When you think of ice cream, Hungary does not come to mind, but it should!  When I took fille to Hungary for the first time this spring, I told her of the wonderful ice cream I would eat on my childhood visits to Hungary.  Because of my Hungarian background, I would often travel to visit family and friends starting at young (ice-cream eating) age.

The flavors of Hungarian ice cream are traditionally fresh and bright and not overly sweet. There are also flavors that you won’t see elsewhere.  An amazing flavor I had on this trip was Gestenye Mascarpone (Chestnut mascarpone).  Of course, you should always try the mogyoró (hazelnut) not to be confused with földimogyoró (peanut) and the fruit flavors – particularly raspberry, strawberry or peach.  Good Hungarian ice cream lets the flavor shine through. 

Ice cream is called  fagylalt or fagyi (for short) in Hungarian.  One scoop is called a gombóc.

There used to be ice cream places on every street but not any more.  However, most cafes or pastry shops (cukrászda)  will serve ice cream.  Here are a couple of ice cream shops that we happen to like, but just keep your eyes open and you’ll find one near you.

Daubner Cukrászda – This is a famous bakery and pastry shop on the Buda side.  In addition to really good ice cream they also have amazing cakes, pastries and pogácsa.

Fragola – Fragola is a chain with the feel of a neighborhood ice cream shop. We went to a location on Szépvölgyi út. in a residential neighborhood on the Buda side.  This location had a huge selection of interesting and unusual flavors. Some of the more interesting flavors were the aforementioned Chestnut mascarpone, Lychee with rose essence and a few alcoholic flavors such as Guiness and one with Plum brandy – known as szilvapálinka.  Alcoholic flavors are sold only to those over 18.   There are a few shops of this chain also in the downtown Pest area.

Enjoy!  Definitely have some chestnut or hazelnut ice cream.  Also try the fruit flavors.  You won’t regret it!