The East of the West

Food and drink prices at Lake Balaton – with photos and explanations

I can show you how much you must pay if you want to eat or drink on the beach. Including a mini Hungarian surviving dictionary.   

As we all remember, 2020 was about coronavirus. But in Hungary we had a window of a few months when we could live a relative normal live, without restrictions and face masks.

Szigliget beach

People flocked to Lake Balaton making hotels and beaches crowded. It seemed as if there had never been any pandemic.

Meanwhile there was a public debate about the prices of Balaton.

Some experienced the prices high rocketed at the “Hungarian sea”, others denied it.

Balaton beer
Typical beach bar at Lake Balaton. A pint (0,5 l) of Pilsner beer is 800 HUF, and a class (0,3l) is 600 HUF. It is higher than at a village pub, but not extreme at all.

Well, I visited the beach of Szigliget (northern shore) a couple of times during the above mentioned period and came to the conclusion that the prices were really a bit higher than the previous years, but the changes are not dramatic: Balaton is still cheaper than the Croat or Italian beaches.

But you decide!

I took some photos of the piece lists of beach bars and food stalls and give you some help for understanding the numbers.


Balaton food stall

Mini dictionary:

Halászlé = Hungarian fish soup (worth trying)
Babgulyás = Gulyás soup with beans (main course)
Rántott csirkemell hasábbal = Breaded chicken breast with fries
Fogasfilé körettel = Pike-perch fish with side dish
Rántott csirkemáj körettel = Breaded chicken liver with side dish

Food prices Balaton
Click to enlarge

A hamburger is around 2000 HUF, depending on the stuffing and topping. Anyway these burgers are real burgers (I mean big ones), you can eat them as main course.

Food prices Balaton
Click to enlarge

The pizzas are between 1500 and 2000 HUF

Food prices Balaton
Click to enlarge

Palacsinták = Pen cakes
Lángos = Deep fried special Hungarian flatbread, extremely popular (nearly compulsory) at summer beaches
Mártások, szószok = Sauces


Balaton drinks

Mini dictionary:

Csapolt sörök = Beers on tap
Folyó borok = wines of the house
Rövid italok = spirits
dl = 0,5 liter

As you can see wines are cheap, but for this money there is guarantee for quality.

Balaton beach bar

Jeges kavé = coffee with ice
Üdítők = soft drinks
Házi limonádé = home made lemonade
Ásványvizek = mineral waters
Gyümölcslevek = fruit juices
Szóda = sparkling water, soda water

Fruits and vegetables

Fruits and vegetables
Click to enlarge

This photo (sorry about the quality) was taken at a greengrocer’s near the entrance of the beach, and this was the only place where we experienced “rip off” prices, which means in places like this you must pay around double of the normal (supermarket or open air market) prices.

Mini dictionary

Őszibarack = peach
Burgony/krumpli = potato
Vöröshagyma = onion
Szilva = plum
Fokhagyma = garlic
Szőlő = grapes
Citrom = Lemon
Padlizsán = Aubergine
Paradicsom = Tomato
Uborka = Cucumber
Sárgarépa = Carrot

Two years ago I collected the Hungarian supermarket prices. As the inflation is relatively low, they are still valid.