During my visit to Eger, I finally tried the traditional Hungarian specialty Paprikás Csirke or Chicken Paprikash. Yum! I also found Stühmer Chocolate, which is produced in Eger. Turns out, it’s also sold at my local Budapest SPAR grocery store.
One night, I treated myself to a nice dinner at the Macok Bistro and Wine Bar. I paired my citrus goat cheese and pear compote with a glass of sparkling wine. Then I enjoyed chicken breast in a crispy parmesan coating with tomato tapenade and mashed potatoes (my favorite food) with Szürkebarát (Pinot Gris). At the end, I wanted something sweet but felt full, so I deviated from the Hungarian theme and sipped Bailey’s on ice for dessert. On a different night, I tasted some Eger wines at a more casual wine bar: Bikavér Borház.
On the sight-seeing side, the city of Eger (population around 60,000) offers a castle that is a reconstruction of a 13th century version built to protect the city. Parts of it were under construction, but that wasn’t a problem. I could still walk around the grounds and enjoy the expansive views of the city. The prized Dobó Square and Little Dobó Square were also under construction—scheduled for completion just before the elections. There was strolling to be done along pedestrian-only Széchenyi Street, which offered pastry shops, restaurants, offices, a range of stores, and lovely architecture.
Eger’s 130 foot tall minaret is the northernmost Ottoman minaret in Europe and the only remaining proof of the presence of a mosque. It was made for only one person to climb at a time, so there is limited access for people interested in tackling the 97 steps for fantastic views of the city. I have a U.S. size 5 shoe, and my foot hung over each step. It was a narrow climb with no handrail, which was more stressful on the way down than the way up. But the view was worth it.
The city has even more to offer, such as the Lyceum and Basilica. I can foresee a return trip, especially now that the elections are over and construction is complete.