"Ahh, you have to try Lángos!"
As soon as we heard a description of the popular Hungarian snack from our friendly receptionist, it slipped right to the top of our list of must-eats. As eager as we were to put a face (for lack of better word) to the description, we had to contain our excitement for the duration of the weekend - we were told that the best version of it could be found at the Great Market Hall which is closed early on Saturdays and all day on Sundays.
The market hall itself is probably the envy of most other market halls, with its gorgeous tiling and architecture that had us guessing that it was a train station initially. It's got the usual atmosphere of a market - the hustle and bustle, the fresh produce, the smell of baked goods, a few eateries and some stalls selling clothes and the like. What you probably want to head straight towards is the row of stalls on the 1st floor where you can get your fix of traditional Hungarian food-to-go.
Yes, that's where we found our little Lángos stall.
It was the only stall with a queue, a good thing when you are faced with a whole variety of different toppings. Deciding if I wanted to go for something sweet or savoury was a task in itself, what more trying to narrow down the exact toppings. I went with a simple ham and dill in the end - the dill providing the perfect foil to the decadence of the fried bread. Imagine youtiao (Chinese doughnuts) but shaped like a wheel and as large as your head topped with anything your tastebuds fancy and you've got Lángos.
Consuming it requires a little bit of skill, especially if you go for a drippy, flowy topping. Those huge dough wheels look extremely filling and trust me, they are.
It was the Hungarian funnel cakes though, that left us feeling sad that we had to leave. Having discovered the stall (Ground Floor) 20 minutes before we were scheduled to leave for the airport, there was a little bit of a mad dash to go back for seconds after our first round of funnel cakes. Crispy on the outside and slightly softer on the inside, these funnel cakes were unlike anything I've ever had before. Shaped like a funnel, a "cake" is really a long strip of dough - there's quite a bit of fun in slowly unravelling the funnel and crunching on little sections of the strip. I chose a cinnamon one and was absolutely blown away. To think we almost left Budapest without having had these. The horror.
The market hall is a little bit confusing (well, we found it confusing anyway) but stick around, explore a little and you'll find these little delights. Look out also for the Danish pastries the size of your head (see a trend here?) going for all of 50 pence.