The magnificent hall, a 19th-century iron-frame construction, was reopened in late 1994 after years of renovation (and disputes over who would foot the bill). Even during the leanest years of communist shortages, the abundance of food came as a revelation to shoppers from East and West. Today the cavernous, three-story market, which is near the southern end of Váci utca and at the head of the Szabadsag Bridge, once again teems with people browsing among stalls packed with salamis and red-paprika chains. Upstairs you can buy folk embroideries and souvenirs and have your fill of Hungarian-style fast food. Also not to be missed are the inexpensive Hungarian lunch options on the upstrairs right side corridor, not to mention the kiosks that sell samplings of local pálinka (fruit brandy).
District IX, Vámház körút 1–3, Budapest, Hungary