Here’s where to find greenery, shade, great eats and divine drinks around Budapest when it’s scorching outside!
Italian and homemade – favourite characteristics for many when it comes to food. Alessio has been open in leafy, residential Pasarét for ten years with an absolutely customer-focused approach, a family atmosphere and a lovely garden area. Bringing original Italian cuisine to life, the dishes are all made with impeccable ingredients, fresh. Their pasta is made locally, and their pizzas are fashioned from original Italian ingredients, including the gluten-free versions. Fresh fish, shellfish, whole octopus, lamb and veal liver add colour to the menu. The eye-catching wine selection is mostly Hungarian, and you can also find items by particular artisanal winemakers. The terrace is quiet and shaded, and your four-legged companion is welcome, too.
WLB tip: Their iconic dish is sizzling chili prawns, and the calamari fritti is a must!
Budai Gesztenyés Nagyvendéglő
Founded in 1902, this storied Buda restaurant offers a cosy garden area and spacious interior courtyard. A constantly rotating, seasonal menu entices diners. It’s just a little outside the centre, but those who make the trek are well-rewarded, and it’s a nice break from the inner city. The menu is mainly Hungarian, interspersed by a few selections inspired by international cuisine.
Budapest Garden is located within a veritable recreation complex, where you can while away a few hours or dedicate the whole weekend, either way. From cheap eats at the food trucks to the diverse range of drinks, there’s everything you need in one spot. Sometimes a free, open-air cinema is set up, alongside the volleyball court. The several bars have different themes, allowing you to go from beer to spritzer to cocktails, while menu selections also vary, from Deep Burger hamburgers to empanadas, pizza, breaded chicken and ice cream. You can even cook your own food here, with barbecues you can hire. The actively-minded can run off their lunch on the football court or bicycle track.
This tiny downtown oasis is found between its larger counterpart Csendes and urban park Károlyi-kert. Csendes Társ is a good choice even on the hottest of summer days, as there’s always a pleasant breeze under its shadowy trees, making it the perfect location for a cold beer or a glass of wine after work. Despite its size, you can choose from hundreds of wines here, as well as plenty of simple, accompanying dishes. When the night falls, the green chairs and the shadows dancing in the candlelight conjure a romantic vibe.
Hidden in one of the oldest houses in the historic Buda quarter of Tabán, the Czakó Kert was turned into a one-of-a-kind, rustic yet modern open-air hangout from a former farmhouse. The rural atmosphere is elevated by sliding glass walls, as well as metal architectural elements. Upon entering, visitors find a confectionery and a bistro offering quality seasonal dishes. The garden is host to a farmers’ market on Saturdays, where you can find fresh merchandise by small-batch producers and organic farms.
The District VII fixture of Grandio brings a jungle-like vegetation and a back-to-nature vibe to Nagy Diófa utca. If you want to go back to your wilder youth or college days, then Grandio is the perfect choice. You’re not here to sample the latest natural wine or artisanal gins, but if you’re just looking for an honest glass or two of draught beer and a decent burger or quesadilla in a cosy downtown garden, this is just the place for you.
Haris Park – Bobo Restaurant
Opened in 2019, Haris Park is a multi-functional event complex a short walk from busy Széll Kálmán tér, with a diverse restaurant, an elegant bar, superb greenery and a ballroom where Habsburg Empress Sissi once waltzed. Out of all of the many places nearby, the garden area of the Bobo Restaurant is definitely the superior option. The garden is ideal for lunch or dinner, but gin and wine presentations, literary presentations, yoga classes and pop-up picnics are also common. The restaurant serves the traditional flavours of the Habsburg era with additional international flavours. The drinks list is also ambitious, comprising excellent Hungarian and international wines.
Jardinette puts the jardin into garden, with lush ferns, laurel, hydrangeas, blackberry bushes and other greenery completing the atmosphere, with beautiful old trees surrounding it all. In the cooler months, a cosy, glass-walled conservatory allows guests to maintain the feel of the outdoors, but in summer you can truly enjoy the open air. The food menu is full of sophisticated Hungarian dishes, alongside a seasonal grill menu and other great options like honey-mustard fried salmon.
There are few more appetising scenes in Hungarian film history than when Zoltán Latinovits tucks into bone marrow in Szindbád. The mouth-watering feasts are recurring motifs of the colourful and expressive works of novelist Gyula Krúdy, and the writer himself gladly and regularly succumbed to the pleasures of that signature dish, the drink and surroundings of the this very Kéhli restaurant in Óbuda. On the menu here, you can still find several traditional Hungarian dishes which made Szindbád froth at the mouth, and the walls are decorated with Krúdy’s eloquent lines. And the small inner garden still exudes a magical atmosphere of Krúdy’s world.
A Kert Bisztró
The Pest side has slightly fewer noteworthy garden venues than Buda does, but A Kert Bisztró in Zugló is a stylish, cosy and well-shaded haven where you can sip on cool fruit juices and lemonades on sizzling hot summer days. Once a wine house, it has been turned into a trendy and modern eatery, with a special menu that can best be described as fine bistro. The meals are affordable, with a diverse selection of grilled foods and business lunch menu options. A Kert Bisztró is lined by age-old trees from the neighbouring gardens, which provide a cool shade in summer.
Close to Királyhágó tér behind a busy Buda transport hub, ‘Little Vienna’ is a very lovely fusion of a niche boutique specialising in Austrian wines and breakfast room. In this small garden, you will find great dishes for the morning, excellent tipples and fine sandwiches in the afternoon, imaginative salads and snacks. Although only a few minutes from Déli station, this garden opens onto one of the quiet sidestreets of District XII, so tranquillity is guaranteed as you sip and nibble.
In (and around) the former transformer house at the gates of Városmajor operates one of the most popular pubs in leafy Buda, Majorka. In the summer, the trees outside provide welcome shade under which you can enjoy cold drinks, while the cogwheel train sets off alongside. Cheerful strings of light twinkle above the gravel floor, and a projection screen is lowered on match days. Drinks are – unsurprisingly – at Buda prices, but the buffalo chicken wings and French fries are pleasantly inexpensive. An ideal location to begin any evening or to sip coffee in the afternoon.
Massolit Books & Café
Deep in District VII is the most secret garden of all: a little corner of greenery, Massolit Books & Café is the ideal place to settle down for a coffee or snack, book in hand. Large trees in the back garden show us what a verdant city we could potentially live in, if only the town planners had thought to plant a few more trees over the years! The houses surrounding Massolit are also lush with greenery, creating a harmonious atmosphere of calm and tranquillity to spend a few hours lounging beneath the trees.
Opened in a former Capuchin Monastery, Moné combines a hotel, restaurant and garden in a historical setting, with modern design and Hungarian cuisine. Moné Garden is a separate entity within the elegant complex, offering excellent drinks, BBQ as well as dishes with meat, fish or completely meat-free options to choose from. The green, sunlit and ambient garden is surrounded by tall, ivy-covered stone walls to provide maximum tranquillity, where you can hide from the world to enjoy a fine meal. Breakfast options are also now available.
Proving that Hungarian creativity knows no bounds, Pagony was converted from one of the children’s pools at the famed Gellért Baths complex. Where there was once water is now an alfresco dining space where you can now enjoy breakfast, lunch or dinner made of seasonal ingredients, along with coffee and Czech beers, in a unique setting. It’s particularly recommended for hot summer days, as it’s always a bit cooler on Gellért Hill than in the crowded city centre. It’s not only a great place for a date or a get-together with friends, but children are sure to relish the experience, too.
Vakvarjú Beach Bistro - Kopaszi gát
When the heat is on, it’s always best to be by the water – and Kopaszi-gát is one of the most pleasant places in the city anyway for a bit of sunbathing, badminton or a bike ride in green surroundings. VakVarjú Beach, as its name suggests, wants to convey the atmosphere of the seaside, so the menu adapts accordingly with retro-tinged dishes such as burgers or grilled Balkan ćevapčići. You can accompany it with homemade lemonade, refreshing cordials or classic cocktails, and there’s also a wide range of gins and tonics.