Deák tér is the intersection of metro, bus, and tram lines – the perfect meeting point. It's where locals stand waiting for their dates, neck a pint before a concert at Akvárium Klub, and immerse themselves in the vibrant city life. But what do you do when you are craving a quick grub or a sweet treat in the rush? Or if you just want to sit down somewhere and crack a cold beer open? Here's your guide on avoiding tourist traps and low-quality pubs and finding the hidden gems in the busiest part of town!

Deák Ferenc tér / Fashion Street

There was a time when a small McDonald's was the closest meeting point for local patriots, but fortunately, local (faster, but still human-scale) chains have also moved into the square. Examples include the pizza slice bar Pizza Me, just opposite the metro exit, and Bamba Marha, a classic for burger fans. As well as the usual choices, it's always worth checking out the monthly specials. Turning onto Sütő utca, the milkbar Cserpes Tejivó is a good option for some old-school treats. Even though it's a bustling shop, you can never go wrong with a cocoa drink and a pastry or grilled sandwich at a fair price. If you keep going, you'll soon bump into the city's hippest burger spot, Simon's Burger, which is also referred to as the 'Hungarian Five Guys'. A few steps away from here, next to Városháza Park, lies the Staropramen Pub, where the good old pub atmosphere permeates every inch.

If you're looking for a quality restaurant on Fashion Street, the Italian Ottimoat The Ritz-Carlton or the ÉS Bisztró, which is now fully integrated with the Kempinski, is the place to go. The building is also home to Blue Fox The Bar, famous for its fabulous cocktails, and NOBU, part of one of the world's best-known fusion Asian restaurant chains. The latter is better recommended for celebrations and memorable occasions.

Bécsi utca

A little further on, the road crosses a nearby section of Bécsi utca, which has developed to mainly be full of Asian spots. Right here is the familiar Oriental Soup House (OSHO), which fills up with office workers sipping hot pho at lunchtime. Vin.Vin City is also a good lunchtime spot, waiting for us on the corner. So is Quán Nón, if you're after some Vietnamese soup or meal. Returning to Szervita tér, for breakfast, coffee and brunch we recommend À la Maison. Opposite, at the bottom of the fairly new glass palace, you'll find Steam, complete with a pleasant terrace.

József Attila utca

The arcades of József Attila utca leave room for improvement and the opposite side is mostly only filled with questionable souvenir shops. There are, however, one or two restaurants worth mentioning, such as the Indigo Express on the corner, where you can get a quick Indian meal. The premises at the corner of Erzsébet tér and József Attila utca have homed many different venues so far but Gin Corner Bar has been a steady spot for some time now, and it (also) offers the world's best juniper spirit.

Paulay Ede utca

Across the road, on the first part of the long Paulay Ede utca, you'll find the crowd-favourite VakVarjú. Book a table here if you are after Hungarian specialities, as hearty flavours will welcome you. The restaurant is family-friendly, boasting a children's corner. While on this street, also pop into Boutiq'Bar, the city's best-known cocktail bar, which set off the best bartenders in Hungary and previously unknown cocktail creations.

Anker köz and the first section of Király utca

MADHOUSE has seen a lot of action in Anker köz, where it has been a stable and popular player for some time, with a food menu as impressive as its mind-blowing local craft beers. We recommend it for evening cocktails and big friendly gatherings. We also have Gringos Amigos here, the long-standing sanctuary of the burrito-quesadilla-taco trinity, where you can have a quick, substantial meal.

Belvárosi Disznótoros, the must-go lunch spot on Király utca, always has long queues in front of it. But it's worth the wait: you can select your own roasts, grilled meats, single-course meals, and a multitude of cold-cooked products with mayonnaise, as well as salads and pickles. A new addition on the street is Joe&Fredo, with its square doughnuts, where you can also pick up sweet pastries to go. At Central Passage, REBEL Burger is for carnivores while Vegan Garden aims at vegans with its plant-based meals. For both, stop by hummusbar and ease your hunger with a filling shakshouka or the city's beloved falafel.

Madách Imre út

You can also walk to one of the busiest parts of the area, which has been booming since 2013: Madách tér. There was a time when everyone wanted to open a street food place here, which shows in the diversity. Whether it's breakfast, lunch, or late-night drinking, Keksz is a reliable spot, with its youthful and fuss-free vibes. Across the street, you'll find the beer bar and kitchen of Hungarian brewery FIRST. Next in line is the French à table!, with breakfasts, buttered pastries, and desserts, followed by the amazing Greek street food, the very first restaurant of the Blue Agori. From souvlaki to gyros, you won't be disappointed. Veterans include My Little Melbourne, serving speciality coffee alongside flaky pastries. Next to it is a tiny Mexican street food stall called Papitos and the list is rounded off by the cult-house-turned-Központ, where you can always enjoy a good wine spritzer, beer, wine, rum, and music.

Crossing Rumbach Sebestyén utca, you immediately come across the Neapolitan pizza spot Moto Pizza, located in one of the most lovable spaces in the square. They're a good place to chill: the pizza is great, and so is the vibe. Just one step away is TELEP, a great place to catch up, and, if you're lucky, some good music will accompany the conversation and drinks. If you're going for a more special cocktail rather than the average long drinks, Barside can help you with that: they'll prepare anything you fancy on top of their current drinks menu. They're very near Hivatal, the smallest and friendliest pub in the square. There's literally no one who hasn't wondered how can its loo be so tiny. However, size doesn't matter, especially in their case: they shape the community of the area.