Hungarian experiences are few and far between in and around New York City. New Jersey has an annual church event, and Long Island City had a very short lived bakery, but besides the occasional Hungarian goulash on the menu of an otherwise non-Hungarian restaurant, the chances are sparse.
Woodbridge Township, New Jersey used to be home to a small restaurant called Little Europe Hungarian Restaurant, but even that closed a few years back. A block or so away is European Deli, an even smaller Hungarian-owned shop that has been offering locals and mail order customers alike the chance to get great homemade Hungarian fare. Review sites are filled with customers all over the country ordering their food, and for good reason, the stuff is excellent.
Hungarian goulash and stuffed cabbage
I chatted up the owner as much as I could, given that she has a typically Eastern European demeanor, but was impressed by everything she said. For 50 years this place has been open, and she has owned it for the last 18. In the front is a case of very delicious looking fresh pastries, which we unfortunately did not sample because a day full of eating ahead.
In the refrigerator are four or five different prepared meals, including the two above which we both loved when eaten the following two days. The goulash is a pork stew with what appears like buckwheat kasha but is actually small nokedli, or Hungarian dumplings. The cabbage is stuffed with pork and beef, while surrounded by sauerkraut and kolbász (above, sold by weight), a type of smoked Hungarian sausage.
The front cabinet is filled with fresh pastries, including the sour cherry strudel seen above. This is sold by weight and cut off as desired from a long piece.
They also have chicken paprikas with homemade dumplings, cabbage and noodles, and six varieties of pierogi. We took a dozen potato + cheese pierogi ($6.99, above) home and cooked them with onions and the kolbász seen at the top. Wonderful. They do not have any tables and probably do not offer heating services, so take out is the only option here, unfortunately, so include the deli as part of a driving day in New Jersey if you are coming from afar.