Named after its street number along lively Király utca and the ideal temperature setting for this urban retreat, Twentysix Budapest is a green getaway of abundant foliage, cool tunes and healthy cuisine with a fresh Mediterranean approach. The daily buzz starts early here, shakshuka, avocado toast and omelettes served with superfood lattes and fresh juices – with a couple of secret ingredients thrown in!
Occupying a huge ground
floor of fashionable bare brick, festooned with greenery and bathed in natural light,
Twentysix Budapest is an unexpected find behind the sliding street doors that
also lead to a boutique hotel, shared office space and yoga workshops.
But for the sandwich board on the pavement, you wouldn’t know it was here, and yet you’re right across the street from Budapest’s densest bar zone, the Gozsdu Udvar.
Here a savvy management, a friendly waitstaff and Neapolitan chef Francesco Pastore have built a reputation for maintaining a consistently high quality from breakfast onwards. Whereas much of the surrounding nightlife quarter depends on quick, one-time custom, Twentysix Budapest has taken a fresh, long-term approach, winning over a local client base by meeting their needs, time after time after time.
These days, these needs go beyond the simple provision of breakfast. Health and sustainability are the current watchwords.
Chef Francesco Pastore takes up the story: “The Mediterranean influence is the key in the Twentysix kitchen. First of all, there’s the variety of different products from all over the Mediterranean area, known for their quality and freshness”.
Having worked in world cities such as London, Washington DC and Paris, Francesco has ten years of experience to draw on when it comes to inspiration. “Every idea has its own memory and concept. That’s how we try to be different and unique.”
As ever, it’s the finer detail that counts, the Grana Padano, Parma ham and farm eggs in the omelettes, the baby cranberries used in the pancakes – centrepiece of the signature Morning 26 breakfast – and the zaatar spice mix, Francesco’s secret ingredient of oregano, thyme and sesame seeds. A knowing sprinkle of zaatar, found in markets across the eastern Mediterranean, peps up many a dish at the Twentysix kitchen.
“The source of the ingredients starts from its availability in season,” says Francesco. “I love working with local farms but also with direct suppliers from Italy who can always guarantee high-standard products."
Simple and modern
“I would say that the simple approach is what differentiates us from other places, with the focus on classic dishes with a modern touch, based on taste and presentation.”
This is apparent as soon as the labneh
arrives, the yoghurt dish accompanied by smoked salmon, candied orange and a
salted croissant, from the neat plates of freshly baked goods lining the bar
counter as you walk in.
The avocado toast, whose inclusion here anticipates a growing trend in Budapest, comes on pan-grilled brioche with a fried egg and, another secret ingredient for Francesco to sprinkle, dukkah, similar to zaatar only with nuts as well.
Alongside, a superfood latte seems the best choice, either the Golden variety with turmeric, cardamom, ginger, cinnamon and black pepper, made with plant-based milk, or perhaps the 26 Chai Latte using the special house spice blend. Freshly squeezed orange juice is another must.
These elements may also come together as
part of the Super Green Breakfast, involving a main course, a superfood latte
or hot drink, and a glass of freshly squeezed juice, for which you receive a 20%
discount and your own tree planted.
This healthy trade-off treats your body to a full, fresh breakfast and benefits the planet, too – plus you can follow the progress of your own tree, an ideal gift for younger ones who will grow with their surprise present.