There are not too many high-quality gastro havens around Batthyány Square in Budapest, even though it is an important transportation hub in the city. Since there is only a small sign promoting it, not many people realize that Steamhouse Café opened during last summer on the upper floor of the market hall here, proffering delicious specialty coffee and hot chocolate concoctions while also providing a picturesque view to the Parliament and to the Danube Bank.
The Market Hall on Batthyány Square was once buzzing with life, but
today only its
beautiful brick building serves as a testament to those long-gone memories; however, it still has great potential to become an exciting gastro center, just as
the Hold Street Market Hall
has already set a good example.
A specialty coffeehouse
opened here back in July, appealing to
tourists on their way to the Buda Castle, or travelers heading to Szentendre on the suburban railway, and even the less-spoiled residents of District I can indulge in high-quality coffee concoctions here. Steamhouse Café’s staff is made up of true coffee aficionados, who regularly hold “coffee meetups”, guiding
everyone into the world of baristas and cupping.
The huge market hall gives this hangout a somewhat industrial atmosphere, as the café is not separated, but melts in with the market. However, the tables found behind the counter provide a perfect hideaway for couples on a date, for students, and for anyone unwinding with a laptop. During
our visit, for example, there was a French lesson going on at the next table.
Croissants (700 HUF) and brownies are made freshly on the spot here, and
the savory sandwiches are made with
French baguettes (750 HUF). The hot chocolates
(650 HUF) come from Budapest’s renowned chocolatier
and the lactose-free rice pudding
(450 HUF) is the real deal. The light-roast coffee comes straight from Poland, and besides Steamhouse Café, Karma Roasters in Krakow only delivers their products to three other places. In one of the coffee grinders we always find a less-acidic hazelnutty and earthy Brazilian variation for those who find specialty coffees too sour, while in the other grinder the aromatic specialty coffee beans constantly vary.
our visit, we tried an Ethiopian double coffee that surprised us with its intense flavors. The explanation for such a strong aroma is that at Steamhouse Café, instead of the regular 18-gram portions, they make coffee from 21-23 grams of ground coffee; however, they make less in quantity, because
– and this was new information for us – after 50 seconds
of brewing, the caffeine content significantly rises, often giving a “caffeine rush” to consumers. Hence, less is more and better: an espresso costs 450 forints, while the filter and the milk coffee are 650 forints
each.The staff finally managed to get the heating system to work as well, which means that it is nice to hang around here during winter, despite the café’s cavernous surroundings. In case you’d like to take a break from the rushing world, here you can always unwind while sipping on a tasty cup of coffee, and
admiring the stunning view across the river
to the Parliament
and to the Danube Shore.