Hungarians know how to start the day with a filling breakfast of bread, cold cuts cheese, eggs, and tomatoes all washed down with a strong coffee. Not one to eat much in the morning? You’ll be able to find plenty of pastries including the local delicacy, brios with hot chocolate. Cafes on every corner will keep you going throughout the day with drinks and snacks.
Here are the spots that made our list:
Cafe Gerbeaud: The beautiful interior of this heritage house makes for a unique cafe and confectioners, which has occupied the same site since 1858.
Cat Cafe: A selection of quality coffees and cute cats to pet as you work, relax, or socialise. Cat Cafe Pawsome is a great place to do something a little different with an afternoon and make some new (feline) friends.
Kelet Cafe: Well known for their taste in fine, locally-produced coffee and Czech-brewed craft beer, the Kelet Cafe crew have combined today’s modern coffee-shop scene with an old-fashioned decor and genteel ambience.
My Little Melbourne: A coffee shop for coffee lovers, My Little Melbourne was inspired by the infamous cafe scene of Australia, and has brought a taste of speciality coffee back to Budapest – including a very good espresso and flat white.
Madal Cafe: What started off as a small speciality coffee shop riding the first waves of Budapest’s coffee revolution has now expanded into three branches around the city, all serving excellent coffee and a wide selection of dairy and gluten free food and drinks.
Molnar’s Cafe: Molnar’s is famous for its Hungarian ‘chimney cakes’. A must if you’re visiting the city, for an authentic taste of the traditional kürtőskalác.
Circusz: A comfortable interior combined with carefully prepared and presented food, Circusz is a solid choice for meals and coffee at any time of the day.
Blue Bird Cafe: A cool cafe-bar with a fun interior and chic outside seating, Blue Bird Cafe turns into a karaoke and live music venue after dark.
Bambi Ezpresszo: An atmospheric coffee-and-beer bar, with an ambience reminiscent of the 1950’s Havana scene. Certainly one to try if you’re after something a little different!
Fekete: Minimalist, wooden interior with a beautifully restored, period-style central patio and excellent coffee. Fekete is a very cool place to hang out, people-watch, and work.
Ecocafe: The Ecocafe crew take pride in sourcing high-quality organic ingredients for their food and beverages, and especially for their chai lattes, which are something of a speciality. The coffee shop itself opens early in the mornings, too.
Jedermann: A stylish little jazz cafe renowned for its friendly atmosphere and relaxed vibes, Jedermann regularly hosts live music acts and has a cool outside seating area to hang out in.
Lumen: A spacious, light interior with the same edgy décor for the outside areas, Lumen is another cool jazz spot on Budapest’s coffee-shop scene. They’re known for their great coffee and cheesecake, too.
Zappa Bistro: Plenty of outdoor seating, an extensive menu, and reasonably-priced local wine make Zappa Bistro a great place for a casual evening or afternoon meal, with the coffee making it perfect for breakfast and brunch too.
La Nube: Family-friendly and suitable for younger children, La Nube is a trendy, Spanish-style spot with a touch of the artistic to its décor. It serves tapas and coffee.
Solinfo Cafe: Dog-friendly, with accommodating staff, all-day breakfasts, and high-quality food and drinks.
My Green Cup: From the crew at My Little Melbourne, My Green Cup offers the same high standards of coffee and service, along with a fine selection of vegan and gluten-free cakes and snacks. They can even make coffee with coconut milk.
Board Game Cafe: A fun cafe with plenty of space and a huge variety of card and board games to play. The friendly staff will even explain the rules to you!
Mozaik Caffe&Tea: This elegantly decorated tea-house and coffee shop takes its tea menu very seriously, offering a vast range of herbal, floral, and international teas. Perfect if you’re looking for a stylish alternative to a regular coffee house.
IF Cafe Jazz Club: A great spot for a taste of authentic Hungarian cuisine and live local jazz, IF Jazz Cafe is an institution on Budapest’s eatery-turned-venue circuit. The quality of music is always very good, as is the food.
Cafe Intenzo: With a lovely outdoor patio area and friendly, efficient staff, Cafe Intenzo makes a great choice for an evening meal out with friends.
Anna Cafe Budapest: Busy cafe serving wine, beer, and coffee. Anna Cafe provides snacks with evening drinks, rugs and blankets when it’s cold, and makes for an ideal location to watch the world go by.
Cafe Bouchon Hungary: Cosy and casual, Cafe Bouchon offers attentive service from knowledgeable waitstaff and a restaurant-style experience.
This Is Melbourne Too: The My Little Melbourne family uphold their high standards of food and drink service in this garden-style cafe – the outdoor seating area is delightfully lush and green.
Moha Cafe: Elegant and understated, this airy space also dedicates a lot of time to showing various sporting fixtures throughout the year, so it’s a good place to catch that all-important game.
Cafe Astoria Restaurant: The restaurant of the luxurious Danubius Hotel, the Cafe Astoria Restaurant is over 100 years old. It’s an upscale establishment that combines old-world charm with 21st-century tastes, offering traditional Hungarian fare and creative cakes and desserts.
Crazy Cafe: Serving lunch, dinner, coffee, and drinks, Crazy Cafe offers a range of European beers, kitsch décor, and sports fixtures. It’s a good venue for events such as Oktoberfest.
Murok Cafe: Dog, child, and group-friendly, Murok Cafe offers a very friendly atmosphere aimed at making their guests feel at ease.
Walzer Cafe: Cosy and quiet. Walzer Cafe is off the beaten track, away from the crowds of tourists, and a gem of a coffee house hidden deep in the depths of Budapest’s medieval castle district.
Corvin Cafe & Bistro: With a traditional wooden bar-like interior, Corvin Cafe has a touch of the old-fashioned about it. It’s a charming, intimate environment with an excellent quality of service and food.
Adna Cafe: Adna Cafe offers a calm and relaxed atmosphere that’s perfect for working or studying.
Gossip Coffee: An authentic Greek restaurant in Budapest with a fun atmosphere, serving traditional Greek coffee and cuisine.
Warm Cup: Knowledgeable staff who are experts on their speciality coffees, a variety of brewing methods, and high-quality coffee beans all make for a perfect cup of coffee from this trendy, friendly cafe.
Sock’s Coffee: With a menu so varied they even offer a Paleo cake – free from gluten and dairy – Sock’s Cafe makes sure it can cater for every taste and every budget. They serve delicious breakfasts at affordable prices.
Gusto Cafe: Old-fashioned and genteel, Gusto Cafe maintains high standards of service, food, and beverages at all times, making it a consistent favourite of Budapest’s local residents.
Tamp & Pull: A tiny spot right next to the University and the river, Tamp & Pull is a local secret that produces excellent coffee prepared by experienced baristas. It’s funky both inside and out, and well worth the hunt to find.
Zoo Cafe: A unique experience in Budapest! The name of this quirky cafe couldn’t be apt enough. Enjoy your breakfast in the company of new feathered, furred, and four-legged friends – unless of course, you ask one of the friendly staff to meet the resident snake.
Podma Cafe: Certainly a place that exists more at the quiet tea-room end of Budapest’s cafe spectrum, Podma is popular among the city’s residents for offering a haven of calm away from the hustle and bustle.
Cube Coffee Bar: A lush oasis complete with a green wall and beautiful interior design by the owner, Cube Coffee Bar is a hidden little spot with coffee roasted especially by Hungarian artisanal roaster Casino Mocca.
Tinta Art Cafe: A coffee shop, art gallery, a cultural events venue and networking space, Tinta attracts Budapest’s creative crowds with interesting workshops, great coffee, and prime people-watching real estate.
Placc Cafe: Tiny and trendy. Placc Cafe is an affordable cafe in a good location, serving wonderful coffee, sandwiches, and pastries right next to Gellert Square.
Callas Cafe & Restaurant: Old Vienna-style coffee house, bar, and restaurant. Polite and accommodating staff, and a beautiful, serene environment with appropriately tasteful live music.
Cafe El Mondo: Small and pretty coffee shop with a homey atmosphere and a vast beverage menu, including different home-pressed juices.
New York Cafe: With a truly stunning interior and old-fashioned, customer-oriented service, New York Cafe promises a luxurious and very unique experience. The history of the New York Palace building and its cafe is tangible in every aspect of the elaborate décor of this establishment, which is over 120 years old. You’ll have to book ahead if you want a table, but it’s well worth the extra effort.
Tal Gur is a world traveler and personal development enthusiast. An adventurer at heart, after trading his daily grind for a life of his own daring design, Tal spent a decade pursuing 100 major life goals around the globe. His journey continues as a location-independent blogger, lifestyle entrepreneur, and coach. Tal’s published two books: One Year to Freedom, a 1-Year Roadmap to Living Life on Your Own Terms; and, his most recent book and bestseller, The Art of Fully Living – 1 Man, 10 Years, 100 Life Goals Around the World.