Even though the above mentioned three words sound like a generalized description of what the boot-shaped country’s gastronomy is like, Italian people, to whom it is everyday life and not just a culinary journey, know and respect that the three P’s are what the world is crazy about, and they are enormously proud of it.
The Italian cuisine is widely famous for justified reasons, hence we celebrate its existence every single year on 17 January, or whenever we get the chance to eat authentic Italian meals. A good bowl of pasta or a slice of pizza fresh from the wood-fired oven is a temptation hard to resist, but the Mediterranean country has much more to offer. Here are 4 meals Italians want you to know about!
There is a deep fried, stuffed rice ball coated with breadcrumbs behind the name that means little orange in English. It is a popular street food in Italy that exists in a number of regional variants. The most common fillings are ragú, mozzarella, ham or besciamella (Béchamel sauce). The delicacy comes in different shapes: round and conical ones are also available, the latter resembling the form of volcano Etna.
Eggplant is the main ingredient of melanzane ripiene, an insanely delicious appetizer worthy of substituting a main dish. A meatball with a twist, it is a full-of-flavour, light but filling meal (especially if you can’t stop with one) made of minced meat, eggs, shredded eggplant, garlic and parsley, stuffed in eggplant shells.
Resembling our very own lángos, calzone is another must-try street food when in Italy. It is stuffed with pizza ingredients (the classic recipe includes tomato sauce, mozzarella and/or ham) and can either be made in the oven or deep-fried in oil. Families usually make it in a smaller size at home, but the folded pizza size is also popular.
Baked in layers like lasagne, parmigiana is layered eggplant (dried with salt and coated in a thin layer of flour) with ham, boiled egg (optional), and parmesan cheese covered with basil tomato sauce. The layers need to be fried before layered and then cooked in the oven. Warning: it is so filling that a little piece is enough, but you will want more!
10 Worth-a-try Italian Restaurant in Budapest
Situated in the green belt of Buda, Alessio’s owners are enthusiastic gastro-entrepreneurs led by Miklós Forrai. They brought to life a restaurant that serves huge portions for good prices, whose menu caters to traditional Tuscan tastes with ingredients straight from Italy, and where everyone can forget about the requisites of fine dining establishments and just kick back, unwind and enjoy the ride on the flavorful plains and hills of Italian cuisine.
#2 Pizza Manufaktúra
One of our most favourite (and closest to the office) downtown pizza spots is Pizza Manufaktúra, where thin-crust pizzas are served with all the classic toppings you can imagine. Heavenly smells (and flavours) invite dozens of people especially around lunchtime, but it is worth waiting in a line, because the pizza we are getting is madly delicious.
#3 Trattoria Pomo D’oro
Charming Italian melodies, thin-crust pizzas made in a wood-fired oven, more than 150 types of Italian wine, an open-kitchen and a lovely store – that’s Trattoria Pomo D’Oro, a beloved restaurant where you can hop in any part of the day; it’s your perfect location for a nice Italian breakfast, a filling lunch or a romantic dinner. From flavours to the ambiance and service, everything is professional and spot on.
#4 Tom George Italiano
Situated on October 6. utca, close to so many internationally known sights of the capital city, this restaurant is as authentic as can be. Run by a group of culinary enthusiasts, the place offers homemade, traditional pastas and Naples-style pizza made from premium quality ingredients including meat sourced from all around the world.
#5 Ristorante Krizia
A daily lunch offer costs 1500 HUF at Ristorante Krizia, consisting of divine pasta meals, light but filling salads, and of course, inevitable Italian dessert sensations like tiramisu. From time to time, the restaurant seasons its menu with a pinch of Hungary, offering tortelloni with foie gras, just to mention one of their latest culinary endeavors.
In several parts of Budapest, mostly in shopping malls will you bump into Bellozzo’s restaurants, as the Italian-themed fast food chain has conquered the whole city. Regardless of what you’d like to feed your hunger with, let it be a tasty pasta or a delicious pizza, you can get there. The waiting time is not too long, and in case you are interested in the cooking process, you can follow it thanks to the open-kitchen concept.
#7 Vini Cicchetteria Gastro Bar
The idea of opening a cicchetteria in Budapest was inspired by the owners’ many visits to Italy, where, especially around Venice, cicchetti (delicious bread pieces with special toppings) is pretty popular. Vini Cicchetteria Gastro Bar invites everyone willing to experiment with the enticing tiny sandwiches served with great wine, aperitivo or coffee.
#8 Jamie’s Italian
Sourcing the best quality ingredients from Europe’s most ethical and sustainable businesses, Jamie’s Italian is proud to work with a group of professionals. The enthusiastic team managed to create a restaurant where guests are welcomed in an environment that is modern and always on-trend. About the menu: an impressing list of rustic, authentic Italian meals are available to order.
#9 Ape Regina
Budapest and Hungary’s very first restaurant to fuse the all you can eat concept and Italian flavours is fortunate enough to have a Sicilian chef behind the kitchen doors. Prices are wallet-friendly, you can eat as much as you wish for a fixed price. Ape Regina provides great opportunity for everyone willing to experiment with the highly acclaimed Italian cuisine, and let us confirm here that there’s a lot to experiment with…
#10 Belli di Mamma
An innovative street food restaurant that wants to be more than an average pizza place, Belli di Mamma introduces you to something you might not have heard about before: frittiti aka delicacies fried in oil. The light, flavourful and crunchy bites are mostly made of vegetables or seafood, and they are said to be mind-blowingly good!