Would you like to taste Heaven? If the answer is yes, you are definitely at the right place now. What is more, if you love beer and hamburgers you are not supposed to skip this review. Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to welcome you in the world of craft-beer and street food.
Nowadays, the popularity of craft-beer and hamburgers – or every kind of street food – has been constantly increasing. Many festivals take place in Budapest, which are focusing mainly on the above mentioned guilty pleasures: Főzdefeszt, Street Food Show, Beer & Hamburger & Barbeque Festival, Hamburger Day, Food Truck Show – just to mention a few. All of these festivals are beloved by the people who are enjoying having great food and beer in their stomach. To be honest, I am also belonging to the lovers of this world and also to the group who has been visiting these festivals for a few years now.
First of all, let me start with the beer. Definitely, Főzdefeszt is the most popular among other festivals if beer is in focus. However, it does not mean that only beer is what people can find there. It only means that breweries try to come up with something original and new, and show it to the public on Főzdefeszt. After that, when something becomes popular, they follow the tendency and show it at every other festivals. Nobody needs to be sorrowful if they cannot go to one of these festivals. Most of the time, these events are more or less the same; although every festival has a special atmosphere which makes them original in their own ways.
Usually, there are two Főzdefeszt within one single year, one is held during the end of spring and the other one is during summer. These events take place outdoors, and this is the reason why fans of these festivals need to wait until the weather is nice. Street Food Festival is pretty much the same – it is organized twice a year as well. The other festivals which were mentioned are settled only once. However, all of these events start on Thursday or Friday and end on Sunday, so people have many opportunities to visit them. The places of these occasions are quite diverse. Főzdefeszt is usually takes place in Napozórét, Városliget. I am sure everyone would not think of a better place than that. There is a huge circle in the middle where the stands serve as borders and the core is full of tables and people. However, there is one big disadvantage – the toilets! I think if I say it has only toi toi toilets, I have said enough. There is another festival where people can only find toi tois: at the Street Food Show. Although, that takes place in a different part of the city: all along the Andrássy Street. However, this one factor should not deter anyone. These two are still the most famous ones. Unfortunately, Andrássy Street is still not the best option as a spot either. Both sides of the street is full of stands and the tables are in the middle. This means that walking along the street is pretty difficult because of the crowd, and, this could make people annoyed and thus discouraged. Now, I come to the point where I can tell you which is the best place of these kinds of festivals: Millenáris Park – where the other events are organized. That is just as big as Városliget – or maybe even bigger – and you can use the toilet at the end of the festival, in another building, which is just perfect for it. Probably, this is the reason why Millenáris has been the best place so far.
There is another controversial issue concerning these festivals. Usually, there is no cash payment which means that people can use only debit cards with pay pal functions, or a special festival card. This makes many people very angry, mostly those people who do not possess debit cards. I can understand that because you need to stand in a line and load your festival card with real money which can be a little bit circumstantial. However, you only need to wait the line once – after that, you can enjoy everything as the others do. Even if they tried once the cash-only payment, it did not work either. To be honest, I have been there at that time as well, and it was just horrible with those counting, calculations and papers. All in all, I am glad they have switched back to the formerly used payment method.
During these festivals, you need to purchase a special glass in which breweries can give you beer – and they can only give you to that one. Buying this glass, you have paid your entrance-fee to the festival (which is not a big amount, only 1200 Ft), and after you have enjoyed the party you can take your glass home as a souvenir. You can buy one of these at any beer-stall and shops, and you can clean glasses at the glass-points, called „Poháröblítés”. Because of this, one can collect these special glasses and make a huge cellaret out of it. I already have 3 different glasses – I would have more, but sometimes there are glasses which are the same within one year.
People could say these festivals probably discriminate vegetarians. Let me tell you that they do NOT! You can find many places where stands has come up with possible solutions to avoid meat and still be delicious: there are places which use cheese instead of meat in hamburgers or just make delicate and special little dishes. What is more, dogs are also allowed to go only if they have leash and muzzle as well. Furthermore, people can vote on these festivals concerning what they have liked the most, and, at the end, the winner will be named as the “The Favourite Beer of the Year” or “The Best Hamburger of the Year” – depending on the focus of that particular festival.
All in all, these festivals are great for those who enjoy chilling or being among a lot of people, talk, drink great craft-beer, taste special flavours, and eat amazing hamburgers during a summer day. However, make sure you have enough money on your bank account – not too much, not too less. You could lose your head easily after you have drunk enough beer. If you stay cautious and sober, you will not have regrets the other day. Finally, these events are becoming more and more popular. Other programmes are being introduced as well in order to attract more and more people – children, families, and elder generations – just to have some fun together.
Pictures from: official website of Főzdefeszt and its facebook page
official website of beer, hamburger and barbeque festival and its facebook page