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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5 Best Things I Ate: Contiki’s Eastern Trail

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Starting a new series here on the blog, because just one must-have meal is boring. Here are the five best things I ate in Eastern Europe to kick it off:


Donuts

Where to find: Somewhere in Krakow, Poland

My friend and I quite literally purchased these from a random window in Krakow for the Polish equivalent of one American dollar. Mine was filled with Avocat cream, which airs on the side of a custard (like the best Boston cream donut you’ve ever had, times a billion). My friend’s was filled with rose marmalade. Rose is a common ingredient in many desserts, and if you can get past that it will taste exactly the way a rose smells, it is worth a try. Beware of filling explosions, and keep your treats away from the pigeons!


Goulash

Where to find: Nyakleves Soup Truck @ Karavan, Budapest, Hungary

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Goulash is a must in Hungary. While almost everywhere will tout some version of the traditional dish, the thick, hearty version at Nyakleves raises the bar and keeps it there. It’s jam packed with meat, veggies, and paprika, all inside a giant loaf of bread. It’s like a hug for your stomach and your happy traveler heart. Whatever you do, do not miss out on it.


Bled Cream Cake

Where to find: Lake Bled, Slovenia

Lake Bled is very proud of their iconic, simple, light vanilla cream cake. It can be purchased at any of the little cafes in town. Enjoy with a coffee, some friends, and a view.


Pasta in a Box

Where to find: Dal Moro’s, Venice, Italy

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I can promise it will be very, very worth however long you’ve been lost for trying to find it (Getting lost is part of the fun!). Dal Moro’s is quality, authentic pasta, with any sauce you want and any decorations you want (Give me ALL the parmesan!) boxed up to-go in a little container. Sheer spaghetti perfection.


Gelato

Where to find: Suso Gelatoteca, Venice, Italy

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Another hidden Venetian gem, and that’s not a pun – Suso lives on a street where the next street over has the same name but doesn’t connect. Confusing, I know… the dark chocolate gelato should compensate for any frustration. Pair it with Mint Chocolate Chip or Stracciatella. Four euro for two scoops. Eat after Dal Moro’s and before (happily) rolling yourself to back to the mainland.