Some people prefer to eat their breakfast in a serene, no-frills environment, without the buzz that inevitably comes with hyped-up places. Below is a selection of such unpretentious breakfast spots, which draw a laid-back, diverse, local crowd.
Csiga is a buzzing bistro at the entrance of the newly trendy part of Pest, in the outer part of District 8, a bit outside the tourist zones. The neighborhood is rapidly acquiring cool status as people are increasingly fed up with the Kazinczy Street madness in the Jewish Quarter (District 7). The place is best for lazy weekend brunches, although the core clientele of bohemian regulars appear in greater numbers on weekday evenings. The scene during weekday lunches is also worth a visit: the reasonably priced prix fixe offering draws in an eclectic crowd where stylish Millennials mix with aging locals from the neighborhood..Read more
This outdoor-only café is an island of peace and quiet within the hustle and bustle of the city. Situated at the entrance of probably the nicest public park in Pest (it used to be the private garden of a wealthy noble family), they offer breakfast staples with scrambled eggs, ham & eggs, and frankfurter, as well as Hungarian wines and appetizers/dips during the day. The icing on the cake is that they're open on Sundays too, a phenomenon as rare in Budapest as hen's teeth, which makes it an ideal place to start a lazy Sunday here with breakfast, or to take a break from your unrelenting sightseeing schedule with a glass of wine. Service, as usual in Budapest, can be a drag.Read more
The owner (Hans van Vliet) is a mastermind of the Budapest gastro scene, and it seems that anything he touches turns to gold. Gold in this case comes in the form of a jazz-infused bohemian bistro with live music on most Monday and Saturday evenings (book a table!). You can check the concert schedule in advance. Far from the throngs clogging District 7, Jedermann is a locals' favorite where the dimly lit interior with jazz-themed décor is full of character and style.Read more
If you're looking to immerse yourself in an old school, lively, communist-era neighborhood bar in Buda, Bambi Eszpresszó should be high on the list (Ibolya Espresszó in Pest is comparable). What makes Bambi the real deal? While it doesn't follow contemporary trends, it isn’t showing off an artificial, unremembered past either – it’s a genuine throwback. The waiters are only nice to those patrons they find likeable, and they wear outfits that haven't been in fashion for at least 30 years. The red faux leather upholstery and Thonet look-alike chairs have been in place since the opening in 1961.Read more
If you prefer to avoid the heavily touristed streets of the Jewish Quarter in District 7 but still get a cup of specialty coffee in a hip neighborhood, Lumen is your spot. With a surprisingly delicious food offering that includes breakfast, and a thoughtful interior design, it stands out from the typical neighborhood café/bar landscape. But it's the patrons, artists and neighborhood bohemians, who make Lumen so unique and give soul to the space. They serve alcohol all day (in case you were wondering), and have regular live music performances..Read more
Budapest is under-supplied when it comes to relaxed, unpretentious breakfast/brunch spots, mostly because it’s customary to eat breakfast at home. This breakfast-all-day café along the Nagykörút (Grand Boulevard) is situated in the ticketing area of a movie theater, they won’t mess up your sunny side ups, and will be fine with you spending a lazy Sunday morning here facebooking for hours on end. The ever-changing selection of cakes on display taste as good as they look. In case you took note of it, the impressive-looking baroque revival style building next door is one of the leading theaters of Budapest..Read more
The places around Szabadság tér (Liberty Square) and the Parliament tend to be overrun by tourists, which usually brings the worst out of the local service industry. This café/restaurant, however, managed to maintain an authentic profile and isn't in the rip-off business either. Farger is located in the ground floor of a grand, although somewhat faded building with a sooty facade. Interestingly, the building was commissioned by the Adriatic Hungarian Royal Maritime Company (!) during the glorious days of the Austro Hungarian Empire.Read more
The first look of Két Szerecsen is promising: a buzzing bistro with crammed tables, chic design, and plenty of natural light thanks to oversized windows. Between the stately Andrássy Avenue on one side, and the Jewish Quarter’s main artery on the other (Király Street), it occupies a precious piece of no man’s land. The food offering is exhaustive. As if they tried to please all tastes, “Moroccan” lamb shoulder with couscous, “Thai” green curry with prawn, and “Hungarian” chicken paprikash compete with one another on the long menu.Read more
Don't be confused by Szimpla Háztáji's name: this is not Szimpla Kert, the world-famous ruin bar (that one is a few doors down and across the street, run by the same owners). Háztáji is a café specializing in breakfast food (served all day), fruit juices, and home-made syrups. The mantra is fresh-fresh-fresh: all ingredients come from local farmers whose produce can also be found in Szimpla Kert's farmer's market on Sunday mornings. Accordingly, the decor is (perhaps too) intensively hammering home the shabby-chic, rustic feel.Read more
Rankings are based on a combination of food/drink, atmosphere, service, and price.