The time has finally arrived for us to make a compilation of the best bars in Budapest, because now there are more than a few places in the capital that make cocktails that are much more impressive than a Mojito or a Piña Colada. We step into the world of the night’s modern “brew masters”, where we were intoxicated not only by the alcoholic beverages, but also by the professionalism we experienced in some of the places.
The eastern brother or Gozsdu’s Spíler somewhat changed recently – the sultry, black-and-red Secret Bar occupies the ground floor. This is a secluded, sexy cocktail bar, where something exciting happens almost every night: on one night, Ferenc Varsányi mixes a full-bodied Old Fashioned cocktail with cinnamon, cardamom and star anise, while on the other, we can buy a rethought Bloody Mary with anchovy strips instead of celery. The bar’s young team works with great enthusiasm and dedication – each cocktail represents a piece of their creativity. In addition to the drink menu’s cocktails, we can request personalised specialties, as well.
Cocktail prices: from 980 Ft
We recommend: B Mary, Yellow Soda
Despite his young age, Máté Csatlós worked as a bartender in the top bars of England and Spain, and has won a lot of international competitions. He has led the team of KIOSK since August, and since then revolutionized the drink menu, which mixes the English and Mediterranean cocktail cultures. Naturally, they use the highest quality materials, so in addition to the premium gins, rums, whiskeys and vodkas, they use their own syrups. The spices and flowers are lined up above the spirits in the bar. The cocktails here: quick and elegant.
Cocktail prices: from 1390 Ft
We recommend: Butter Beer Punch, Gin Tonic
A young team stands behind Nagy Diófa Street’s WARMUP. They specialize specifically in cocktails: led by Róbert Vitáris and Dávid Szabó, they would like to show visiting guests that tasty drinks exist outside of beer and fröccs, and that cocktails do not equal unsavory, creamy glops topped with colorful umbrellas. Since Márton Janza, the owner of the idea, have already dealt with molecular gastronomy during his past studies, we can meet edible drinks in WARMUP. They consider the needs of their guests so much that they do not even have a drink menu: you walk in, tell them what kind of flavors, scents and historical eras you like, and your own mixture is done in a few minutes.
Cocktail prices: from 1200 Ft
We recommend: mix your own drink!
When we first visited Pharma, we felt as if we were doing something illegal. A maximum of 8 people can comfortably fit into the small bar, the wall is decorated with a poster titled “Alcoholistic system”, and our first shot came in a “medication bottle” – the whole experience felt elusive. They mixed together formulas that did not seem to match or looked too extreme. They take a fresh coconut out of the fridge, cut a hole in it, and prepare drinks in that, or they mix the alcohol with strong black coffee and serve it from a siphon. We might not exaggerate by saying that Pharma is the most original place in Kazinczy Street.
Cocktail prices: from 1600 Ft
We recommend: spending a whole night here
In the cool-looking TOKIO, in addition to sushi and ramen, cocktails are becoming increasingly important, and fit for people wanting to have fun in the downtown area, guests coming from the neighboring Gresham business sector, and people who just love Japanese alcoholic beverages. In addition to their exceptional Japanese whiskey selection, we can try Ryoma rum here, as well. They are happy to coordinate the flavors to individual tastes, and try to introduce international trends, as well. We learned, for example, that after vodkas and gins, an era of rum is coming, is we can trust the foreign trends.
Cocktail prices: from 1500 Ft
We recommend: No Named Ice T, Agapito
The bar of Buddha-Bar Hotel Budapest Klotild Palace is one of the most unique cocktail places of the city. The brand is strongly bound to eastern downtempo, chill out tunes and an Asian subdued, yet sophisticated atmosphere – this all is reflected in the bar, as well. When there is no musical event in the lounge area, it becomes an intimate place well fit into films – but during major parties, the bar becomes full of life and shows a different face. The drink selection is one of the widest in the city, and we can find a number of curiosities in it that even real gourmets would appreciate. It is definitely worth a visit at least once.
Cocktail prices: from 1590 Ft
We recommend: Way of the Samurai, The Ultimate
Boutiq' Bar was one of the first pioneers of the cocktail revolution in Budapest, which ended the era of tongue-tinting curaçaos and watered up vodka-oranges. Boutiq' is officially one of the world’s 50 best cocktail bars, and they define themselves as neo-speakeasy. The atmosphere is rather intimate because of the red, narrow interior, and the drink selection is unrivaled in Budapest. If you cannot find a cocktail here, it does not exist. This is where everything started.
Cocktail prices: from 1750 Ft
We recommend: drinks from both the classic and extreme categories
KNRDY is known for its steaks, exclusivity and contemporary interior design. They have a lot of American guests, both business people and normal tourists. As an American steakhouse, they focused on their cocktail line from the restaurant’s opening. The drink menu has many classics and rethought drinks, as well. The restaurant’s bar is worth visiting if we are looking for special whiskeys, rums, tequilas and cognacs.
Cocktail prices: from 1100 Ft
We recommend: Mint Julep, Moscow Mule
We usually know professionalism when we see it, and these guys definitely know what they are doing. The bar offers a very consistent and well thought-out selection, and while the place is at the bottom of Kempinski, the atmosphere is not tense, the staff and the interior give off a relaxed feel, and the prices are not over the roof, either. Everything is given for Blue Fox to be a good cocktail bar, but the question is: how are the drinks? The bar offers both old classics and modern cocktails, all made from natural ingredients, most if which are homemade.
Cocktail prices: from 1280 Ft
We recommend: Chilled Emperor, 1862 Ft
'Mericano Bar is so fresh that we can only show you its visual plans, and naturally, we could not visit the place yet, either. But soon the bar will open, imitating a classic American cocktail place, with a bit of an Italian twist – regarding the flavors and mentality. 'Mericano Bar would also like to introduce the concept of the rightly popular “apero bars” to Budapest, and to become a place where drinking before five in the afternoon is not a sin. We can serve with further details after the bar’s opening, but if the plans really come true, 'Mericano can become a truly cool place with the charm of the 20-30’s and with a unique, American-Italian vibe.