My husband and I will be in Budapest for 5 days the last week of August. We are interested in learning about Hungarian food and wine. Does anyone know of any tours that focus on food and wine? Or possibly a cooking class that includes a meal? I have heard of the Great Hall Market - are there others we should check out? We like first-hand food experiences, but would also appreciate recommendations for restaurants. Thanks!
There are such tours, but I haven't done one. What I have done, and enjoyed, was the market tour and cooking class with Agnes. http://budapestcookingclass.com/
Then find a good wine bar like Kadarka and they will be happy to teach you about Hungarian wine. Kadarka requires a reservation these days.
Otherwise the best way to learn about Hungarian food is to eat it, but in restaurants outside of District V.
I have a post about 2 months back with my favorite places. Someone might have a link.
We have visited Budapest twice. It is one of our favorite cities! Each time we took a cooking class. Actually the first cooking class we took in Budapest was so successful we have tried to find cooking classes in each country that we visit. Each cooking class involved cooking a meal and then eating it. Wine was usually included. One of the advantages of a cooking class is that it gives 4 hours or so of one on one with a native who will talk about food, culture, and whatever. It it an excellent opportunity for a close encounter with native Hungarian. Be sure that you try to include a tour of the great market hall with the cooking class. Otherwise be sure to visit the great market hall, it is an experience in itself.
One cooking class was given by chefparade cooking school. It included the market hall tour and was conducted in their special cooking classroom. It is a fairly big operation.
The other cooking class was taugh in her home by Agnes Barath (email@example.com). It was very good. I think that this is the class that James mentions.
Another culinary activity that we participated in and was a high point was "Sweet Walk" presented by Taste Hungary. The guide, who was food columnist for a local paper, took us to several local and famous patisseries and coffee shops in which we sampled the pastries. We learned about the competition between the chefs of Budapest and Vienna in the late 19th century and why "real" pastries could only be served in a patisserie, restaurants had to serve "home made" deserts. My wife was so impressed that when we return home she taught herself to bake Esterhazy Torte from Hungarian language YouTube videos.
These all sound like excellent suggestions! Thank you so much! We definitely want to try good restaurants and wine bars in addition to getting some hands-on experience.
Agnes has an excellent method. Stir, Palinka, mash, Palinka, peal, Palinka, simmer, Palinka, ... REPEAT. The other thing i like about Agnes was you cooked in her home. Thats a window into a culture you cant get in other ways.