The 21 Hottest Breakfast Places In Budapest, Winter 2020

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. If you're looking for lower prices and more locals, try these low-key breakfast joints instead.

#1 Börze Budapest

Börze is a sleek downtown restaurant serving classic Hungarian fare from early morning until midnight, seven days a week. With red banquettes and a chic interior designed to the minute detail, the vibes evoke a Keith McNally restaurant. Börze's moniker is a hat-tip to the enormous pre-war building across the street that used to be the Budapest Stock and Commodity Exchange. Börze is a 2017 offshoot of Menza, and like its sister restaurant, it's a well-oiled machine with reliable dishes and a kind waitstaff.

#2 À la Maison Grand Budapest

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). 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. The only letdowns are the the undersized and forlorn-looking English and Hungarian breakfast plates.

#3 Portobello (Coffee & Wine)

Budapest has plenty of specialty coffee shops, several cool wine bars, and an increasing number of hip breakfast restaurants, but Portobello is the first that triples as all three at once. This high-ceilinged space 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.

#4 Szimply

Szimply is a tiny breakfast-all-day restaurant in the cobble-stoned courtyard of a historic downtown building. Partly thanks to a New York Times article that also featured Szimply (Budapest is #50), 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 (€12), 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.

#5 Kaptafa

For the better part of the past two decades, Akácfa Street in Budapest's party district was 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.

#6 Double Shot Partisan Coffee

Hiding on a quiet downtown side street, Double Shot is a hip breakfast-all-day restaurant and coffee shop in Budapest. They serve the usual suspects of popular international breakfast foods here, 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 here reflect a bit of downtown mark-up — for example, a capuccino runs €3.

#7 STIKA Budapest

In New York or London, this hip breakfast restaurant would be just another fashionable crowd-pleaser: the type of place where tattooed and bow-tied 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. Note that the food here is far from memorable, but the atmosphere and the reasonable price points can make up for it.

#8 Horizont Cafe

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 recent 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.

#9 Törökméz

Törökméz is a charmingly hip restaurant perched on Rózsadomb, the verdant hill on the Buda side of the Danube. They specialize in breakfast foods that are inspired from all around the world: there's everthing from huevos rancheros to acai bowl to avocado toast to Cuban sandwich to English breakfast (all €7-9). If you'd prefer something more native to Hungary, go for the snappy frankfurters, or the bundáskenyér, a savory French toast. Local wines are also available. Being on the Buda side, away from the tourist-heavy areas, means that Törökméz draws a mainly local crowd.

#10 Gerlóczy Cafe

Gerlóczy is a snug café and restaurant tucked away on an unusually quiet pocket of Budapest's downtown. The charming plaza 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.

To remain unbiased, I visit all places incognito and pay for my own meals and drinks. But this also means I must rely on readers to support my work. If you're enjoying this article, please consider making a donation.

#11 Déryné Bistro

Curious where the top one percent of Buda residents hang out? Wonder no more. The owners of Déryné Bistro were ahead of the curve when in 2007 they opened this chic restaurant featuring a Balthazar-like interior as if out of the Keith McNally playbook. Back then, few places in Budapest offered this brand of casually hip but classy vibes. Déryné has managed to remain popular through all these years, even as comparable restaurants have sprouted up on the other side of the Danube with lower price points.

#12 Bartók

Bartók is a chic restaurant and café on Bartók Béla Boulevard within the increasingly cool Újbuda neighborhood on the Buda side of the Danube. The interior fittings have a little bit of everything: exposed brick walls, Edison bulbs, subway tiles, rustic table tops, and steel I-beams. The breakfast dishes include eggs Benedict variations (€6), toasted sandwiches, scrambled eggs, and, best of all, a generously portioned goat cheese salad drizzled with walnuts and dried tomatoes (€8). Bartók serves breakfast until 11:30 p.m. from Monday to Saturday and 3 p.m. on Sundays. In the afternoons, the place transforms into a bar, with a selection of top Hungarian wines, draft beers, and a variety of dips and spreads. The crowd is mainly local and 30-plus.

#13 Cinnamon

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, omelet, pancake, granola bowl, you name it. There’s nothing memorable about Cinnamon’s all-day breakfast dishes, but they’re perfectly satisfying. Of the breakfast pastries, I chose the cinnamon-dusted donut and it delivered: a thin layer of sugar-cinnamon coating yielded to a soft inside lined with apple custard (€2).

#14 Két Szerecsen Bistro

Opened almost 20 years ago, Két Szerecsen is beloved neighborhood restaurant on Nagymező Street, located between the stately Andrássy Avenue and the Jewish Quarter. The best part here is the cozy ambience — the space receives plenty of natural light through oversized windows and there are little nooks amid the tightly cramped wooden tables.

#15 Zoska Reggeliző Kávézó

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 from ham and eggs to frankfurters, granola bowls, and savory French toasts. Also good are the toasted sandwiches.

#16 Budapest Baristas

Budapest Baristas is a small specialty café and breakfast restaurant in 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. While they're tasty, 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.

#17 Fekete Café

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 a range of on-trend dishes like shakshuka, granola, 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.

#18 Csendes Társ (Outdoor Only)

Csendes Társ is an adorable outdoor-only café by Károlyi-kert, a spotless 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. 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.

#19 Fruccola

In the late aughts, Fruccola was one of the first restaurants to pioneer fast casual dining in Budapest, especially within the healthy segment specializing in salads and fruit juices. Fruccola has since become a recognized brand and a mini-chain with three locations across the city. Besides salads, smoothies, fresh fruit and vegetable juices, they also serve excellent breakfast omelets (spinach & goat cheese is the way to go). On weekdays, they offer a seasonal, two-course lunch prix fixe heavy on vegetables, though not strictly vegetarian. Note that this location, on Arany János Street, is closed on weekends, but there's another one on Kristóf tér, a 10-minute walk from here.

#20 Sarki Fűszeres

Sarki Fűszeres is an adorable café, breakfast restaurants, and specialty store in Újlipótváros, a chic residential neighborhood not far from the city center. Come here for breakfast during the warm-weather months, when the trellised outdoor terrace has opened under a canopy of greens. The breakfast offerings include expertly prepared ham and eggs, frankfurters, and meat and cheese platters. The store sells high-end salamis, cheeses, olives, and the likes.

#21 Marty’s

It'd be easy to dismiss Marty’s with a snarky comment about its over-the-top interior striving a little too hard for the millennial aesthetic, but, like it or not, pastel pink and faux terrazzo floors are here to stay. Marty's is a pricey breakfast restaurant smack in the middle of Budapest’s downtown, an area otherwise low on breakfast options. Try to grab a table by the large windows overlooking Vörösmarty Square and the the gleaming white building of the historic Gerbeaud house.

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. But this also means I must rely on readers to support my work. If you've enjoyed this article, please consider making a donation.