Debrecen offers special gastronomic experiences to its visitors and residents. Some of the culinary specialties of the region include “dübbencs” (a rustic fistful of baked dough), “puliszka” (boiled corn flour sprinkled with ewe’s cheese), Hortobágy “tarhonya” (egg barley) or “slambuc” (with toasted smoked bacon, lebbencs noodles and potatoes as its ingredients). Beef goulash is also a traditional dish, typical to the region, that was named after the shepherds who guard the Hungarian Grey cattle. Further classics include stuffed cabbage a la Hajdúság, “orjaleves” (with bits of boiled pork), meat-filled pancakes a la Debrecen, and the spicy Hungarian fish soup.
Nonetheless, the most well-known delicacy of the city is the Debrecen double sausage (Debrecziner) which has become popular in all parts of Europe and has been adopted into various cuisines. It was first declared an Outstanding National Value and in 2015 it was listed as a “Hungaricum”. The sausage is available in four different varieties: made from pork only, beef only, a mix of pork and beef or kosher lamb. Visitors and residents of the city can taste the double sausage in various restaurants and at street food stands.
A real curiosity is the local gingerbread (mézeskalács) which is traditionally a red, glossy biscuit, usually decorated with white foam and coloured roses, with a tiny mirror in the middle. It is made in various shapes such as a heart, a hussar, or even a baby.
The famous kürtőskalács (chimney cake) is also a must-try. It is a registered “Hungaricum” and a cherished delicacy in Szeklerland, Transylvania, and Hungary. In addition, home-style stretched strudels – with various fillings such as cottage cheese, apple, or cherry – are also some of the most popular confections of the region, together with the Dobos torte (a layered sponge cake layered with chocolate buttercream and topped with caramel) and the Gerbeaud cake (a layered cake with walnut and apricot jam filling, covered with chocolate) available in most confectioneries in Debrecen.
Those who would like to learn more about Hungarian cuisine and try traditional dishes at popular places in Debrecen have the opportunity to take part in a new sightseeing tour with a special focus on food. In addition, those who would like to try themselves out in preparing famous Hungarian traditional dishes, can take part in various courses of a cookery school.
Food can be ordered in the restaurant where you can also choose the take-away option, or you can order from your home through different apps.
At sit-down eateries, it is standard to tip about 10% of the total for decent service or up to 15% for an outstandingly helpful server.