Once a notorious hangout, Rákóczi tér is now shedding its rough past ready to transform into a vibrant and bohemian district. While the architecture might still hint at its former reputation, the neighbourhood is buzzing with fresh energy and a growing list of hip spots.

Forget fancy boutiques – here you'll find a unique blend of local gems, from trendy cafes to quirky bars, all offering a delicious adventure for your taste buds. Rákóczi tér is definitely on the rise, and now we are showing you around in this up-and-coming area.

Facing the square, head left from the Grand Boulevard, and you'll find a popular bakery, VAJ (meaning 'Butter'). It opened during the pandemic and is known for its sourdough bread, French pastries, and delightful sandwiches. Be prepared for slightly higher prices, but the quality is worth it! Next, head across the boulevard to József körút 35. Here, Petrol Beer & Barbecue offers a taste of American heaven with Texas and Louisiana-inspired dishes, juicy burgers, and refreshing draft beers.

Next, discover a hidden gem: Ké Bolá? This tiny Cuban eatery features delicious and affordable Cuban cuisine. From rich soups and savoury cubano sandwiches to hearty one-pot dishes, prepare to be delighted!

Just around the corner, you'll find Csiga (meaning 'Snail'), a local favourite that's witnessed the transformation of Rákóczi tér. This charming cafe offers eclectic bistro dishes, a budget-friendly lunch menu, and classic coffees. The atmosphere is so inviting, you might just lose track of time!

Opposite Csiga, Rákóczi Restaurant serves popular Hungarian dishes. Craving Mediterranean cuisine? Head across the square to Oinos, where you're in for a fantastic brunch menu, both sweet and savoury options, as well as pasta, pizza, and a great wine selection throughout the day.

Vegans will find their haven on the corner of Dér utca and Víg utca: Szabad Új Hely, the bigger sibling of Szabad Bistro, comes with lots of seats and a wide selection of vegan dishes. Expect a warm atmosphere, generous portions, and innovative vegan creations at reasonable prices.

Pizza lovers rejoice! Pizza Manufaktúra's famous creations are now available near Rákóczi tér. Craving Neapolitan pizza in a casual setting? Moto on the corner of the boulevard and Rákóczi tér has you covered.

For a taste of Central Europe, head to Bohémia pub on Déri Miksa utca with classic Czech beers, sausages, ermines, and a daily menu.

If you're looking for a more modern, multicultural vibe, Vatoz in Német utca is the perfect choice – the tiny Turkish-owned place offers great drinks and exciting cocktails. Macska on Bérkocsis utca carries the spirit of Budapest's ruin pub days, complete with a modern twist. Their delicious drinks and eclectic pub menu keep us coming back for more.

For a cosy Berlin-inspired setting, Hintaló Iszoda awaits with its vast selection of rum, vodka, gin, and whiskey. Need a morning pick-me-up? If fresh sausages elude you at the Rákóczi Square Market Hall, Vaj on the square offers delicious buttered croissants.

(Cover photo: Norbert Juhász – We Love Budapest)