When I booked a trip to Budapest, I had no idea that I’d find the prettiest gelato there. In my lifetime, I’ve eaten my fair share of gelato cones, but none have been so photogenic as those at Gelarto Rosa.
As I always do, I conducted in-depth food research before my trip. The fear of missing out on Budapest’s prime food spots was too great! Gelarto Rosa appeared on my radar and instantly caught my eye because the gelato is fashioned into the shape of a fully bloomed rose. Though they may be photogenic, some “insta-worthy” food trends lack in the flavour department so I really hoped that Gelarto Rosa would live up to the hype created by the images.
I visited Gelarto Rosa on my first afternoon in Budapest, just before taking a walking tour. It was a cold, snowy day in the city, so fortunately for me, the shop was quiet (who even eats gelato in February?). The flavour selection is wide enough to cause an internal debate over which ones to choose. The sorbet selection included mango, strawberry elderflower, basil lemon, sour cherry, and raspberry. The cream selection had me salivating with flavours like Oreo, hazelnut, walnut, candied chestnut, poppyseed, coconut, pistachio, white chocolate lavender, chocolate raspberry, and chilli chocolate.
The staff behind the counter skillfully assemble the rose with a spatula, gently shaving pieces of gelato from the tub and purposefully shaping each petal on the cone. It’s quite satisfying to watch and clearly requires a meticulous technique!
You can choose between one and four flavours for your cone and the price varies depending on the number of flavours. I was in the mood for fruit flavours and I also thought they would make for a vibrant rose so I opted for the mango, strawberry elderflower, and basil lemon sorbets. These three flavours were great: the taste of fruit in each one was evident and the texture was smooth. These would be stellar on a warm summer day under the Budapest sunshine! While I loved all the flavours, I particularly liked the basil lemon in the centre. It was especially refreshing and I would happily eat a cone of that one flavour alone.
Funny anecdote: while photographing my cone outside of the shop, a young Hungarian struck up a conversation with me and comedically suggested that we get married by the end of the week! Although his courage and sense of humour were flattering, I declined the offer. He does, however, gets points for not thinking that my food photography was weird!
Back to the gelato… I returned to Gelarto Rosa a few days later because I simply had to try more of their flavours (to my dismay, no Hungarians professed their love for me this time). On my second visit I opted for chocolate raspberry, coconut, and hazelnut. Again, the cone was a treat to my eyes and my taste buds. I couldn’t fault it! The gelato was rich in flavour, smooth, and creamy. I was officially a fan!
I suspect that this place has absurd line ups in the spring and summer during peak travel season and it’s easy to see why. The appearance of the gelato is unique, while the flavours are varied and tempting. If in Budapest, I recommend a trip to Gelarto Rosa, no matter the time of year. Who knows, maybe you’ll even get a marriage proposal out of it!