Many of you keep sending me e-mails or messages on Facebook with a question “where to party in Budapest?”. As I am one of the greatest persons you have ever met, I have decided to create a party map for you which includes various bars, clubs and eating joints.
Those of you who have been following my blog from a while, could already notice that I am pretty demanding person. What does it mean?
Speaking openly: you won’t find me in any of the posh hangouts but if you do by any chance, you can be sure that I am there only for some business purposes.
Where I eat?
To be very honest with you, I haven’t been eating out lately as I became more concerned about food which ends up on my plate. I am way more selective in this case.
I guess it happened right after I watched Kitchen Nightmares US series, and now I always look at served food, suspiciously. But due to my busy schedule, I am not always able to cook and there are still few places in Budapest where I can eat with pleasure.
What can I recommend you? If you are a hummus lover and find Jewish cuisine close to your heart, I can advise you Mazel Tov, a restaurant/pub located at Akácfa u. 47, in the heart of VII district. I love their Hummus Thaini Tál and mint tea! This place has really affordable prices and heartwarming interiors. The spacious area with floor lined with small pebbles and cute wooden tables are enjoyable with your meal. There are several gigs going on there on weekly basis. Sometimes this place can be a bit noisy and crowded but food shall compensate everything.
If you are a great fan of Indian cuisine I would send you to Delhi Darbar – Indian restaurant with really delicious food. It’s owned by an Afghan but the food tastes as it should (I was dealing with Indian cuisine for a pretty long time). This restaurant has quite sophisticated and rich interior, and actually looks like most of the fancy restaurants in New Delhi.
If I were you, I would definitely order Palak Paneer or Dosa (dish served on banana leaves, typical of south Indian cuisine). This place is located at Dohány u. 54 which is one of my favorite streets in Budapest. I used to live there for 4 months and I must say that I have never experienced so many funny situations. This is where all social classes (gypsies, prostitutes, students, business men, tourists, rich and poor people), can be found. A lot of cool small pubs with cheap alcohol, fancy restaurants, 4 star hotel, ruin buildings, outdoor bars – absolutely everything on the way. Strongly recommend you to have a walk along this street!
When we talk about Indian food, I can also advise you to visit Atma Center located at Üllői út.6 The Food is prepared by Hungarians from Hare Krishna temple. It is a purely vegetarian food or maybe even vegan?! I have been eating there quite often as I miss Indian food but I cannot have it too spicy. This is a typical lunch place. You need to come there around 12:00, to get freshly cooked food. 40 min later all food is gone! This place offers very good prices, fresh food and nice service. Interior is not fancy at all but in this case it’s all about food. You can also purchase some Indian goods, such as yoga clothes, jewelry, special herbal products for your hair, etc.
There is also one more place with Indian food, which I would not really recommend you as I am not sure about its food quality but it was the first buffet, where I ate samosa and it was a super delicious meal. The place itself looks a bit dodgy and it’s really small but I had wonderful memories connected with this bar and generally during this period (back in 2010). Bangla Büfé is also located on Akácfa u. 40 – a stone throw away from Mazel Tov.
I love Spain and everything which is connected to this country, so I could not resist to recommend you a really good tapas place – Pata Negra, located at Kálvin tér 8. This place can offer various tapas served in very small bowls which you and your friend should order a few of them and share! This place serves one of the best sangria, too! It’s quite busy place, so it’s better to make reservation in advance.
Just across the street (Vámház körút 14), there is another cool food quarter called – LEVES. This very little place serves amazing fresh soups and grilled sandwiches, which you can only take away. Very nice and friendly staff and really great food. I love their Thai soup, however menu change daily. Don’t be surprise when you see huge line outside – this is really popular places among students – very good prices and location (very close to Corvinus University) attract a lot of them.
Finally something Hungarian, however I am not the biggest fan of this cuisine. Still I can advise you to visit Paprika restaurant, located at Dózsa György út 72 (very close to Hero Square) which provides the best goulash soup in the town. This place is always full of people – local mixed with tourists, you should really book a table in advance.
Where I work?
When I need to write some article but I don’t want to do it at home, I usually go to Café Panini to get some good lunch or different kinds of Panini. I have already written about this place, so you can read it here.
Second place is Massolit Bookstore – very cozy cafe/library. You can work in peace either inside, surrounded by books or get some fresh air in the little, hidden garden, at the backside of the place. Massolit café is located at Nagy Diófa utca 30, and it’s a really good spot to chill and study.
Another place, where I like to stop by after my primary job to get some really good coffee and work again (blogging) is My Little Melbourne Coffee, located at Madách Imre út 3. I have already described this place in one of my previous posts.
Where I get wasted?
After having a proper meal and finishing work, it’s drinking time!. There are a million bars and pubs in Budapest, but only few are my favorite ones. You can surely find me in Telep (since past 3 years I have been a frequent guest of this place), located at Madách Imre út 8. It is first surfer bar in Budapest, but the main reason I am there is the music and a really cool Berlin vibe. This place also hosts various exhibitions and dj gigs. During summer it is absolutely packed and it is one big gathering spot. Some people claim that this is a hipster joint, others say that there are too many high pitched noses. Honestly I never give a fuck. Until you feel good at some place, you will be simply coming back there. But it’s true that the most handsome guys can be spotted here (tip for girls) and a lot of pretty girls show their charm there as well (tip for boys).
Another place where I love to sit and listen to live music is Kisüzem, located at Kis Diófa Utca 2. It’s a really interesting place because of live concerts, good drinks and inspiring crowd. Every Thursday and Sunday you will have different bands playing live. I still remember great Hungarian artist who sang absolutely amazing Spanish songs. There is a great atmosphere there and you don’t really want to leave this place.
One of the biggest drinking place in Budapest is Erzebet Ter – with Akvárium club/bar. This huge green outdoor space engage hundreds of people, who just sit around the square and drink. This place is located in the core of city center, but police would not bother anybody with a ticket – they actually don’t give a shit if somebody is drinking there, and I am sure that they would happily join this crowd, if they only could. In this piece of square, locals blend with foreigners and from outside it look like one big festival. It’s super lively place and being there, you can actually feel the Budapest beat. I come there with my friends to drink früccs and simply relax on the grass.
Where I party?
Only in places with electronic music. You surely won’t find me in any other club where dj kills ears with any sort of retro, dance/ disco music.
During summer I can be spotted on day boat parties, organized by our legendary A38 Hajó. This party boat is located on Danube river next to Petőfi bridge (where else we can place a boat? idiotic question). This is Budapest’s underground mecca with various gigs from small to big concerts, live music and really good electronic parties that won’t let you easily leave Budapest.
Another of my favorite place is Toldi, which is a cinema, bar and club – all in one. This place hosts amazing DJ’s and what makes it really cool, are the visualizations placed on the wall during a gig. Parties there start really late, sometime around midnight or one o’clock. But when you see a big crowd in front of this place (Bajcsy-Zsilinszky út 36-38) you can be sure, that a massive party is just about to start.
We all love Fogas Ház for its two separate rooms – one with electronic, more commercial tunes and other one with music from different genres, depending on the program. It’s a ruin place but has its own charm as there are a lot of people coming in and going out: locals, lost tourists, and expats – total mix. When you go upstairs you will find yourself in some dark room with huge DJ platform. This is LARM – one of the best electronic spots on the Budapest map. It’s dark, it’s loud and it’s underground. Bar and other sitting room looks a bit weird and you will feel that it’s kind of a dream that you wish to wake up and kind of a place that you don’t want to leave. There is surely some thrill in the air. I would say that this is rather an after party place, as people start coming there around 1 -2 am.
It’s pretty much for now, however I am not done on this topic yet! Budapest has like a million places to offer, but it also takes time to discover them and make sure if you can actually recommend them to others. If you have any questions about Budapest, just drop me a line. I really feel bad when I see a bunch of tourists constantly ending up in the same places described in some guide books. You have to let yourself to be lost in the city. Walk as much as you can and always keep your eyes open – this is the only way to find out ultra-cool spots!