Erzsébet Hid Eszpresszó - I. Döbrentei
tér 2. (Tel: 212-2127). Bus 5, 71 or tram 18.
Open 9am 10.30pm daily.
The attraction here is the terrace by the tramilines, looking out over the Danube and the busy flyover above. The guests are mixed, the place is modest.
Angelika - I. Batthyány tér 7. (Tel: 212-3784).
M2 Batthyány tér. Open 10am 10pm daily.
Located in the former crypt of St Anne's Church on the south side of Batthyány Mr, this refined café is where the middle class ladies of Buda come to gossip. When the sun is streaming through the stained glass windows on a late September afternoon, it's a most atmospheric venue for coffee and cakes. The terrace is open in summer.
Café Miró - I. Úri utca 30. (Tel: 375-5458).
Várbusz from M2 Moszkva tér or bus 16. Open 9am midnight daily.
Although, like everywhere in the Castle District, frequented mostly by tourists, this place has resisted the temptation towards the phonily historical. Décor and furniture has been designed in the shapes and colours of Joan Miró. The green metal chairs look crazy but are surprisingly comfortable; extraordinary sofas and hatstands impel you to pause and admire. Service ranges from cute to competent but there's a fine selection of cakes and snacks.
Litea - I. Hess András tér 4. (Tel: 375-6987).
Várbusz from M2 Moszkva tér or bus 16. Open 10am 6pm daily.
Inside the Fortuna Passage, an attractively glass roofed bookshop/café with tables scattered among the shelves. Teas are the speciality here, but they also serve coffees, cakes and ices. Courtyard tables.
Pierrot - I. Fortuna utca 14. (Tel: 375-6971). Várbusz
from M2 Moszkva tér or bus 16. Open 11am 1am daily.
Essentially a café but with a long Hungarian international menu if you feel like a meal. Otherwise, crepes are the speciality, served in a quiet, comfortable room with a piano, cane chairs, discreet lighting and paintings of Pierrots. It's far from cheap, even for this area, but service is fine, the wares are nicely presented.
Ruszwurm Cukrászda - I., Szentháromság
utca 7. (Tel: 375-5284). Várbusz from M2 Moszkva tér or bus 16
Open 10am 7pm daily.
Budapest's oldest cukrászda has been going since 1827 and still retains some 1840s Empire style cherrywood fittings.
Rózsadomb - II. Margit körút 7. (Tel: 212-5145).
Tram 4, 6. Open 9am 10pm daily.
This humble eszpresszó is an oasis of low priced entertainment.
Oscar Café - II. Ostrom utca 14. (Tel: 212-8017). M2 Moszkva tér or tram 4, 6. Open 5pm 2am Sun; noon 3pm, 5pm 2am, Mon Thur; noon 3pm, 5pm4am, Fri; Spm 4am Sat.
Coquan’s Kávé - V. Nádor u. 5.
(Tel: 266-9936). Bus 15. Open 7:30am 7pm Mon Fri; 9am 5pm Sat.
Very small coffe house with particular atmosphere.
Gerbaud Cukrászda - V. Vörösmarty tér
7. (Tel: 429-9000). M1 Vörösmarty tér. Open 9am 11pm daily.
One of the largest, most elegant and traditional Café Houses in Budapest.
Central Kávéház - V. Károlyi M. u. 9. (Tel: 266-2110), M3 Ferenciek tere or bus 15. Open 8am 11pm daily.
One of the legendary Café Houses in Budapest. It was established in 1887. Since famous Hungarian writers, artists, journalists and scientists were its regular guests, it was functioning also as an important cultural workshop until the Soviet invasion. It was re-opened as a Café House only in 2000, after its full renovation.
Galéria - V. Vitkovics Mihály utca 6. (Tel:
337-6180). M1 M2, M3 Deák tér or tram 47, 49. Open 10am midnight
Mon Fri; 3pm midnight Sat, Sun.
Serene and pretty bar that has been here forever, tucked away in a quiet Belviros backwater. Cosy bar area and back room, embellished by vases of dried flowers and dinky stools. Summer terrace.
No. 1 Presszó - V. Sas utca 9. (Tel: 267-0235). M3
Arany János utca. Open 9am midnight Mon Fri; 6pm midnight Sat.
Fine presszó slap bang in Budapest's business quarter. The prominent bar counter is offset by a spacious room of brown furniture, set against incongruous paintings and signed photos of theatre stars.
Crazy Café - VI. Jókai utca 30. (Tel: 302-4003).
M3 Nyugati or tram 4, 6
Open 1 lam lam Mon Sat; 1 lam midnight Sun.
The name and long row of beer signs outside refer to the waste choice of drinks: up to 17 types of draught beer, nearly 90 bottled beers and some 40 cocktails. There are two bars and an area for live music and karaoke.
Incognito - VI. Liszt Ferenc tér 3. (Tel: 351-9428).
M1 Oktogon. open 10am midnight Mon Fri; noon midnight Sat, Sun.
Large bar area with walls covered in classic jazz album sleeves. It is better in the summer, when the many outside tables fill up night and day.
Café Mediterran - VI. Liszt Ferenc tér 10. (Tel:
342-1959). M 1 Oktogon tram 4, 6. Open 10am 2am daily.
Another bar on the popular, pedestrianised Liszt Ferenc tér, opposite Incognito and a marginally preferable option. Smaller, less pretentious and certainly redder than its rival, the Mediterran is a smart, friendly bar for an Amstel or three with a popular summer terrace.
Café Mozart - VII. Erzsébet körút
36. (Tel: 352-0664). Tram 4, 6. Open 9am 11pm Mon Fri; 9am 12pm Sat.
Elegant place, serving plenty of Viennese pastries.
New York Kávéház - VII. Erzsébet
krt. 9. M2 Blaha Lujza or tram 4, 6.
It’s a real pearl of the secession style. Perhaps the most beautiful Café House in Budapest. Temporarily closed for renovation.
Rác kert - I. Hadnagy utca 8 10. (no phone). Tram 18, 19 or bus 71, night bus É78. Open May Sept 2pm 5am daily.
The garden next door to the baths of the same name becomes the hippest watering hole in town on warm summer nights. Surrounded by trees and old stone walls and with a refreshing lack of neighbours to annoy, it heaves at weekends and even on Tuesdays will buzz until dawn with a sexy, relaxed but only slightly showy crowd. Action spreads across big tables between two bars and spills out into the leafy Tabán beyond.
Móri Borozó - I. Fiáth János utca 16. (no phone). M2 Moszkva tér. Open 2 11 pm Mon Fri; 2 9pm Sat, Sun.
Comfortable wine bar singled out by its younger clientele. In the 1970s Moszkva tér was a meeting place for young rockers with nowhere else to go. The Móri still attracts the leather waistcoat brigade, one generation down from the messy mac merchants who usually frequent these joints. Friendly atmosphere, Innstacit beer on draught, cheap wine.
Club Verne - V. Váci utca 60. (Tel: 318-6274). M3 Ferenciek tere. Open noon 2am daily.
Huge and heavily themed cellar not quite 20,000 leagues under street level but offering sanctuary from the blazing heat, tourists and sponsored umbrellas of the terrace bars along this pedestrianised stretch of Váci. Long and shaped like one of Jules' underwater contraptions, the Verne has bar areas at either end one with a stage for live acts ranging from folk to jazz to Chippendales but its most pleasant spot is the row of tables facing the main bar. Interesting cocktail menu.
Fat Mo's - V. Nyári P. utca 11. (Tel: 267-3199). Bus 15. Open 12am 2am Mon Wed;
12am 2am Mon Wed; 12am-4am Thur-Fri; 6pm-4am Sat; 6pm 2am Sun.
One of the most characteristic pubs in Budapest. You can feel the atmosphere of the Prohibition's America. Live music from 9pm. Good food.
Fregatt - V. Molnár utca 26. (Tel: 318-9997). Tram 2, 47, 49. Open 3pm 1am daily.
Once the main hangout for anglophone expats and those who wished to meet them, these days just an enjoyably quiet British style pub. Air conditioning and rudimentary food.
Irish Cat - V. Múzeum körút 41. (Tel: 266-4085). M3 Kálvin tér tram 47, 49. Open noon 1am Mon Thur; noon 2am Fri Sun.
Crowded bar area with intimate wooden booths and back section for overspill and smooching. Packed after midnight.
Beckett's - V. Bajcsy Zsilinszky út 72. (Tel: 311-1033). M3 Nyugati or tram 4, 6. Open noon 1am Mon Thur; noon 2am Fri Sun.
Enormous Irish pub and principal watering hole for Budapest's anglophone expat business community. Although it's pricey for Budapest, some Hungarians do wander in too. Friday night is the liveliest, as consultants and chancers quaff away the cares of the week, and the place can also heave for major sports events (Premier League) on pay-TV (huge screen). The live music usually starts around 11 pm.
Janis Pub - V. Királyi Pál utca 8. (Tel: 266-2619). M3 Kálvin tér or tram 47, 49. Open 4pm 2am Mon Thur; 4pm 3am Fri, Sat.
Quiet pub tucked away in the narrow backstreets between Kálvin tér and Ferenciek tere. Attracts an expatriate and native crowd. Guinness is fine.
Jazz and Blues Kocsma - VII. Dob utca 83. (Tel: 322-3536). Trolleybus 73, 76. Open 4pm 1am Mon Thur; 4pm 2am, Fri, Sat.
An excellent meeting place, with a lively and congenial atmosphere and rock bottom prices. The Club's narrow main bar area is bookended by a darts board and table football, with booth seating out back.
Portside - VII. Dohány utca 7. (Tel: 351-8405). M2 Astoria, tram 47, 49 or bus 7. Open 11 am 2am Mon Sat; 4pm 2am Sun.
Huge British run cellar pub with nautical theme. Early evenings it's patronised by a smart, youngish and largely anglophone crowd guys in suits and ties, and women who like guys in suits and ties. Later on it's even younger and even more of a meat market. Efficient staff, big menu, pool tables and disco standards, played rather too loud for comfort. Packed at weekends.
Club Seven Funky Club - VII. Akácfa utca 7. (Tel: 478-9030). M2 Blaha Lujza tér, tram 4, 6 or bus 7. Open 10am 5am daily.
Evenings it works as a Funky Discoteque. Entrance fee on Fridays and Saturdays HUF 2000,- for men, and free of charge for ladies . "Kánaán Party" on Thursdays: (during the night) there is an unlimited drink consumption against the entrance fee of HUF 5000,- for men, and HUF 2000,- for ladies.
Old Men's Music Pub - VII. Akácfa utca 13. (Tel: 322-7465). M2 Blaha Lujza tér, tram 4, 6 or bus 7. Open 3pm 3am daily.
Concerts start at 9pm.
Alcatraz - VII. Nyár u.1. (Tel: 478-6010) Bus 7, 78. Open 4pm 2am, Mon Thur; 4pm-4am, Fri-Sat.
Live jazz music. Showtime: Mon-Wed: 9pm on the other days 10pm.