4BRO Downtown / Aether — $$$
4BRO Downtown is one of the hottest clubs/bars in the city. The location at the crossroads of the bustling Király Street and Gozsdu Udvar couldn't be more central.
4BRO Downtown is one of the hottest clubs/bars in the city. The location at the crossroads of the bustling Király Street and Gozsdu Udvar couldn't be more central.
At 360 Bar trendy locals peppered with tourists tend to sip pricey cocktails at a rooftop lounge along the upscale Andrássy Avenue.
Neighborhood Roma and office workers alike line up for outstanding home-made Hungarian flavors from the bizarrely decorated Akácfa Étkezde diner.
Italian chatter is filtering through the open kitchen at Al Dente - too rare and a highly welcome phenomenon for an Italian restaurant.
Altair Teaház, an underground tea house, is easy to miss this, but you shouldn’t.
During the day, Auróra is a socially conscious community center. Come nighttime, it's the venue of raucous parties until the wee hours.
Balla-Hús, one of the few remaining independent butcher shops downtown, serves delicious sausage omelettes for breakfast (for €2) and various meat-heavy dishes for lunch.
If you're looking to immerse yourself in an old school, lively, communist-era neighborhood bar in Buda, Bambi Eszpresszó should be high on the list.
The venue of BAOTIFUL, an Asian fusion restaurant-slash-food truck, is tough to beat, as is the pork belly bao that comes out of their kitchen.
Baraka is a top-notch fine dining restaurant in the center of the city with Far Eastern and European cuisines, infused with Hungarian culinary essentials.
Beat on the Brat is a dimly lit club with a subversive spirit. The atmosphere could be too much for some, but there's a soul to the space that's worth experiencing.
Belvárosi Disznótoros, a duly popular self-service type eatery, serves a dizzying array of freshly prepared traditional meat-heavy dishes.
Coffee, contemporary Hungarian artwork, and a friendly owner will draw you in to Bisztrónyúl, an adorable designer store nestled in a street behind the National Museum.
Bob Bár is a posh bar/lounge with increasingly more dancing and champagne popping as the night progresses.
Among the top tier restaurants in Budapest, Borkonyha, with a Michelin star, is one of the few with a relatively laid-back, comfortably formal atmosphere.
If you're serious about your drink, visit Boutiq Bar, an award-winning cocktail bar nestled within a peaceful downtown side street.
Brody Studios is a private club in a meticulously refurbished pre-war building, frequented mainly by well-to-do expats living in Budapest and chic locals.
Make sure you come to Buja Disznó(k) hungry otherwise the odds of you finishing these oversized pork schnitzels with a side of cold potato salad are not in your favor.
Visit the café inside the Szabó Ervin library to marvel at the interior of this former-mansion-turned-library, which is a must-see.
With a quaint atmosphere of the pre-war gastro scenery of Budapest, Café Kör serves classic Hungarian dishes that bring out the best of traditional Hungarian cuisine.
A 19th century bourgeois atmosphere infused with a bit of bohemian decadence is what Café Zsivágó is about.
A charming man in his 60s, wearing a cut wool jacket and a smile on his face that hints of a life well lived, is usually in charge of greeting guests at Caffee GianMario.
Castro is a laid back, artistic bistro at the entrance of the party district.
Chablon Bistro is a truly hidden gem buried in a basement, where the chef learned the tricks of the trade at some of the finest restaurants in the city.
Service at Cintányéros can be slow, but these small imperfections are exactly the endearing qualities of this family-owned wine bar in the far-flung part of District 8.
Hate it or love it, Corvin is an iconic club in the Budapest alternative scene.
Costes Downtown is a well-deserved addition to the Michelin-starred restaurants of Budapest. ’Nuff said.
Csendes is a bar with an eclectic ruin bar décor inside a formerly grand café from the glory days of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
Csendes Társ is an outdoor-only downtown café and an island of peace and quiet within the hustle and bustle of the city.
Csiga Café is a buzzing bistro at the entrance of the newly cool part of Pest in District 8.
Construction workers and white collar employees alike line up for the notorious chicken sandwiches at lunchtime at Csirke Csibész.
If you are craving Vietnamese food while in Budapest, opt for Dang Muoi Pho Bistro.
At DiVino wine bar you can sip a glass of fine Hungarian red while overlooking the picture-postcard view of the Basilica.
Stopping by at Dzzs Bár on a late night feels like being at the house party of your rowdiest friend.
Élesztő one of those rare places where the venue is in perfect harmony with the concept - you feel like God had exactly a beer garden in mind for this space.
Take some time to absorb the view from the inner courtyard of Építészpince: ivy-covered facades, cube stone patterns, symmetrically curved staircases.
After a long day of sightseeing tourists tend to find much-needed relief at Esetleg to wind down with cocktails, decent food, and splendid views.
New-wave coffee, fancy brewing equipment, and attractive Millennials typing away on their Macs at Espresso Embassy.
Fahéj Kávézó is an intellectually-infused quaint bohemian café-slash-bar that eschews the overly trendy vibe of many places in the neighborhood.
Highly touristy areas tend to bring the worst out of the local service industry, but Farger, located near the Parliament, is a welcome exception to the rule.
Fausto’s Ristorante serves, hands down, the finest and most expensive Italian food in Hungary.
Students of all ages from the neighboring library like to take a study break at Fecske Presszó of varying duration and with varying amounts of beer.
The pre-war marble well in the courtyard is one of those Budapest surprises behind sooty facades, and definitely the place for your morning coffee at Fekete.
Despite Fekete Kutya’s location alarmingly near the chaos of Kazinczy Street, this dimly lit bar has an authentic atmosphere and a predominantly local clientele.
Fogasház is an enormous ruin bar with plenty of much-coveted space for dancing.
Those in search of the lost communist-era dining scene won't be disappointed at Frici Papa Kifőzdéje.
Fruccola is a salad bar that started the granola/salad/fresh juice wave in Budapest and is still on top of the charts.
Gerlóczy Café is a French-stlye café/bistro tucked away in an unexpectedly serene and charming corner in the middle of downtown.
The name of Getto Gulyas makes its culinary priorities clear - the short menu features the heart of Magyar cuisine.
A spirit of healthy anarchy radiates from Gólya, a bar-slash-community center located a bit outside the city center.
The formula for success at Grinzingi, an unpretentious wine bar, is simple: serve cheap drinks in the center of a city otherwise crowded with tourist traps.
Avoid the dime a dozen fake gyro joints all over Budapest and try Gyros Kerkyra instead. The gyros taste as if you were in Corfu itself.
Hintaló Iszoda is a lively retro-designed bar located a bit outside the comfort zone.
A (and B)-level Hungarian musicians play live at Hunnia Bisztró most Friday and Saturday nights. Expect increasingly more dancing and a raucous bohemian atmosphere.
Ibolya, a relic from the socialist era, is a popular stopover among locals for watching soccer and fueling up on toasted ham and cheese sandwiches smothered by ketchup.
Indigo is the go-to place for Indians living in Budapest - an Indian restaurant shall need no further endorsement than that.
Far from the throngs clogging District 7, Jedermann is a locals' favorite jazz-infused bistro with live music.
The obvious advantage of Jónás Craft Beer House, a partially outdoor beer bar, is that while sipping your craft beer, you can marvel at the panoramic vista of the Danube.
If you wonder what everyday dining was like during communism, look no further and visit Kádár Étkezde.
If you enjoy discussing tannins, acidity, fruitiness and lingering finishes, Kadarka wine bar is your place.
K:antin is a downtown café inside the entry hall of a leading Budapest theater. Fuga, across the street, is a treasure in the form of the Budapest Center of Architecture.
Kék Ló is a hidden gem of a bar combined with a pop-up boutique located outside the main tourist zones offering welcome additions to the standard ruin bar repertoire.
While the food is unlikely to blow your mind at Keksz, make sure to try the unexpectedly tasty namesake “Keksz” beer on draft.
Kelet is an all-purpose café and bar, and one of the reasons that new life is breathing into the neighborhood.
Keret Klub, a bohemian bar in a deserted side street in District 8, offers additional perks besides the prohibition-era atmosphere.
Kertem doesn’t try to be more than what it is - a lively outdoor bar.
Despite its proximity to the upscale Andrássy Avenue, Kiadó Kocsma, a neighborhood bar, preserved a cozy and bohemian atmosphere with regulars from nearby.
Kino is a relaxed café with outstanding breakfast-all-day offering inside the ticketing area of a movie theater set along the Grand Boulevard.
Kiosk is a trendy bistro in the heart of Budapest that has two things going for it.
Those looking to debate Hungarian political history will find themselves at home in Kisüzem, a bar where regulars consist of the local intelligentsia/artist communities.
Klassz is the type of safe-bet restaurant recommendation you would give to acquaintances visiting your city, being certain that it won't disappoint.
Kőleves Kert is one of those summertime treasures in the form of a laid-back, all-welcoming outdoor bar in a spacious backyard.
Even if you're on a tight budget, try to stop by at Kollázs, a brasserie, to experience the exclusive grandeur and panoramic vista of this art nouveau building.
For most people in Hungary, sushi is synonymous with Japanese food. Komachi, a Japanese restaurant in the Jewish Quarter, is committed to proving otherwise.
The interior of Kontakt could be mistaken for a Brooklyn café, with new-wave specialty coffee, heavily bearded staff, and people busy typing away on their smartphones.
Központ is the bar to congregate for the early-30s liberal establishment of the city. With their entourages they fill up the place to full capacity on Friday nights.
The patrons of Krúdy bar? Penniless college students, construction workers, and the occasional aging regular, weary from a decades-long, pálinka-infused stupor.
Kuplung offers a strong combination with a bar and a large concert venue right on the buzzing Király Street in District 7 (Jewish Quarter).
The kitchen at La Perle Noire is run by two heavyweights (one of whom came from a Michelin-starred restaurant), which is obvious as soon as the dishes arrive.
Despite its location being right outside Gozsdu Udvar, Lámpás feels a world away from the tourist herds. The formula is simple: live jazz/blues/rock between most nights.
When you’ve reached the point of the night that all you need is a pitch-black dance hall with ear-splitting electronic music, make your way to Lärm.
The prices are on the higher end, but the Hungarian-influenced culinary essentials and a highly-invested interior at Liberté can make it worthwhile.
For those who want to avoid the heavily touristed streets of the Jewish Quarter but still get a cup of new-wave coffee in a hip neighborhood, Lumen is your spot.
Above-average food, laid-back vibes, a chic crowd, crammed tables, and waitresses speaking fluent English - are we in Brooklyn or at M. Restaurant in Budapest?
Macska is the type of neighborhood bar we all want to have outside our doors, alas, they are few and far between.
Madal serves outstanding new-wave coffee in the center of downtown and, hands down, it has one of the friendliest services you will find in the city.
The good news is that the food is on par with the Michelin star restaurants in the city, even though MÁK bistro hasn’t yet joined the club.
Amid closed storefronts you will find Mangalica Mennyország, an eatery/butcher shop, that makes it worth popping in for the mangalica-based lunch prix fixe.
Massolit is a charming hideaway combining an English language bookstore with a café. One can easily spend hours in the quiet nooks without even noticing it.
Mazel Tov is for people who like the ruin bar concept in theory, but prefer things more upscale.
Highly amortized pieces of socialist interior design will await you at Mélypont Presszó, a cavernous underground bar on one of the most charming streets in Budapest.
The dishes at Menza are centered around traditional local staples and prepared with such consistency that they would make any Hungarian grandmother blush.
In the likely event that you've never frequented a first-rate Chinese restaurant designed as a hunting lodge, Momotaro Ramen offers a chance to do so.
Being surrounded by Slavic chatter in a Serbian diner is generally a good sign, and Montenegrói Gurman is no exception.
Műhely Egyetem is an eccentric little café in the basement of the largest university in Budapest with breakfast offerings and lunch prix fixe.
Flaky almond croissants, fresh orange juice, and new wave coffee are just three of the reasons to visit Műterem Kávézó in the “Harlem of Budapest”.
Don’t let the front facade of this conspicuously ugly building deceive you, Müszi is a hidden treasure of a dance club inside.
My Little Melbourne was one of the first cafés to bring A+ quality specialty coffee to Budapest, resulting in a cult following that still continues to surround it.
At Öcsi Étkezde, Erzsi, the driving force behind the kitchen since the 1980s, occasionally pops into the dining area with cilantro-covered hands to chat with regulars.
You need to trek out to a working class neighborhood to experience the surprisingly delicious, elaborate meals prepared by the 25-year-old executive chef at Olimpia.
Oriental Soup House serves outstanding Vietnamese food in a trendy space and an under-the-radar neighborhood.
Ötkert is a mainstay of the club scene in Budapest, on the popular and posher end of the narrow spectrum.
One can't fail to pick up on the clues that a family business is busy at work in Padron: mother taking orders, son serving food, and father behind the bar of course.
Pántlika is an outdoor bistro tucked away in the peaceful end of the City Park, making it an inviting destination following a stroll through Andrássy Avenue.
Petrus is a top-notch French bistro in the sleepy and still gritty outer part of District 9 with an inventive owner-chef.
Pola Pola was opened recently (2015), and it quickly established itself as a respected option among the local Balkan population (always a good sign).
Pomo D'oro is the iconic Italian restaurant of Budapest that somehow managed to sustain high quality food and professional service since 2002.
Pótkulcs is a hidden bar inside a former light engineering workshop with a setting that caters to deeply philosophical conversations, accompanied by your evening drink.
Prime, a chic downtown steakhouse is in-line with the top steakhouses around the world. Go for the szürkemarha filet mignon for a depth of flavor one rarely experiences.
Printa was one of the first stores in Budapest that figured out that selling new-wave coffee alongside Hungarian designer products can be a winning combination.
Lángos, a popular Hungarian specialty is the area of expertise at Retro Büfé, a tiny communist-era kiosk.
Ristorante Krizia is a popular lunch destination for Italians living in Budapest - an Italian restaurant hardly needs a better reference than that.
Sarki Fűszeres is a closet-size, partially outdoor café along the upscale Pozsonyi út and one of the best kept secrets in Budapest.
A leading Hungarian chef ventured out on his own to make traditional Hungarian dishes prepared with his own twist at affordable prices at Séf Utcája.
Spíler is a trendy and crowded bistro inside the pulsating evening hangout spot with loud music, cool décor, and good-looking waiters.
Many places have tried to emulate the “hip café” concept in Budapest. But STIKA, this pocket-sized space in District 7, is the first to get it exactly right.
If you've spent 5 minutes researching Budapest nightlife then you'll already have come across Szimpla Kert, the iconic ruin bar of Budapest.
Szimply is a closet-size breakfast-all-day place in the charming cobble-stoned inner courtyard of a pre-war building.
TÁBLA, a closet-sized, lunch-only space at the edge of the Jewish quarter, occupies the territory between fine dining and a casual restaurant.
The farther from downtown, the better - this is the rule of thumb to follow in Budapest when you look for respectable Chinese restaurants. Taiwan Étterem is no exception.
If beards, drawstring bags, and brightly-colored sneakers on good-looking people are your thing, stay put at Telep.
Many local residents can be found at Tera Magyar Konyhája, a diner with traditional dishes in Újlipótváros, a must-visit neighborhood not usually on visitors' radars.
TG Italiano is one of those places you pick when you don't feel like leaving the highly touristed downtown areas but want to avoid the tourist traps.
What's this stylish café (The Goat Herder) full of foreign students doing in the sleepy outer part of District 7 inhabited mostly by working class locals?
Toldi is located in the entrance hall of a movie theater that functions as a peaceful café during the day and gradually turns into a raging dance venue come nighttime.
Visiting Tóth Kocsma, a good honest no-frills basement bar is the ultimate immersion into everyday Hungarian life.
The serenity on the ground floor is deceiving: Trapéz’s attic above hides a lively and buzzing hideaway college bar.
Úri Muri is the bar to be if you want to hang out with the next generation of Hungarian actors and actresses.
The type self-service/take-out lunch venue of Városház Snack was popular during communist times, but now they are nearing extinction. Go before it’s too late.
Skepticism is in order when you go to Gozsdu Udvar, aka tourist central of Budapest. This lively tapas bar, however, will not disappoint those in search of a trendy spot.
The “villányi” in the name is tongue-in-cheek, since the wine they serve in this socialist-era neighborhood bar is hardly the premium stuff from the Villány region.
Vintage Garden is a (over)designed trendy restaurant with a shabby chic interior and stylish waitstaff in the buzzing District 7.
Budapest is full of terrible, alarmingly cheap Chinese take-out places catering to local tastes. This is why Wang Mester Kínai Konyhája is a nice surprise.
Why Not Cafe And Bar is one of the few bars in Budapest along the Danube with a stunning view onto the Liberty Bridge and the Buda hills.
Wichmann is a must-see. This dimly lit, grungy bar has been around since 1987, way before Kazinczy Street and District 7 became popular.
The sum of the parts make the experience at Zeller a special one.
Before Zoska, Pest didn't really have places specialized for breakfast food, even though we all know what a difference a plate of well-prepared scrambled eggs can make.
Think of Zsiga Bár, this bizarrely decorated tiny café/bar as the gateway to a different, albeit no less exciting world outside the comforts of the Grand Boulevard.