As craft coffee, the craft beer movement is spreading ever deeper into the Budapest mainstream with new microbreweries popping up at a head-spinning pace. At the bars below, you can sample everything from crispy lagers to hop-forward double IPAs, sourced from both Hungarian craft breweries and international producers.
Good news: most of these bars are near one another in Budapest's Jewish Quarter and District 8, so you easily visit more than one throughout the evening.
If you're curious about Hungarian craft beers and what Budapest looks like a bit outside the city center, be sure to head to Élesztő. From a total of two hundred Hungarian craft beers, Élesztő has a rotating set of 25 on tap on any given day. These include everything from light crowd-pleasers to complex sour IPAs. If you're unsure about which one to order, ask the bartenders who are usually happy to help.
Hopaholic is a craft beer bar in Budapest famed for its dizzying range of international craft beers. They source bottled beers from over 250 microbreweries across the world. These are supplemented by ten rotating beers on tap. Do you feel like downing a cloudy, yeasty hefeweizen? Perhaps an imperial stout from Denmark sporting a 10% ABV? Or, rather, a tarty and fruity Moldavian-Hungarian lambic beer? Not a problem..
Hops Beer Bar is a divey-looking craft beer bar located in the heart of Budapest's party district. The moment you realize that this isn't your average dive bar is when you get a glimpse at the more than 200 types of craft beers stacked in the fridge. It's this extensive beer selection and the funny, loud-mouthed, and charismatic owner-operator which make Hops Beer Bar a pilgrimage-site for craft beer fans in Budapest. .
In 2018, Scottish craft beer giant, BrewDog, opened a bar in Budapest too. The place looks as if it came straight out of a “trendy interior” design book: there are leather banquettes, reclaimed wood table tops, Edison bulbs, and a vintage sign board listing the 25 types of tap beers. Usually ten of those serve BrewDog's own beers, with the remainder coming from a rotating set of local (like Mad Scientist and Horizont) and other foreign breweries..
Due to bad urban planning, cars have better access to Danube River views than city residents in Budapest. A handful of Budapest bars, however, can boast a precious river panorama, and Jónás Craft Beer House is one of them. So, while sipping a citrusy pale ale, you can marvel at Gellért Hill and the stately building of the Budapest University of Technology on the opposite bank. If you come from the city center, take tram #2 for a scenic ride along the Danube and get off at Zsil utca, which drops you almost right outside Jónás Craft Beer House.
Léhűtő was an early bird on the Budapest craft beer scene when it opened in 2013. It's located inside Gozsdu Courtyard, a passage now teeming with bars and restaurants. Léhűtő has benefited from the spectacular revival of this area, meaning that it currently occupies one of the most central spots inside Budapest’s party district. .
KEG is a spacious craft beer bar in Budapest’s increasingly hip Újbuda neighborhood. The place is just off Bartók Béla Boulevard, the artery of the neighborhood, inside a remodeled brick-arched basement..
Neked Csak Dezső craft beer bar is inside a spacious and high-ceilinged ground floor of a pre-war building. It's located just a block away from Budapest's party district, in the mellower District 8. For now, the white-walled, brightly-lit interior feels a bit sterile despite attempts to jazz up the decor with patches of red bricks and exposed fermentation tanks. .