The 26 Hottest Breakfast & Brunch Places In Budapest

Until recently, it was difficult to find a decent breakfast in Budapest because most locals eat breakfast at home. Thanks to the influx of tourists, though, several restaurants have opened where on-trend interior designs and chic waitstaffs go hand in hand with a well-prepared plate of eggs Benedict. Or avocado toast, in case you were wondering.

À la Maison Grand is a polished breakfast restaurant in the middle of Budapest's downtown, occupying the ground floor of a 1906 Art Nouveau building (take a glance at the striking glass mosaic perched atop the building). The owners spared no expense on the gleaming white, high-ceilinged interior that features plush chairs and comfortable, dusty-blue sofas. Chic, tourist-heavy crowds flock here for the breakfast-all-day and brunch offerings that include reliably prepared croque madame, eggs Florentine, waffles, and also zeitgesty things like acai bowl and avocado toast. Reservations are recommended.

Chic breakfast venue in the morning, snug dinner destination and wine bar in the evening, Solid hides on the top floor of a small boutique hotel (Rum) in downtown. The views are striking – the many church towers and the Gellért Hill seem within arm's reach – and all tables provide panoramic vistas. For breakfast, the eggs Benedict with a side of smoked trout is the one to go for.

In the evening, the concept is shared plates, focused on precisely made modern Hungarian classics. Vegetarian stuffed cabbage, duck liver pâté with sourdough, local cheese selections. And there’s of course Mangalica, the local breed of pig known for its deeply marbled meat. The wine list includes some from the famed Tokaj wine region and also natural and biodynamic producers. €30-35 will buy you a full meal with a drink. The space is small, advance booking recommended.

Budapest has plenty of specialty coffee shops, several cool wine bars, and an increasing number of hip breakfast restaurants, but the tiny Portobello is the first that triples as all three at once. This pricey, high-ceilinged establishment is tucked away on a cobblestoned downtown side street, with a sleek coffee machine, blond wood, oversized windows, and a communal table dominating the polished interior.

On a recent visit, my coffee was made from beans harvested on a high-altitude farm in Rwanda and sourced from a renowned Berlin-based roastery. This might sound high-minded, but the batch brew was deeply flavorful (and pricey, too). Of the slim breakfast menu, served all day, I most enjoyed the granola bowl, the sourdough bread piled with scrambled eggs, kale, and raclette, and the "Turkish Breakfast." Local natural wines are also available, both to purchase and to order by the glass.

Szimply is a highly popular breakfast-all-day restaurant in the cobble-stoned courtyard of a historic downtown building in Budapest. It's next to impossible to find an open table at this closet-sized breakfast nook. The short menu is a collection of on-trend international breakfast staples, most of which are pricey and expertly prepared. Naturally, there's avocado toast, strewn with chickpeas, beets, pickled onions, and ruccola. The menu changes seasonally but it's usually heavy on vegan and gluten-free options. In the name of good health, Szimply doesn't serve alcohol.

The crowd, as you may have already guessed, consists of chic Millennial tourists. If you order coffee, it will arrive from Kontakt, a specialty coffee shop next door and run by the same owners (with a strict "no americano" and "no sugar" policy).

Akácfa Street in Budapest's party district is best known for Fogas ruin bar, but recently new places have popped up at a head-spinning pace. One of my favorites is Kaptafa, a hip breakfast-all-day restaurant. The high-ceilinged space used to be home to a shoe repair shop, hence "kaptafa," which means shoe tree in Hungarian. Yes, you could take issue with the cliched design elements chipped walls and Edison bulbs but effortlessly cool vibes suffuse the place nonetheless.

Of the breakfast sandwiches, try the "defibrillator/CPR," a savory French toast layered with bacon and oozing melted cheese (the name alludes to its hangover-curing powers). Also good is the Mrs. Molnár, a playful riff on the croque madame, made with a Hungarian roll named molnárka and swapping the ham for crisped-up bacon. Hungarian wines and draft beers are also available.

If the iconic New York Café, located right across the street from here, offers a journey back in time, then Horizont Café shows off Budapest's contemporary side. This hip café and breakfast restaurant with floor-to-ceiling windows used to be a movie theater's ticket office. Following a gut renovation, the round interior features mid-century modern and Art Deco furnishings complete with hanging globe lamps, vivid colors, and brass finishes. Central to the space is the coffee counter, where a couple of baristas ground, brew, and serve filter coffees and espresso-based drinks.

The perfectly runny scrambled eggs come speckled with chive and jazzed up with crispy bacon and marinated shallots. Also good is the French toast, enlivened with fresh seasonal fruits. Price points are steep hence the customers consist mainly of chic Millennial tourists. Breakfast is served daily until 4 p.m. but they're closed on Sundays.

Hiding on a quiet downtown side street, Double Shot is a chic breakfast-all-day restaurant and coffee shop in Budapest. The usual suspects of popular international breakfast foods and drinks appear on the menu, including avocado toast, granola bowls, and turmeric latte. They’re all reliably tasty and beautifully plated, even if a bit predictable. Cocktails, craft beers, and Hungarian wines are also available. Note that the prices reflect a bit of downtown mark-up.

STIKA is a hip breakfast restaurant in Budapest where tattooed servers scurry around a sleek space fitted with vintage light bulbs and greenery while fresh R&B tunes drift from the background. In Budapest, many places have tried to nail the concept, but STIKA, this pocket-sized restaurant in the old Jewish Quarter, was the first to get it right. The food is far from memorable, but the vibes can make up for it.

The highlights of the breakfast and brunch menus, served daily until 4 p.m., are the scrambled eggs with crispy bacon, the fluffy pancakes doused in maple syrup, and the bagels. Hungarian wines and beers are also available. On weekends, you'll most likely have to wait in line for a table.

You’ll need to leave downtown to experience this upscale, see-and-be-seen breakfast restaurant perched on the Buda Hills. Villa Bagatelle is located inside a nicely refurbished residential villa and takes less than 20 minutes to get to by public transport from Pest (you’ll likely be the only guest arriving by bus, judging from the Porsche-heavy parking lot). The food is predictable – egg dishes, frankfurters, breakfast pastries – but very tasty. There’s also a to-go bakery on the ground floor. Reservations are recommended; try to sit on the outdoor terrace in the warmer months.

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, a full-service kitchen, and a sleek interior featuring plenty of greens, 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.

Lumen's performance hall hosts daily live music concerts with some of the leading lights of Hungarian jazz, folk, and indie music. Also, keep an eye out for the outdoor garden in the back where you might be witness to deeply philosophical conversations fueled by alcohol. There are two Lumens — there's a smaller location around the corner from here and operating under the same name — but this one, on Horánszky Street, is where most of the action is.

Gerlóczy is a snug café and restaurant tucked away on an unusually quiet pocket of Budapest's downtown. The charming square outside the restaurant, surrounded by elegant pre-war buildings, is a well-kept secret of this otherwise tourist-heavy neighborhood. Gerlóczy's interior evokes French bistro vibes, featuring small round tables, leather banquettes, and a high ceiling. In the warm months, the outdoor terrace is especially enjoyable.

The breakfast menu includes reliable pan-European staples like a pair of frankfurters with a side of mustard and various omelets. Be sure to also order a bread basket with warm and crusty slices. The dinner menu is a hodgepodge of dishes spanning chicken paprikash, seafood pasta, and pricey steaks. If you like the atmosphere, note that Gerlóczy operates a boutique hotel on the upstairs levels.

Flow is a vegan breakfast restaurant right along Andrássy, the fancy boulevard connecting Budapest’s downtown with the City Park. Chickpea and linseed-based omelet, granola, breakfast pastries, cakes, fruit juices, and specialty coffee. Not all dishes are hits, but the service is kind, the location unique. If the inside is full, they might have space for you in the interior courtyard. After your meal, dart across the street to the University of Fine Arts, where students’ works are usually exhibited in the main hall.

When I'd like to impress my friends that Budapest has restaurants as hip as those in New York's East Village, I take them out to Dobrumba. With a chic crowd, effortlessly cool design, and a Middle Eastern menu, Dobrumba is a wildly popular place inside Budapest's buzzing Jewish Quarter. It's especially enjoyable in the warmer months when the oversized windows swing open and the ear-catching electronic music wafts into the street.

Unfortunately the food can fall short I've had unremarkable meals here, but most hot and cold mezzes and the tender chicken tagine are unlikely to disappoint. The basbousa is also good, a rich and sugary semolina cake blanketed in a tangy yogurt.

Also here: a deep drinks menu with cocktails and local wines. Reservations are an absolute must. The owners run another popular restaurant on the Buda side of the Danube, Pingrumba, in a similar vein.

Curious where the top one percent of Buda residents hang out? Wonder no more. Déryné's owner was ahead of the curve in 2007 when he opened this chic restaurant featuring a Balthazar-like interior as if straight out of the Keith McNally playbook. Back then, few places in Budapest offered this kind of casually hip bistro vibes. Déryné has managed to remain popular through these years, even as comparable restaurants have sprouted up on the other side of the Danube, often with lower price points.

The lunch and dinner menus skew French, featuring pricey bistro staples, including prime cuts of dry-aged Angus and Wagyu. Eggs benedict, shakshuka, and avocado toast are just a few of the exhaustive breakfast options along with an excellent bread and breakfast pastry lineup. A note of caution: Déryné's service staff can be too eager to upsell the most expensive dishes to customers.

Opened two decades ago, Két Szerecsen is beloved neighborhood restaurant on Nagymező Street, located between Budapest's grand Andrássy Avenue and the Jewish Quarter. The space receives plenty of natural light through oversized windows and there are cozy nooks amid the tightly cramped wooden tables.

Két Szerecsen has an eclectic menu where Moroccan lamb shoulder with couscous, Thai green curry, and Hungarian chicken paprikash appear side-by-side. While these dishes have been fine-tuned over the years, they're far from fine dining-caliber. I prefer to come here for breakfast; the Viennese breakfast, the eggs Benedict, and the sizable mushroom omelet are all on point. Advance booking is recommended.

Eggi is a tiny takeout sandwich shop in Budapest’s Jewish Quarter (District 7). All sandwiches are egg-based, layered richly and decorously with fillings, and enveloped by a pair of crispy toasted bread. Most importantly, deeply delicious is what they are. Some fillings are inspired by Korean food (the owners are Korean), such as the gochujang-slicked bulgogi sandwich. A vegetarian option is also available. Price points are reasonable.

If you're looking to immerse yourself in a deeply local, Communist-era neighborhood cafe and bar (eszpresszó), I can't think of a better place than Bambi 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.

The patrons are a mix of graying, beer-drinking men with strong opinions about the world and fashionable Millennials who've discovered the charms of an eszpresszó. It's the kind of place where customer is not first and where the socialist-modern furnishings with faux-leather upholstery have been in place since the opening in 1961. I most enjoy Bambi for breakfast during the warm-weather months when the cramped tables on its south-facing terrace are bathed in sunshine.

The limited food selections consist of a pair of frankfurters with a side of mustard, scrambled eggs, various toasted sandwiches, and Hungarian pastries. Prices are wallet-friendly.

Founded by the legendary Budapest restaurateur, Hans van Vliet, Jedermann 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.

Jazz is the central theme here: jazz posters drape the walls, jazz is playing in the background, and there are live jazz performances on Friday and Saturday evenings (booking via email; the place fills up quickly; no concerts during the summer). The food isn't going to blow your mind, but the low-priced breakfast dishes, the savory French toast (bundáskenyér), and the hearty goulash soup are perfectly satisfying. A selection of Hungarian wines are available, too.

Csendes Társ is an adorable outdoor-only café by Károlyi-kert, a pretty park in downtown Budapest known for its colorful flower beds and manicured lawns. The place is an unlikely island of peace and calm within the hustle and bustle of the city center. I like to come here for a late breakfast (they open at 10 a.m.), or for drinks in the evening when the neighborhood has quieted down and colorful lanterns provide soft lighting.

The menu consists of wallet-friendly breakfast foods and snacks and an extensive wine list featuring Hungarian options; most locals order fröccs, a wine spritzer made with white or rosé. Note that Csendes Társ is open from April to mid-October.

Törökméz is a charming restaurant perched on Rózsadomb, the verdant hill on the Buda side of the Danube. They specialize in on-trend breakfast foods: shakshuka, eggs Benedict, savory French toast, you name it. Local bbers and wines are also available. Being on the Buda side, away from the tourist-heavy areas, means that Törökméz draws a mainly local crowd.

Once here, it's worth climbing up to the impressive tomb of Gül Baba, near Törökméz. Gül Baba was a charismatic muslim monk who died in 1541, during the Buda's Ottoman occupation and today his resting place is scenic and quiet area with sweeping views of Budapest.

The Buda side of the city has begun to catch up to Pest when it comes to having chic, new-wave breakfast joints. New wave? The kinds of places that cater to global tastes with dishes that wouldn’t seem out of place anywhere from Sydney to San Francisco: avocado toast, eggs Benedict, omelets, pancake, granola bowl, you name it. There’s nothing memorable about Cinnamon’s all-day breakfast dishes, but they’re perfectly satisfying (a highlight is the apple-custard-filled cinnamon donut).

In the mornings, slick office workers swarm Cinnamon's tables or drop by for their coffee fix, so a short wait is not unusual during peak breakfast hours. By lunch-time, tourists tend to emerge for a sleepy breakfast.

Bartók is a chic restaurant and café located on Bartók Béla Boulevard on the Buda side of the Danube. The interior fittings feature a little bit of everything that's been trending in the recent past: exposed brick walls, Edison bulbs, subway tiles, rustic table tops, and steel I-beams. The breakfast dishes include the usual suspects: eggs Benedict variations, scrambled eggs, bagels. In the afternoon, the place transforms into a bar and restaurant with a selection of Hungarian wines, draft beers. The crowd is mainly local and 30-plus. Once, here it's worth exploring this increasingly lively neighborhood with many treasures.

Budapest Baristas is a small specialty café and breakfast restaurant in Budapest's downtown. They serve seven kinds of bagels (yes, the boiled-and-baked version, but they aren't made in-house), including one with a classic smoked salmon topping. They're tasty, but keep in mind that Budapest is no bagel capital like Montreal or New York. There's also other on-trend international breakfast foods like pancakes, granola bowls, and eggs Benedict. Portions are on the small side — most people can easily handle two plates.

A La Marzocco machine is in charge of the espresso-based drinks, which are supplemented by pricey matchas and filter coffee. Note that depending on who's behind the counter, service can be a little testy here.

Escape the noisy downtown street and enter through the yellow ceramic tiles into the 19th-century courtyard of Fekete, a hip café and all-day-breakfast restaurant. The marble well in the center of the quiet courtyard is one of those Budapest surprises hiding behind many sooty facades. Fekete serves on-trend breakfast dishes, such as shakshuka, granola bowl, and various quiches. Pricey new-wave coffee, both espresso-based and hand pour-overs, are also available along with bottled craft beers to help lift the mood.

Fekete is a very popular tourist destination so expect some wait for a table, especially on weekends. The place is most enjoyable during the warmer months once the spacious courtyard has opened.

For the longest time, Budapest had only a few breakfast restaurants even though we all know what a difference a plate of scrambled eggs can make to start the day off on the right foot. Part of this gaping void was filled in 2014 with the opening of Zoska, a shabby chic breakfast-all-day restaurant nestled on a quiet downtown street. The breakfast foods are low-priced and span ham and eggs, frankfurters, granola bowls, and savory French toasts. Also good are the toasted sandwiches.

Zoska's staff can be a little grouchy at times, though, granted, the place often gets mobbed by people in the mornings. If you can't find an empty seat, check Csendes Társ around the corner from here. Note that Zoska is closed on Sundays.

Sarki Fűszeres is a cute café breakfast restaurant and specialty store in Újlipótváros, a fashionable residential neighborhood not far from the city center. Breakfast during the warm-weather months is the highlight here, when the trellised outdoor terrace has opened under a canopy of greens. The breakfast offerings feature all the usual suspects, including ham and eggs, frankfurters, and avodaco-slathered sandwiches.

After breakfast, be sure to roam the neighborhood, which is known for its modernist housing stock from the 1930s and 1940s. The most lavish of all is right across the street from Sarki Fűszeres, at #38 Pozsony út, and those that flank Szent István park and overlook the Danube.