Retro Lángos Büfé

Retro Lángos Büfé is not your flawlessly designed place complete with brand-new Mid-century modern fittings and misleadingly advertising itself as "retro." Instead, this pocket-sized food stall on the ground level of an '80s Budapest subway station is a real communist-era holdover. Perhaps this sense of no-frills authenticity has made it a tourists-favorite.

The highlight at Retro Büfé is the lángos, a Hungarian deep-fried flatbread with myriad 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 (€3). Although a diet-unfriendly concoction, urban legends praise lángos's 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 the nearby area is swarming with pigeons, so while eating your lángos, you will have to proactively keep them away. I usually walk over to the mostly pigeon-free Liberty Square a couple of blocks away for a more peaceful meal.

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