15 May Your Caffeine Guide to Budapest
It gets tiring when you’re an urban explorer, and sometimes you need a shot of caffeine to keep you going. Whatever your brewed poison, Budapest has a selection of coffee shops to cater to your caffeinated needs. Whether you’re looking for that classic European cafe vibe, communist retro or new wave hipsterdom, check out our guide below on the best places to get coffee.
New York Café – photo: newyorkcafe.hu
Budapest is home to some beautiful cafes that carry an old world charm. You’ll find these cafés dish up classic cakes with coffee served in a china set, accompanied by a glass of water and brought to you by an elegantly dressed waiter, and while these cafes will cost slightly more than other cafés, particularly the ones with a prestigious past, it’s worth it to have a drink with history.
If you’re looking to try the very first cafe in Budapest, then Ruszwurm located up in the Castle District is a good place to stop for a refreshing cup of coffee or cake after exploring up and around the castle. Or maybe you want to try the most beautiful cafe in Europe? Then the New York Café, with its gold leaf, frescoes and curving marble columns is a must visit. Other classic cafés include Gerbaud, Művész, Café Central, Astoria and Auguszt.
Bambi retro coffee shop – photo: facebook.com/bambieszpresszo
You don’t go to a classic Presszo for the quality of the coffee, but rather for a journey back in time to another era. Just like Budapest’s classic cafés, these retro watering holes with their neon signs, leatherette upholstery and proletariat feel capture the era of 1960s and 70s communist Hungary and offer a unique experience that doesn’t come with a high price tag.
Bambi is perhaps the most famous throwback café, offering cheap coffee served up with plenty of nostalgia. If you’re looking for more central options on the Pest side of the city, then check out Ibolya Presszó and Táskarádio, which also capture the retro feel of Hungary under communism.
New Wave Coffee Shops
Fekete new wave coffee shop – photo: feketekv.hu
If you’re crazy about pour overs, nuts about aeropress and get excited by syphons, then you’ll love the new wave coffee scene in Budapest. Hipster coffee culture has exploded in the city, where you can get great coffee from My Little Melbourne, inspired by its namesake’s new wave coffee scene, and also its neighbouring My Little Brew Bar for all kinds of brewed coffee made out of artisanal single origin beans.
Other great hipster coffee hangouts include Fekete, Kontakt, Espresso Embassy and Tramp & Pull. But if you’re a coffee connoisseur, you may want to check out Lumen – home to Budapest’s very own roastery – tucked away on Mikszáth Kálmán Square in the heart of the Palace District.
Other notable mentions include Kelet, a café that also functions as a second hand book exchange and Massolit Bookshop and Café, a small café that also sells English language books.