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Budapest's best new restaurants, cafés, and bars of 2022

Explore hot new places in Budapest with our list of the latest additions to the city's gastro scene from 2022. Despite a massive amount of challenges and difficulties, the past 12 months also brought us a ray of hope and a refreshing experience in the form of new gastronomic spots. We have compiled a (not exhaustive but still abundant) list of the places that opened last year.

Restaurants and bistros

At the end of January, Tex-Mex-inspired Cortez opened on Corvin Sétány, serving pretty darn good Central American dishes with a modern Texas twist. From a little further south, Peruvian cuisine has been brought to Pilvax köz by Pisco Peruvian Cuisine, whose entire team originates from the South American country. The place is now temporarily closed, but we look forward to its reopening. A slice of Tel Aviv also came to Budapest earlier this year, courtesy of Meshuga in Gozsdu Courtyard. It brings a laid-back, Israeli, 'eating with your hands' feel to our lives, while also giving us a taste of the Turkish and Arab world. 

Yum Yum, which opened in February, is a tiny Thai eatery run by Sirinapa and Balázs. The young couple left Thailand behind to bring their mildly spicy, but still authentic Thai food to Kapás Street. Meanwhile, Berlin Bistro takes us back to our trips to Germany with heavenly dishes (homemade Berlin boulette with fried eggs, currywurst with tomato sauce, or jägerschnitzel) in the middle of Klauzál Square. After moving out of the Buddha-Bar Hotel in 2019, Baalbek reopened in March 2022, and the long wait was worth it. The place, which was the country's first authentic Lebanese restaurant, has found a new home on the bank of the Danube (Belgrád rakpart) in a simpler, more modern setting.

Following the closure of the Hold Street market, Russian-Ukrainian-Georgian-inspired MoszkvaTéЯ reopened in a new location in Buda. Their homemade pelmeni is still second to none. Away from the world of pelmeni, we discovered homely flavours in a fairy-tale Hungarian diner, the reborn Retek Bistro. It sets a perfect example of presenting local grandmothers' specialities in a modern guise without losing their essence. Speaking of the essence: delicious smells and flavours lead us to the ivy-spread inner courtyard of Ötpacsirta Street. Here, in one of Budapest's most beautiful secret gardens, the owners of tapas bar Padron have opened a new place. Arquitecto Pitpit is offering Spanish flavours and delicious bites.

The friendly deli bistro Figi & Lipike in the elegant, green surroundings of Klapka Street in Angyalföld was a great discovery. The shelves are stocked with Tállya wines and a wide selection of delicacies, while the kitchen serves up great bistro dishes. Speaking of delis, a former wine bar and deli evolved into star chef Giannis' new place, DOC Pane e Vino, resulting in a rustic yet modern restaurant. Another Italian spot landed in the city: Trattoria Prato opened above the Nagyrét sports centre in the 2nd district, serving authentic Italian dishesBABA, a lush Sas Street eatery with an exotic vibe and a community feel also opened in the summer, evoking the bohemian café culture of the turn of the century, where life never stops.

The Pozsonyi Avenue has also been enriched this year with a great tapas bar: UnoMas offers a Mediterranean feel and divine Spanish delicacies. Following the concept of small sharing plates, Kismező has filled the void left by the iconic Pesti Disznó to breathe new life into the neighbourhood, also known as the Broadway of Pest. After several years of being closed, the Pick butcher's shop on Kossuth Square returned in June in a completely different form and under the name PICK Bistro & Deli. While keeping the deli feature, a cosy, high-quality and distinctly Hungarian bistro kitchen was born. We found a special place in another unexpected place, in Budaörs, where an old Swabian press house turned into a lovely restaurant called Csiri. Its story began in 1867 and lives on today with breakfasts, wines, friendships, and love.

On Dohány Street, a bistro with a farm-to-table philosophy opened: TATI, relying entirely on seasonality, creates menus that mix the produce of the land with the occasional meat. Right in time to get on our list, SHO restaurant, bar & café opened its doors in the immediate vicinity of the MOL Campus. The news of its opening also made quite a splash because well-known chef Krisztián Huszár was confirmed as executive chef.

Cafés, confectionaries, breakfast spots, bakeries

In January, we met Manfréd, the rye sourdough, who, along with Alexandra Molnár, Szabolcs Nagy, and the whole team, puts his heart and soul into the crispy and instantly addictive pastries at this Nógrád–inspired bakery. The same month, we found a new favourite in the 12th district too:  Grumpy Monkey is the sister branch of an Australian café. The coffee is impeccable and the Sport szelet-flavoured cruffin is a must ('cruffin' being the love child of croissants and muffins, and Sport szelet a popular Hungarian rum-flavoured chocolate bar). On Dorottya Street, homemade brioche buns (a traditional sweet bread found mainly in Central and Eastern European cuisines) and delicious breakfasts are served at Edison & Jupiter, which is a delightful addition to the buzzing downtown.

At the beginning of the year, Macaron Heaven opened a new unit, bringing colourful macarons to the Pest side as well. Chez Hanna, popping up in February, is the new bakery–breakfast outlet of Gábor Kauser, known from Le Petit Boulanger, and his old friend Richárd Siklósi. They offer French-style pastries, cakes, popular brunch dishes, and delicacies. And speaking of delicacies, since February, Nóra Deli has been making the residential and cosmopolitan area of Sas-hegy even more family-friendly. It's easy to pop in for milk and end up with Italian hams and a bottle of premium gin. Opened on Városmajor Street, Babutzi aims to bring the Déli Railway Station area back into the capital's gastronomic circuit with its great breakfasts and lunch menu.

In March, the newest member of the Babka group debuted on Pozsonyi Avenue: Babka Deli offers Hungarian, New York, and Middle Eastern delights, and thanks to its large windows, you can have breakfast in the sun. Not far away, just a few steps from the Buda side of Margaret Bridge, Kazetta was opened in May. It is a café, showroom, and community space where you can casually chat with other guests too. A similarly cosy spot appeared in Óbuda: Lemmïng is a destination for skateboarders, metalheads, and hardcore fans.

We found a homely and bohemian place in an office building in the 13th district: the Mad Dog expanded a bit further in the spring, and the team opened a new unit called Mad Dog Coffee_Hangar. It is a great breakfast spot with a helicopter suspended in mid-air. Since August, the smell of freshly baked pastries has been wafting through Aulich Street, as LUI opened here. The delicacies are made under the professional guidance of Timi Árgyelán, known from Alma Nomad Bakery. At NOAH in Újlipótváros the focus is on breakfasts and brunches, but a good lunch or an evening G&T can always be fixed as well.

In the former palace of Manfréd Weiss, Alice Terrace x Veuve Clicquot Garden is home to a magnificent setting, where you can enjoy some bubbles and delicious snacks. Asterisk, The live in Gallery on Papnövelde Street might not be a palace, but a nice spot where you can also admire life's small pleasures in beautiful surroundings, among amazing artwork and delicious snacks. To balance out the splendour, there is a new pleasant, multifunctional space in Budapest, Montage, "everyone's living room". The Margit Avenue space is perfect for chatting with friends, having coffee, working, or organising events. Nanu coffee & stuff has brought a family atmosphere to Budafoki Road, while one of our 2022 favourites, A la Gringa, evokes Brazil and sunshine on Vitkovics Mihály Street.

In October, Greenhabit opened its doors in Buda, near Allee shopping centre, providing the neighbourhood with a health-conscious and vitamin-packed "health kitchen". And the four-legged friends are not neglected either: at The Dog Bakery Budapest, which opened in the autumn, dogs are the centre of attention: they can enjoy cakes, treats, snacks, and other surprises specially prepared for them.

Street food

At the beginning of the year, we tested a modern pizzeria in Budafok: in Hétköznapok a variation of Neapolitan pizza, canotto, is made with a Hungarian twist. The Brooklyn Bagel, which has been open since June, has a completely different street food concept: you can ask for kosher bagels and babka. You might not even notice that it has a direct entrance to the neighbouring synagogue. And another full turn: as of this year, Lajos Bíró's iconic breaded, deep-fried meats can now be found in the beautiful surroundings of the City Park: a new Buja Disznó(k) opened just a few steps away from the Széchenyi Baths and the Zoo. And let's not forget Baba Ganoush on Kertész Street, which sneaks Middle Eastern and North African flavours into Erzsébetváros. It is temporarily closed, but we look forward to its reopening.

California Poke has found a new home in a larger space, offering healthy and customisable bowls with a variety of flavours and a real colour orgy for the conscious eater. A slightly higher-carb, but no less delicious, Neapolitan pizza has been on offer since spring at Salvé in Tűzoltó Street. March brought new-wave barbecue smoke from Austin, Texas to 35 József Avenue, which landed at the wicked, American-inspired Petrol Beer & Barbeque. A nod to another part of the US, Budapest also got a Californian pizzeria with the opening of CAZA pizza bar on József Attila Street operating with thicker dough and assorted toppings. 

In June, Açaí Fever popped up on Régi Posta Street, where you can get health bowls made from the Brazilian super berries and other fresh fruits and supplements. Another newcomer to Kecskeméti Street is Pizza foriú, offering bad-ass Italian street food. In addition to pizza slices and arancini, it features pizza bread stuffed with Neapolitan ragù, Parmesan or even goulash. Another new pizza (and beer!) spot is hübrisbeer&pizza, owned by the team behind the Székesfehérvár-based hübris brewery. They're on hiatus from autumn until spring, but promise to return after that.

Pubs and bars

At Blutorange, which opened in April, you're in for something unique: it's Budapest's first listening bar (with music at its heart). The place fills a void we only realised we'd had after our arrival, and the word 'love' doesn't even describe how we felt afterwards. The absence was real in regards to the following player: Jónás Craft Beer & Food had moved out from the Bálna (commercial, cultural, entertainment and leisure centre), then it found a new home in May, in Bikás Park, on the banks of a duck pond. Staying on the beer trail, the Élesztő Terasz, the younger sibling of the well-known Élesztőház in Tűzoltó Street, took over the roof of the Mammut 2 mall. Este11 at Feneketlen Lake was also a delightful addition to the bar scene: we enjoyed ice-cold cocktails and barbecue dishes under the shade of chestnut trees in the warmer months of the year.

Mixát is a gift of the spring, and could easily become the flagship of the area, both for its size and its all-inclusive offer. Norbert Palágyi paddled into more specific waters: from self-taught taster, he first became a beer blogger under the name Szomjas Farkas ('Thirsty Wolf') then he opened his own craft beer pub under the same name. Meanwhile, on Hercegprímás Street, you can sign up for a trip to the Far East: Badhanna's fusion cuisine is an intersection of Asian cultures, and the cocktail selection is also impressive. Since November, it has also been operating as a club, adding electronic music parties to the capital's night scene. For a retro vibe, visit Ultraibolya, the new branch of the legendary and much-seen Ibolya Presszó, where you can also get a Tubi soda or a strawberry beer.

Seven Cocktail Bar, the brand bar of the Seven Hills Distillery in Tokaj, has been open since the summer, where one of our favourite bartenders, Richárd Kormos, aka Rico, mixes the best drinks. Macarena Bar was also born in the summer: you can enjoy tapas and cocktails along with hot music. There's no dancing at Sophisto Champagne Bar, but there's bubbly, prosecco, champagne, cava, and sparkling wine guaranteed, bringing something new to the St Stephen's Basilica area. We should also mention Budapest's newest rooftop bar, the White Raven sky bar, which has taken over the roof of the Hilton hotel and offers one of the city's most beautiful views. Speaking of outstanding bars: in the autumn, KAA joined the ranks too. Evoking the mystery of the jungle with thousands of dry plants fixed to the ceiling, you can sip fabulous cocktails and even create your own drink.

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