The ultimate summer spot in Hungary is definitely Lake Balaton. “The Hungarian sea” is beloved by locals and tourists alike. In the midst of a global epidemic, it is likely that many will opt for staying within the borders when it comes to summer vacation. If you are staying in Hungary and planning to visit Lake Balaton, these are the foods you should definitely try on your trip.
Eating fish in general is popular near basically any body of water, but for some reason, hake has become the most popular fish at Lake Balaton. I might not be the only person who only ever eats fried hake at Lake Balaton, which is crazy because this type of fish is not found in Lake Balaton at all – it does not even come from Europe. The dish is very simple: the hake is coated in flour then fried in oil. It is easy to eat because it has relatively few and small bones. Technically, you could make this dish at home year-round, but many people associate it with vacation, hot summer evenings, and deep orange sunsets. To find out more about hake, click the link for some interesting facts.
Different versions of fisherman’s soup evolved throughout history, but all of them are connected to our waters, meaning the Danube, the Tisza, and Lake Balaton. At almost any restaurant, you can try the Balaton region’s version or the more famous ones of Baja, Szeged, and the Tisza region. The secret of authentic Hungarian fisherman’s soup lies in the good quality fish (mainly carp), the shaving-horse, the bogrács (in case the meal is cooked outdoors), and in the onion and paprika.
This delicious fried dough needs no introduction being one of the best-known Hungarian dishes in the world, after goulash. Hungary’s favourite street food is found everywhere, but the one you purchase at Lake Balaton just hits different, if you know what I mean. Not all buffets make great lángos near Balaton, but the ones that do have been making them for decades. My favourite place is Csúcslángosda in Balatonfenyves where they make regular (toppings on top) and stuffed lángos (toppings inside, like a burrito) too.
Corn on the cob
All Hungarians are familiar with the small cart and the unnecessarily loud merchant yelling “FRESH CORN!” while strolling down the beach. Of course, the corn is usually anything but fresh, but you can hardly ever say no to the scent that lingers. Hungarians prefer their corn boiled rather than grilled. I love to sprinkle some salt on top, but many prefer it sweet.
If you are interested in specific places where you can try all these, check out our previous article on the best places to eat near Lake Balaton.