Bars and pubs in Budapest to visit when you need to let off steam.
One of the most popular watering holes of Budapest’s lively Jewish District, hipster-friendly Kisüzem operates as a coffee shop/remote workplace during the day, and a busy wine and beer bar during the evening. The bar’s shelves are stacked with over 130 different types of rum and more than 40 whiskies, while the kitchen serves solid lunch options and authentic bar snacks. Free-to-attend concerts are held every Thursday, but the Sunday night spot is reserved for silent movie screenings with live music accompaniments, attracting an eclectic crowd of Hungarians, tourists and expats. If you’re a fan of shabby chic interiors and kicking spirits, pay Kisüzem a visit!
1072 Budapest, Kis Diófa utca 2.
Beer Brothers Budapest awaits ale aficionados only with the finest selection of artisanal brews, including an ever-changing set of 16 beers on tap, and more than a hundred types of bottled beverages. If you can’t decide what Hungarian craft beer to try, just ask the knowledgeable and friendly staff and they’ll be more than happy to hit you up with all the information needed to make the right choice. Alternatively, you can become a regular patron and sip your way through each and every one of them. Moreover, if you’re feeling famished, the Beer Brothers are eager to help you on that front as well: succulent burgers (made from Angus beef), hearty goulash, and other beer snacks ensure the flavorful alcohol absorption.
1052 Budapest, Kossuth Lajos út 20.
Located halfway between Margaret Bridge and Batthyányi tér, Bambi Eszpresszó is a true communist-era dinosaur, going strong for close to six decades now. The grumpy service, the cheap and worn-out interior design (including kitschy tile mosaics and imitation leather chairs), the polka dotted mugs, and the newspaper reading pensioners are all part of Bambi’s world-renowned, never-changing retro charm. Attracting a funny mix of people, ranging from young and old to locals and foreigners, Bambi offers drinks at reasonable prices, legendary toasted sandwiches, delicious omelettes, and a genuine throw-back atmosphere.
1027 Budpest, Frankel Leó utca 2-4.
A popular bistro with a “time stood still” ambience, Ibolya Espresso is found a stone’s throw away from comfy Egyetem tér. Frequented mostly by locals and staffed by welcoming waiters and bartenders, Ibolya transports you back into the sepia-colored 70s and the neon-lit 80s through its use of mixed-style furniture and period-specific Bambi drinks. In addition to offering wallet-friendly daily lunch menus, fourteen different types of pizza, goulash soup, paprika chicken and other typical Hungarian dishes, Ibolya awaits guests with regular sports broadcasts, a selection of Hungarian craft beers on tap, and free wi-fi on two floors.
1053 Budapest, Ferenciek tere 5.
Salon Drinks & Cuts is situated on the lively Madách Imre avenue, merging the taste of a refreshing fruit squash or a fiery whisky with the feel of a great new haircut. During the day the barber-bar serves delicious pick-me-ups and heavenly cakes on the ground floor, as well as finger foods to refill your exhausted batteries. When the night falls and the hair salon upstairs closes its doors, Salon transforms into a bustling bar, offering wines, Belgian brews, gins and a wide range of other drink specialties. Whether you decide to drop by for a haircut or a drink, you can be sure to leave their doorstep as a renewed person.
1075 Budapest, Madách Imre út 10.
Opened by former wine enthusiast-turned-artisanal ale lover Zoltán Halász, KEG Sörművház is Budapest’s largest craft beer bar enticing beer buffs with a whopping 32 beer taps (kept optimally cold by a state-of-the-art cooling system), featuring the concoctions of Hungarian and international producers in a fifty-fifty split, including the cherry & vanilla imperial sour HashtagLife, the chipotle and habanero-flavored wild ale, Drunken Donkey, and the coconut-infused Cannon Fire. KEG also runs a finger-licking good kitchen, offering three-course lunch deals for 1,800 HUF and a creative á la carte menu, with items such as duck liver mousse with walnut bread, beef cheek stew with cottage cheese noodles, burgers, and Hungarian desserts.
1114 Budapest, Orlay utca 1.