Retro Lángos Büfé

Retro Lángos Büfé is not your flawlessly re-designed space featuring brand new, Mid-century modern fittings and misleadingly advertizing itself as "retro." Instead, this pocket-sized food stall on the ground floor of a 1980s Budapest subway station is a real communist-era holdover. Perhaps this explains why the place has become a favorite of tourists looking for a cheap bite.

The highlight at Retro Büfé is the lángos, a popular Hungarian deep-fried flatbread that you can order with a myriad of toppings. The classic version calls for sour cream and grated cheese (€2), but if you're feeling adventurous, opt for the peasant lángos (“parasztlángos”), packing paprika, onions, and bacon too (€3). Although it's a diet-unfriendly concoction, local urban legends praise lángos' hangover-healing powers, which may explain the lines outside Retro Büfé in the wee hours on Sunday mornings. Besides lángos, you can also try palacsinta - Hungarian crepes - of which the Nutella and the sweet cottage cheese (túró) fillings are my favorites.

Know before you go that this puzzlingly neglected downtown square is swarming with pigeons, meaning that while eating your lángos, you will have to proactively keep them away. My solution to this is to walk over to the much prettier and mostly pigeon-free Liberty Square for a more peaceful meal.