4 Unmissable Bars in Budapest

where to eat and drink in budapest

So if you’re not sick of me going on and on about it yet, I visited Budapest in November of last year as a birthday treat to my husband. We stayed in an epic Airbnb which I blogged here, and I even gave you a little glimpse into the colourful architecture which you can read about here.

What I haven’t covered yet is the food and drink. Truth be told, we binged a lot on mulled wine, Baileys and Hungarian beer – with the Christmas markets having just opened. I feel like we could have spent weeks there and not visited all of the bars! But for now, by request, here are some of the ones that we just happened to stumble across which were genuinely memorable and I’d highly recommend.

New York Café

Budapest, Erzsébet krt. 9-11, 1073 Hungary

You will struggle to find a guide for Budapest which doesn’t include this place, and for a valid reason. The interior is just breath-taking.

On arrival there was a violinist playing atop a golden staircase and whilst I felt a bit underdressed in my turtleneck and panda shaped gloves, I didn’t need to. The décor may have been totally authentic and extravagant but thankfully the dress code was casual.

Considering how well-known it is, I was surprised that we just turned up and were seated right away. )Saying that, it was a weekday so if you’re planning a weekend trip, it can’t hurt to ring ahead.)

And if you’re wondering if it’s all a gimmick, NOPE. The food was gorgeous and really reasonable. I ordered a mushroom pasta main for around £8. Can’t argue with that. God, that ceiling is giving me all the feels.

Where to eat and drink in Budapest

Where to eat and drink in Budapest

Where to eat and drink in Budapest

Hungarian/American Diner

You know what I love about travelling? Stumbling upon somewhere that weren’t looking for, and your expectations being exceeded. If you’re thinking that “Hungarian/American Diner”is a crap name for a place to eat, that’s because for this particular trip, I took absolutely no note of the name, and because we were lost when we found it, have no idea where it is. So when I type this with a recommendation, what I’m really saying is…if you find it, give me the details so I can go back!

Let’s face it, each country have their own idea as to what constitutes an American diner. This one was tacky.

There, I said it. But here’s the catch…from time to time, I like a bit of tacky.

There was vinyls stuck to the walls, and toy cars stuck on the ceiling with a drawn on road, I’m guessing to resemble 1950’s inner America. It was funny for the most part, and actually what made it best was the pride of Hungary shown through the hand painted artwork on the walls, with the mix of the two making it a really colourful and odd – in all the right ways – kinda place to be.

If you’re interested, I had a stack of banana pancakes with a Hungarian coffee. It was cheap, and crikey it was tasty. Try the unusual lesser known places. You might be surprised.

Where to eat and drink in Budapest

Where to eat and drink in Budapest

Where to eat and drink in Budapest


Nagymező u. 38, 1065 Hungary

Not far from where we stayed, we found a bar named Instant. Budapest is apparently well known for its ruin bars, essentially serving drinks in abandoned spaces converted for people to party in. This was the only one we happened to visit and it was absolutely bonkers in all the best ways.

Let me set the scene a little. We walked in to find ourself in an indoor courtyard. Rabbits can be seen flying across the upper balconies surrounding an artificial tree, adorned by a glitter ball, and all overlooked by an owl with ginormous tits. And that was just the entrance.

If you explore the different levels, each balcony sprouts off to various rooms – some of which probably shouldn’t even be labelled as rooms, no bigger than a closet and probably only good for sneaking a cheeky snog in the corner. There was even one room made from a converted toilets, ready for you to take your seat and drink your pint like a Queen.

I’ve never been anywhere that put every inch of space to good use, and it is so incredibly eclectic and jam packed with oddly packed furniture that had clearly been unloved somewhere else.

Where to eat and drink in Budapest

Where to eat and drink in Budapest

Where to eat and drink in Budapest

Where to eat and drink in Budapest

Where to eat and drink in Budapest

Where to eat and drink in Budapest

Where to eat and drink in Budapest

Oceanbeach Cafe

Váci u. 42, 1056 Hungary

It didn’t feel quite right going to Budapest in the midst of a very chilly winter weekend and hibernating on an INDOOR BEACH, but I must admit, it was loads of fun. I believe these types of bars are cropping up all over the world but I’m a newbie so had to try it. Yes, it’s a novelty which probably falls in line with ice bars and is full of nothing but tourists but when you’re offered a Baileys coconut cocktail served to you on a shell table whilst you lounge on a deckshairs under a heater…well, couldn’t very well say no could I?

As far as themed bars go, it was certainly worth a pop in. Situated really locally to the Budapest river, you won’t miss it – especially as the entrance is a massive shark.

Where to eat and drink in Budapest
Where to eat and drink in Budapest Where to eat and drink in Budapest
Where to eat and drink in Budapest

So there are a few from our short but sweet visit! Bet you didn’t think you’d see an owl that needed a bra when you clicked on this did you?

Please do let me know if you have any more Budapest recommendations – I’m 100% going to return at some point and this time I won’t have the excuse of Christmas to be drinking round the clock. Eep!

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  • Christine

    You’re timing for this post couldn’t have been more perfect as we literally left for Budapest the morning after you shared this! Such an amazing place to visit – we loved it!

    • I’m so glad you enjoyed it! And looks like you found some awesome places too! I definitely need to book another trip and do the baths this time! x

  • Old Fashioned Susie

    Fab post KAren- that owl thing is the stuff of nightmares but I’d love to go to all of these places!

  • Amazing post. I’ve never thought about going to Budapest but you’ve just put the idea in now. Problem is saving up for all these holidays!