The 7 Best Wine Bars in Budapest

Even if you aren't the type who waxes poetic about silky tannins, chalky soils, and lingering finishes, you will likely enjoy these lively Budapest wine bars. They serve up local wine from most of Hungary's 22 wine regions, including the famous Tokaj, a favorite of emperors and president. Keep a special eye out for grape varietals indigenous to Hungary, including kadarka and kékfrankos (red), and furmint, hárslevelű, and juhfark (white).

#1 Kadarka Wine Bar

Kadarka, whose moniker refers to the aromatic, pinot noir-like red grape varietal indigenous to Hungary, is a lively wine bar in Budapest's Jewish Quarter. Despite the tourist-heavy area, Kadarka has somehow remained a mainly local haunt, especially for 30-plus Hungarians. Perhaps this is because prices haven’t shot through the roof and the service is 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 serves carefully curated international wines anywhere from Austria to Australia, from a traditionally-made Brunello di Montalcino to natural wines from the New World. There's also an ample selection of top-notch local Hungarian vinos that are somewhat pricier and more premium than what you will find elsewhere. Most options are available both by the glass and by the bottle.

#3 St. Andrea Wine & Skybar

St. Andrea Wine & Skybar is an upscale, year-round 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, St. Andrea Wine & Gourmet Bar, and, since 2017, this posh rooftop bar towering over Vörösmarty Square.

#4 Palack Wine Bar

Just a few minutes from the tourist-heavy streets of Pest, across the Danube, lies Palack, a popular neighborhood wine bar in Újbuda. Sure, there are other wine bars in Budapest with a more premium wine offering or knowledgeable staff, but those places often end up being the playgrounds of wine snobs.

#5 Dobló Wine Bar

Dobló, which opened in 2010, was one of the first wine bars in Budapest. Being in the center of the Jewish Quarter (aka party district) means that more than half of the patrons are usually tourists, but here you don't need to worry about a rowdy stag party spoiling your fun. In fact, with a dimly lit, cozy interior and live music most evenings, Dobló is one of the more atmospheric wine bars in Budapest that also works well for a date night.

#6 Cintányéros

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

#7 DiVino Wine Bar

DiVino is a trendy 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 biggest 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 (the dimly-lit, soulless interior has a club-like atmosphere).

Rankings are based on a combination of food/drink, atmosphere, service, and price. The author visits all restaurants incognito.