Some pockets of Buda can be as lively as Pest, but they're few and far between. Bartók Béla Boulevard is one such revitalized neighborhood, featuring art galleries, cafés, and bars. Kelet, a snug all-day café lined with walls of books, was one of the early birds here that helped breathe new life into the area. Apart from the usual coffee options, they also serve Turkish coffee and a range of tasty cakes (don't sleep on the carrot cake). There's Chinese (oolong) and Japanese (sencha, matcha) loose leaf tea varieties as well as local beers and wine.
Flaunting floor-to-ceiling windows, Kelet is ideal for people-watching during the day, but I also enjoy coming here in the evenings when the small, crammed tables fill to capacity and quiet chatter drifts from the dim space. The patrons, a cross-section of the neighborhood, exude a healthy sense of bourgeois sensibility.