Our month-by-month guide to the best food and wine events in Budapest
Don’t forget, we organize our own food and wine events @The Tasting Table. Check our calendar for what we have in the works!
Downtown GastroParade (Belvárosi Gasztrosétány)
Until March 1
Budapest has fully embraced street food in recent years and this extended winter culinary festival showcases the best of the city’s local and international offerings. Every weekend from November through February, the city’s always-buzzing Erzsébet tér plays hosts to vendors displaying traditional and modern Hungarian specialties, alongside wines, pálinkas and beers from across the region. The theme for January is Central Slaughterhouse (Belvárosi Disznotor), while the focus in February is on cheese.
Viticulture and Viniculture 2015 (Szőlészet és Pincészet 2015)
For wine professionals and serious enthusiasts who want to dive deeply into the nuances of winemaking in Hungary, this trade expo highlights new technologies, products, and services within the sector. New this year will be displays on products connected to environmental safety and hygiene, while established winemakers will give presentations on new trends, developing areas and uncharted niches.
Events throughout the month, big tasting on February 5th
As comprehensive a festival as you will find aimed at the promotion and consumption of one particular grape varietal, Furmint February zones in this distinctly acidy wine that faithfully reflects the volcanic soils of the Tokaj-Hegyalja region where it is mostly cultivated . The month-long programme of events brings together Hungary’s leading producers of furmint with restaurants, wine bars and any individual who organizes an event in connection to the grape. It culminates in the Big Furmint February Tasting, held in picturesque surroundings of the Vajdahunyad Castle in City Park, in which over a hundred premium Furmints of dozens of wineries await visitors.
Attentive foodies will relish a festival organized around Mangalica, the indigenous hairy hog bred in the eastern Great Plains of Hungary. The recent renaissance has led to the creation of this annual food fiesta, now held on the downtown at Szabadság tér, where smoked hams, sausages, stews and even gourmet burgers are made from this prime pork. Other local delicacies, from strudels to artisan honey and pálinka will also be available.
Gluttonous Thursday (Torkos Csütörtök)
Enticing residents and visitors alike to try new spots or revisit old fine-dining favourites in Budapest, Gluttonous Thursday (Torkos Csütörtök) sees participating restaurant throughout the country offering 50 per cent off all food and drink on their menus. Held the first Thursday after Ash Wednesday, when Hungarians traditionally feasted on leftovers from the carnival celebrations, the national Tourism Board has turned this custom into a yearly opportunity for bargain-hunting foodies to try new restaurants.
Budapest Fish Festival (Budapesti Halfesztivál)
Despite being landlocked, Hungarians so love fish, and cooks do wonders with the local freshwater varieties. This growing festival will be held in City Park at the Vajdahunyad Castle this year. As in past years, it will feature live music and entertainment, along with plenty of fish specialties.
Hungarian Wine Ball (Magyar Borok Bálja)
Head to the InterContinental Budapest, pick up a glass and get sampling – Hungary’s most prominent and well-known wines will all be at the Ball of Hungarian Wines. Organized for the tenth consecutive year, this refined evening has music, dancing and entertainment accompanying the cheerful imbibing of domestic wine.
In a city jam-packed with wine tasting events, this is one of the year’s biggest. The Borjour group organizes many tastings throughout the year, and this “Magnum” will feature more than 200 wineries and 600 kinds of wine. Held at Millenáris Park, you get a glass when you arrive and can then walk around to sample unlimited wine from the various wineries participating.