Explore the biggest market in Budapest, the Bosniak Square Market! If you want to know where a Budapestian granny goes to shop on a market day, forget about the Great Market Hall. It might look glamorous but it’s only for tourists. All the way the east of Pest lies the Bosniak Square Market, whose Saturday fair is the biggest in the capital, and therefore Hungary.
Bosniak Square Market, the biggest market in Budapest
The biggest market in Budapest, the Bosniak Square Market, first opened in 1911. It is located on ‘Bosnyák tér’ (Bosniak Square) beside a modern style catholic church, the landmark of the area. The entrance may not seem as grand as the Great Market Hall, but behind it hides the real attraction. You can see the parking lot full and people of all kind rushing in through that modest entrance in droves.
Inside the main building which stretches to the end of the block. You can find the permanent farmer’s market which provides you with everything you would need and more. Several side structures can also be found with stalls extending the already sizable market. Behind the groups of structures is an enormous square the size of a small stadium which serves as the main place for the Saturday market, crowning the marketplace as the grandest in the nation.
The Saturday fair
The Saturday fair transforms the huge square behind into an open air market with vendors of all sort congregating from the countryside just the way it was in throughout history. The square is packed with vehicles with size ranging from trucks to carts bringing in the freshest product you can find.
Besides the freshness, you can also find many special produce if it’s not already available in the permanent market. It’s really as authentic and hearty as it can get, with real farmers bringing into town showing what they are most proud of, including some giant plants they grew in their back garden
What to buy in a fair…
It was the middle of summer when we were at the market, which means an even greater range of products available, and especially berries. Blueberries, raspberries, mulberries, gooseberries, blackberries, currents, the list goes on.
It’s the most satisfying thing to buy seasonal products at their seasons, and savor what nature generously offers accordingly in every stage of yearly cycle. We bought boletus and chanterelle, real delicacies with a very narrow window of availability, a few weeks in a year. Rhubarb is another summer treat not to be missed.
With a long tradition of husbandry, the Hungarian really took meat-eating to another level. Here you can find all the imaginable forms of meat on sale, including the special goose crackling/goose rind, sausages, salo (cued pork belly fat) and so on. Other really recommended Hungaricum include paprika powder, pickles of all kind, and Lángos, a fried dough topped with sour cream, cheese and garlic sauce traditionally. It is always the thing to have in a crowded market for a late breakfast, or on the beach of Lake Balaton.
Besides the predominant scene of farmer’s market, you can also find a sizable flea market along and at the edge of the square. If you have an eye for it, you can really come across a great deal of hidden gems.