This author loves to travel but could never imagine living anywhere other than his beloved Budapest.
Chocolate sweets are loved by almost everyone, and I am no exception. For this reason, whenever I'm looking for novelties or visiting my old, regular cake places, I often choose chocolate desserts. I'll show you what my current favorites are!
My friends drew my attention to this place, so I tried it not so long ago. A delicious pomegranate-chocolate pie made me stay at Marangona, and then I became utterly flattered by their Gerbeaud biscuits.
The confectionery in Csanády Street has a pleasant atmosphere as it is a friendly space decorated in pastel colors. Nothing too vivid, nothing too intrusive, and the same go for the flavors. The kind of place where new wave trends are combined with the traditional in such a manner that the end result is pleasant.
One of the strengths of the Marangona Dessert Park or Marangona Desszertpark is their birthday cakes. Due to their clientele, they also make cakes specifically designed for children, decorated with unicorns or other fairy-tale creatures.
Cake to Go
This place’s story is fantastic because it all started with home baking. Ms. Adrienn Sabján, who used to work in a completely different field, started making lifelike cakes as part of her hobby, mimicking the appearance of various foods. Among them was a cake shaped like a hamburger, a bowl of spaghetti, and one reminiscent of paprikas stew.
After a while, she left her previous job and started baking cakes. Then she published a book on hobby confectionary, in which she guides her readers step by step in assembling lifelike cakes, such as ones looking like potted flowers or reticules.
Then in 2020, she took a big step forward and opened her own shop, Cake to Go, on Petneházy Street in the 13th district. From the very beginning, quality has been one of her pastry shop’s principles, and she never uses cheap, mass-produced ingredients. This year's award confirmed this: the Cake to Go strawberry curd dumpling cake won 3rd place at the annual competition called the Sugar-Free Cake of Hungary.
The selection also includes traditional (looking) slices and monodesserts. What’s worth tasting? For example, the caramel-peanut-milk chocolate Snickers tarte, the chocolate macaron (I say this even if I'm not a huge fan of macarons), and the coffee-nut cake made with Belgian chocolate ganache.
The Zsolnay Café on Teréz Boulevard offers top confectionery without compromises, featuring only quality ingredients. Although it is basically a restaurant, the confectionery products are not simply desserts on the menu, but remarkable creations that can stand on their own.
Their sweets, the monodesserts, made with modern technology, offer an almost artistic experience. Their Madrigál delicacy, which does not contain added sugar, is covered in a crunchy, metallic chocolate glaze, under which there is a soft, tonka bean, marzipan-like filling. The components of the beautiful, shiny glazed, tastefully decorated Caramel Dark Chocolate Cake are dark chocolate, pear puree, creamy caramel, and dark chocolate ganache.
Those looking for classic flavors can also find traditional cakes such as the Dobos Cake. But if you prefer to try something new, you can choose from sweets that are not available anywhere else. Their selection also includes cakes made without lactose, added sugar, and wheat flour.
Since it is an unadulterated coffee house, we can get specialty coffee in addition to chocolate sweets. Zsolnay purchases the lighter-roasted, more restrainedly acidic Cuba Serrano Superior coffee blend from the Roncardi manufactory in Modena as well as the darker-roasted Santo Domingo, which has the special feature that only raw materials from one plantation are used during roasting.
I have written about Cocó7 before, and my opinion has not changed since then. The store located in the 1st district, on Hattyú Street, specializes in bonbons, and customers were initially attracted by the uniquely flavored, high-quality chocolate confections.
Meanwhile, in addition to chocolates, more and more emphasis has also been placed on cakes.
Their mono-desserts and cakes are delicacies carefully made from high-quality ingredients. One of their curd-cherry sweets won the Budapest Dessert award in 2021. The basis of this specialty is a light curd mousse, with pieces of sour cherry flavored with almond liqueur in the middle, and a cocoa butter-dark chocolate coating on the exterior. (In the Budapest dessert competition, an important aspect is that the sweets are made from ingredients that can be purchased by anyone and are available all year round, and the main ingredients are determined in advance before the competition.)
The founder and owner of Cocó 7, Ms. Bernadett Bretz, originally graduated from ELTE University with a degree in English and Aesthetics, and next to raising children, she started to create chocolate, and later also passed a confectionary exam. After her seventh child also outgrew the nursery age, she took a deep breath and started the chocolate business.
My old favorite in the Buda side is this little pastry shop on the corner, from where, when someone opens the door, there are always such aromas emanating that you can't resist.
It is a kind of classic patisserie that suits every occasion with its wide selection whether you have guests coming over and need salty snacks, you're buying some snacks before Christmas (for example, almond biscuits or small Linzer rings), or you want to order a traditional cake for a birthday.
Two of my personal favorites at Pillók are the Truffle Bar and Blueberry Cherry Chocolate Cake, but I have also bought Sacher Slices and other types of chocolate sweets from them. Their Extra Chocolate Cake and Chocolate Minion also bring the usual, classic flavors. Diet and paleo desserts are also available if you cannot eat traditional sugar for some dietary reason.
When the weather is good, you can sit in front of the patisserie, at the small tables or on the bench on the side of the building, and contemplate the life of the city while enjoying your cake.