If you are a street food lover or if you are just seeking for traditional flavours, it is worth travelling to Debrecen. Now, during a virtual „Food tour”, we will show you what you can and should eat in the market in the morning, and where you can eat something at night or where you go to eat, even for vegan food lovers.
Let’s start at the Food market, located in the downtown part of the city, opposite the Forum shopping mall. One of the specialities of the market can be found at the Rózsa Falatozó, a diner with a small plastic seat right next to the entrance. At the first glance, it looks just like any other market stand, but here you can find an egg with marrow, baked “blood” with onion and fried sausages in addition to fried meat and the gyros. Last but not least you can ask for “bundás kenyér”, an inevitable Hungarian specialty any time of the year which is similar to French toast (fried egg bread).
A few steps away from the market, you can enjoy the menu of the Barabás Restaurant of particular note is stuffed cabbage from Debrecen, which is made of sour cabbage with the famous “Debrecen Double” sausage baked on top.
When in Debrecen, you must visit the IKON Restaurant located on Piac Street. IKON is not afraid to go back the past and re-create traditional Hungarian food mixed with the expectation of today’s modern gastronomy. They buy their raw materials from local craftsmen and the surrounding farms, bake their bread and prepare the “Debrecen” sausage in-house.
You can’t miss Buri-Buri, the iconic street-food place of Hal-köz, here, you can indulge yourself in the land of fried potatoes, beef burgers, fajita, burito, mexican hot dogs, and the variations of the Italian flatbread (piadina) with ham, tuna, pork and vegetables.
Walking along the Piac Street towards the Csonka Church (Lesser Protestant Church), BELGA Restaurant will cross our way. Its building was originally built as an inn, the restaurant operates on the ground floor and in the garden, offers dining, beer and ice-cream in summer. The restaurant is home to the famous “Belga Monster Burger” but you can also taste the widest selection of Belgian beers or as the only “location” for specialties such as rosé pork tenderloin, or the different Hungarian Gary Cattle dishes.
However, you can find the largest selection of the Hungarian specialties in the FLASKA restaurant. ”I follow the traditions of Hungarian hospitality in the Flaska restaurant, and I want to serve the Hungarian taste and the eating and drinking habits. I try to put the “taste of the Hajdú, Bihari and Sárre regions” to the table”, said the owner who seemed himself as a simple host.
Staying in the downtown area, we cannot leave out of our tour of the Régi Post Éttermet (Old Post Restaurant), located at Széchenyi utca 6. It is one of the oldest buildings in Debrecen which also serves as an inn. The restaurant serves traditional Hungarian cuisine and offers live music on weekends.
The Csokonai Sörözö restaurant, opposite the Csokonai Theatre, is recommended for those who like Mediterranean specialities. You can find here everything, from truffle patches to buffalo milk dessert and handmade goat cheese. The elderberry is served with red onion salads, and it will delight your taste buds.
After downtown, you should take a little stroll in the western part of the city, next to the Pest Road, where you can find the newest little “bite” in Debrecen. Keszegsütő opened its doors in 2015. The design of the tiny little restaurant deserves a special word. It displays the real kitchen of all Hungarian grandmothers with hand made tablecloths, old furniture, iron stoves, and wall protectors. The smoked catfish and the carp pearl are the specialties.
The Kis Padlizsán restaurant is a fresh spotlight in the city. It is the first vegan restaurant, only using vegetable ingredients. In addition to vegan dishes, you can get here cakes, freshly squeezed juice, and smoothies.
Leaving the streets of the city behind us, let’s walk into the favourite place of the Debrecen, the Great Forest, now with a culinary eye, but not hungry.
Going to Péterfia Street towards the Great Forest, we cannot go without a word at the Óbester Hotel, where we can choose from several different levels of culinary experiences. The Knight’s Hall awaits you with a medieval interior, while the ZOE restaurant Hungarian with the postmodern design of and the excellent cuisine is a great choice for most events.
Heading to the edge of the Great Forest, there is a special “ship” with the writing “Calico Jack Pub” on the façade. It is a bit bold if you think about that there is no sea or water nearby, and yet there are a pirate ship and a pirate captain. Both the menu and drinks list are extensive. The foods are international, with excellent and fresh ingredients, – here you can eat everything from squid to goose liver, chicken breast to beef cheeses – but what else can you expect from Jack. The place is a real specialty, in every respect, if we want to fascinate someone, bring them here.
At the end of the road, you can find the Pálma restaurant. It used to be only a pastry shop many years ago, but it is now one of the finest restaurants in the city with international cuisine.
Heading inside the forest road, you can find the Krúdy Restaurant and Villa Hotel. The furnishings and kitchen of Krúdy Restaurant evoke the talent of the writer, Gyula Krúdy and the atmosphere of that time. Their dishes are listed separately on their menu. You can find foods “In memory of the old times” but modern dishes as well. You can enjoy here excellent Hungarian wines, special pálinka, coffee specialties as well as refreshing cocktails and lemonade.
Opposite to Krúdy Restaurant and Villa Hotel, you can find the Vigadó on the promenade. The Vigadó is the only restaurant in the heart of the Great Forest with its 19th-century building and terraces. Inside, there is a small room and a ballroom. Its terrace facing the Great Forest promenade awaits its guests throughout the summer. What they offer is mostly Hungarian food, from chicken soup, through goulash, to catfish fish soup, but international food is also on the menu.
Last but not least, we have to mention a cult place in Debrecen, the Both-dega. Both-dage is located right next to the university at the tram stop and is the favourite buffet for the locals for decades. It is famous for its quick service and simple tasty street food. If you can, try the hamburger that they make with sour cabbage.
Debrecen has a lot to offer gastronomically speaking, so for your pleasure, dear traveller, experience the tastes of Debrecen.