Goulash Place

One of the best

A hard-to-find restaurant in a mostly residential neighborhood, the Goulash Place is a treasure-trove of Eastern European gastronomy not far from Interstate 84. During the several decades we have loved it, some things have changed — most notable is the absence of hostess Magda Aczel, who was in turn charming and entertaining or wickedly blunt, but who always was a force of nature. Magdi passed away a few years ago. Another change is the prices. Since we first wrote about it in the early 1980s, the cost of a full, hearty dinner at the Goulash Place has risen from about $5 to $10.

Made-from-scratch specialties include three kinds of goulash, including our personal favorite — Transylvanian, which is velvety hunks of pork adrift in sauerkraut. Other favorites include chicken paprikash, roast pork, and stuffed cabbage. It is a dilemma choosing side dishes, for Mr. Aczel’s mashed potatoes are chunky, soulful spuds served with a bit of gravy from whatever they accompany; on the other hand, there are always nockerli, which are little hand-fashioned dumpling squiggles in a butter sauce that go so well with paprikash. With any meal, it is essential to fork into a bowl of traditional Hungarian cucumber salad – a refreshingly pickly tastebud-refresher.

Start with a bowl of wondrously aromatic chicken soup and finish with palascinke — tender crepes wrapped around apricot and chopped-nut filling. From soup to nuts, this superb food is presented with Old-World charm so genuine that sometimes you feel that you are dining not in a restaurant, but at the home of a favorite relative.

What to Eat
Goulash Place, Chicken Paprikash
Chicken Paprikash
At first poke, chicken paprikash slides off its bones. This is the smaller, lunch-size portion.
Goulash Place, Transylvanian Goulash
Transylvanian Goulash
Transylvanian goulash is pork-perfect, slightly sweet, slightly sour, gigantically satisfying.
Goulash Place, Chicken Noodle Soup
Chicken Noodle Soup
No grandmother on earth makes chicken soup more comforting than this.
Goulash Place, Sampler Plate
Sampler Plate
The Goulash Place Sampler Plate is a good option for people who can't decide whether they want pork, veal, or chicken. That red cabbage in the center is especially yummy.
Goulash Place, Wiener Schnitzel
Wiener Schnitzel
Jane, who considers herself a connoisseur of wiener schnitzel, was singing hosannas to these crisp-crusted cutlets.
Goulash Place, Stuffed Cabbage
Stuffed Cabbage
This is an appetizer-size portion of stuffed cabbage: delicious comfort food.
Goulash Place, Palacinki
After a hearty meal at the Goulash place, splitting a palacinke (stuffed crepe) three ways makes dessert sense.
Hungarian Goulash
Directions and Hours
Open Year Round
Meals Served
Lunch, Dinner
Credit Cards Accepted
Alcohol Served
Outdoor Seating

Other Nearby Restaurants

  • Guida’s

    Middlefield, Connecticut

    High-flavored hot dogs in grilled, butter-mellow buns make Guida’s one of central Connecticut’s top frankfurter restaurants.

  • Yura

    New York

    Superb muffins, cakes, brownies, and pies (whole or by the slice) make Upper East Side’s Yura bakery a New York treasure. Mostly take-out, with a few tables.

  • K. LaMay’s Steamed Cheeseburgers

    Meriden, Connecticut

    The steamed cheeseburger is unique to central Connecticut, and Meriden is home to several purveyors. K. LaMay’s steamer is the biggest and one of the best.

  • B & W Bakery

    Hackensack, New Jersey

    The foundation of B&W’s heavy crumb cake is sweet yeast pastry. Atop it is a thick ribbon of large crumbs, some crunchy, others soft. Coffee, please!

  • Mo’s Midtown

    Hartford, Connecticut

    Mo’s Midtown is a small, cozy diner just outside Hartford serving excellent pancakes, including crusty potato pancakes worthy of a fine eastern European chef.

  • Glenwood Drive-In

    Hamden, Connecticut

    Hot dogs and hamburgers are cooked on a grate over charcoal at Hamden, Connecticut’s Glenwood Drive-In, where every meal should also include onion rings.