Before long, all visitors to Budapest will notice the countless, painfully overlit gyro vendors swarming the city and hawking low-priced sandwiches of mediocre quality. At first glance, San Da Vinci, located along the highway-like Rákóczi út near the city center, looks like one of those but it turns out to be a lot worthier venue.
The owner, a Turkish native from the seaside city of Cesme, is committed to bringing the flavors of street food from the Aegean Region to Budapest. You're here for the kumru sandwich (€3), a specialty of Cesme, consisting of a sesame-seeded demi baguette layered with melted cheese, crisped pepperoni, sweet tomatoes, and pickles. It's very good. Get the “atom” version to top it off with a fried egg. The köfte meatball and the chicken sandwiches (€3 each) are also good.
San da Vinci’s baklava, moist and buttery and rich with pistachio nuts, is among the best I’ve had in Budapest. Turkish coffee and ayran, the yogurt-based beverage, are also available. If you don’t take your sandwich to go, you can sit by the flimsy tables upstairs.
To remain unbiased, I visit all places incognito and pay for my own meals and drinks. But this also means I must rely on readers to support my work. If you've enjoyed this article, please consider making a donation.