We just cannot say no to a glass of fine wine. Fortunately, we can taste more and more excellent Hungarian wines in Budapest, but we go weak when talking about real French champagne, as well - and there is no shortage of either one. Good wine brings people together. Therefore, many in the catering trade, and even passionate wine fans think that opening a wine bar is definitely worth it. The trend is not new, but since it came in, numerous new wine bars, champagne bars, wine shops, restaurants with extensive wine lists, and other wine-related places popped up all around Budapest. This is our wine panorama in the spring of 2014.
Budapest's newest fizzy place opened in March, at Madách Square. Ideal location to refresh ourselves before our evening programs, let them those be a theatre performance, concert, or opera piece. If we feel curious and want to know more about the fizzy drinks, we can also choose from different tasting kits: we can taste local, bottle-fermented sparking wine and champagne, compare the champagne of France's three wine regions, and get to know the unique style of different houses. In addition, the delicious morsels are Magos Zoltán's work, and the Adamdesign Interior Design Studio planned the place's design.
Address: Budapest, Madách tér 5.
Reservation: +36 20 3402930
ZIZI Bubbles & Tapas Bar
The first themed champagne bar in Budapest, as well as in the whole country. The name is suggestive: the place is centered about bubbles and tapas, the latter being authentic and selected by regions. In ZIZI we get a long list of the selectable sparkling drinks, from Hungária Extra Dry to Laurrent Perrier and Louis Roederer Cristal. The menu catalogs all quality Hungarian sparkling and foaming wine, and the tapases are made following the traditions of the Spanish cuisine.
ZIZI Bubbles & Tapas Bar (closed)
Address: 1051 Budapest, 12 Hercegprímás Street
Champagne and culture fizzle similarly in here. Even though their foaming wines moved to Kertész Street's Dauer Bar, other champagnes, Hungarian craft wines and extracts, the fresh daily menu, original Italian pizzas, and the bubbly décor stayed behind the counter.
Address: 1065 Hajós Street 15.
Reservation: +36 1 705 7329
A hidden little wine bar in the 13th district. They exhibit the works of local artists with the motto 'wine and pictures - pictures and wine, culture and delights - relaxation and immersion'. It is a friendly, always-open place that welcomes all wine and art lovers. As a ponus, it is also a Terra Hungarica wine spot.
Address: 1122 Hajnóczy József Street 21.
Finally, a cool wine bar in Buda! Szalonspicc has roughly sixty different kinds of wine and fifteen types of champagne and sparkling wine. Most of the wines come from Hungarian producers, but for the world-drinker guests can taste a variety of French, Spanish, Italian, Chilean and even products from New Zealand. They also offer champagnes, foaming wines and other alcoholic drinks. In addition to the delicious beverages they serve gourmet food that fits perfectly with the wines. A friendly place, perfect for a glass of wine and some snacks, even during the day.
Doblo Bor & Bár
Doblo is a wine bar in the 7th district, on the corner of Dob and Holló Street. in addition to bigger breweries' wines, they also have craft and bio wines and lesser-known, young Hungarian brewers' wines. Their specialty is that they have smaller bands perform in the bar on almost every day of the week, and occasionally hold wine tastings. Their cheese and meat plates include only homemade, traditionally smoked delicacies, with Vecsés pickles and old-fashioned breads. Doblo is a natural, friendly, honest, accepting, and truly unique place. Plus, they do home delivery.
A piece of Tuscany in Budapest. L'enoteca welcomes its guests on the Duna shore with a Mediterranean style, Italian atmosphere, and about 300 kinds of Italian, Hungarian, and international wines. On the wine menu, we can find products from smaller, lesser-known breweries as well as from famous brewers. In addition to the wines, there is Tuscan cheese, ham, salami, and antipasti, and if we are really hungry, we might request something from Trattoria Toscana's menu. Now we can even sit on the terrace with a glass of tasty wine and admire the panoramic view.
Address: 1056 Budapest, Belgrád Quay 13.
Reservation: +36 1 486 1665
DiVino - Bazilika
DiVino is one of the oldest players on the local wine field. It is arguably the most popular wine bar in Budapest, from spring 'till fall. Many visit the place because of its atmosphere and do not know what is in their glasses, but DiVino is much more than just a trendy bar. They describe themselves with the word 'Hungarian wines from young ruffians to cool youngsters'. Of course, they do not serve young people only, since their audience varies in age. They only sell Hungarian wines, and allied with the Junibor Association (association of young brewers under 35, children of famous brewer families, and young talents), they thrive to introduce the members' wines to the public. We can taste more than 120 kinds of wine, and every other week there is a chance to meet our favorite brewers, too. Their newest unit opened in Gozsdu Udvar last year, and we can meet them at different festivals as well.
Innio Restaurant & Bar (Closed)
Innio offers 500 wines from 5 continents and 14 countries. In addition to whites and reds, the wine-tuned foods play a strong role as well: the kitchen, using quality ingredients only, is characterized by creativity and innovation. This wine bar is a passageway in the 5th district for 200-minute dinners and 60-minute drinking sessions.
Drop Shop opened among the first ones, three years ago in Budapest. Every wine has its own story, and these unique, sometimes surreal stories always get told here. The wine menu changes every day (sometimes in the middle of the day), and we can choose from about 60 kinds of wine. Italian, Spanish and Hungarian champagnes are the ones in focus, but we can ask for some pálinka, too, if that is what we are thirsty for. For the tasting, we get ham and cheese, olives, fresh Panini, and a daily recommendation from the staff. Drop Shop, as the name suggests, is not just a wine bar, but a wine shop as well. We can drop by for a bottle even in the evening, or can order from their website.
MÁK's wine selection is one of the most outstanding ones in Budapest, listing about 100-140 kinds of wine, constantly updated according to season and newly discovered items. They like to hunt for unique, limited wines and thrive to assemble a selection honourable on an international level. They hold priority to domestic wines, sometimes focusing on specific regions' grape varieties. At these times, they have an additional recommendation next to the usual wine menu. Recently, there has been a Mád and Pannonhalom week, and they plan on doing a Mór wine week soon as well. The new lunch menu includes a free glass of wine that they offer to guests in association with Bortársaság.
Andante Wine Bar
Andante Wine Bar is a wine shop, bar and restaurant all in one, at Buda's Danube shore. Wine lovers can expect to live big here and eat fine foods while gulping their favourite beverages. Guests can choose from a short but refined menu, focusing on wines and wine tastings, so in addition to the main meals, we can also order cheese, cold cuts and other wine biscuits. They also organize special wine dinners.
From local high-end restaurants', ZONA's wine selection is definitely one of our favourites. They have more than 200 kinds of Hungarian and foreign quality wines, even though Hungarian ones were more in focus lately. In the wine menu, we can find the best representative of each region. In addition to the basic offers, there are special wines every month with wine tastings and a guest brewer to introduce their work. Currently, the weeks of five countries' pinot noirs are about to close, and next week the Hungarian wine types' month will start.We tasted some fine wines in these restaurants as well:
Bortársaság - Lánchíd
If you do not have the time or inclination to go out for the evening, drop by one of Bortásaság's shops - you will most definitely find a wine ideal for your mood and wallet. I you do not know much about wines, the shop clerks will be more than happy to help out, too. There are seven shops in Budapest, and four more in the countryside's big cities. Their website is worth following as well, since they upload every novelty and wine tasting dates, and it is also possible to order the wine online.