11 Perfectly Low-Key Breakfast Places In Budapest

If you don't insist on having breakfast at the most fashionable places and instead prefer to keep things more laid back, below is a selection of unfussy Budapest cafés and restaurants. They each serve reliable breakfast dishes and draw a relaxed, mostly local crowd.

#1 Jedermann Café

Founded by the legendary restaurateur Hans van Vliet, Jedermann Café is a snug, all-inviting café and restaurant for all 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 is buried on a quiet part of 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 local bohemians — who give soul to the place.

#3 Kino Café

Kino is a laid-back breakfast-all-day restaurant lining Budapest's Grand Boulevard. The interior is draped in movie posters given that Kino occupies the ticketing area of an independent movie theater. They serve low-priced breakfast dishes seven days a week — when in doubt, go for the hearty "Hungarian" scrambled eggs packing bacon, sausage, tomatoes, and cheese. 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 on the 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 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 — goulash soup, catfish paprikash, and lecsó, which is similar to a ratatouille — but you're best off sticking to the breakfast-all-day offerings like the scrambled eggs and the panini selections. The crowd consists of a healthy mix of locals and tourists, many of whom come here for coffee or drinks only. One of the best things about Keksz is how cheap it is, especially compared to the rest of the neighborhood. If you like IPAs, go for "Keksz," the hoppy house ale on draft.

#7 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 breakfast restaurant within the upscale residential neighborhood of Újlipótváros.

#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 Hungarian 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 a hip bakery located within the heart of Újlipótváros, a well-off residential area near the Danube. 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).

#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 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 a shrinking number of local residents (Airbnb, I'm looking at you). In the mornings, go for the scrambled eggs, which arrive sprinkled with crisped-up sausages and red paprika powder — expect an especially generous portion if the owner himself prepares it.

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.