The 21 Hottest Breakfast Places In Budapest, Summer 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, however, 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 traditional 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 chic 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). Fashionable, tourist-heavy crowds flock here for the breakfast-all-day and brunch offerings that include reliably prepared croque madame (€5), eggs Florentine (€7), waffles, and also zeitgesty items like acai bowl and avocado toast (€7). The only letdowns are the the undersized and forlorn-looking English (€10) and Hungarian breakfast plates (€12).

#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 teeny-tiny breakfast-all-day restaurant in the cobble-stoned courtyard of a pre-war 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.

#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 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 Kaptafa exudes effortlessly chic vibes nonetheless. There are relaxed-looking, millennial waiters who kindly chat with customers while indie-pop is drifting through the speakers.

#6 Double Shot Partisan Coffee

Double shot is a hip breakfast-all-day restaurant and coffee shop in Budapest’s downtown, hiding on a quiet side street. They serve the usual suspects of trendy international breakfast foods here, including avocado toast, yogurt with granola, and turmeric latte. They’re all reliably good and beautifully plated, even if a bit too predictable. Best of all are the scrambled eggs with pan-roasted mushrooms. Cocktails, craft beers, and Hungarian wines are also available. Note that the prices here reflect a bit of downtown mark-up — 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 with vintage light bulbs and greenery while fresh R&B tunes drift from the background. In Budapest, many places have tried to emulate this 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 reasonable prices more than 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 self. This circle-shaped café and breakfast restaurant with floor-to-ceiling windows used to be a movie theater's ticket office until 1999. Now, following a recent gut renovation, the fashionable interior features polished 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 made from lightly roasted beans imported from places like Colombia, Ethiopia, and Burundi.

#9 Törökméz

Törökméz is a cute restaurant perched on Rózsadomb, the steep hill on the Buda side of the Danube. They specialize in breakfast foods that are inspired from around the world: there's everthing from tasty huevos rancheros to acai bowl, avocado toast, Cuban sandwich, and English breakfast (all €7-9). If you'd prefer something more indigenous to the region, go for the snappy frankfurters (€5), or the bundáskenyér (€3), which is similar to a savory French toast. Local Hungarian wines are also available. Being on the Buda side, away from the tourist-heavy areas, 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 one of the best kept secrets of this otherwise tourist-packed neighborhood. Gerlóczy's interior evokes French bistro vibes, complete with small round tables, leather banquettes, and a high ceiling. In the warm months, the outdoor terrace is especially enjoyable (whenever the local municipality isn't using this precious space for construction equipment storage).

#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 straight 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 for all these years, even as similar restaurants have sprouted up on the other side of the Danube with comparable offerings at lower prices.

#12 Marty’s

It'd be easy to dismiss Marty’s with a snarky comment about its over-the-top interior that's striving a little too hard for the millennial aesthetic. But, like it or not, pastel pink and faux terrazzo floors are here to stay, so we'd better get used to it. 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.

#13 Bartók

An unlikely contender for the "Most creative restaurant name" award, Bartók is a modern restaurant on Bartók Béla Boulevard on the Buda side of the Danube. Step inside, and you'll note a kaleidoscope of interior designs: There are exposed brick walls, Edison bulbs, subway tiles, rustic table tops, and steel I-beams.

#14 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, pancake, granola bowl, and the like.

#15 Két Szerecsen Bistro

Opened almost 20 years ago, Két Szerecsen is a fixture in Budapest thanks to its longevity. The restaurant anchors Nagymező Street, between the stately Andrássy Avenue and the Jewish Quarter, occupying a precious piece of no man’s land. The highlight here is the cozy ambiance — the bright space receives plenty of natural light through oversized windows and you can find little nooks amid the tightly crammed wooden tables.

#16 Budapest Baristas

Bagels rarely appear on Budapest breakfast menus, so I automatically order them when they do. Budapest Baristas, a small specialty café and breakfast restaurant in downtown, offers seven kinds (yes, the boiled-and-baked version, although they aren't made in-house). Apart from smoked salmon (€6), the other toppings are unconventional and include things like avocado cream and a combo of brie cheese and cranberry jam. They're perfectly fine, but keep in mind that Budapest isn't a bagel capital like Montreal or New York.

#17 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 creamy 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 breakfast-all-day, counter-service restaurant. It's nestled in a quiet, downtown backstreet with gleaming white walls and a shabby-chic decor.

#18 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 tranquil courtyard is one of those Budapest surprises hiding behind many sooty facades. Weather permitting, enjoy your morning coffee in the open-air courtyard.

#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 that specializes 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, Fruccola also serves excellent breakfast omelettes, both with salmon and spinach & goat cheese (€6). On weekdays, they offer a seasonal, two-course lunch prix fixe (€7) that's heavy on vegetables, though not strictly vegetarian.

#20 Csendes Társ (Outdoor Only)

Csendes Társ is a cute, outdoor-only café by Károlyi-kert, a spotless park in Budapest known for its colorful flower beds and manicured lawns. The place feels like an island of peace within the hustle and bustle of downtown. 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 atmospheric lighting.

#21 Sarki Fűszeres

Sarki Fűszeres is a tiny café and specialty store in Újlipótváros, an adorable, under-the-radar middle-class neighborhood. Try to go here for breakfast during the warm-weather months, when the outdoor terrace has opened. It's situated under a canopy of greens. The breakfast offerings include expertly prepared ham & eggs (€5), frankfurters (€5), and meat and cheese platters (€5). Inside, they sell high-end charcuterie, cheese, olives, and other specialty food products.

Rankings are based on a combination of food/drink, atmosphere, service, and price. The author visits all restaurants incognito and pays for his own meals and drinks.