San Da Vinci
Before long, all visitors to Budapest will notice the countless, painfully overlit gyro vendors swarming the city, hawking cheap chicken and lamb gyros to drunk bachelor party tourists. At first, San Da Vinci, located along the highway-like Rákóczi Road near the city center, looks like just another gyro joint, but it turns out it’s a worthier venue.
The owner, a Turkish native from the seaside city of Cesme, is committed to bringing the flavors of Turkish street food from the Aegean Region to Budapest. The highlight is the kumru sandwich (€3), a specialty of Cesme, consisting of a sesame-seeded demi baguette layered with melted Turkish cheese, crisped pepperoni, sweet tomatoes, and pickles. To top it with a fried egg, go for the “atom” version. The köfte meatball and the chicken sandwiches (€3 each) are also good.
San da Vinci’s baklava, moist and buttery and rich with pistachio nuts, is among the best I’ve had in Budapest. Turkish coffee and ayran, the yogurt-based beverage, are also available. If you don’t take your sandwich to go, you can sit by the upstairs tables.