The 8 Hottest Brunch Spots in Budapest, Fall 2019

We all know the magical healing properties of a hearty brunch following a night of drinking. The restuarants below meet three critically-important criteria: they’re open on weekends, serve breakfast foods well into the afternoon, and offer alcohol in case that's the road you decide to take. Are you past brunch hours? Try the trendiest dinner places instead.

#1 HILDA

HILDA is a chic downtown restaurant on the increasingly fashionable Nádor Street, an area that has come to life as a growing number of tourists and international students from the nearby Central European University pass through. HILDA boasts a perfect curb appeal and Instagrammable interior: An oversized stained glass mosaic covers one of the walls in its entirety, and the bar is studded with dark blue, glazed Zsolnay ceramic tiles, the same brand that decorates the lobby of the Four Seasons around the corner from here.

#2 STIKA Budapest

In New York or London, this hip breakfast restaurant would be just another fashionable crowd-pleaser: the type of place where tattooed and bow-tied servers scurry around a sleek interior complete with vintage light bulbs and greenery, and fresh R&B tunes set the musical background. In Budapest, many places have tried to emulate this concept, but STIKA, this pocket-sized restaurant in the old Jewish Quarter, is the first to get it right.

#3 Déryné Bistro

Curious where the top 1% of Buda residents hang out? Wonder no more. The owners of Déryné Bistro were ahead of the curve when in 2007 they opened this chic restaurant featuring a Balthazar-like interior straight out of the Keith McNally playbook. Back then, few places in Budapest offered this type of hip-but-classy ambiance. Déryné has managed to remain popular for all these years, even as similar restaurants have sprouted up in Pest with comparable offerings at lower prices.

#4 À la Maison Grand Budapest

À la Maison Grand is a chic, highly popular breakfast restaurant in Budapest's downtown, occupying the ground floor of a 1906 art nouveau building (take a glance at the striking glass mosaic perched atop the building). A fashionable, tourist-heavy crowd tends to flock to here for the breakfast-all-day and brunch offerings that include reliably-prepared croque madame (€5), eggs Florentine (€7), a range of waffles, and also zeitgesty items like acai bowl and avocado toast (€7). The only letdowns are the the undersized and forlorn-looking English (€10) and Hungarian breakfast plates (€12).

#5 Felix Restaurant

The location of Felix is hard to beat, offering stunning views onto the Castle Hill and the nearby Danube river. The restaurant, which serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, is inside a carefully refurbished landmark-protected building from the 19th century designed by Miklós Ybl, who was also the head architect of the Budapest Opera House. The vibes at Felix are a notch above what people often refer to as "trendy," but the place is more casual and also cheaper than stiff-lipped fine fining dining establishments.

#6 Kaptafa

For the past decade, Akácfa Street in Budapest's party district was mainly known for Fogas ruin bar. That has changed with the opening of the wildly popular Mazel Tov restaurant, and also Hops Beer Bar, one of the best craft beer bars in the city. And now here's Kaptafa, a hip breakfast-all-day restaurant.

#7 Fekete Café

Escape the noisy downtown street, and enter through the yellow ceramic tiles into the 19th century courtyard of Fekete, a hip café and all-day-breakfast restaurant. The marble well in the center of the tranquil courtyard is one of those Budapest surprises hiding behind many sooty facades. Weather permitting, enjoy your morning coffee in the open-air courtyard.

#8 Kollázs Brasserie & Bar (Four Seasons Hotel)

Kollázs Brasserie & Bar, which occupies the ground floor of the opulent, Art Nouveau building of the Four Seasons Hotel, is a fine dining restaurant and cocktail bar with prime views onto Budapest's Castle Hill. It's the type of place where dark-suited waiters scurry around with tableside carts and pricey bottles of wine. The interior is furnished in a tasteful neo-Art Deco style, complete with marble, dark wood, and brass finishes.

Rankings are based on a combination of food/drink, atmosphere, service, and price. The author visits all restaurants incognito.