If you find yourself in a place with live gypsy music, chances are that you've been sucked into a tourist trap — overpriced downtown restaurants tend to hire gypsy bands to fabricate “Hungarian vibes” for unsuspecting tourists. The reality is that few Hungarian people, especially those below 50, are exposed to or familiar with such songs.

But if you’re curious to listen to a gypsy band in a less formulaic setting, head to Giero, a tiny, below-ground bar tucked away on a District 6 backstreet. Giero opened in 1990 and it's named after the late father of Gizi, the loquacious, big-hearted, ever-present proprietor. Don’t let the neglected interior hold you back — and watch your head as you descend the stairs leading inside — and you might be in for a special experience. The band usually starts at 10 p.m., performing both local classics and international evergreens. There's wallet-friendly beers, pálinka, and Unicum to lift the mood; be sure to buy a round for the band members, too. Note that there's no live music on Sundays.

To remain unbiased, I visit all places incognito and pay for my own meals and drinks. I also never accept money in exchange for coverage. But this means I must rely on readers to support my work. If you've enjoyed this article, please consider making a donation.