We all know the magical healing qualities a hearty brunch can elicit after a long night of debauchery. The Budapest brunch places below meet three critically important criteria: they’re open on weekends as well, serve a range of breakfast food well into the afternoon, and here you can rebuild your buzz if you wish to. Are you past brunch hours? Try the coolest dinner places instead.
HILDA is one of the restaurants lining downtown's increasingly fashionable Nádor Street. The area has come to life as a growing number of tourists and international students from the nearby Central European University pass through. With a perfect curb appeal, you will notice HILDA's Instagrammable interior even before entering the space. An oversized stained glass mosaic covers one of the walls in its entirety, and the bar is studded with rows of dark blue, glazed Zsolnay ceramic tiles, the same brand that decorates the lobby of the Four Seasons around the corner from here.
In New York or London, this hip breakfast restaurant would be just another fashionable, industrial chic crowd-pleaser: the type of place where tattooed servers run around a sleek, wood-lined interior complete with vintage light bulbs and exposed galvanized steel pipes, and semi-alternative R&B tunes set the musical background. In Budapest, many places have tried to emulate this concept. But STIKA, this pocket-sized space in District 7, is the first to get it right. .
Curious where the top 1% of Buda residents hang out? Wonder no more. The owners of Déryné Bistro were ahead of the curve in 2007 when they opened this sleek bistro featuring a Balthazar-like interior straight out of the Keith McNally playbook. Back then, Déryné was a novelty in Budapest because this type of hip-but-classy restaurants didn't exist yet. .
À la Maison Grand is a chic downtown café in Budapest located on the ground floor of a 1906 art nouveau building (take a glance at the oversized glass mosaic perched atop the building). A fashionable, tourist-heavy crowd tends to flock here for the breakfast-all-day and brunch offerings that include reliably-prepared classics like croque madame (€5), Eggs Florentine (€7), and a range of waffles. I recommend that you avoid the "breakfast plates" in general, as I was let down by the undersized and forlorn-looking English (€10) and Hungarian breakfasts (€12). .
Szimply is a tiny breakfast-all-day restaurant in the cobble-stoned courtyard of a pre-war downtown building. Thanks to The New York Times, which mentioned Szimply in an article (Budapest is #50), it's next to impossible to find an open table at this closet-sized breakfast nook. They specialize in on-trend, contemporary breakfast and brunch food, like the generously packed avocado toast topped with arugula, figs and goat cheese. Szimply also has 4 types of vegetable/fruit juices, but, unfortunately, they don't serve alcohol.
Independent restaurants located inside luxury hotels face a common challenge: they need to juggle between satisfying the not-always-so-sophisticated palates of the hotel residents while also luring discernible diners looking for a fine dining experience. KOLLÁZS - Brasserie & Bar, occupying part of the ground floor at the exquisite Four Seasons Hotel Budapest, meets the challenge. The tastefully designed neo-Art Deco interior seamlessly blends a grill bar with a bistro, a fine dining restaurant, and a cocktail bar. Don't be surprised by besuited waiters scurrying around with tableside carts, carving fine meats like chateaubriand and Dover sole.
Budapest is undersupplied when it comes to relaxed, unpretentious breakfast and brunch spots, mostly because locals generally eat breakfast at home. One of the exceptions is Kino, this breakfast-all-day café along the Grand Boulevard. .
Breakfast places in Budapest are still far and few between, and the ones that do exist are mostly located in downtown and cater to tourists. This isn't the case with Café Panini, a stylish neighborhood breakfast restaurant inside the secluded world of the hip Újlipótváros. There isn’t anything profoundly unique about Café Panini’s croque madams, frankfurters, or ham and eggs, but they’re tasty, reasonably priced, and they exist! Breakfast and brunch is served all day on weekends and until noon on weekdays, with a range of Hungarian beer and wine selections to help lift the mood. The crowd is easy-going, and mostly a cross section of the neighborhood.
Escape the noisy downtown street and enter through the yellow ceramic tiles into the 19th century courtyard of Fekete Café. The marble well located in the center of the tranquil courtyard is one of those turn-of-the-20th-century Budapest surprises that hide behind many sooty facades. Weather permitting, enjoy your morning coffee in the open air courtyard..