For every handmade sourdough loaf and pillowy chocolate pastry, there are dozens of dreadful alternatives at Budapest's bland bakery chains. But a small group of bakers, many of them recently returned from abroad, are committed to changing the status quo using top ingredients and updated recipes. Be it a tasty cardamom bun or a local favorite like túrós batyu, you're unlikely to be disappointed by the bakeries below.
Arán, which means "bread" in Old Irish, is a pricey craft bakery in Budapest's hip Jewish Quarter run by Kinga and Attila Pécsi. The couple spent a decade living in Ireland and it was there that Kinga mastered her baking skills. Arán lives up to its moniker: the whole wheat, rye, and white breads are all wonderful, imparting the signature, slightly sour taste of long-fermented sourdough. On Fridays, they also make kalács, a sweet roll similar to a challah.