Virag, Szeged’s Most Famous Confectionery, Was A Great Disappointment

We started our food tour in Szeged with a not so great experience in Classic Grill, and bumped into Virag Confectionery (literal translation: Flower Confectionery) after that kind of accidentally. We hoped for a great dessert after our disastrous lunch, so why not visit the most famous bakery in town?

100 Year Old Tradition – Empty Square

Virag confectionery, according to a granite panel on their wall, has actually been in operation for more than 100 years. They also won a first prize in Paris back in the 1930’s, and created two award winner Hungary’s cakes in the last decade. And as a personal note, if you hear people talking about famous locations in Szeged, they will be among the first.

So we were definitely in hopes of having one of our greatest desserts of all time. Spoiler alert: we had not.

As a first sign of caution, the confectionery and basically the whole square was empty on a sunny September Sunday afternoon. It is important to talk about the whole square, as it turned out that the company operating Virag is actually running the whole square. They have 2 other confectioneries, Kis Virag (literally Small Flower) and A Capella, which you can easily detect seeing the same typeface on the facade of the buildings.

Kis Virag Szeged

15 Minutes for Nothing

We waited around 15 minutes for our cakes. Which is a lot, considering that the place was almost empty, maybe 2 other tables occupied. I don’t know why it took so long for the two waiters to serve 4 cakes, but this set up the scene for what followed.

Our order at Virag Confectionery

Low Quality Pastries

There is no more polite way to describe the cakes that they were bad. Except one, more on that later.

We ordered 3 classic Hungarian pastries and one of their award winner cakes. They all looked amazing in the fridge, so it was a shock when we tasted them.

Their Dobos Cake looked amazing, just the way it should be. But taste wise, a big disappointment. It was so cold that we almost couldn’t slice it with our fork. The chocolate filling was okay, but the sponge cake layers so stale that no one ever should serve a Dobos Cake this old. Or maybe worse, no one ever should bake a Dobos Cake this bad.

Dobos cake Virag Confectionery

Krémes, which is sort of a millefeuille, was also a disappointment. This has pastry cream in between two layers of puff pastry. The cream itself was okay, not our best but nothing wrong with it. But the puff pastry felt like if it had been deep fried in rancid oil. As strange and disgusting as it sounds, that was just how we felt eating it.

Kremes (Millefeuille) Virag Confectionery

Zserbó, also a Hungarian classic, was actually not that bad. This didn’t have any negative taste or texture, but did not feel like an original Zserbo cake either. It had a strange punch aroma that this cake shouldn’t have, and what was actually the go for flavor for almost every sweet back in the 1980’s in Hungary.

Zserbo Virag Confectionery

The last one, “Grandma’s Favorite” (Nagyi kedvence in Hungarian), was actually good. This is a Hungary’s cake award winner cake from 2022, created by the pastry chefs of Virag confectionery. It is a sugar-free cake, apparently very different from all the above ones, representing a somewhat tart, lighter flavor profile of the 2020’s. I would suggest, that in case you still want to try Virag confectionery, you order this cake.

Grandma's Favorite Virag Confectionery

They served Julius Meinl coffee, which in itself was very good. That’s a top quality Austrian coffee, can’t go wrong. We were actually very happy to get that brand because it is kind of rare to find it these days in Hungary. But the espresso came with a cookie so dry that it ruined the experience. Nevertheless, unfortunately it just added to the general feeling that we already had at this place.

Julius Meinl espresso

Awful Bathrooms

If that all had not been enough, we had a very unpleasant experience in the bathrooms. They were extremely old-looking, kind of rusty in some polaces. In the women’s bathroom you couldn’t close the door of 2 out of 3, and there was no toilet paper in 2 out of 3. Unfortunately there was no bathroom with a working door and toilet paper.

In both the men’s and women’s bathroom only one of two sinks worked, the other one actually broken. The trash bin was also broken and extremely dirty. This is simply not the way the bathroom of a pastry shop, let alone the most famous one in town, should look like.

One More Disappointment

To top it all, I asked for a company invoice before payment. This is a VAT invoice issued to the name of a company if you buy something for business reasons, like visiting a confectionery to write a review that will later generate revenue. And also this is something every business in Hungary must issue upon request, by law.

The waitress first looked at me surprised, as if I had been the first one to ever ask for an invoice. Then she said that I would want to wait around 15 minutes for an invoice, because they have the printer or whatever they need to issue it in another building. Finally I just paid with my own money and didn’t bother to wait another 15 minutes at this place.

Where Is Virag Confectionery Located in Szeged?

Honestly? I don’t like to write down words like these, but I’m not really recommending anyone to visit Virag confectionery. But if you still want to check out the once most famous confectionery in Szeged, here is an interactive map where you can easily find it. And order Grandma’s favorite cake!

Tip: Why not read our review about a delicious dessert shop, Sugar & Candy in Szeged.

Szeged, Klauzál tér 1, 6720 Hungary

Note: As of the publication date of this review, we did not find an official website of Virag Confectionery.