City guide
Rising Districts: Kolosy Square and the surrounding area
Photo : Balkányi László - WLB
Rising Districts: Kolosy Square and the surrounding area

While previously we’ve looked at the rising districts of Bartók Béla Road and Lövőház Street, now we present Kolosy Square and its surrounds. As the gate to the Óbuda district, here there is almost everything you might need: a market, renovated squares and promenades, cafés and restaurants, small shops and plenty of bars. Many places have opened recently in this area, so we’ll try to show you the best spots.

History and renewal of Kolosy Square Where to eat near Kolosy Square Shopping and leisure

History and renewal of Kolosy Square

Relatively few people know that the Square is named after György Kolosy, a revolutionary during Hungary’s revolution against the Habsburgs in 1848. The young lawyer had a serious role in the killing of Lamberg, an Austrian statesman. From Pest he escaped to Transylvania in a woman’s costume, while during the revolution he served as the soldier under Józef Bem. After Hungary’s surrender, he went into hiding before giving himself up to the Austrian authorities. He was executed in 1850 in today’s Szabadság Square, where a military base stood at the time. Today’s Kolosy Square took his name in 1900, until which it had been called Lujza Square.
Some parts of Bécsi Road still have some of that old Óbuda and Újlak mood, but unfortunately the style of the façades at Kolosy Square are predominantly of the somewhat crappy buildings of the 1990s. In one of the supermarkets we even found some columns spray-painted to look metallic. Nonetheless the situation is not that depressing – the promenades are largely built faithful to the classic style.
The reconstruction of the Square and the whole area was finished in 2013 as a part of the Óbuda Promenád programme. Spaces that were once parking spots are now promenades and squares, the streets and the pavements have been fixed. The market was redeveloped too, where we can find restaurants and a travel agency.
  • 1033 Budapest, Fő tér és környéke

Where to eat near Kolosy Square

We start our gastronomy discovery tour at Kolosy Éberesztő. The place primarily offers breakfast; French bakery products, omelettes, sandwiches, Zsusska jams, syrups, Tekeresvölgyi yoghurt and cheeses, freshly pressed vegetable and fruit juices, and Italian coffee. At lunchtime it is worth giving the soups a go. The creator of the place is none other than one of the Zsolt named people behind Szendzso. So it makes sense that everything here is of such high quality. 
The restaurant of Mr. Okuyama is in the same building. It really is hard to find, but the experience makes up for it. Everything we’d thought about sushi changed forever. Okuyama San was born on an island called Hachijō-jimathat currently has about 8000 people living there. He arrived to Budapest via Tokyo and Vienna. A very nice man, who works quietly in the ‘display kitchen’ of the small restaurant, what he makes is without exaggeration a Japanese miracle
His motto is present in the tastes of his traditional cuisine too: ‘Live well, love much, laugh a lot!’ For the appetizer we had shitake mushroom, oyster and sardines simmered in soy sauce, and the main course was a wonderful sushi selection. You might also want to try sardines with vinegar also called ‘dona dona’. He gets the seafood ingredients from Vienna, and prepares them perfectly in his small shop hidden in the yard of a building in Buda.
Photo: Balkányi László - WLB
Udon represents a completely different, but still Asian type cuisine. In this eatery we order the food, that the cooks prepare in a few minutes, technically in front of our eyes, and we can eat our meal at the counter facing the market or take away. As an appetizer we tried the gyoza (Japanese pasta stuffed with pork and vegetables, HUF 700) and the crunchy fried crab with spicy mayonnaise (HUF 800), and for the main course we had udon malay (shitake and shimeji mushrooms, black sesame, Malaysian sauce, HUF 1150). Udon is the perfect choice for those who like Asian food in street food style – fast and easy.
If you want to check the quality of a place with an eastern style kitchen, check out the rice that they make. At Mr. Masala, for example, it is very good. We tried the daily menu, which includes a soup, basmati rice with three types of Indian sauce, and also a freshly baked naan made in a tandoori oven. The version with meat costs 1390 forints, the one without is 1190 forints. This place is always filled with locals who work in the area.
There are many other places in the area: locals love the burgers and sandwiches at Burger’s Bar, the perfect sound of Stereo Chef with its cocktails and grill, and there is also a Bécsi Szelet (literally: ‘Wiener Schnitzel’) diner in the region, for those who would like more traditional flavours. Of course there are also many other patisseries and cafés.
Photo: Balkányi László - WLB
If you don’t necessarily want to eat, but you like the slightly more traditional bars, then try Fapados Poharazó (operating since 1993), Sörpatika (in the street of the market), or Galagonya (surprisingly in Galagonya Street).
Mr. Masala

Shopping and leisure

Of course there are a number of supermarkets in the area, but why would you go there if there is a market nearby. It’s not big, but has the essentials: fresh vegetables, fruits, dairy products, pickles, baked goods and meat.
It is also worth walking in the direction of the amphitheatre for flowers. The soul of the flower shop is Kata Beviz; and it’s possible that nobody knows the area better than she does. Her shop has been at 86 Bécsi Street for 34 years. The shop of, horticulturist turned shopkeeper Kata Virág, is not famous without a reason: kind service, beautiful flowers, exceptional interior; even two diamond doves greet the guests.
If you have a taste for culture, Bookr, might be the perfect choice. The book store is a little out of ordinary, with a relaxed interior design. Amongst the books you can find high literature as well as books about the arts. 
There are enough benches in all the small squares for us to find a seat every time, but at the end of the promenade the amphitheatre provides the most magnificent place for a rest of all. Relaxing in the sun while sitting amongst walls that have been there 2000 years is truly something else!
Photo: Wikipedia
This list could go on, because there are many other places hidden in the area. Everybody’s favourite is different, so it’s worth doing your own tour of the area to see what you can discover. But don’t miss out on the ones mentioned above!
  • 1036 Budapest, Bécsi út 65.