Our Budapest Trip


Ahh Budapest! We visit Budapest quite often because Jan's mom's family is from Eastern Slovakia and the easiest way to get there is via the Hungarian highways on the south (and breaking the 9-hour drive into two bearable halves with some good food in Budapest doesn't hurt, either). Many of our guests visit Budapest as part of the Central European Prague-Vienna-Budapest pilgrimage, too.

An because we are love to travel throughout Europe and Zuzi likes to do her research properly, we will, once in a while, post about our experience in various European cities. It is nice to have a head start with your research, right? We will try to post nice pictures, too, but not this time: our Budapest photos died with the hard drive they were on, but the few surviving photos aren't bad, either. So, without further ado, these are the places we visited and our impressions:

Where to stay:

Brody House 

The Brody House is much more than a hotel - it is a collection of individual apartments appointed by local artists and designers who find support in the facility. The Brody House often holds exhibitions and public readings with local artists. It is conveniently located near the Astoria on the Pest side, near Fekete for good coffee. We also liked the nearby parking facility that charges about 10 EUR a day. [website]

Where to eat:

Borkonyha Wine Kitchen

So far, this has been our favorite place in Budapest both in terms of the food and value. They have a huge selection of wines with many by glass and that's only the start. They use local ingredients, including the Mangalica pork and foie gras, which we both recommend.

We loved the simple but nicely decorated interiors. This is clearly a favorite for business lunches and the atmosphere was bustling yet relaxed, especially for a Michelin-star restaurant. We wore jeans and did not feel out of place. [website]

Bock Bisztro

A wonderful selection of wines. Put yourselves in the hands of your waiter; he'll give you good advice. As for the food, they focus on Hungarian cuisine (sometimes deconstructed) and they do it well. As a welcome gift you get fresh bread with a tub of bacon-studded lard, and it only gets better from there. They also have a sister restaurant in Buda which we've not visited, but heard that it was of a great quality too with more relaxed atmosphere. Well, there is always next time, right? [website]

Csalogany 26

Located in the Buda district, this place serves very affordable lunches and tasting menus in the evenings (you can opt for a la carte dishes). Not all dishes are perfect, but we really enjoyed our evening. We really enjoyed the local vibe and cooking, which reminded Jan of his childhood spent in Eastern Slovakia. The only complaints we had were the simple interiors and the unfriendly service but we believe they just had a bad night. [website]


Onyx really shows that the Hungarians are proud of their food, using lots of locally sourced ingredients and turning them into dishes worthy of the Michelin star. That said, it did feel a bit stuffy, with their protocol and etiquette policy and all. [website]

We did not visit Costes, the third Michelin star restaurant in Budapest.


Where to go for coffee

Espresso Embassy

Opened by a former barista at Printa Coffee, this place is very serious about coffee. You can get virtually anything: drip coffee, flat white, cortado, you name it. On our second visit, we were served cappuccino by an intern/salesman from Drop Coffee, a café/roastery in Stockholm that we visited in October 2012. The café has a nice atmosphere and lots of locals work there with their laptops. [website]

Tamp and Pull

This is a small café where things are clearly done with love. We had a great cappuccino there, and in addition to coffee-making supplies, the shelves included a "6th place" trophy from the 2009 World Barista Championships. They also offered small things to eat like croissants, breakfast sets etc. [website]


Fekete is a tiny espresso bar near the Astoria subway stop. The really nice outdoor seating invites you to get a cup, have a seat, read a book and catch a few rays. It is clear that this place is run by coffee nerds... ehm... we mean aficionados. You can get both espresso and filter. If the only complaint Zuzi had was that the cortado glass was too thick, you know they're not that bad. [website]

Madal Coffee

As soon as we saw their La Marzocco machine dominating the room, we knew we were going to be happy here. They offer many single origin coffees either as espresso or brews. [website]

My Little Melbourne

This is a very diminutive, two-story café with a very lively vibe. The coffee is good and the barista is very skillful. They also serve some small food there, too. [website]

Where to go for something sweet

Rozsavolgyi Csokolade

A chocolate lover's dream and a great place to buy presents for someone at home who loves great chocolate. This small chocolate shop sells its own chocolates and pralines of very high quality. We tasted some pralines and although we are not usually fans, we loved these ones. [website]

Levendula Kézműves Fagylaltozó

If you like ice cream, you will probably love this place. In addition to classics, they offer some unique and interesting flavors, incl. the Tokai wine or lavender/lemon, Japanese green tea, caramelised fig and so on. You just have to disregard the violet paint job that... ehm... stands out. [website]


Small and relatively new cake shop run by a very passionate owner. In a fairly rare move, they also offer lactose and gluten-free cakes, all made in house, which is reflected in the pleasant smell that hits your nose when you walk in. [website

A Table

A small French bakery/pastry shop. This is a great place for breakfasts - we had a great croissant with two marmelades and a pain au pistache that packed about a million calories, but who counts them when you're on vacation. However, we will not be rushing back: the service was not particularly friendly and we're putting it mildly. They have two branches. We visited the one at Arany János Utca opposite Espresso Embassy. The other branch should be better, we've heard. [website]

Daubner Cukraszda

This pastry shop is recommended by virtually every Budapest guide. From the Pest side, it's a rather long bus ride (line 206) from the Nyugati train station, and then a 10 minute walk up a hill to get there. It's a really local experience - when we asked the bus driver where to get off, we received an answer in the universal language: Hungarian spoken v-e-r-y  s-l-o-w-l-y. We suggest you ask someone younger for directions to get a response in English. The pastry shop is more shop than café: most of the orders are take-away and there are really no seats there. But the cakes were good, and the ice cream was even better. In all honesty, we thought it was not really worth the long ride. But if you love cakes, this one might be for you. [website]

Where to drink


There are so many nice wine bars with a great selection of Hungarian wines in Budapest. However, we liked this one a lot. The place is buzzing with a nice mix of locals and tourists. Great Hungarian wine selection and friendly, helpful service if you don't know the wines. [website]


Nevertheless, if you are into beer, this artisanal pub is great! Interesting home-brewed beers and traditional Hungarian side dishes in a lovely place. [website]


We had great cocktails in this popular bar. 'Nuff said. [website]


In addition to testing your keyboard skills when you try to type the name, Lehütö offers a great selection of local and international craft beers. All the attention is paid here to beers, which means they serve no accompanying food. Opt for the outside seating if the weather permits. [website]


Where to shop

Printa Coffee

This café/gallery/printshop is a great place for small souvenirs or a rest, and we recommend it as your start to exploring Pest. We bought their map and guide of Pest and used it throughout our trip. They use Has Been coffee; however, you can see that their best barista left a while ago: our cappuccino was far from perfect. Still, we loved the place and we got a lot of tips from the staff. [website]

Food Market

A big indoors market with a bustling mix of locals and foreigners. You can see Csabai sausages and dried paprika everywhere. They have special national weeks: on one visit, we actually went in and realised the Czech week was on (all the lagers you could buy - lucky us ;).


For fashion lovers among you, Nanushka offers interesting models made of great materials in inspiring interiors. Btw if you can not make it to Budapest, they also sell their beautiful clothing online. [website]


A few steps from the Parliament, this is a place for the foodie inside of you - a small shop that carries lots of ingredients from all around the world - cheeses, hams, chocolates, teas, fruits and vegetables, more exotic spices etc. The place also serves food - we had soups and were satisfied. [website]

Hybridart Design Shop and Café

A great, centrally located shop with designer jewelry, homeware and accessories made by local designers. Stay away from the coffee. [website]

Culinary Budapest

Cooking classes and food tours run by a couple, Agnes and Istvan. You can see that Agnes and Istvan love what they do and we are sure that if you have a special request, they will do everything to accommodate it. We absolutely endorse them. [website]