a low-priced, no-frills lunch destination specializing in foods that have traditionally been dear to Hungarians’ stomachs: less than €5 will buy you a paprika-laced sausage with a slice of roast pork belly, and a side of sauerkraut and a slice of bread.

The (liver) sausages, meatballs, pork ribs, and other porcine delicacies are perfectly satisfying, but what sings 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 enjoy the prominence it deserves, unlike in places like Japan or China.) 

No matter the time of day—in Hungary, many people, still, start the day with a hearty roasted sausage—Pinczi swarms with customers, many of them regulars (the current owner has been in charge since 1991). They are a cross-section of local residents, both young and old, although there’s a noticeable concentration of middle-aged men with protruding bellies. Some people, like me, come here to feel a sense of nostalgia. The icing on the cake is the service, which is unusually kind. Note there are no chairs inside, so you'll have to eat your meal standing by the high tables (or sit by outdoor, flimsy plastic tables that offer a postcard view of the stunning Nyugati Railway Terminal).