If you're looking to immerse yourself in a deeply local, communist-era neighborhood bar that doubles as a breakfast joint, I can't think of a better place than Bambi Eszpresszó on the Buda side. What makes Bambi the real deal? It isn’t trying to show off an artificial (retro), unremembered past — it’s a genuine throwback.

The patrons are a cross-section of local residents, with a high concentration of graying, beer-drinking men reading the paper with disgruntled expressions on their faces. The waiters, some of them wearing outfits that haven't been in vogue for at least 30 years, are nice only to those customers whom they find likable. The chairs with red, faux-leather upholstery have been in place since the opening in 1961. Although it gets liveliest in the evenings, I most enjoy Bambi for breakfast during the warm-weather months when the cramped tables on its south-facing terrace are bathed in sunshine.

The limited food selections consist of a pair of frankfurters with a side of mustard (€2.5), scrambled eggs (€2), various toasted sandwiches (€1), and Hungarian pastries. Yes, prices are rock-bottom.

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