Hot and steaming

When a Hungarian says ‘soup’, they generally have their mother’s unparalleled rich meat consommé for Sunday lunch in mind, which has no worldly substitute. This might have to do with the fact that, for a long time, Budapest restaurants did not carry a wide variety of soups. During the past few years, however, the Hungarian capital seems to have transcended the ‘goulash for tourists’ approach. Several places focusing on soup have opened, many of them featuring international, often Asian cuisine, both as street and ‘slow’ food.

There are many who might consider this heresy, but what comes closest to the rich meat consommé mentioned above are Thai, Vietnamese and Japanese soup kitchens offering ramen, pho and Thai soups.

Ramenka in Kazinczy utca is an excellent choice for Japanese soups. In spite of a mere six kinds of soup, they are all constantly of the highest quality. Right next door – and throughout the city – the Thai restaurant KisParázs offers a wider variety of soups and an even wider variety of rich meals for its guests.

A bit further away from busy downtown, the Oriental Soup House stands at the corner of Balzac utca and Hollán Ernő utca. Its open kitchen serves pho for the soul, in addition to rolls, noodles and other dishes, to the full satisfaction of its clientele.

A soup this rich and tasty, consumed authentically with wooden chopsticks, be it Thai, Vietnamese or Japanese, requires some time and, due to its hefty volume, commands respect. One needs to take their time with these soups – as hungry and experienced as we might be – preferably while socialising in good company.

Those living in the fast lane or those who merely want a quick, warming snack during a sightseeing tour in the cold need not despair either, Budapest has a plethora of places to serve them, too. There are innumerable great soup kitchens where you can eat or take away your daily choice in a cup, selected from a constantly changing range of offerings, if you prefer.

Bors GasztroBár, also on Kazinczy utca, offers everything from green apple soup with marzipan through hot chicken soup to a savory cream of corn soup. Naturally, their menu varies daily. Their speciality is presenting tastes we never would have dreamed of encountering in a soup: Túró Rudi soup, plum pancake soup, and Gerbeaud soup, just to name a few. They go boldly where no soup has gone before.

SOUP Culture, in Október 6. utca features more traditional tastes and here, their offerings are fundamentally gluten-free. One of the gastronomical newcomers at Kolosy tér is Crust: a small Buda business run by a local family’s drive for quality soup, and also offering traditional Hungarian flavours. All of the fast food-like soup kitchens also offer sandwiches, simple main courses and salads

Source: budapestinfo.hu