Fakanal Etterem
Fakanal Etterem

Gourmet on the Go: Fakanal Etterem

At Fakanal Etterem (the name means “wooden spoon”) in Budapest’s bustling, historic Vasacsarnok Central Market, you can dine on delicious versions of such Hungarian specialties as savory gulyas (goulash), paprikas chicken,  and nokedli (gnocchi). You can also go upstairs for a basic cooking course and learn how to prepare these dishes yourself. 

Fakanal Etterem’s recipes underscore paprika’s central role in Hungarian cuisine. For instance, when I made gulyas leves (a soupier version of the stew) in the cooking course here, a tablespoon of fresh, sweet paprika transformed sautéed onions. Suddenly the simmering iron pot began emitting exotic, savory umami-inducing aromas. Other diners came over to watch me cook and enjoy the intoxicating smells. 

The gulyas—paired with salad, a side of tarhonya, and a mid-bodied Magyar wine—provided a hearty meal fit for an ancient Hungarian king. It also did the trick for a ravenous traveler looking to both enjoy and learn about the country’s cuisine.

FAKANAL ETTEREM Vasacsarnok Central Market Hall, Budapest, Hungary, +36 (1) 484-0806, www.fakanaletterem.hu/en