There are only a few weeks left of summer for you to explore Budapest’s fabulous ice-cream shops. We scoped out everywhere from south Buda to north Pest for you to scoop yourself a helping or two of frosty love.
Artigiana Gelati Fagylaltozó
A real Buda stalwart, Artigiana Gelati has been serving customers for 30 years. They offer more than 20 flavours from classics to specials such as Nutella-banana whipped cream, strawberry cheesecake and marzipan-chocolate. They might give a classic flavour a spin and their alternative, everything-free ice creams for customers with allergies are of equal quality. A few tables inside allow you to enjoy these in-house. Crispy cream sticks come free with every purchase.
District XII. Csaba utca 8
Open: Apr-Nov Tue-Sun 11am-7.30pm
On ever-busy Pozsonyi út, tiny confectionery Cioccolatte is a real gem. On the ice-cream front, much of the technology and ingredients are Italian – and, despite the modest dimensions of the shop, the selection ranges from the classics to new wave. The seasonal fruit ice cream is sourced from domestic small producers, while exciting vegan combinations line the counter, such as green apple-celery and the pink grapefruit-ginger. Expect queues at lunchtime but they’re fast and it’s worth the wait.
District XIII. Pozsonyi út 7
Open: Mon-Thur & Sun noon-8pm, Fri-Sat noon-9pm
This heavenly ice-cream parlour on downtown Arany János utca offers the classic cone experience, their specialities pre-scooped. Cloud 9 appeals to anyone who loves unusual flavour combinations such as blackcurrant-yoghurt-violet or mango-coconut. Dried fruit and various tasty wafers extend this experience into a whole dessert — the selection changes every two weeks.
District V. Arany János utca 15
Open: Mon-Thur & Sun 11am-8.30pm, Fri-Sat 11am-9.30pm
Located in the last remaining house of historic Tabán, the atmospheric Buda quarter knocked down between the wars, Czakó Kert is a small manor house in the heart of Buda. Ten minutes from the city centre, Czakó is bistro, produce market and confectionery in one, with quality as the cornerstone throughout – including the ice cream. For the most part, they sell classic fruit flavours, using only natural ingredients, made in-house with what is considered the best ice-cream machine in Hungary. The chocolate one is created with Valrhona, and there are lactose-free versions also available. The two favourites are mango and pistachio.
District I. Czakó utca 15
Open: market day, Sat 8am-2pm
Here, divine, authentic Italian gelato comes in flavors such as gorgonzola or dill-cottage cheese, allowing ice-cream aficionados to take a step beyond. If you’re not sure, they give you a teaspoonful for you to try before you buy. The basic flavours are delicious too, chocolate, vanilla, coffee, salted-peanut: they are almost always available, but the range changes all the time, and is posted on their Facebook page. Ask for extra chocolate sauce!
District VI. Szív utca 26
Open: Mon-Fri & Sun noon-8pm. Sat closed. Weather may affect opening hours.
Erdős és fiai Cukrászda
This ice-cream firm at Etele tér is an oasis of delight in Újbuda. Erdős és fiai (‘Erdős and Sons’) has a wide variety of primary flavours, but their strong suit is recreating desserts and pastries as ice creams. Their Oreo and Erdős cake flavours are particular favourites. They also experiment with strange and surprising ones such as wasabi-white chocolate and basil-tomato sorbet. Their huge range changes every two weeks.
District XI. Etele tér 3
Open: Mon 10am-8pm, Tue-Fri 8am-8pm, Sat-Sun 9am-8pm
Fagyi. at Boráros tér is a labour of love created by a confectioner and her Italian husband. They wanted to their children to have quality ice cream after running around the playground so they opened a whole shop dedicated to it. Fagyi stocks almost 100 flavours, from the most basic to surprising ones such as liquorice – the choice is extensive.
District IX. Boráros tér 7
Open: Mon-Thur 10am-7pm, Fri 10am-8pm, Sat-Sun 11am-8pm
Decent ice cream is not just found downtown – family-run confectionary Fazekas provides living proof in District XVI. Here, Ádám Fazekas makes the icy treats while his brother is responsible for the pastries. They don’t compromise on quality or use any enhancers or preservatives. One speciality is the all-organic ice cream, poured into a cone.
District XVI. Csömöri út 209
Open: Mon-Fri noon-8pm, Sat-Sun 10am-8pm
Fragola – Ráday utca
Ever since its opening, Fragola on Ráday utca has maintained high standards of top-quality scooped ice cream. Each Fragola outlet has a speciality – here, it’s seasonal novelties and gluten- and lactose-free options. The Ráday shop is also close to our hearts because they serve ice cream in a paper cup for frosty pleasure on the hoof. Fragola’s Nutella and creamy pistachio flavours are unmissable.
District IX. Ráday utca 14
Open: daily 11am-8pm. Weather may affect opening hours.
Steps away from the Basilica, Gelarto Rosa offers one of the city’s most exciting range of ice creams – and fashioned in a highly aesthetic form of a rose, hence the name. The selection changes weekly and seasonally. There’ll be a long queue outside, a sure sign of quality, but if you’re in a hurry, head for their sister outlet in Hercegprímás utca or the Gelarto Bistro, both also nearby, where you shouldn’t have to wait so long. Vegan ice creams and lunch menus available.
District V. Szent István tér 3
Open: daily 10am-11pm
In the middle of June, on the corner of Kossuth Lajos utca and Városház utca, the ice-cream empire of gelato master Balázs Damniczi planted its first flag – or rather, replanted, as it’s been a year since he moved out of his eponymous store near Szabadság tér. Customers can choose from 24 flavours of ice cream, in a cone or a paper cup. Many are also sugar-free. The house specialities are buttered corn, maracuja and iced-coffee. But with 60 types of base ingredient, all kinds of novelties may appear at the counter.
District V. Kossuth Lajos utca 4
Open: daily 11am-10pm
Gelateria Pomo D’Oro
The ice cream outlet at Gianni’s renowned Pomo D’Oro restaurant was probably one of the first where you could get two flavours for the price of one scoop. In addition, because of the special variety here, it’s recommended that you taste a teaspoonful before they slap said scoop into your cone. Operates until 9 o’clock in the evening, great if you’re out and about and just need that ice-cream fix.
District V. Arany János utca 12
Open: daily 11.30am-9pm
A family business based in Tápiószercső, Hisztéria Cremeria has been in the capital since 2016. This sleek, new-wave, minimalist confectionery offers 20-plus flavours, all made from quality organic ingredients. Each measure is carefully weighed out into a cone or paper cup. The Belgian chocolate syrup and the wafers are must-haves to accompany your choice.
District VI. Andrássy út 44
Open: daily 10am-10pm
I Love Gelato
On Mester utca, two half-Italian brothers make spectacular gelato. Customers love their own original varieties – so much so, that they turn their noses up at the traditional classics. The guys therefore experiment with spectacular flavours such as the cheese-based salty variety. Their pistachio sorbet doesn’t contain milk, but 90% Italian pistachio. I Love Gelato is worth visiting out of season and they also make pastries and pizzas.
District IX. Mester utca 40
Open: Summer daily 10am-8pm. Winter daily 10am-7pm
The pretty Buda park of Városmajor is a wise choice to locate an ice-cream outlet – which is exactly why the team from Kő fagyi? at Mindszentkálla moved here. The original operation earned its reputation in the Balaton Uplands thanks to classic flavours such as poppy, walnut and peach, and extras like pumpkin-seed and Amarena cherry. Plans at Kell fagylalt? also call for a number of urban creations, which may then be introduced in Mindszentkála, and Balaton faves here on Maros utca. If you’re in a hurry, you don’t even have to wait in the shop – there’s a little car outside with a smaller selection for swift sales.
District XII. Maros utca 17
Open: daily 11am-8pm
Málna, the Pastry Shop
Following the closure of the revered Zazzy, the former master confectioner at Gerbeaud, Zoltán Kolonics, has quickly found his new home at Málna. The focus here is on pastries, but those with an even sweeter tooth can order the house ice cream served from metal cauldrons. They do nothing fancy with the flavours – Málna doesn’t feel the need to follow the latest trend for curious combinations. They also provide whipped cream instead of chocolate syrup as a topping.
District III. Bécsi út 57-61
Open: Wed-Sun 10am-6pm
MAMO Gelato - Ráday utca
The original outlet of this Italian ice-cream outlet was on Ráday utca, but you can now also find their iced desserts in Buda, on Kőrössy Csoma utca by the Allee mall, and even at street-food hub Karaván in summer. At least a quarter of the 24 types of ice cream available here are fruit sorbets, so even those who can’t eat traditional milky ice cream can order away in peace. In addition to traditional cones, you can also ask for ice cream in a brioche or squeezed between two biscuits, with no extra charge for the sweet variety.
District IX. Ráday utca 24
Open: Mon-Thur, Sun noon-9pm, Fri-Sat noon-10pm
Ágnes Németh is behind this ice-cream shop at Hűvösvölgy. The choice of location is no coincidence. She believes that people will go anywhere for good ice cream and she’s not wrong. This positive approach has made Minus11 one of the best ice-cream outlets in town. Ten kinds of flavours are available, all unique if simple flavours. Ágnes also adopts an environmentally friendly approach, providing eco-friendly cups for takeaway purchase.
District II. Máriaremetei út 70B
Open: Mon-Fri noon-8pm, Sat-Sun 11am-8pm
Sütizz in Őrmező is far from the crowded city centre but their French and contemporary Hungarian pastries and gelato make it worth the trek. Three of their cakes are even available in ice-cream form. Besides the essential flavours, they offer curiosities such as lime-poppyseed and blueberry-gorgonzola. The cones (with gluten-free options) are made in and delivered all the way from Pécs.
District XI. Csárda utca 1
Open: Tue-Fri noon-6pm, Sat-Sun 10am-7pm