Brilliant burgers and beers in Buda – Bölcső Bár
Finding cheap bars in the neighborhood of BME, a university where most students would deserve a PhD in after-class drinking, is definitely not mission impossible. But since the gastro revolution is omnipresent in Budapest, that doesn’t mean that BME’s vicinity lacks quality places, with burger- and craft beer-focused Bölcső Bár being the latest example.
The Budapestian craft beer-craze is the direct consequence of Főzdefeszt, a festival celebrating the artsy varieties of everyone’s favorite alcoholic beverage. Főzdefeszt rapidly outgrew itself, and now causes bigger traffic congestions than a flock of Hollywood A-listers shooting in downtown Budapest during rush hour. Not that anyone will pull their hear out over a little traffic jam – especially not beer fanatics, because there’s no Élesztő, Léhűtő, Legenda Busz, Csakajósör, or Bölcső Bár without Főzdefeszt’s feel-good story.
For the brains behind Bölcső, giving some spotlight to Hungarian craft beers was a ruling principle from the get-go. Dani, the owner, was so determined to carry out this beer-patriotic goal that he sacrificed the support of mammoth breweries on the altar of Hungarian craft beers when the former didn’t like the idea of saving at least a tap for the latter.
As a result, mainstream bears are a no-show in Bölcső, but the substitutes – Postrizinske and two types of craft specialties – do an even better beer-job. The selection changes much faster than the seasons, so checking back every other week is highly advised. If all else fails, you can always opt for the bottled goods.
Besides beers, the all-organic homemade burgers are the real deal at Bölcső. Even seen-it-all gastro journalists were in awe of this steak-in-a-bun wonder with red cheddar cheese, juicy sauce, onion rings, and French fries on the side.
Other than burgers, the menu contains stomach growl-inducing, homemade beer snacks such as pickled cheese, hermelin (a typical Czech bar snack), and breadsticks. Bölcső also boasts a weekly menu that makes a perfect lunch or dinner.
Despite the semi-fact that Bölcső is not a ruin pub, all the chairs originate from a flea market near Lake Balaton, though they might evoke some nostalgia and remind you of your grandparents’ living room. Other notable items of the interior are the contemporary paintings decorating the walls, which are the works of one Zsolt Ferenczy, and which were brought to Bölcső by a regular who was bothered by the empty walls. Talking of regulars, the cutest constant at Bölcső is without a doubt the greyhound restlessly sniffing around your feet, but we would be hard-pressed to select an undisputed best thing about Bölcső, which should be enjoyed as a whole, as a work of art.