Delicious Traditions

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Hello, my name is Ilana, and I search high and low for food trucks wherever I go, even on the other side of the world.

I can’t fully take credit for this one though – this find was a recommendation (Shoutout to Contiki Trip Manager Shanna, this is all her doing!). Should you ever find yourself in Budapest, make sure to stop by Karavan.

Karavan is just steps from Szimpla Kert, the original Budapest ruins bar. It’s a small, permanent lot of about 12 – 15 food trucks serving up everything from vegan burgers to traditional Hungarian cuisine, and is also where you’d find me every single freaking day if I had anything to do with it.

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I wanted to try everything. For some odd reason, anything vegan calls my name even though I am not at all vegan, until I ran into another girl from my group who had traditional, hearty Hungarian goulash inside a giant loaf of sourdough bread sitting in front of her, and an elated expression on her face. I was sold. I had to have it.

My nonexistent Hungarian skills ended in me finding the Nyakleves truck and excitedly pointing at the picture of my desired meal, and then bouncing up and down on my toes like I’m eight until I could smell the paprika, meat and veggies. It wasn’t long before I was scraping the saturated bread off the inside of the massive bread bowl, attempting to fit every last morsel (It was one of the best things I ate on the trip!).

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While I ate like I’d never seen food before (Partially true – I’d never had goulash before this trip, and I never imagined it’d taste like that!) the remainder of the group scattered around the lot and then returned to the table we’d claimed with burgers, tacos, and chimney cakes, all of which we tested, approved, and then did some serious damage on.

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The Chimney Cake never stood a chance, to be honest….

No one needed to eat breakfast the next morning, and not one person was at all mad about it.


Karavan

Kazinczy utca 18

Budapest 1075, Hungary

TripAdvisor: Street Food Karavan

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Create Your Own

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Miniature food tour, I mean, because that’s exactly what you should be doing after the stellar workout that is stand-up paddle boarding.

My friend and I didn’t drink enough water while out on the paddle boards, so even though we had to make an emergency 7-11 stop for giant waters, I don’t think it counts. Shortly after, though, we spotted the Churro Co. truck, and just had to stop.

We had been having a discussion in the car about churros, so it was perfect. We made friends with the nice guy in the truck while deciding on which highly-decorated churro was best. My friend went with the Rico Suave, as recommended by one of the guys in the little kitchen, and I went with a Blue Ivy, because I saw that two of my favorite fruits were involved and needed no further convincing.

Their stickers and loyalty cards have tons of personality, so we jacked some of those. The churros came out shortly after in little boats. My three little mini churros were drowned in blueberry compote, lemon curd, whipped cream and almonds. For such a heavy treat, it was shockingly refreshing. The churro can very easily be broken apart with a fork, and dragged through all of the delicious decorations until there’s nothing left in the plate. I was so sad when it was over, and was tempted to get another.

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Our second stop was actually where we had intended to go originally, except we got distracted by churros, so it got pushed back. We drove over to Ju Ju Juice, a hidden juice café that’s definitely a “locals only” kind of place. It’s so hidden, we drove by it the first time.

Covered in ivy, Ju Ju Juice is just a deck and a window. My friend warned me that their concoctions got a little exotic, and that I might not like it. I chose something called the Cilantro Chavez, which is not too much of stretch from my standard juice choice of kale and orange, and was a conglomeration of cilantro, lime, green apple, jalapeno, cucumber, and orange juice. To be honest, I did hesitate; I don’t usually enjoy jalapeno in things that are supposed to be refreshing and cool. I actually ended up loving it. The jalapeno didn’t really burn, and it still had a sweet element from the orange juice. It is also super bright green, and makes you feel awesomely fit drinking it- I probably should’ve gotten a bigger one.

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Major props from me for these two stops. They are for sure in my top five favorite Austin restaurants!

Intern Perks

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Every once in a while, my internship turns into summer camp, and the interns get the afternoon off to play in Austin. This time, our afternoon off involved copious amounts of eating, because our company treated us to a Food Truck Tour.

We made five stops, starting with Micklethwait Craft Meats, AKA real Texas Barbecue (finally!). It’s located just around the corner from the world-famous Franklin BBQ, and from my understanding, it’s just as good, if not better. We sat outside under the trees, and were given brisket, ribs, and jalapeno cheese grits (insert heart eyes emoji face here). I ate all of it, though the brisket was my favorite. The skin was super salty and it wasn’t at all tough.

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The next stop was East Side King, which is a famous food truck in Austin. We actually stopped at their storefront, where the guide ordered for us and we were able to sit inside in the air conditioning. He ordered Tori Meshi, which is Korean friend chicken. It was good, but not outstanding. What I really wanted to try were the Poor Qui’s buns, but we weren’t able to order any. Maybe next time? 🙂

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Tori Meshi

Our last stop involved three different trucks at once, or as our guide called it, The Trifecta. We started with Regal Ravioli and their amazing garlic bread. Though I admit I may have really just been a fan of their Texas Toast-style garlic bread, this truck was great. Their raviolis were covered in Parmesan cheese, and I’m honestly sold on anything involving Parmesan cheese!

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Sorry for the horrible picture quality… taking these on my phone!

40 North Pizza is Regal Ravioli’s next door neighbor. By this point, I had very little room left for any food at all, and I will openly admit to being an elitist, New York pizza snob. However, when their fresh Margherita pie was brought over, looking amazing in all its homemade mozzarella glory, I caved and took a small piece. Not at all bad for Texas pizza…

And of course, we finished with cupcakes. The cupcakes were delivered to us, which in the Texas heat may not have been the best idea, but because they were Sugar Mama’s Bake Shop cupcakes, they were still the bomb.com. I had looked up their flavors while we were still at the office that morning, and had already pre-selected which one I wanted to try from their menu, which changes daily. The boxes were opened and the interns descended upon them, but not before I swooped in and grabbed one of the Odd Couple cupcakes.

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Usually I’m not a chocolate cake girl, but the Odd Couple is basically a caramel, chocolate, and pretzel cupcake, so how could it really be wrong? It was a little melty from the heat, but all I’ve been thinking about for literally days is a Caramel Milkshake from the Smashburger right by my school in Manhattan, and the perfectly sugary, homemade caramel icing on the Odd Couple solved that problem (For now, anyway…).

I then had to surrender, as I had for sure hit food comatose, and needed a nap. Regardless, I promise I’m eating my way through Austin, slowly but surely!