In the heart of the bygone Austro-Hungarian empire on the banks of the Danube river, the twin cities of Buda and Pest, much like their imperial sister Vienna, are a classic coffee destination. Regal coffee houses bedecked in gold, mahogany and crystal, have dominated Budapest’s cultural scene for centuries. But these days, an array of cool new cafes is giving the more established institutions a run for their money. Any travel guide could point you towards such famous coffee houses as Centrál Cafe and Ruszwurm, but the newer spots are harder to seek out.
The following list of cafes in Budapest leads you through the lesser-known treasures the modern coffee scene has to offer.
Photo courtesy of Espresso Embassy.
1. Espresso Embassy
No plush red seats or glinting gold chandeliers of the old world coffee houses here: Espresso Embassy is all sleek black and timber fixtures and stripped-back brick walls. But this chic little cafe doesn’t just look the part; it follows through with some of the best coffee in town.
Photo courtesy of Goamama Coffee
2. Goamama Coffee
If Espresso Embassy is sleek, Goamama Coffee is quaint. The space is decorated with lettering on the walls, delicate lace light fixtures and communal tables befitting of a country cottage. The pastries are buttery and flaky, the juices are freshly pressed and the lattes are creamy and delicious. In short, at Goa Mama is everything cosy and warm and good.
Photo courtesy of Blue Bird Cafe.
3. Bluebird Cafe
New to the Pest dining scene, Bluebird Cafe boasts a vibrant, multi-colored space and rich, house-roasted beans. Tucked down an alley way, away from idle passersby, Bluebird needs to be sought out. But it’s well worth the extra effort to find this little spot.
Photo courtesy of Tamp and Pull.
4. Tamp & Pull
With its rustic English name and artisanal pour over practices, Tamp & Pull is one of the most charming coffee spots in Budapest. All manner of cone filters and decanters are scattered about the place and vintage coffee bean and botanical posters line the walls. For Tamp & Pull, coffee is a delicate science, but the way they serve it up is more of an art.
Photo courtesy of Gemma King.
5. My Little Melbourne
As a native Melbournian, there was no way I wasn’t going to include this tiny little Pest café on this list. After two years of living in France and the USA, passing My Little Melbourne on a quiet street was a welcome pleasure. The references to koalas and beaches in the wall decorations may be a little cheesy, but the ambiance is still lovely and the coffee is worth of any fine Melbourne cafe.
Do you have a favorite cafe in Budapest? Please share in the comments below.
-By Gemma King
Top Photo courtesy of PondPond via Shutterstock.