As craft coffee, the craft beer movement is also 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 both from local Hungarian craft breweries and notable international producers.
Most of these craft beer bars are near one another in Budapest's Jewish Quarter and District 8, so you easily pop into more than one of them throughout the evening.
If you're curious about Hungarian craft beers and what Budapest a bit outside the city center looks like, be sure to head out to Élesztő. From a total of two hundred Hungarian craft beers, Élesztő serves a rotating set of 25 on draft on any given day which include everything from light crowd-pleasers to complex sour IPAs with notes of citrusy hops. If unsure about which one to get, ask the bartenders, some of whom are usually happy to help. Hoppy-beer fans should look for Hara'Punk's tellingly named "Son of a Bitch," an imperial IPA with a hearty 8.5% alcohol and an astringent finish.
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 that 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. Hopaholic's bartenders are helpful and will provide samples to taste if you're feeling overwhelmed by all the options.
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 enter the space and get a glimpse at the more than 200 types of top-tier craft beers stacked in the fridge. This extensive beer selection and the charismatic owner-operators make Hops Beer Bar a pilgrimage-site for craft beer fans in Budapest. .
Neked Csak Dezső craft beer bar occupies a spacious and high-ceilinged ground floor of a pre-war building located just a block from Budapest's party district, in the mellower District 8. The white-walled interior feels a bit sterile despite attempts to jazz up the decor with patches of red bricks and exposed fermentation tanks. .
Léhűtő was an early bird on the Budapest craft beer scene when it opened in 2013 at Gozsdu Courtyard, a passage now teeming with bars and restaurants. Léhűtő has benefited from the spectacular revival of the area, meaning that currently it occupies one of the central spots inside Budapest’s party district. .
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.