The 10 Best Craft Beer Bars in Budapest

Like craft coffee, the craft beer movement is spreading ever deeper into the Budapest mainstream as new microbreweries pop up at a head-spinning pace. At the bars below, you can sample everything from crispy lagers to hop-forward double IPAs and sour beers sourced from small Hungarian and international breweries.

#1 Élesztő

Head to Élesztő if you're curious about Hungarian craft beers and what Budapest outside the city center looks like. From a total of two hundred options, Élesztő serves a rotating set of 25 beers on tap, ranging from light crowd-pleasers to sour IPAs. The former glass manufacturing plant is an ideal venue for a craft beer bar: the century-old brick walls and the exposed fermentation tanks exude a sense of artisanship and give the (false) impression that an actual brewery is on the premises. The spacious courtyard patio lined with communal tables is ideal for groups. Cash only!

#2 Hopaholic

Located inside Budapest's party district, Hopaholic is a snug craft beer bar known for its dizzying range of international craft beers. They source bottled beers from over 250 microbreweries around the world and there's also ten rotating beers on tap. Do you feel like downing a cloudy, yeasty hefeweizen? Perhaps an imperial stout from Denmark sporting a 10 percent ABV? Or, rather, a tart and fruity Moldavian-Hungarian lambic beer? Not a problem. The bartenders will provide samples to taste if you feel overwhelmed by all the options.

#3 MADHOUSE

This enormous downtown beer hall belongs to Mad Scientist, a leading Budapest craft brewery. From the humble beginnings in 2016, the company has grown into a recognized brand, amplified by their recent partnership with Hungary's biggest brewing company (Dreher). Naturally, most of the 25 taps are dedicated to Mad Scientist's own creations but a few other local labels like Monyo, Balkezes, and Horizont are also available. Together with bottled beers, the selections are impressively wide: you can try everything from a classic double IPA (Liquid Cocaine) to a vanilla-infused wheat beer (Monkey Temple) and a sour ale aged in a wine barrel (Pinot Sauvage).

#4 Hops Beer Bar

With a crowd of male-heavy imbibers and walls blanketed in band stickers, Hops is a divey-looking craft beer bar within Budapest's party district. The moment you realize that this isn't your average dive bar is when you catch a glimpse of the more than 200 types of bottles stacked in the fridge. It's this extensive selection that makes Hops a pilgrimage-site for Budapest craft beer fans (of sour beers alone there are thirty options).

#5 KEG Sörművház

KEG is a below-ground craft beer bar in Budapest’s increasingly trendy Újbuda neighborhood. The place is just off Bartók Béla Boulevard, the main artery of the area, inside a remodeled brick-arched basement. Digital flap displays show the nearly 30 types of beers on tap, most of them sourced from leading local breweries. For those unsure what to order, they offer a tasting special where the bartenders (or you) select five 1 dl / 3.4 oz samples for €7. This being the Buda side, there are more local patrons and fewer tourists than in comparable places across the Danube. Burgers are available to help prevent a hangover.

#6 Mixát

Piney, citrusy, and floral IPAs, sour ales, and blackcurrant ciders are just a few of the beers available from the 32 taps at Mixát, a polished newcomer to Budapest's thriving craft beer universe. While Hungarian and regional beers take the spotlight, local wines and food are also available at this spacious venue. Mixát is located within the Palace Quarter, so named after the high-ceilinged Revival-style palazzos here that used to be home to the Hungarian aristocracy in days of yore. Mixát's moniker comes from the phonetic spelling of Mikszáth tér, the charming square nearby that fills to capacity during the summer months.

#7 Gravity Brewing

Gravity is one of the few craft beer bars in Budapest where the brewery itself is located on the premises. This means that the handsome taproom, which is inside the brick-walled basement of a pre-war building, abuts a hall fitted with steel tanks, a system of hoses, and electric dashboards (there's a see-through door). The beers span approachable west coast IPAs, rye beers, and hefty imperial stouts with double-digit alcohol.

#8 Kandalló Pub

Part burger joint, part sports bar, part craft beer bar, Kandalló wears many hats. The burgers at this popular joint within Budapest's Jewish Quarter are among the best you'll find in the city (although I wish they used smaller and squishier buns). From the dozen or so options, I recommend you stick to the classic cheeseburger or, if you'd like to splurge, try the grilled foie gras-studded "Kandalló" burger for €15 — it comes in a light brioche bun and the luscious goose liver does shine through every bite. There's also a vegetarian and a vegan option.

#9 Bölcső Bar & Food

Bölcső may not have the deepest craft beer selections in Budapest, nor does it sling In-N-Out-level Double-Doubles, but the combination of above-average beers and burgers makes this lively neighborhood joint a worthy destination. Once here, you'll also get to experience a charming Buda neighborhood on the less-traveled side of the city. Being in Buda means that the patrons are mainly locals, especially thirty-plus millennials with a taste for craft beers.

To remain unbiased, I visit all places incognito and pay for my own meals and drinks. I never accept money in exchange for coverage. But this means I must rely on readers to support my work. If you're enjoying this article, please consider making a one-time payment (PayPal, Venmo) or becoming an Offbeat Patron.

#10 Ganz Söröző

I love craft beers, but bars that serve them are often a bit too polished, too pristine, without the patina that accrues from being in the business for long years. Ganz Söröző isn't very fashionable, but has a lot of charm. This tiny place hides on a peaceful, car-free street behind the Ottoman-era dome of Király Baths in Buda, within the below-ground level of a residential building.

Rankings are based on a combination of food/drink, atmosphere, service, and price. To remain unbiased, I visit all places incognito and pay for my own meals and drinks. I also never accept money in exchange for coverage. But this means I must rely on readers to support my work. If you've enjoyed this article, please consider making a one-time payment (PayPal) or becoming an Offbeat Patron.