Be it self-service eateries, standing-only food stalls, or sit-down restaurants, the places below serve reliable and wallet-friendly dishes in Budapest. Keep a special eye out for étkezdes: unfussy, mom-and-pop neighborhood greasy spoons that have been around for almost a century but are now nearing extinction — people with a lingering nostalgia for times past should be certain to visit them.
"A field of dreams, a landscape of braised, and fried, and cured delights," said the late Anthony Bourdain of Belvárosi Disznótoros after his 2015 visit. This wallet-friendly self-service sausage shop in Budapest's downtown does serve a dizzying array of ready-made and to-be-prepared traditional meat dishes. Think paprika and blood sausage, grilled pork chop, wild boar stew, and schnitzel. I usually go for a simple and delicious snappy sausage with a side of mustard and a slice of bread (there's no seating, only high-top tables and standing counters).
There's usually a line of office workers at midday; while waiting, cast a glance at the neoclassical building across the street, which, including the park behind it, used to be home to one the wealthiest Hungarian noble families (Károlyi) before WWI; today, it houses the Petőfi Literary Museum. Note: Belvárosi Disznótoros has two locations, but I prefer this one, on Károlyi Street.