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Hungary’s street food scene has generally traditionally been limited to the lángos, palacsinta, and kürtöskalács variety. But the international trend for pop-up food experiences from mobile devices has sped its way into Budapest. Still in their first years of operation, trucks selling gourmet burgers or Mexican comfort food are now feeding office workers and the late-night party crowd throughout the city. As these mobile food vendors set off on a roll, offering a variety of wallet-friendly eats and drinks—from gourmet burgers to innovative cheese and pasta dishes—we take a look at some of the city’s best.

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Zing Burger
Király utca 13, Budapest 1075
+36 70 639 7917

All trends begin somewhere, and Zing Burger can lay claim not only to jump-starting Budapest’s food truck craze, but also the rush to elevated street food. The massive queue of hungry revelers snaking from the side of this black-and-orange truck is a testament to the fingerlickingly-delicious burger menu that the young crew have been serving for years. Just like at Ring, their brick-and-mortar post run by Ádám Susánszky, this mobile eatery is serious about its ingredients—think juicy beef patties, original home-made sauces, and round, hearty buns. And they continue to raise the bar with new burger concoctions on a regular basis. There are multiple vendors, but their main distribution spot is at Gozsdu Udvar and at the food court Karaván in the Jewish district, while they roll out to music festivals throughout the summer.

BITE Food Truck
Teréz körút 62, Budapest 1062
+36 30 690 2185

A bit of a departure from the other food-focused carts, BITE Food Truck is the on-the-roll outlet of the bakery with the same name that is stationed on the side of the WestEnd shopping center near the Nyugati Square. Unlike typical food trucks, this curbside kitchen comes complete with baking facilities as they aim to deliver premium and innovative bakery products of guaranteed high quality. Pretzels come with cheese, bacon or sausage fillings. There are cinnamon rolls topped with mascarpone, and kakaós csiga filled with raisins—and these are just the breakfast options. More substantial meal options include the pulled-pork sandwiches and omelette wraps, which go well with the fruity yogurts and freshly-squeezed juices.

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Pasta Station
Kazinczy utca 18, Budapest 1076
+36 20 989 7810

Finding Budapest’s gourmet pasta mobile takes some work; the Fiat Ducato-turned-mobile kitchen operates in locations all over the city (although a good jumping off point is at the Karaván food court or near the Design Terminal at Erzsébet Square). But this black-and-yellow van still has a strong following, thanks to its inventive, nearly daily-changing menu featuring a range of home-made pastas, sandwiches, and soups. Bestsellers are the spicy garlic pasta and the creamy liver in red wine sauce pasta, as well as the BBQ sandwich stuffed with slices of grill pork loins, grilled cheese, and mushrooms.

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Berlin Canteen
Kazinczy utca 18, Budapest 1076
+36 30 343 9656

Foot-long grilled German sausages are a sure-fire recipe for success for hungry partiers in the Jewish district, which is why it’s no surprise that Berlin Canteen has been making such a splash. Stationed in the Karaván food court, the currywurst and bratwurst get the most local love, but we also recommend the fries and sandwiches … filling and completely delicious.

Lángos Máshogy
Kazinczy utca 18, Budapest 1076
+36 30 343 9656

Brand new to the mobile food scene is Lángos Máshogy (or “Lángos Differently)”, which as its name suggests is a haute homage to the cult, yet humble lángos. It’s technically a shipping container and not a food truck, set up in the Karaván food court, this newcomer is the brainchild of Gábor Almási who aims to raise the lángos bar with not only exceptional dough, but also with a great new selection of toppings and fillings (think sausage, goose crackling, and gouda cheese). The final product may be on the small side (but think of it as a good reason to order two different varieties), but all things considered, it’s better than most served in the city.

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Paneer
Kazinczy utca 18,  Budapest 1076
+36 30 343 9656

Grilled cheeses are the driving force behind this mobile purveyor of must-try treats which feed the city’s meat-free eaters inside the Karaván food court. Beware: the irresistible scent of these grilled or breaded cheesy delicacies—ranging from smoked gomolya to cheddar, emmental to mozzarella—will trigger a primordial drool reaction from even the most carnivorous eaters. Go all out and order the grilled cheese sandwich with sun-dried tomatoes, onion chips, and jalapenos …  and wash it all down with a slice of cheese cake.

Magic Burger
Alíz utca 8, Budapest 1116
+36 1 426 4968

You wouldn’t expect to find culinary bliss in a parking lot of a Tesco shopping center in the out-of-way district of Újbuda. Yet there it is, an unassuming bastion of big-portioned burgers that is worthy of the mobile kitchen’s “magic” title. The quarter-pounders here not only satisfy those with big appetites, but also diners with selective taste buds. The choice is huge: nine types of meat, four types of home-made buns, and sixteen toppings (besides the seasonal offerings which now include goose-liver burgers). Saddle up with a side of onion rings and a bowl of coleslaw, and enjoy comfort food at its finest, and most filling.

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