Offering fine Hungarian wines and rare foreign imports, Budapest is full of amazing wine bars just waiting to pour you a glass. With dozens of options to choose from, we selected six spots varied in character – from exposed-brick New York Loft style to outdoor Buda patios surrounded by nature, the choice is yours. Whatever your preference, head out and treat yourself to a taste of autumn!
It’s exactly the question we’re asking! Wine Not? is a fantastic wine bar and shop located in the heart of Budapest, selling a unique selection of Hungarian labels by the bottle or glass. Taste the famous Tokaji dessert wines here, served at the table of the Tsars, and affirmed by Pope Pius X as “such wine that is worthy of the Holy Father”. The menu doesn’t stop there, though – wineries across Hungary are represented here, including Törley, Bock, Holdvölgy, Sebestyén, Bott Frigyes and many, many more. Our favourite detail here is the lighting fixtures: to ruin the surprise, we’ll go ahead and tell you they’re made from – what else? – wine bottles!
District V. Nádor utca 20
Open: Mon-Thur, Sun noon-11pm, Fri-Sat noon-midnight
Beautifully mixing modern and classical, Cintányerós fills a charming corner building on the border of Budapest’s VIII and IX Districts. There’s a piano in one corner with real ebony and ivory keys, alongside decorative iron railings and simple white-washed walls. This is a place for the locals: good food, coffee and pálinka grappa on the menu, and amazing wines pouring at 220 HUF/decilitre. These hail from the Hungarian wine regions of Etyek, Csopak and Szekszárd, while their pálinka also comes from small-batch suppliers.
Doblo Bor & Bár
In the heart of Pest’s Jewish District, Doblo is a laid-back meeting point for locals and visitors alike. Tastefully dimmed lights, exposed brick walls and lit chandeliers give it the feel of a New York City loft, while jazz music plays in the background (sometimes live!). Wines here are provided by notable Hungarian vineyards, while food options include ham, sausage, salami, breads and home-made cheeses. “Probably the best downtown cold plate experience!” they boast. Private wine and pálinka tastings are available through packages, which allow you to choose how many people will attend, and cater the event to your preferences.
KisBécs, or Little Vienna, is an Austrian specialty wine shop, serving ham and cheese in the evening. The café also serves sandwiches and salads, inviting guests to step over the border into Austria for some healthy bites and delicious wines! In pleasant weather, seating is put out on the terrace, providing a particularly romantic setting for wining and dining. Head to Buda’s secluded XII district for this bucolic experience.
DOC Vino Bar
Nip to downtown Arany János utca to sample the first real Italian wine bar in Budapest. Founded in 2014, DOC Vino has been going strong ever since, the name referring to the Italian rules of protection of origin. Some of the wines here include organic options from wineries never before delivered to Hungary. Alongside the wine, DOC Vino has a delicious array of cheeses, hams and pâtés to snack on, and outdoor seating area completes the atmosphere.
Ménesi is a family-run establishment, with more than a hundred kinds of red, white, rosé and sparkling wines from around Hungary. Beer lovers will also find a spot here, as there are over 25 Belgian, American and Czech brews available! A full dinner menu accompanies the wines, including duck and beef burgers, goose liver pâté, chicken salad, cheese selections and just this August, there was a Sushi & Wine night prepared by the in-house chef! Head to Ménesi for a comfortable evening – as they say on their website, “all our guests have a smile!”
District XI Ménesi út 1
Open: Mon-Sat 4-11pm