If you're looking to immerse yourself in a lively, communist-era neighborhood bar that doubles as a breakfast joint, I can't think of a better place than Bambi Eszpresszó in Buda. What makes Bambi the real deal? It isn’t trying to show off an artificial ("retro"), unremembered past – it’s a genuine throwback.
Most patrons consist of local residents, with a high concentration of graying, beer-drinking men, who read the paper with increasingly indignant looks on their faces. The waiters, who wear outfits that haven't been in fashion for at least 30 years, are nice only to those customers they find likeable. The interior design features red faux leather upholstery and Thonet look-alike chairs have been in place since the opening in 1961.
The limited food selections consist of a pair of frankfurter sausages with a side of mustard and a slice of bread (€2.5), scrambled eggs (€2), various toasted sandwiches (€1), and classic Hungarian pastries. Yes, the prices are rock-bottom. Although it gets liveliest in the evenings, I most enjoy Bambi for breakfast during the warm weather months, when the crammed tables on its south-facing terrace are bathed in sunshine.