Turiszt Büfé

It's a small miracle that this unfussy, communist-era neighborhood bar right across the street from one of Budapest's most visited tourist attractions — the Dohány Street Synagogue — still exists. I always find it a bizarrely magical moment when I sip a low-priced beer here with the picture-postcard view of Europe's biggest synagogue bathed in light before me. A wall-to-wall wood paneling lends a warmth to the tiny space, which serves wallet-friendly "bottom-shelf" wines, bottled beers (two also on tap), spirits, and snacks.

Despite its moniker, Turiszt Büfé, which opened in 1982, has never catered to tourists. Instead, patrons are a combination of aging regulars and students from nearby colleges. Before you leave, take a look at the vintage sign above the entrance still advertising the communist-era state-owned winery cooperative by Lake Balaton. Note that Turiszt Büfé is closed on weekends.

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