For the past decade, Akácfa Street in Budapest's party district was mainly 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 hip breakfast-all-day restaurant.
Some restaurants try hard to look chic, for others it seems 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," translating to shoe tree), feels fresh. The relaxed-looking, millennial servers kindly chat with customers, many of whom are repeat visitors, while indie-pop is piping through the speakers.
They serve eight types of breakfast dishes, of which the "defibrillator/CPR" sandwich (€5)—alluding to its hangover-curing power—is the most satisfying. It's like a savory French toast stuffed with ham and oozing melted cheese. Also good is the Mrs. Molnár (€5), a playful riff on the croque madame, made with a Hungarian roll named molnárka and swapping the ham for crisped-up bacon. Hungarian wines and draft beers are also available.
In the evenings, they turn up the music, down the lights, and Kaptafa transforms into a dimly-lit, atmospheric bar.