Founded in 2316, Krak’n Town mysteriously appeared in Budapest’s District VIII this summer to become the city’s first steampunk saloon. Here we can enjoy artisanal beers on tap and some traditional British specialties served by a waitstaff dressed in semi-Victorian apparel – complete with glass goggles – amid impressive time-twisting interior design straight out of the pages of a lost Jules Verne novel. We traveled back and forth in time to tell you the story of this fanciful watering hole occupied by a tentacled creature of the deep.
If you are unfamiliar with steampunk – the style that keeps the motors of Krak’n Town running – then all you need to know is that it’s a contemporary theme with roots going back to the then-futuristic fiction of the late 1800s. The concept is rich with steam- and spring-propelled gadgets; materials like polished brass, wood, and iron; pseudo-Victorian motifs; and an admiration for mechanical engineering. The interior design of Krak’n Town absolutely reflects these elements: while the Kraken that gave the place its name destroys the Chain Bridge with one of its tentacles on a wall painting, scattered glass goggles, new-old black-and-white photographs of the workers, hot-air balloons, and copper tubes are all intertwined throughout the venue. Speaking of details: Krak’n Town has its own history, and the characters which appear in it not only serve the pirates who gather here, but you can also drink your beer in a booth dedicated to them – while you are having a good time, you can also learn a lot about their fanciful life.
Peter Hopsmalt von Corsair told us that since steampunk saloons are harder to find than friends of the Empire at Krak’n Town, there weren’t any examples which they could follow, meaning that they had to design and produce everything themselves. Luckily for us, they paid special attention to every detail, from the uniforms to the toilets – each of our visits felt like entering a steampunk Disneyland, where the main attractions are not roller coasters but the eight different kinds of kraft beer on tap.
Kraft beer is a brand-new category of suds, which are artisanal but still provide the best quality for your money. You can choose from the ever-changing concoctions of seven different local breweries (Mecénás, Brew Your Mind, Mad Scientist, Monyo, HopTop, Horizont, and Ok Brewery), but the drink list also includes a wide variety of rums, vodkas, and other spirits.
Unfortunately, you can’t find kraken steak on the menu, but instead there are many highlights of traditional British gastronomy: pies filled with beef stewed in Guinness (2,900 HUF) or pork stewed in cider (2,490 HUF), black pudding served with gravy, mint-flavored green-pea purée and homemade potato roundel (1,690 HUF), Scotch egg with potato purée (790 HUF), and even haggis (1,690 HUF). Apparently there may be some changes the the menu in the not-too-distant future (or past), but Chef Kenrick Coombs promised that there will be steaks too, depending on what is available at the local markets and butchers.
Peter Hopsmalt von Corsair also told us that soon the underground lair of Krak’n Town will also open, where more than 60 rebels can enjoy a beer or a good game, as they will broadcast sport matches here ranging from American basketball to Hungarian water polo. It’s worthwhile to subscribe to their newsletter, so you can learn all of this information sent through the ether directly from the source. Meanwhile, we’re happy that Budapest has finally become part of the world’s steam-stream!