360 Bar  —  $$$

At 360 Bar trendy locals peppered with tourists tend to sip pricey cocktails at a rooftop lounge along the upscale Andrássy Avenue.

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Akácfa Étkezde  —  $$

Neighborhood Roma and office workers alike line up for outstanding home-made Hungarian flavors from the bizarrely decorated Akácfa Étkezde diner.

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Al Dente  —  $$$

Italian chatter is filtering through the open kitchen at Al Dente - too rare and a highly welcome phenomenon for an Italian restaurant.

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Auróra  —  $$

During the day, Auróra is a socially conscious community center. Come nighttime, it's the venue of raucous parties until the wee hours.

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Balla-Hús  —  $

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.

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Bambi Eszpresszó  —  $$

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.

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BAOTIFUL  —  $$

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.

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Beat on the Brat  —  $$

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.

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Bisztrónyúl  —  $$

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.

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Bob Bár  —  $$$

Bob Bár is a posh bar/lounge with increasingly more dancing and champagne popping as the night progresses.

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Borkonyha  —  $$$$

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.

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Boutiq Bar  —  $$$

If you're serious about your drink, visit Boutiq Bar, an award-winning cocktail bar nestled within a peaceful downtown side street.

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Brody Studios  —  $$$

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.

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Buja Disznó(k)  —  $$

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.

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Café Kör  —  $$$

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.

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Caffee GianMario  —  $$$

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.

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Chablon Bistro  —  $$

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.

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Cintányéros  —  $$$

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.

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Csendes Társ  —  $$

Csendes Társ is an outdoor-only downtown café and an island of peace and quiet within the hustle and bustle of the city.

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Csirke csibész  —  $

Construction workers and white collar employees alike line up for the notorious chicken sandwiches at lunchtime at Csirke Csibész.

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DiVino  —  $$$

At DiVino wine bar you can sip a glass of fine Hungarian red while overlooking the picture-postcard view of the Basilica.

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Dzzs Bár  —  $$

Stopping by at Dzzs Bár on a late night feels like being at the house party of your rowdiest friend.

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Élesztő  —  $$

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.

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Építészpince  —  $$

Take some time to absorb the view from the inner courtyard of Építészpince: ivy-covered facades, cube stone patterns, symmetrically curved staircases.

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Esetleg bisztro  —  $$$

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.

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Fahéj Kávézó  —  $$

Fahéj Kávézó is an intellectually-infused quaint bohemian café-slash-bar that eschews the overly trendy vibe of many places in the neighborhood.

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Farger Kávézó  —  $$

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.

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Fecske Presszó  —  $$

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.

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Fekete  —  $$$

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.

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Fekete Kutya  —  $$

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.

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Fogasház  —  $$

Fogasház is an enormous ruin bar with plenty of much-coveted space for dancing.

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Fruccola  —  $$

Fruccola is a salad bar that started the granola/salad/fresh juice wave in Budapest and is still on top of the charts.

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Gerlóczy Cafe  —  $$$

Gerlóczy Café is a French-stlye café/bistro tucked away in an unexpectedly serene and charming corner in the middle of downtown.

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Gólya  —  $$

A spirit of healthy anarchy radiates from Gólya, a bar-slash-community center located a bit outside the city center.

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Grinzingi Borozó  —  $$

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.

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Gyros Kerkyra  —  $$

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.

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Hunnia Bisztró  —  $$

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.

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Ibolya Espresso  —  $$

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.

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Indigo  —  $$$

Indigo is the go-to place for Indians living in Budapest - an Indian restaurant shall need no further endorsement than that.

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Jedermann  —  $$

Far from the throngs clogging District 7, Jedermann is a locals' favorite jazz-infused bistro with live music.

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Kadarka Bar  —  $$$

If you enjoy discussing tannins, acidity, fruitiness and lingering finishes, Kadarka wine bar is your place.

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K:antin/ Fuga  —  $$

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.

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Kék Ló  —  $$

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.

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Keksz  —  $$

While the food is unlikely to blow your mind at Keksz, make sure to try the unexpectedly tasty namesake “Keksz” beer on draft.

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Kelet Café  —  $$$

Kelet is an all-purpose café and bar, and one of the reasons that new life is breathing into the neighborhood.

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Keret Klub  —  $$

Keret Klub, a bohemian bar in a deserted side street in District 8, offers additional perks besides the prohibition-era atmosphere.

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Kertem  —  $$

Kertem doesn’t try to be more than what it is - a lively outdoor bar.

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Kiadó Kocsma  —  $$

Despite its proximity to the upscale Andrássy Avenue, Kiadó Kocsma, a neighborhood bar, preserved a cozy and bohemian atmosphere with regulars from nearby.

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Kino Cafe Mozi  —  $$

Kino is a relaxed café with outstanding breakfast-all-day offering inside the ticketing area of a movie theater set along the Grand Boulevard.

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Kiosk  —  $$$$

Kiosk is a trendy bistro in the heart of Budapest that has two things going for it.

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Kisüzem  —  $$

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.

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Klassz  —  $$$

Klassz is the type of safe-bet restaurant recommendation you would give to acquaintances visiting your city, being certain that it won't disappoint.

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Kőleves Kert  —  $$

Kőleves Kert is one of those summertime treasures in the form of a laid-back, all-welcoming outdoor bar in a spacious backyard.

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Komachi Bistro  —  $$

For most people in Hungary, sushi is synonymous with Japanese food. Komachi, a Japanese restaurant in the Jewish Quarter, is committed to proving otherwise.

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Kontakt  —  $$

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.

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Központ  —  $$

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.

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Krúdy Söröző  —  $

The patrons of Krúdy bar? Penniless college students, construction workers, and the occasional aging regular, weary from a decades-long, pálinka-infused stupor.

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Kuplung  —  $$

Kuplung offers a strong combination with a bar and a large concert venue right on the buzzing Király Street in District 7 (Jewish Quarter).

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La Perle Noire  —  $$$$

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.

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Lámpás  —  $$

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.

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Lärm  —  $$

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.

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Liberté  —  $$$$

The prices are on the higher end, but the Hungarian-influenced culinary essentials and a highly-invested interior at Liberté can make it worthwhile.

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Lumen Kávézó  —  $$

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.

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M. Restaurant  —  $$$

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?

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Macska  —  $$

Macska is the type of neighborhood bar we all want to have outside our doors, alas, they are few and far between.

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MÁK bistro  —  $$$$

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.

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Mazel Tov  —  $$$

Mazel Tov is for people who like the ruin bar concept in theory, but prefer things more upscale.

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Mélypont Presszó  —  $$

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.

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Momotaro Ramen  —  $$$

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.

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Műterem Kávézó  —  $$

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”.

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My Little Melbourne  —  $$$

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.

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Öcsi étkezde  —  $

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.

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Olimpia Vendéglő  —  $$$

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.

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Ötkert  —  $$$

Ötkert is a mainstay of the club scene in Budapest, on the popular and posher end of the narrow spectrum.

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Padron  —  $$$

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.

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Pántlika Bisztró  —  $$

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.

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Pola Pola  —  $$$

Pola Pola was opened recently (2015), and it quickly established itself as a respected option among the local Balkan population (always a good sign).

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Pomo D'oro  —  $$$$

Pomo D'oro is the iconic Italian restaurant of Budapest that somehow managed to sustain high quality food and professional service since 2002.

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Pótkulcs  —  $$

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.

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Prime Steak & Wine  —  $$$$$

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.

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Printa  —  $$

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.

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Ristorante Krizia  —  $$$$

Ristorante Krizia is a popular lunch destination for Italians living in Budapest - an Italian restaurant hardly needs a better reference than that.

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Sarki fűszeres  —  $$$

Sarki Fűszeres is a closet-size, partially outdoor café along the upscale Pozsonyi út and one of the best kept secrets in Budapest.

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Séf utcája  —  $$

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.

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Spíler  —  $$$

Spíler is a trendy and crowded bistro inside the pulsating evening hangout spot with loud music, cool décor, and good-looking waiters.

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STIKA Budapest  —  $$$

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.

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Szimpla Kert  —  $$$

If you've spent 5 minutes researching Budapest nightlife then you'll already have come across Szimpla Kert, the iconic ruin bar of Budapest.

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Szimply  —  $$$

Szimply is a closet-size breakfast-all-day place in the charming cobble-stoned inner courtyard of a pre-war building.

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TÁBLA  —  $$$

TÁBLA, a closet-sized, lunch-only space at the edge of the Jewish quarter, occupies the territory between fine dining and a casual restaurant.

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Taiwan Étterem  —  $$$

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.

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Telep  —  $$

If beards, drawstring bags, and brightly-colored sneakers on good-looking people are your thing, stay put at Telep.

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TG Italiano  —  $$$$

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.

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Toldi Klub  —  $$

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.

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Tóth Kocsma  —  $

Visiting Tóth Kocsma, a good honest no-frills basement bar is the ultimate immersion into everyday Hungarian life.

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Trapéz  —  $$

The serenity on the ground floor is deceiving: Trapéz’s attic above hides a lively and buzzing hideaway college bar.

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Úri Muri  —  $

Úri Muri is the bar to be if you want to hang out with the next generation of Hungarian actors and actresses.

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Városház Snack  —  $

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.

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Vicky Barcelona  —  $$$

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.

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Villányi Borozó  —  $

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.

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Vintage Garden  —  $$$$

Vintage Garden is a (over)designed trendy restaurant with a shabby chic interior and stylish waitstaff in the buzzing District 7.

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Wichmann  —  $

Wichmann is a must-see. This dimly lit, grungy bar has been around since 1987, way before Kazinczy Street and District 7 became popular.

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Zsiga bár  —  $$

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.

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