We love lángos; we always have and always will. It is just as much a part of our beloved Lake Balaton lifestyle as the leather seats of the Hungarian trains, the dolphin-design on paddle-boats, and the twisting queue in front of an ice-cream parlor. We think it’s impossible to find the very best lángos of Balaton, but it is definitely worthwhile to visit the heroes who calmly stand above the lángos stove even in sizzling summer heat, producing tasty not-too-oily treats. We now present seven lángos makers who deserve a master title, treating everyone with tasty lángos and great expertise.
Béla Pálóczi has been making lángos in Hungary and abroad for 17 years, with a few short breaks. His recipe is traditional, he does not believe in special secrets; the oil has to be boiling hot, so the thin dough only needs about half a minute of frying. He swells all the time, according to his creed: “You have to swell the dough until it answers back,” meaning that you cook it until the small air bubbles in the dough start to pop.
Sándor Bosnyák provides paddlers with tasty lángos in the tiny Határ Street beach between Balatonlelle and Balatonszemes. He once had a bad lángos, so he threw it into the bin and decided to bring this Magyar-made delicacy to perfection. Their motto says: “szívvel és kézzel” (meaning “wholeheartedly and by hand”); even though they bought a dough maker, without Sándor’s special handiwork, the lángos would never be the same.
Siófok-Balatonszéplak, Hungária Street 27/B. For everyone familiar with this area, this address means the Széplaki Lángos Buffet. They are not present in the city center, or on the beach, but they are still legendary; their dough is a flavor champion under all circumstances. The second generation of management, Henrietta Csaba and her sweetheart, have been in the business since the opening in 1984, and we discovered them through the tip of Balázs Csapody, the owner of Kistücsök.
György Lángi has been operating Gyuri Lángos Buffet for 15 long years. He believes that making lángos is truly easy – all you need is quality ingredients; a fun, friendly, and kind team; and great love for making lángos.
Karám at Gyenesdiás has been a family business for 26 years, ran by Szilvia Szalóki. She thinks that quality ingredients bear key importance, especially the flour that she purchases from a nearby producer. Her one indispensable ingredient will not be a surprise: you have to put your whole heart into it.
It was not so easy to find, the buffet of Róza mama – who started out at the Móricz Beach of Balatonszárszó – at a new spot. Auntie Róza is now retired, but she sometimes pops in to help, and on such special occasions, three generations work at the same time. “You have to love making lángos, that’s all,” said the sweet grandma, adding that the quality of the flour and the heat of the oil also kind of matter.
Pál László Styaszni operates his lángos eatery at the Azánka beach, where they also entice everyone with tasty kürtőskalács (chimney cakes). He believes that for a good lángos you need love, and once you swell the dough, it comes alive.