It’s a pleasant summer afternoon, and with nothing better to do (or too much to do), you hop aboard the ferryboat from bustling downtown Budapest to the final northbound stop at Rómaifürdő. Here you are in another world – stroll along the peaceful waterfront promenade until discovering a humble wooden bar with a few tree-shaded deck chairs sprinkled on the pebbly shore, as mellow lounge music fills the air and the Danube stretches before you. Recline with a cold drink and soak in the tranquil spirit of Nap bácsi.
Nap bácsi (“Uncle Sun”) – along with Nap néni (“Aunt Sun”) – was once one of the greatest inns of Római Part, the chilled-out riverfront recreation area of northern Buda. We can find Nap bácsi’s modern-day incarnation on the shore, in the form of a simple wooden bar built with planks and metal pipes. In addition to its historical references, the name refers to the owner, a former water-polo player known for his iconic hat and bright smile.
After placing our order, we receive a colorful cardboard tag. Here the staff doesn’t shout out to the crowd when an order is ready, like we are accustomed to at most Római Part hangouts – everything revolves around tranquillity and the shore, and we do not want this to change. The only “events” here are weekend DJ sets, which also fit the location with laid-back music.
Rizmajer’s cherry beer (640 HUF) and the Scottish Brew Dog IPA (1,000 HUF) feels best when sipped on the wooden lounge chairs. Specialties include the beer cocktail that was previously only available at Élesztő, called Xmoke (950 HUF) – a smoky rye IPA with spiced rum, rosemary, and grapefruit.
Nap bácsi offers a variety of other special drinks, including the apple-beetroot juice (150 HUF/dl), the rosehip-apple lemonade (790 HUF/5 dl), and our favorite, the sea buckthorn fröccs (490 HUF). The latter is made with elderflower, honeyed sea buckthorn, mint, white rum, and soda, and tastes just as good as it looks.
In summer, a cold gazpacho (650 HUF) always comes in handy, and a good Hermelín (Czech pickled camembert, 800 HUF) goes well with the beer. The burger (1,500 HUF) is served in a tortilla instead of buns to further enhance the taste of the patty made with Hungarian Grey cattle, just like the chicken quesadilla (1,350 HUF).Nap bácsi is open from May until the end of September, and it is simple yet likeable with friendly service, good food and drinks, the Danube bank, and its own playground and bike-storage area. We wish there were many other places like this in Budapest, but one is just enough.