It’s fun to hop around the city from bars to restaurants to concert halls for full nights out with friends or your sweetie. Sometimes, though, it’s better to pick a place that offers dining, drinking, and dancing all within a single setting, especially when it’s cold or rainy outside. Fortunately, Budapest has no shortage of grand performance venues and clubs with live acts, where quality restaurants serve full meals, welcoming guests for drinks, dinner, and a show all within one lively locale. Here are 12 of our favorites.
On an upper deck of this pleasure boat permanently moored on Buda’s Danube bank, a nice restaurant with panoramic views and vaguely nautical décor serves lunch and dinner all week long except on Sundays, also to diners who aren’t seeing a show. The business menu offered every weekday at noon is a rockin’ good deal.
Budapest Jazz Club
A cool cabaret feel fills this performance hall hosting global stars and Hungary’s top jazz artists. Here guests can feast on regional dishes at tables in the audience area while musicians get down on the main stage. In another chamber, dinner is served during free jam sessions every Friday and Saturday night.
Location: Budapest 1136, Hollán Ernő utca 7 Website
Hungarian State Opera House
Currently Budapest’s iconic Opera House is closed until this spring for extensive renovations, but whenever possible during the renewal process, the on-site Opera Café is still welcoming guests to dine on gourmet pizzas, pastas, and tempting desserts amid the building’s historic architecture and belle-époque atmosphere.
Jazzy melodies frequently fill the night air of Ráday Street during evening shows at this intimate hangout, where concertgoers can order drinks as well as dishes ranging from mixed tapas platters to share or hearty main courses such as rosé duck breast with red-onion jam, all available with an impressive selection of Hungarian wines.
Location: Budapest 1092, Ráday utca 19 Website
This place is perfect for a light dinner before heavy drinking and rocking out to one of the great local bands that play here. The selection of soups, bagel sandwiches, pastas, and tortilla wraps provide plenty of energy to dance into the night – but sunshiny lunches at this corner eatery are always a pleasure, too.
Location: Budapest 1075, Madách Imre út 5 Facebook page
Classic cabaret vibes resonate throughout this traditional Hungarian eatery in Pest’s District VII, where visitors can feast on goose-liver pâté, goulash soup, and paprika chicken while listening to live jazz acts (such as Magyar songstress Myrtill Micheller or Budapest’s Hot Jazz Band) who perform every evening between 8pm and 10pm.
Location: Budapest 1074, Dohány utca 50 Website
Across a cobblestoned lane from the Hungarian National Museum, this laid-back concert hall – frequently presenting Magyar rock legends and international blues artists – features a popular bistro decorated with antique instruments and vinyl records; the kitchen also serves tasty 1,290-forint lunch specials on weekdays.
Location: Budapest 1088, Múzeum utca 7 Website
Opus Jazz Club
Take a table for two directly beside the stage at this contemporary music center with a top-notch kitchen, serving succulent specialties such as beef ribs braised in white wine or Alsace-style stuffed belly of pork, to enjoy alongside smooth jazz grooves from local and international performers. Lunch here is a good value, as well.
Step downstairs into the speakeasy atmosphere of this classy club hidden beneath the historic Corinthia Hotel Budapest, where somewhat surreal cabaret shows draw an intriguing crowd to delight in professionally mixed cocktails, Magyar crooners, and satisfying dishes such as roasted salmon, Wiener schnitzel, and steak tartare.
Location: Budapest 1073, Erzsébet körút 43-49 Website
Standing proudly above the Danube Promenade since 1865, the recently renovated Pesti Vigadó now fulfills its original function as a grand performance hall, with its sumptious interior design setting the scene for elegant classical concerts – and the café by the main lobby a lovely spot to begin a refined evening.
Tucked in the heart of the Jewish Quarter, this cozy café is frequently crowded with international diners savoring classic Hungarian dishes and delicious breakfasts. Every Friday night at 7pm, the house is almost always packed with guests for the weekly klezmer-music concert at the restaurant’s in-house theater.
Once upon a time, this was the Buda Castle’s opulent riverfront entrance, welcoming monarchs with its sprawling gardens and impressive statuary. Nowadays the recently renovated Várkert Bazaar hosts exhibits and concerts, and is the site of Bárkert Bistro, expertly fusing Hungarian delicacies with fine Italian flavors.