As you eat in Hungary, keep your knife in your right hand,
fork in the left, and try everything; turning down food is like rejecting your host's
hospitality. You should also keep your hands in sight throughout the meal. As your
meal comes to a conclusion, leave a little food on your plate. Also, throughout
the meal your wine glass will be refilled as soon as it is half empty, so if you're
finished drinking, leave at least half your glass full so it's not refilled.
If eating in a restaurant, particularly with business associates, the event is more
formal. In these situations the inviter is expected to pay for everyone in a discreet
manner, by excusing him or herself and paying the server directly. However if only
going to dinner with friends, the bill is typically divided evenly.
Tipping is more common in Hungary than in most of
Europe. When eating at a sit down restaurant, you should tip about 10% of
the bill, although sometimes a service charge is already added to a bill and tipping
on top of this is unnecessary. When you pay your waiter or waitress at a restaurant,
tell him or her how much change you want back so your payment includes both the
bill and tip; leaving money on the table seems odd to Hungarians.
Many Hungarians start their day with a cup of coffee, however
the coffee house scene is still developing in the country outside the capital. In
addition to this favorite, all popular international drinks are available, including
soft drinks, tea, juices, and milk.
For alcohol, the Hungarians love their wine, beer, and palinkahe,
a local alcohol distilled from fruits. The beer options are numerous including local
beers as well as imports from nearby neighbors like Austria,
Germany, and the Czech Republic.
Many wines sold in Hungary are locally grown and produced; many of these tend to
fall on the sweeter side of the spectrum, particularly their white wines. All popular
beers, wines, and hard liquors are also commonly available.
Generally speaking, the tap water is safe to drink in Hungary,
but check with locals for any particular regional differences. Also, many people
may have troubles adjusting to the local tap water, as it will most certainly be
different from what your system is used to.