Some pockets of Buda can be as lively as Pest, but they're few and far between. Bartók Béla Boulevard is one such revitalized Buda neighborhood, featuring art galleries, cafés, and bars. Kelet, which is a snug all-day café, was one of the early birds here, helping to breathe new life into the area.
Best of all about Kelet is their cozy ground floor, lined with walls of books, and boasting a floor-to-ceiling window that's perfect for people-watching. I enjoy coming here in the evenings, when the small, crammed tables fill to capacity and quiet chatter oozes from the dimly-lit space. The patrons, a cross section of the neighborhood, exude a healthy sense of bourgeois sensibility.
Coffee is made from Colombian, Kenyan, and Ethiopian beans, and served in espresso-, filter-, and Turkish coffee-forms. If you need a snack, avoid the mediocre sandwiches and mezze plates, and go straight for the cakes, especially the carrot cake, whch is rich and tasty without being cloyingly sweet. Tea fans can indulge in a number of Chinese (oolong) and Japanese (sencha, matcha) loose leaf tea varieties. Local beer and wine are also available.