One weekend in Budapest

It’s been already a while ago since I visited Budapest for a weekend. Unfortunately, I did not make any proper pictures of what I ate, but I did make a little eat- and sightseeing schedule. So for those who have plans to Budapest for a first time, these where my culinary and touristic highlights in the 2 days I had in this gorgeous city: 

DAY 1 @ PEST:

Breakfast @ Menza restaurant and cafe:  A modern retro cafe close to our hotel serving all kinds of dishes. I had scrambled eggs and hot chocolate :).

Lunch @ The Great Market Hall (Vasarcsarnok)

Great Market Hall Budapest

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Noodles in Hell’s Kitchen: Ippudo

IPPUDO (321 W51st. between 8&9 Avenue. Midtown West, Hell’s Kitchen)

$$ Food *****   Ambiance ****

Ippudo is probably the most well-known spot for Japanese ramen in New York. Very popular, walk in only and always very crowded. In order to prevent a long wait (up to 2,5 hours) it’s best to go either very early, or very late.

Although Ippudo isn’t a fancy place, I like the fact that all the staff greets you in Japanese as soon as you enter.

My favorite dishes:

Hirata Buns (appetizer). These are steamed buns filled with your choice of pork or chicken, served with Ippudo’s original spicy buns sauce ($9 per two).

Hirate Buns Ippudo New York

Akamaru Modern (main).  This is my favorite Noodle dish. A silky “Tonkotsu” (pork) soup noodles topped with Ippudo’s secret “Umami Dama” miso paste, pork chashu, cabage, sesame kikurage mushrooms, scallions, and fragrant garlic oil. About  $15 per bowl. You can ad additional toppings to your soup. I love the Onsen Tamago (poached egg. $2).

Akamaru Modern Ippudo New York

Tori Ramen
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Noodles in Hell’s Kitchen: Totto

TOTTO (366 W52nd st. between 8&9 Avenue. Midtown West, Hell’s Kitchen)

$$ Food **** Ambiance ***

Totto Ramen is one of my favorite noodle joints in Midtown. It’s a very tiny restaurant in the that cannot take more than 4 persons per visit.

The ambiance is low key, like a hole in the wall kind of place located in the basement of an apartment building. Every time I enter the place I have the feeling of really being in Asia; cramped seats, a lot of (Asian) youth and speakers playing asian hip hop.

Totto Ramen New York

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Noodles in Midtown East

HIDE-CHAN RAMEN (248 east 52st, between 2nd and 3rd Avenue. Midtown East)

$$ Food **** Ambiance ***

Delicious noodles without a long wait for a table. Some find them too salty, but for me they were perfect. For lunch they offer special lunch sets consisting of an appetizer and main dish, varying from $10-$15 per set.

I ordered the traditional Hakata Tonkotsu Ramen for $9.50 (which weren’t that spicy), along with Buns ($6).

Hakata Tonkotsu Ramen Hide Chan New York

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Noodles in Chinatown & Tribeca

BASSANOVA RAMEN (76 Mott street and Canal street. Chinatown).

$ Food **** Ambiance ***

Bassanova Ramen is a modern small ramen restaurant located in the heart of Chinatown. When I visited it on a Thursday evening around 7pm, the restaurant was almost empty but started to get more busy by 8pm. Since I was already warned on forehand that the ramen at Bassanova is just “average”I did not expect a lot but I was pleasantly surprised about my Tondaku Truffle Oil Wadashi Ramen ($15). It wasn’t the cheapest or biggest bowl I’ve ever eaten but the ramen was thin (which I generally prefer over wavy noodles), the broth was light (although I did not taste any truffle) and the pork was tender. 

Ramen Bassanova

Tondaku Truffle Oil Wadashi Ramen Bassanova New York Chinatown

GREAT NEW YORK NOODLE TOWN (28 Bowery street at Bayard street. Chinatown).

$ Food *** Ambiance **

The Great New York Noodle Town, located in Chinatown is a place you go when you would like to eat cheap and fast. The restaurant is everything but fancy and the prices are similar to those of many fast food chains. You can bring your own bottle/ booze too (BYOB).

 

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Korea Town: local street food at Pocha 32

POCHA 32 (15, W32nd st, between 5th & 6th Avenue. Midtown West, Korea Town)

$$ Food **** Ambiance ****

One of my favorite Korean restaurants in Korea Town is Pocha 32. I like it because of its fun low key ambiance, its Asian pop music, unique decor and good local Korean street food. Its a hole in the wall spot were all the Korean Youth in New York goes. Since they have many big round tables, it’s especially good for groups or celebrating birthday parties. Another plus is that the place is open every day till at least 3 am.The only negative is the sometimes-slow service.

Pocha 32 New York

Pocha 32 serves local street food such as Stuffed Squid, Scallion Pancakes, Sizzling Chicken Gizzards andWatermelon Soju. Continue Reading →

Noodles, much more in and around the Village

Marinated Beef Udon New York East Village

Many Japanese restaurants are located in the East Village and around Union Square. Non surprisingly, there are a tons of good Japanese Ramen restaurants in this area. I love this area because of the enormous choice of affordable restaurants, cool local bars and wide variety of people from students to celebrities. In my previous posts I already told you about SOBAYA and MOMOFUKU, well here are some more I wanna share with you. 

Noodles in New York

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Noodles in East Village: Sobaya

SOBAYA (229 East 9th st, between 2nd and 3rd. avenue. East Village).

$$ Food **** Ambiance ****

What is Soba ?

Soba is one of the Japanese traditional foods in Japan and became popular in the Edo period, the 18th century. It is the Japanese word for buckwheat, but it is most commonly used to refer to a type of thin noodle made from buckwheat flour and wheat flour. It is often served in a hot broth with traditional ingredients such as green onions, shiitake mushrooms, fried tofu, and tempura. However, it can also be served cold. Best-served soba requires 3 elements: Hikitate (fresh flour), Uchitate (fresh noodle) Yudetate (quick serve).

Sobaya looks like a typical style of soba restaurants in Japan. It has a Noren ( (small curtain), Kanban (logo sign) and the interior using lot of wood, and shoji screen, we offer Soba dishes surrounding same as in Japan.

As soon as you enter Sobaya, you’ll see someone making fresh handmade soba, only using natural ingredients.

Sobaya New York East Village

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Noodles in East Village: Momofuku

MOMOFUKU NOODLE BAR (171, 1st avenue, between 10th and 11th street. East Village).

$$ Food **** Ambiance ****

My second favorite noodle bar (after Ippudo) out of the abundance of noodles joints located in the East Village. Momofuku Noodle bar is one of the restaurants owned by famous chef cook David Chang. In my opinion, the least low-key one as well.

Momofuku only uses the best ingredients, so you won’t find any MSG in their noodles.

The Momofuku Pork buns (hoisin, scallion, cucumber $10 for two) were founded here so I obviously had to try them. They were tasty but didn’t amaze me. Learn here how to make them yourself. 

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