I recently took a trip down memory lane and looked at some old photos from a holiday to Budapest a few years ago. These are all still trading at the time of posting according to various online sources, and I’ll definitely be looking them up when I’m next in town:
This quirky cafe/bar was pretty much the only thing on a quiet street, but inside the atmosphere was warm, welcoming and lively, though still a little more sedate than some of the other nightspots we visited. There were wooden tables and cute tartan tablecloths, and eclectic art and eerie relics adorning the walls of this stripped-back high-ceiling room that’s bursting with character. The crowd was diverse and a ‘type’ could not be spotted as readily as it can in similarly hip bars in some other cities – a nice thing that made the place feel very inclusive.
Eleszto Craft Beer Bar
This tiny craft beer pub was a bit of a walk from the centre of town, but was well worth it. The courtyard was filled with barrels, picnic benches, armchairs, chests of drawers and mirrors – rather like a makeshift outdoor living room.
Some of the more commonly found draft lager choices in Budapest leave a little to be desired for those who prefer something a little stronger, and this place is a great remedy for that. I started with the Dunakanyar IPA (6.5%), which was deliciously malty and full bodied with a hint of fruit. Next up, I tried the Keseru Mez hopped lager (6%), which was smooth, bitter and full of flavour. There were around twelve beers to choose from, displayed on blackboards at the back wall in the cosy and dimly lit inside bar.
An original ‘ruin pub’, this place is something of a local institution. Gaining access to the bar involved walking passed a seemingly deliberately arranged pile of rubble and a wheelbarrow. It was a maze of colorful rooms filled with quirky furniture and wall displays courtesy of contemporary artists. The drinks were cheap and the vibe upstairs remained somewhat relaxed, even on a busy Friday night while the dancing got underway downstairs. There was large patio and huge screens showing black and white films.
Overall, great tunes, quirky decor, friendly people. All the energy of a pop-up, and a great place to lose track of time any night of the week.