After successfully launching a deluxe restaurant in downtown Budapest in 2015, Hungary’s globally esteemed St. Andrea winery has been planning to open another hotspot in the Magyar metropolis. The new concept is a rooftop bar focused on fine drinks and views, featuring excellent wines, cocktails, and light bar food on its menu. St. Andrea Wine & Skybar is definitely an exclusive hangout, where the target audience can enjoy the high life enhanced with sophisticated entertainment, gourmet experiences, and far-reaching vistas from atop a historic building by Vörösmarty Square.
Before we begin introducing Budapest’s newest rooftop bar, it’s important to point out that this place isn’t affordable for everyone. This is not a casual bar to drop by after work for a few glasses of beer, but one that strives to be cosmopolitan, and serves as a venue for truly special occasions. This skybar would fit right in among similarly tony open-air nightspots in New York, Singapore, or London, but its home is on the rooftop of the World Heritage building designed by Ignác Alpár at Váci Street 1.
St. Andrea Wine & Skybar has a dress code, which is enforced right before visitors are ushered into the elevator to the rooftop. Smart-casual attire is considered ideal, so don’t even consider showing up in flip-flops and short shorts. The rooftop bar consists of two terraces – the Citadel Terrace and the Basilica Terrace – offering different perspectives over Budapest; meanwhile, the décor features stylishly symmetrical glass surfaces and the color white. One of the most important features of the skybar is that it has an interior space, as well, and thus can be visited all year round – so we can not only taste the winery’s best nectars in the blinding sunshine of July, but also in the winter with snow-capped rooftops dotting the view. The whole place is airy and elegant, with few decorations so as to not distract guests’ attention from the beautiful panorama.
The skybar places great emphasis on cocktail culture, which is a rather gracious gesture from an establishment owned by a winery. Its bar lines up a wide selection of spirits from gins to whiskeys, and the cocktail menu features rather exciting items as well, with signature drinks and the three bartenders’ own creations. These include both classic-but-somewhat-refreshed cocktails and a more extreme gourmet line. The bartenders are renowned professionals who’ve been training themselves to work with the bar’s spirit and the exclusive drink selection. Drink prices start at around 2,000 forints, but most cocktails cost 3-4,000 forints.
As for wines, we can choose from the best goods of St. Andrea Winery, from the 2015 Sauvignon Blanc (1,550 HUF/dl) to the 2007 Merengő, a superior Egri Bikavér. All wines can be ordered by the glass, and in addition to the winery’s own champagnes, we can also taste some bottles from Taittinger or Krug.
The kitchen offers top-notch bar food, thus decreasing the serving size while preserving and further increasing the quality of the flagship restaurant’s dishes. There are no dinners or degustation menus here, but anyone with an appetite can choose from three main dishes, as well. Ádám Barna paves the way of the kitchen as the executive manager, while the leadership belongs to Elena Balog.
We tasted the intensive and memorable goat cheese served with raspberries and paprika (2,800 HUF), the Asian-style salmon trout (3,400 HUF), and the duck liver “maxi king” (3,300 HUF), which surprised us with both salty and sweet flavors. In addition to the goat cheese, our favorite was one of the desserts: a combination of cucumber, passion fruit and Sichuan pepper (2,400 HUF). The elegant skybar becomes even more of a hotspot with live music every Friday. In addition, the bar is also available for public and private events.
St. Andrea Wine & Skybar is exceptionally elegant, world-class, and undeniably exclusive – a rooftop bar that will surely find its audience this summer.
St. Andrea Wine & Skybar
Address: Budapest 1052, Deák Ferenc Street 3-5, floor VI (entrance from Vörösmarty Square)
Opening hours: Monday - Saturday, 11am - midnight (kitchen from noon to 11pm)
Reservations: +36 30 300 3930