Gdansk Bookstore Café

A Polish native from Gdansk, a port city on the Baltic coast, and her Hungarian husband opened this shoebox-sized bar in Bupapest in 2014. An Eastern European, bohemian-intellectual spirit fills the space. Think dimly lit, cozy nooks with rickety tables, shelves packed with Polish books, and a range of cheap vodka selections (they also serves Polish and Hungarian craft beers). The highlight at Gdansk Café is the pickled herring plate - the fish, delivered straight from the Baltic Sea, wraps around a serving of caramelized onion chutney and comes with thick slices of rye bread and pickles. Don’t miss it.

The bougie Bartók Béla Boulevard in District 11 is an odd location for Gdansk. Its natural habitat would be a backstreet of the boisterous Jewish Quarter, but the present location is part of Gdansk’s uniqueness, and a great service to the neighborhood. Note that open tables are rare, closing times flexible, and prices wallet-friendly.