The Central Market Hall.

The Central Market Hall

I probably enjoy a good market more than the next man. In fact I love markets. Budapest has a brilliant market, the central market hall is located on Fővám Tér in the 9th district. The ground floor is beautiful, lots of different stalls offering a staggering range of produce. Beautiful fruit and vegetables are stacked high, meats of every kind wink at you from chilled cabinets and you can buy every part of the pig 6 days a week. It is also very cheap, you can buy enough food for a week at the same price as a restaurant meal. You can also buy wine and spirits, as well as some of the finest butter I’ve ever tasted and the Hungarian necessity of sour cream.

Upstairs you can buy loads of tat, have you every hankered for a traditional secret box, with hidden key and sliding panels? This is the place to buy souvenirs for granny. To be honest I start to feel panicked by the sheer array of pointless things and usually have to go down and stair at the pork butcher for a few minutes to calm down. The food upstairs is also filled with traditional hungarian food, in that it has been there since the olden days and there are definitely better places to eat for less. It’s always nice to have a beer before you do the shopping though. I also find it a bit sad that with the array of fresh produce meters away, that the food isn’t better.

Budapest is located quite far inland, and I really hope the day I went downstairs in the market hall was a combination of several things, I can’t fathom, to produce the sight that awaited me at the fish counter. It was really sad, cloudy eyes and slimy skin. Along with a small tank filled with fish, which are a sad looking fish in the first place, swimming round and round. Downstairs is great for pickles, tights and a rather fancy steak shop, but pity the poor fish. And go back upstairs to the ground floor to get something really good.

Frank Carlin


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