I was in Budapest just before Christmas last year and absolutely loved it. And in this wonderful city I found two of my favourite things: pizza and a good library!
The pizza was from Napfenyes Restaurant and Pizzeria, a big, underground restaurant that appears to do good takeaway trade. It has a few menu items stolen from its sister restaurant (reviewed here), but the main focus is on the extensive pizza menu.
I usually play it quite safe when it comes to pizza, sticking to mushrooms, garlic, and not much else. But this time, I was bold. I ordered the coal miner’s pizza, which was essentially a ‘meat’ feast, featuring sausage, seitan and smoked tofu. It had so many good savoury, smoky flavours, I just loved it. The cheese was also one of the better vegan varieties I’ve had. This was definitely an unusual choice for me, but perhaps it will inspire me to be more adventurous with my pizza toppings in the future.
Dr HH went for the piquant pizza. It looks quite different from mine because it didn’t have the same tomato sauce, it was more vegetable-based. One piece of chopped chilli from his pizza accidentally fell onto mine, and I thought there would be no harm in eating it. I was wrong. I couldn’t breathe for about a minute, it was so hot. Dr HH, however, ate the whole thing calmly, so I suppose it depends on your tolerance. He really enjoyed the pizza, and described the cheese as unobtrusive, which is basically what he wants in a vegan cheese.
The restaurant also has a little dessert cabinet showcasing a few of the cakes from the main restaurant – while they looked dazzling and delicate, we were too full to partake on this occasion.
And on to the library: I’m a big fan of libraries, as you may have gathered from yesterday’s post, and this one in Budapest was spectacular. The Ervin Szabo Library is housed in an old palace, so it’s a pretty grand building, but the majority of the library itself is modern and unexceptional…except for these connected reading rooms, which are all incredibly grand and beautiful.
Imagine studying here.
Or here – this was the only empty chair we saw!
Libraries are the best. It’s only 500HUF to get in for a one-off visit, and definitely worth it. If you go early, you can curl up in a chair by a fireplace and get lost in a book (take your own though, it looked quite academic). Happy reading!