Pizza Manufaktura

Excellent pizza and a slice of contemporary Budapest come together at Pizza Manufaktura, a small, always-crowded, counter-service pizzeria in Budapest’s District 9. The place makes no secret about its coolness: hipster twentysomethings scurry between the counter and the kitchen while loud music pipes through the speakers.

Pizza Manufaktura's pies, made with an electric oven, fall somewhere between Roman and Neapolitan-style pizza: the crust is soft, doughy, and has some air pockets with charred spots, but the texture is firm enough to hold the slice in your hand.

The pizzeria has a seemingly random, three-tiered pricing system, where taste and prices don’t synch up: both of my favorite pizzas belong to the mid tier; the one I liked least was within the "royal" category. I enjoyed Paprika János (€5), which packs paprika-laced and crisped-up sausage, bacon, onions, tomato, and a moderately spicy green pepper. Another standout is Tükör (€5), incorporating a creamy, poached egg atop a tomato base with prosciutto, bacon, and mozzarella. The only letdown was the distractingly salty Della (€6).

During lunchtime, groups of (foreign) students from the nearby Corvinus University fill Pizza Manufaktura to capacity. Expect a long wait that can be up to half-hour at midday. A couple of local craft beers by MONYO Brewing Co. are available (€3) to help pass the time. Cash only!