For the past decade, Akácfa Street in Budapest's party district was known for Fogas ruin bar. That has changed with the opening of the wildly popular Mazel Tov restaurant, and also Hops Beer Bar, one of the best craft beer bars in the city. And now here's Kaptafa, a chic all-day breakfast restaurant.
Some restaurants try hard to look trendy, for others it seems so effortless. Kaptafa belongs to the latter category. Sure, the inside features some cliched design elements like chipped walls and Edison bulbs, but the place, which used to be a shoe repair shop (hence "kaptafa," which translates to shoe tree), feels fresh and welcoming. The relaxed-looking, millennial servers kindly chat with customers, most of whom are repeat visitors, while indie-pop is piping through the speakers.
Kaptafa serves eight types of breakfast dishes, each available all day. The most satisfying is the "defibrillator/CPR" sandwich (€5), whose name is alluding to its hangover-curing power. It's a hearty, fried sandwich stuffed with strips of crispy bacon and melted cheese; it's similar to a savory French toast. Also good is the Mrs. Molnár (€5), a playful riff on the croque madame, made with a Hungarian roll named molnárka and swapping ham for crisped-up bacon.
In the evenings, they turn up the music, turn down the lights, and Kaptafa transforms into a dimly-lit, atmospheric bar.