We rounded up the best confectioneries of Balaton, including classic places and new-wave spots that serve healthy desserts stepping away from the world of traditional confectioneries. From Siófok to Veszprém, we collected 14 places that take this trade to the next level. Since there’s no list without an extra name, we also put a blogger on ours, who, although might not have a café, is still a very prominent figure of the confectionery scene around Lake Balaton.
Evoking the minimalism of Bali in Balaton, Mala Garden was expanded and Mandara Café opened right next door. They have a shorter menu here but the desserts change daily: you can see what they have for the day at the counter next to the entrance. They let Mala Garden make the meals in fall, winter, and spring, when they remain a café with simple desserts made by one of the former confectioners of Centrál Café.
Melba is located near the railway station and far from the shore in Siófok. It looks just like any other confectionery from the outside, but it’s actually a family business, where they treat desserts and coffee with the same level of perfectionism. Ildikó and her husband learned their trade at the New York Café, and following the school of that place, they don’t even want to hear about artificial flavors. For now they follow the Austrian-Hungarian cake genre, but their Italian ice creams and coffees are also worth a try.
Villa Gréta is a friendly confectionery on Petőfi Promenade, on the edge of Siófok’s party district. Their confectioner, Ágnes Szilágyi creates desserts fit for gastro-books, but they also have 32 types of ice creams in the high season, and it’s for a budget-friendly price. When the weather is nice, you can admire Lake Balaton, which is less than 50 meters away, from the terrace. The way the couple remodeled the social-realist building into a stylish and clean place is worth a visit in itself.
As small as it may be, Szélcsend in the heart of Balatonföldvár is just as good. Even though it’s tiny, it’s not hard to notice it with the long queue of people waiting for ice cream, the homemade, additives-free desserts, and pastries they sell here. You can’t skip the French plum galette and the Toledo fruit cake, but they also have paleo goodies – the selection is partly from Szélcsend’s own desserts and partly from the delivery of Sütis Móni. Besides the usual coffee and tea, here you can also buy the lavender patterned mugs of owner and interior design aficionado, Ili Majthényi.
Völgyhíd Café is located 50 meters away from the roundabout at the end of exit 121 of M7 leading towards Bálványos and Balatonföldvár. This sounds a bit complicated, but the trip is worth it as the view of the valley and the viaduct from their terrace is amazing. A couple manages the place; their sweets are from Kézműves Desszert Manufaktúra – if you stop by, you should definitely try the blueberry white chocolate cake and the orange truffle cake.
Balatonlelle used to be famous because of Márton Confectionery, but its reign was over when Balázs Geleta opened his shop next to Road 7. The selection is a synthesis of the past, the current trends, and the personal favorites with unmissable classics like the Hungarian honey cake, Sacher, Cremeschnitte, Ischler, Hungarian cream puffs, and “foreigners” from France and Italy. Naturally, everything is homemade and they even make chocolate bars and jams in workshop at the back of the house.
You can find Márton Confectionery about 400 meters away from Geleta (or, to use the local unit, 15 holiday homes) – here you’ll be greeted by a pleasant, homely nostalgia. According to Mr. Márton, their place is special because it doesn’t try to be special. They only use natural ingredients, the cream is homemade, and the fruits are from their own garden. Their selection is traditional: the counter is heavy with strudels, cake slices, and the cookies of our grandmothers, and of course, they have the local specialty, Lellei álom as well.
The Italian café at the center of Hévíz near the large parking lot smoothly melts into the landscape – the place is special due to its large selection of desserts. The Italian masterworks are made in the confectionery-workshop of the owner in Gyenesdiás with original, Italian ingredients, based on the ideas and under the watch of a master from Florence. You should definitely try the wonder that’s called Mimosa Vaniglia if you’re in the vicinity of Macchiato.
It probably wouldn’t fit into the category of a classic confectionery as they sell Sacher cakes and vests as well, but despite all its quirks (or because of them), Tündérkert is said to be the best breakfast spot of Tihany. Those who see the secret to a long life in a gluten-free diet (or one free from everything as they say) should visit this place too as they can get a slice of cream cheese brittle cake here without breaking their diets. The cheesecakes spiced with fruits are also worth a try while sitting under the old walnut tree and enjoying the view of Lake Belső in Tihany.
The sunshiny terrace and cozy interior of Arácsi Confectionery soon captured the hearts of the locals. The tiled stove, the jams lined up on the ancient cupboard and the countless books make you feel instantly at home. However, that’s not the (only) reason why so many people became regulars – it’s due to all the heavenly, homemade sweet and salty cookies, cakes, and ice creams. Their pumpkin seed pogácsa and baked cheesecake are the absolute favorites, and the locals swear by the Cremeschnitte of Arácsi but it’s hard to catch that one as it’s always gone quickly.
There’re two Bergmann confectioneries in Balatonfüred right next to Road 71. The family of confectioners is known from Győr, and their unit on Zsigmond Street has a real bourgeois vibe with old, elegant furniture. Their Petőfi Sándor Street unit is much smaller but it has a larger terrace. The Bergmanns respect traditional values and quality, this is why, instead of extreme dessert-creations, the star of the Bergmann-confectioneries is the Cremeschnitte. Meanwhile we shouldn’t forget that Ernő, the youngest son of the Bergmanns also learned the trade of ice cream making, thus you’ll surely find some of the best ice creams of Lake Balaton here.
Karolina Café is the confectionery-queen of the north shore. Many people come here, even more people know about it, so it’s busy all the time. You can find it only a few steps away from the dock of Balatonfüred and, unlike many other spots, they’re open all year round. They bake the desserts using the recipes of Grandmother Karolina, and that’s only half a marketing trick. The place is much more buzzing than your grandma’s house would be, but so far we have never been disappointed by the desserts here. Besides the sweets, their selection also includes abundant sandwiches, and you can buy local products and other specialties at Karolina Speiz right next to the café.
András Dobai, the owner of Kredenc right next door, decided that he didn’t want to manage two hospitality units and gave up on operating Kedves confectionery in the heart of Balatonfüred. The opportunity fell into the lap of Anikó Horváth, who redesigned the interior thoroughly and brought in cupcakes. You can buy desserts from Veszprém and their own pies here, plus they offer brunch in summer.
One might think that it’s best to look for a great confectionery in Veszprém at its Castle District, but that’s not the case. The right place for paleo-believers, gluten and lactose intolerants is at the ground floor of a residential building, and not among the the cobble-stoned vibes of downtown. The desserts are made on the location (the triple-chocolate one is a big favorite), but they also make alternative “milks” here. You can also bring your four-legged friends to this place as Kedvenc is a specifically dog-friendly café.
Móni Kövérné Kalmár, also known as “Sütis Móni” (a nickname that roughly translates as “Móni with the desserts”) is the person behind many of the brilliant cakes that they serve around Lake Balaton, like at Pazar Coffee Company in Balatonfüred, Várkávézó in Szigliget, Paletta Bistro in Keszthely, and Szélcsend in Balatonföldvár. The creations of Sütis Móni aren’t known for their geometric accuracy but for their light creams and an abundance of fresh fruits. The mother of four is originally a journalist who then studied theology, economics, interior design, and cultural history, who is also a successful gastro-blogger, and the iconic figure of the confectionery-scene on the Balaton shore.
Translated by Emma Póli