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Café Babart opens in Budapest’s bar quarter for brunch, tapas and wine

Deep in Budapest’s bar vortex, a convivial little café has opened where you can hide away all day over breakfast, coffee, Hungarian and Spanish wines, and fine tapas.

Occupying a former ABC supermarket, Babart combines coffee with tapas, wine and a little art. Its owner and creator, Zsuzsa Losits, wanted to open a breakfast bar years ago – back then, she says, people only popped into their local bakery in the mornings. But now the time is right for her to open her own café-breakfast spot – right on the corner of Dob and Rumbach Sebestyén utca.

And, with Zsuzsa’s husband Vilmos an ambassador of Spanish gastronomy behind the renowned Pata Negra mini-chain, afternoons are given an Iberian touch at Babart. The coffee range is more of the classic Italian variety, the lighter roasted option.

“The concept of Babart is based on a certain lifestyle,” explains Zsuzsa. “It means the pleasant moments a decent breakfast or a post-work wine can add to your everyday life, but also the fact that art should be present too, in the form of cosy surroundings or beautiful crockery and decor. I think Hungarian artists are very talented, and I hope that Babart will also work as a showcase.”

The bent for art is underlined by Babart’s design: the clean interior and forms are enhanced by the countertops decorated with colourful tiles, mustard-yellow and turquoise chairs and armchairs, and a jungle painting across an entire wall.

“An urban jungle outside the party district, where peace and quiet, good coffee and fine bites await,” Zsuzsa adds. “I would like Babart not only to be a destination for passing tourists but for locals here to find their place.” She shouldn’t worry – thanks to its large windows, Babart feels extremely light and friendly, and has set its prices with both markets in mind: a coffee-and-pastry combination is available for under 1,000 forints, and you can snaffle up an egg breakfast from 650 forints.

Breakfast choices are simple but run from pastries to egg dishes, sandwiches and the full monty, accompanied by tea or coffee and a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice. Our favourite was the eggs Florentine (1,690 HUF). What sort you out better in the morning than a cheerfully sunny-side-up poached egg resting on a leavened English muffin in dense, warm Hollandaise sauce? It also comes with a portion of salad sprinkled with balsamic vinegar.

The gourmet breakfast (2,990 HUF) should even be enough for two: a fair helping of homemade duck liver pâté with dried tomatoes and cream of sheeps’ cheese, and a basket of bread. The tapas concept is a treat, indeed – duck liver and sheeps’ cheese also feature on the platter for 1,290 and 750 forints respectively. Among the sweet choices, if you ask for classic American pancakes (1,590 HUF), you receive a soft, spongy little tower, well packed with berries and richly ladled with maple syrup.

Although some need breakfast at noon, a couple of dishes have been created for those who would rather do lunch then: thick, green, milky red-lentil cream soup with turmeric (750 HUF), plus a portion of tapas and a salad should be ideal. Of the salads, the grilled-chicken option (1,290 HUF) comes with iceberg lettuce, walnut and pomegranate seeds.

Among the tapas, the olive selection (690 HUF) is recommended, and features Italian and Greek varieties of differing sizes and flavours, and quite a decent helping at that. Creamy oyster mushrooms (1,090 HUF) are a particular favourite, the mushrooms lightly steamed, the sauce silky, all served with fresh bread, can also be considered a modest lunch. Pan-fried pork steak (1,590 HUF) is also a good choice, with caramelised onions and plenty of fresh parsley.

The tapas are mainly meant for post-work nibbles, to accompany a glass of wine in good company, when lunch is a distant memory but you don't feel like laying into anything too serious. If you’re after something more substantial, they cater to your needs affordably and but with no compromise on quality.

Café Babart 

District VII. Rumbach Sebestyén utca 3

Open: daily 8am-8pm

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