The 10 Best Wine Bars in Budapest

You don't need to be waxing poetic about silky tannins, chalky soils, and lingering finishes to enjoy these lively Budapest wine bars. They serve up local wines from most of Hungary's 22 wine regions, including the famous Tokaj, once the favorite of emperors and presidents. Keep a special eye out for grape varieties indigenous to Hungary, including furmint, hárslevelű, and juhfark (white), and kadarka and kékfrankos (red).

#1 Kadarka Wine Bar

Kadarka is a lively wine bar inside Budapest's hopping Jewish Quarter. The place's moniker refers to a prominent red grape variety native to Hungary. Note that Kadarka isn't the type of uber-cool wine bar where you'll get to taste the latest natural wine or pet-nat sensation, but they do serve more than a hundred kinds of reliable Hungarian wines across the country's 22 wine regions. Despite being in a tourist-heavy area, Kadarka has remained a mainly local haunt, especially for 30-plus Hungarians, likely because prices haven’t shot through the roof and the service is kind and attentive.

#2 Drop Shop

Hiding in an elite part of downtown Budapest near the Parliament building, Drop Shop is a boutique wine bar doubling as a wine store. Unlike most wine bars in the city that stack only local bottles, Drop Shop carries a carefully curated inventory of international wines anywhere from Austria to Australia, from a traditionally made Brunello to natural wines from the New World. There's also an ample selection of top-notch, but pricey, local Hungarian vinos.

#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 cute downtown cobblestoned street. A sleek coffee machine, blond wood, oversized windows, and a communal table dominate the beautifully polished interior.

#4 VinoPiano

Natural wines aren’t as big in Hungary as in some of the neighboring countries, but the trend has recently picked up and there now exist a couple of wine bars that specialize in this growing genre of low-intervention winemaking. Enter VinoPiano, a below-ground wine bar in Budapest's District 9, a bit outside the city center.

#5 Palack Wine Bar

Palack is a laid-back wine bar on the Buda side of the city, right where the increasingly fashionable Bartók Béla Boulevard sets off. Sure, there are other wine bars in Budapest with a more discerning wine list and better-trained servers, but those places often end up being the playgrounds of wine snobs.

#6 MyWine Wine Bar

MyWine is a snug wine bar smack in the middle of Budapest's downtown. With cushy sofas and plush chairs, the place offers a more comfortable setting than what wine drinkers in the city are otherwise conditioned to (think high-stools and plastic tables). There's 30 or so wines by the glass here ranging in price from €3 to €7 and dozens more by the bottle, all of them sourced wine regions across Hungary. A meat and a cheese platter are both available in case you'd like to nibble on Mangalitsa ham or Lajta, a local cheese. For some privacy, proceed all the way to the secluded section in the back of the space.

#7 Cintányéros

Cintányéros isn’t so much a posh wine bar as a charming neighborhood wine tavern—the place where local residents gather for banter and wallet-friendly house wine. The area, inside the once seedy outer District 8, is currently undergoing a large-scale real estate development perfectly symbolized by Nokia’s gleaming headquarters towering over the streets.

#8 St. Andrea Wine & Skybar

Open year-round, St. Andrea Wine & Skybar is an upscale rooftop bar perched atop Budapest's downtown. St. Andrea is a Hungarian success story: starting as a small winery in northeastern Hungary's Eger wine region, they've become a nationally recognized wine label now also involved with a fine dining restaurant in Budapest and, since 2017, this posh rooftop bar towering over Vörösmarty Square.

#9 Dobló Wine Bar

Opened in 2010, Dobló was one of the first wine bars in Budapest. Being in the very center of the boisterous Jewish Quarter, today's party district, means that the crowd is heavy on tourists, but you don't usually need to worry about a rowdy stag party ruining the vibes. In fact, thanks to the dim and homey interior, Dobló is one of the more atmospheric wine bars in Budapest.

#10 DiVino Wine Bar

DiVino is a posh wine bar in the heart of Budapest's downtown. You can sip a glass of Hungarian red or white here while enjoying the picture-postcard view of the St. Stephen's Basilica, Budapest's largest church. Touristy it may be, still, it’s a sight to behold. DiVino is most enjoyable from the outdoor tables during the warm-weather months. (You'd better avoid the dim interior with a soulless, club-like atmosphere).

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.