12 Perfectly Low-Key Breakfast Places In Budapest

If you like to start your day easy, without the buzz that surrounds hyped-up places, below is a selection of unfussy Budapest cafés and breakfast restaurants. They each serve very decent breakfast dishes, and draw a laid-back, mostly local crowd.

#1 Jedermann Café

Hans van Vliet, the owner of Jedermann Café, is a legendary restaurateur in Budapest with a genius for creating atmospheric, all-inviting places for everyone to enjoy (hence "Jedermann," which translates to "everyone"). On any given day, tables might be filled with senior citizens fiercely debating Hungarian politics, students gossiping over a cup of coffee, and a theater director mapping out upcoming projects with the staff. Jedermann, which marries a café with a bar, is hidden on a quiet street in District 9, not far from the city center, but away from the throngs clogging the party district.

#2 Lumen Café Budapest

Head to Lumen Café if you'd like to avoid the tourist-heavy streets of the Jewish Quarter but still get a cup of specialty coffee or craft beer in a hip neighborhood. With egg-based breakfast dishes (served until noon), a full-service kitchen, and a sleek interior featuring plenty of greenery, concrete, and wood finishes, Lumen is more than your average neighborhood café. But it's the patrons, students, artists, and neighborhood bohemians, who give soul to the place.

#3 Kino Café

Kino is a laid-back, breakfast-all-day restaurant set along Budapest's Grand Boulevard. The interior is draped in movie posters as Kino occupies the ticketing area of an independent movie theater. Kino serves low-priced and tasty breakfast dishes seven days a week—when in doubt, go for the hearty "Hungarian" scrambled eggs packing bacon, sausage, tomatoes, and a sprinkle of grated cheese (€3). Also, the cakes displayed behind the glass taste just as good as they look.

#4 Café Csiga

Csiga is a popular café and restaurant in the outer part of District 8, a bit away from city center. The neighborhood, situated just outside the Grand Boulevard, is increasingly sought after as locals turn their backs to the tourist throngs and sky-high prices of the party district.

#5 Bambi Eszpresszó

If you're looking to immerse yourself in a deeply local, communist-era neighborhood bar that doubles as a breakfast joint, I can't think of a better place than Bambi Eszpresszó on the Buda side. What makes Bambi the real deal? It isn’t trying to show off an artificial (retro), unremembered past—it’s a genuine throwback.

#6 Café Panini

Breakfast places in Budapest are few and far between, and the ones that do exist are mostly in downtown, catering to tourists. This isn't the case with Café Panini, a chic neighborhood breakfast restaurant inside the secluded world of Újlipótváros.

#7 Monori Center Hong Kong Büfé (港式茶餐厅)

If you've ever wondered what a Chinese breakfast was like, head to Hong Kong Büfé in Budapest's Chinatown (Monori Center). For less than €5, you can try classic Chinese breakfast staples here including cong you bing, congee, and youtiao.

#8 JóKrisz Lángos Sütöde (Rákóczi Market Hall)

For a truly, deeply local experience, make your way to this bare-bones food stall inside the Rákóczi Market Hall in Budapest's District 8. Hiding in the back of the building is JóKrisz Lángos Sütöde, a mom-and-pop, standing-only eatery specializing in lángos, a traditional deep-fried Hungarian flatbread. I usually visit Jókrisz early in the mornings when the colorful cast of characters flock here from the mainly working-class neighborhood.

#9 Három Tarka Macska Bakery

Három Tarka Macska is an artisan bakery on the tastefully upscale Pozsonyi Road in Újlipótváros, a well-heeled area I think of as the “West Village of Budapest.” Step inside, and a paradise of aromatic and still-steaming sourdough, whole wheat, and rye breads, brioches, and rolls in all shapes and sizes await you. The two must-try local favorites are the túrós batyu (a sweet-tart cottage cheese-filled laminated pastry) and the kakaós csiga (a snail-shaped chocolate pastry roll), which go down especially well with the flavored yogurts that Három Tarka Macska sources from a local family-owned producer.

#10 HeHe Chinese Restaurant (和和美食)

If you’re looking for tasty and wallet-friendly Chinese food in Budapest, HeHe is one of your best bets. The restaurant serves an array of excellent Chinese dishes from a modest, undecorated space in Budapest's Chinatown (Monori Center), reachable in 25 minutes from the city center by public transport.

#11 Keksz

Part café, part restaurant, part bar, Keksz is a hybrid space located under the stately arch that marks the entry point of Budapest's party district. There are a handful of passable traditional Hungarian dishes here—including a goulash soup (€5), a catfish paprikash (€7), and a lecsó (€6), which is similar to a ratatouille—but you're best off sticking to the breakfast-all-day offerings like the scrambled eggs or the panini selections.

#12 Balla-Hús

Opened in 1951, Balla-Hús is one of the few remaining standalone butcher shops in downtown Budapest. Balla's business model has evolved over the decades: instead of raw meat, today they mainly serve low-priced breakfast and lunch dishes to the shrinking number of local residents (Airbnb, I'm looking at you).

Rankings are based on a combination of food/drink, atmosphere, service, and price. The author visits all restaurants incognito and pays for his own meals and drinks.