Coffeehouses constantly keep popping up in Budapest, turning the Hungarian capital into a haven for java junkies. From Budapest’s tiniest café to gourmet specialty hangouts to a chic French-styled bijou bar, a wide variety of new coffee shops opened during this past year citywide, welcoming us to sip on cupfuls of tasty black gold while further enhancing Budapest’s long-established coffee culture. Below we present eight great cafés launched in 2016 around the Magyar metropolis.
During the current specialty-coffee craze, it might seem a daring move to open a coffeehouse that offers regular coffee concoctions. However, Apricot –which opened during the summer at Budapest’s beautiful Palotanegyed neighborhood in District VIII – makes such delicious medium-roast coffee blends that they always entice coffee lovers inside for a tasty black. Their espresso and flat white are creamy and citrusy at the same time, and are made of 100% Arabica beans imported from three countries – Burundi, Guatemala, and Colombia. They make their concoctions as precisely as at a specialty café; the 8-9 types of beans are roasted at Kávékalmár in Szentendre, are left to rest for 8 days, and are used up within a month, ensuring truly aromatic and tasty cupfuls.
Address: Budapest 1088, Bródy Sándor u. 17 Facebook
Café Flore evokes the atmosphere of the land of lavender at Hattyú Street 2 in District I, providing a view to the narrow twisting streets of the Buda side. The interior of Flora’s French-styled café is elegant and chic; the sleek pastel colors were matched to the faded-mint-colored coffee machine. The menu changes seasonally, but we can pamper our taste buds with tasty coffees, and devour tasteful Tarte Tatins made with Flóra’s family recipes any time of the year. Between 8am-11:45am they serve breakfast, between 12pm-3pm salads and patés await visitors for lunch, and between 15pm-9pm cheese plates and salads are paired with delicious Hungarian wines here.
Strolling on Óbuda’s cobblestoned Fő Square, a truly tiny booth in the middle of the square catches our eyes. This bite-sized building was a former gas-transfer station; however, in May of 2016, it opened its green gates as a miniature coffee shop serving steaming specialty coffee concoctions, along with ice cream and cold beer in the summer that we can savor while sitting outside on the terrace. During the colder months, Gázlámpa Kioszk is adorned with multiple illuminated light-garlands that brighten up wintry nights in Budapest, and awaits visitors with tasty hot tipples and pálinka.
At Kaffeine, the irresistible cupfuls are made on a Black Eagle, which is considered to be the “king of coffee machines”, while the British Has Bean Coffee brand surprises guests with special flavors every week; on Wednesdays, Dávid the owner picks out beans he would like to see in his grinders, which then get roasted on Thursday in England, and arrive to Kaffeine by Monday. This means that we find different coffees in one of the grinders every week, while the other one always holds ‘Magyar Evolúció‘ (translation: Hungarian Evolution) for those who long for classic Italian flavors and a stronger taste. In the summer, guests can enjoy warm rays of sunshine while sitting on the terrace, while in the winter, a huge window provides a view to the street from the cozy warmth of Kaffeine.
In the autumn, a four-membered family worked hard with their hands to launch London Coffee Society, a specialty café with an industrial interior. Wooden surfaces, exposed bricks, the awakening aroma of coffee, and Brew – the family’s French bulldog – welcome visitors here, who can enjoy strong sips of double or filter coffees, as well as savory sandwiches filled with Serrano ham, chorizo, or avocado, along with mouthwatering cakes, creamy banana bread filled with mascarpone, French pastries (such as almond croissant), and homemade yogurts, all to be enjoyed while gazing out the huge glass window and watching the people of Dohány Street pass by.
Széll Kálmán Square has long lacked a cozy hangout where we can sit down and take a break from our bustling day. Now that mókusch houses a homey breakfast café and deli under the same roof, we can cozy up for a while here, enjoying a palatable cup of coffee, a beer pretzel, a sandwich, or a slice of cake made according to the recipes of the owner, Krisztina, while letting our eyes wander around the witty DIY ambience. Mókusch is a truly lovely place; the name was inspired by the nickname of the family’s grandmother, old family photos adorn the walls, and the coffee and cakes are great. And if after such an adorable experience you cannot really make yourself leave, you can take a bit of this place with you, choosing something from the selection of delicious produce in the deli counter.
Budapest’s Vörösmarty Cinema was built in 1935; however, in 2014 it was sadly shut down. Fortunately, in March 2016, it reopened again, giving home to a truly special and heartwarming hangout, Premier Kultcafé, Europe’s largest disabled-friendly community center with large-scale cinema facilities, which actively hires people with disabilities. This cozy café serves Hungary’s cherished Cserpes products, so guests can enjoy savory sandwiches, yogurts, cakes, and cacao while spending some time at this extraordinary café amid a friendly and adorable atmosphere.
On the first floor of the Batthyány Square Market Hall, an industrial-looking specialty café has been hiding since July, providing picturesque views to the Parliament and to the Danube Promenade. Steamhouse Café’s team is made up of true coffee addicts who regularly hold coffee meetups, where they reveal the secrets of baristas and cupping to visitors. In one of the coffee grinders of Steamhouse Café we always find a less-acidic hazelnutty and earthy Brazilian variation for those who find specialty coffees too sour, while in the other grinder the aromatic specialty coffee beans constantly vary. Furthermore, they also provide fresh croissants and brownies made on the spot, as well as savory sandwiches made with French baguette.