For every handmade sourdough loaf and exemplary chocolate pastry, there are dozens of dreadful alternatives at Budapest's bland bakery chains. But there's a small group of local bakers, many of them recently returned from abroad, who are committed to changing the status quo. At many of the below bakeries, you'll find everything from cardamom buns to cruffins, and also two of the local favorites: túrós batyu (a cottage cheese-stuffed pastry) and kakaós csiga (a chocolate bun shaped in a spiral).
Arán, which means "bread" in Old Irish, is a craft bakery in Budapest's hip Jewish Quarter run by Kinga and Attila Pécsi, a couple who spent a decade living in Ireland (it was there that Kinga mastered her baking skills). Arán lives up to its moniker: the toast-crisp sourdough loaves are delightful. There's whole wheat, rye, and white breads, all of them imparting the signature, slightly sour taste of long-fermented sourdough.