Mokka Cafe and Restaurant in Budapest City Center

Mokka Cafe and Restaurant is one of the restaurants in Budapest recommended by Michelin guide. Its style is trendy-elegant ‘ethno-eclectic’ combining African-Mediterranean colors and elements. But it’s also ethno-eclectic in its cuisine in a sense that the restaurant is striving to create its own Mokka versions of international and Hungarian dishes with a modern flair. Sommelier helps you to pick wines. Pricey.

Mokka Cafe and Restaurant in Budapest downtown

Address: Sas utca 4., Budapest 1051
Phone: 00-36-1-328-0081
Opening hours: (lunch and dinner) Mon-Sun 12:00-24:00
Getting here:

  • metro (all lines) Deák tér station
  • tram/streetcar: number 2,

See the location of Mokka Cafe and Restaurant on the Budapest Tourist Map (check the knife and fork map icon in the middle, and click on the icons to learn more about the neighboring places of interest or click on the View Larger Map blue link under the map). Notice that Mokka Cafe and Restaurant is very close to the Parliament, the Basilica and Roosevelt square with the Chain Bridge & the Gresham Palace or Hotel Sofitel.


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photo from diningout

Daubner Confectionery (Daubner Cukrászda) Budapest: The Yummy Factor

Daubner Confectionery or Daubner Cukrászda in Budapest is unanimously one of the best confectioneries in Hungary, underlining a strong Yummy Factor (is there a Yummy Award already? there should be one). The only drawback is that it’s about 20-30 min from the city center (districts 5 and 6) by public transportation, which is luckily quite frequent. Locals rave about it, while tourists rarely take this off-route track to discover one of the true gems in Budapest. Deeply and heavenly delicious cakes, strudels, pies, confectionery poetry, as well as salty snacks (pogácsa) await the reckless visitor here. Even if you are a dieter, you will find the cake of your choice with low calorie. As Fodor’s travel guide writes: “It’s with good reason that this popular confectioner has lines outside the door each morning. Every pastry here is delicate and light. Even a novice can taste the real butter cream in the famous Eszterhazy torta, which is a truly magnificent cake. Locals say the Sacher torte is every bit as good as it is in the famous Sacher Hotel in Vienna.”

Address: Budapest Szépvölgyi út 50., Budapest, 2nd district (II. ker.) 1025
Phone: 00-36-1-335-2253 or cell 00-36-20-225 05 05
Opening hours: Mon-Sun 09:00 – 19:00
Note: Daubner Confectionery is most of the time full of people, so please calculate with some waiting
Getting here: take bus number 60 at Batthyány tér metro station (red line) and get off at Kolosy tér, alternatively, take the suburban train (HÉV) and get off at Kolosy tér. From Kolosy tér you can walk up the hill (5 min) or take buses 65 or 165 and get off at ‘Ürömi út’ the first stop from Kolosy square. (You can also take bus 29 and get off at Uromi ut, but it’s a tiny bit farther from Daubner Cukrászda than the other two buses). It is really just one stop, so there’s no way you could miss it. Where you see a many people, families gathered that’s Daubner (on the left side)!

See the location of Daubner Cukrászda on the Budapest Tourist Map (check the knife and fork map icon in the middle, and click on the icons to learn more about the neighboring places of interest or click on the View Larger Map blue link under the map). Notice that Daubner Cukrászda is relatively close to the Roman amphitheater (Aquincum Museum), the Pálvölgyi Dripstone Cave and the spa luxury hotel, Ramada Plaza Budapest.


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California Coffee Company: an American Coffee House in Budapest

California Coffee Company is an American style and owned café on the Grand Boulevard. If you like American style cafés and don’t mind sitting around with students stuck to their laptops, it might be your choice – also for an alternative breakfast place. Coffees, sandwiches, cakes. Free WiFi for 1.5 hours. Light, bright place, comfy armchairs in a trendy atmosphere. There’s also a shop where you can buy different coffees, syrups, gifts (e.g. traveler’s mugs), etc. Read about the Best Cafes in Budapest.

California Coffee Company Coffee House in Budapest downstairs
Address: Teréz körút 38., Budapest 1066
Phone: 00-36-30-465-2195 or 00-36-1-465-2195
Opening hours: 8 am – 24:00

California Coffee Company Coffee House in Budapest upstairs
Getting here:

  • metro (blue line) Nyugati pu. station or underground (yellow line) Oktogon station
  • streetcars/ trams: number 4 or 6, get off at either Nyugati or Oktogon stop (halfway between the two stops on Grand Boulevard)

See the location of California Coffee Company on the Budapest Tourist Map (check the coffee cup map icon in the middle, and click on the icons to learn more about the neighboring places of interest or click on the View Larger Map blue link under the map). Notice that California Coffee Company is very close to the House of Terror museum on Andrassy út and the Muvesz Movie Theater (an artsy film theater), as well as the the Opera House and the Operetta Theater, or the House of Photography.


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Best Restaurants in Budapest, Hungary

Sure it’s not easy to find the best restaurants in Budapest Hungary, not only because tastes and wallets differ, but because there are not many good guides that are customized for you (that’s an inherent semantic problem I guess). The present list is a combination of several respected and received lists.

First, the internationally recognized Michelin guide on Budapest.

Then there’s the Hungarian culinary blog, Chew, which has got a very nice and continuously updated collection of the Top 33 restaurants, based on which I have attempted to make a user-friendly quick restaurant guide, taking the nationality feature as the leading thread (within that: alphabetical order). If you click on the individual restaurants you will get a quick overview of the restaurants: basic info (address, phone, opening hours, etc.), general atmosphere description, a characteristic photo and a map – contextualized in the major Budapest attractions (also pointing out what places of interest you may find worth checking out).

Argentine

Asian (primarily Chinese)

Bavarian

French

Hungarian

Indian

International

Italian

Mexican

updated: March 04, 2008

To see the Best cafe guide in Budapest follow the link.

Cafe Gerloczy Restaurant in Budapest Downtown

Cafe Gerlóczy is a cafe and restaurant: “coffeehouse-restaurant that bakes divine bread … It is comfortably located, welcoming, and nice for a light meal and a good wine” (Frommer’s). The good about Gerloczy restaurant is that it’s one of those places that open 7am and offer breakfast alternative for those who don’t want to have hotel breakfasts every day. Try the croissants for breakfast, the crispy roast goose-leg with steamed red cabbage for lunch or dinner. As for the interior, Fodor’s travel guide remarks: “The green-and-yellow cane chairs and cafe tables of this elegant bistro remind you of a scene out of your favorite French movie. The terrace in the summertime is about the prettiest location for lunch in Budapest, on a quiet, leafy square tucked behind Váci utca.” Gerloczy restaurant is also included in the Top 33 list of Chew.hu, the Hungarian gourmet and food blog, which has been compiling and testing the best restaurants of Budapest list for the past couple of years.

Cafe Gerloczy Restaurant in Budapest Downtown close to Vaci utca

Address: Gerlóczy utca 1., 5th district (V. ker.) Budapest 1052
Phone: 00-36-1-235-0953
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 7am-11pm; Sat-Sun 8am-11pm
Note: Heavenly breakfast place at reasonable prices. Free WiFi. Tue to Sat harpist Gergely Gertner will provide live music from 6pm , while on Sun-Mon Karoly Okros accordionist will entertain from 7:00pm to closing. There’s a gallery for 40 and a wine cellar for 30 people to rent.

Getting here:

  • metro (red metro line), Astoria station, or (blue metro line) Ferenciek tere station, or (all metro lines) Deák tér station
  • trams/ streetcars: number 47 or 49
  • buses: number 7 or 78

See the location of Cafe Gerloczy Restaurant on the Budapest Tourist Map (check the knife and fork map icon in the middle, and click on the icons to learn more about the neighboring places of interest or click on the View Larger Map blue link under the map). Notice that Café Gerlóczy Restaurant is very close to the Dohány street Great Synagogue, the Váci utca shopping street, as well as the beautiful Pushkin Movie Theater (Puskin Mozi) on Kossuth Lajos utca.


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photo from Chew.hu

Read more about the Best Restaurants in Budapest.

Cyrano Restaurant and Café in Budapest: Artsy – Trendy

Cyrano Restaurant, Budapest

Cyrano Restaurant features international and French cuisine. Cyrano is right in the city centre. The contemporary style restaurant has a nice terrace for watching people going by on the pedestrian only Vaci street (Váci utca), and a unique interior design with trendy elements and telling upholstery contrasting each other. As Fodor’s guide writes: “This slick bistro just off Vörösmarty tér has an artsy, contemporary bent, with wrought-iron chairs, black and gold wallpaper, and a chandelier of feather boas festooning the dining room. … Though the prices are high for what you get, the restaurant is in the heart of the Váci utca shopping district.”

Address: Kristóf tér 7-8., Budapest, 1052
Phone: 00-36-1-266-3096 or 00-36-1-266-4747
Opening hours: Mon-Sun 11 am – 12 am
Note: the Cosmo room upstairs is available for private parties
Getting here: M1 (yellow metro line) Vorosmarty tér station

Cyrano Restaurant and Cafe in Budapest at Vaci utca shopping street

See the location of Cyrano Restaurant on the Budapest Tourist Map (check the knife and fork map icon in the middle, and click on the icons to learn more about the neighboring places of interest or click on the View Larger Map blue link under the map). Please note that Cyrano Restaurant is very close to Váci utca shopping street, Roosevelt square with the Chain Bridge & the Gresham Palace, Hotel Sofitel, as well as the luxury hotels on Erzsébet tér: Kempinski and Le Meridien.


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photo from kavehazak.hu

Read more about the Best Restaurants in Budapest.

Café Pierrot: a Soothing Restaurant in Budapest Castle District

Café Pierrot is a pleasant restaurant located in a 13th century building, in the most frequented tourist zone, the Castle district in Budapest, where you will see the Royal Palace, Matthias Church, the Fishermen’s Bastion, etc. Fodor’s reviewer writes: “When touring the sights of Castle Hill, tuck into this inviting café for a relaxing lunch. You may not want to leave once you hear the soothing live jazz piano and see the charming interior — walls covered with paintings of harlequins and fresh flowers on the tables.” Similarly, Frommer’s guide writes “An intimate, comfortable restaurant serving excellent cuisine. … Following recent renovations, the atmosphere feels like a high-class wine cellar decorated with contemporary artworks, soft lighting, and fresh orchids. ” And indeed, several melancholic paintings depict the French version of Pedrolino, the stock character of the Italian Commedia dell’Arte.

Cafe Pierrot restaurant on the Castle hill in Budapest

Address: Fortuna utca 14, Budapest 1014
Phone: 00-36-1-375-6971
Opening hours: Mon-Sun 11am – 12am
Note: Free wifi. Live piano music (jazz) from 6pm.
Getting here:

  • bus: Várbusz (minibus leaving from Moszkva tér) or Bus number 16 from Deák tér
  • Funicular from Adam Clark square at the Chain Bridge, and walk

See the location of Cafe Pierrot on the Budapest Tourist map (check the knife and fork map icon in the middle, and click on the icons to learn more about the neighboring places of interest). Notice that Cafe Pierrot Restaurant is in the Castle District on top of the Castle Hill (Varhegy), very close to the Matthias Church, the Fishermen’s Bastion, the Hungarian House of Wines, the  historical little confectioner’s Cafe Ruszwurm, and of course the Royal Palace itself with its numerous exhibitions.


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Read more about the Best Restaurants in Budapest.

Balettcipo (Balettcipő Eszpresszó) a Cozy Cafe & Restaurant in Budapest

The Mediterranean themed Balettcipo restaurant (the Hungarian ‘eszpresszó’ term may mislead you) serves international cuisine, from burgers to non-burgers, and is at the same time a good relaxed cafe. It takes up about 50 people, many of them regulars, plus there’s the terrace from spring to autumn. The New York Times reviewer wrote: “A colorful, cheerful coffeehouse/bar in the heart of the theater district — behind the Opera house, “Ballet shoe” has a laid-back, open atmosphere … a simple yet refreshing cafe-style menu.” The cafe also came top on two Hungarian lists: one on Chew.hu, a food blog and the other is kavehazak.hu (coffee houses critics), which well indicates that this is a kind of place where you can go to have a quick snack, a full meal or a long coffee session. Recommended.

Balettcipo eszpresszo a good cafe and restaurant close to Liszt ter in Budapest

Address: Hajós utca 14, 1065 Budapest
Phone: 00-36-1-269-3114
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 8am-12am, Sat-Sun 10am-12am
Note: good burgers, Illy coffee, natural folks-not the chic I am gals and guys

See the location of Balettcipo restaurant on the Budapest Tourist map (the knife and fork icon in the middle stands for Balettcipő Eszpresszó – click on the icons to learn more about the neighborhood incl. the Opera House, the Operetta Theater, the House of Terror museum, etc.):


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Photo from kavehazak.hu

Read more about the Best Restaurants in Budapest.

Cafe Kor (Café Kör): Locals’ & Traveler’s Favorite Restaurant in Budapest

Cafe Kor (Café Kör) is one of the most popular restaurants amongst Budapest guest reviewers as well as locals. Great food, good location, reasonable prices.

As one of the American travelers put it “The food is good. Not to win some culinary competition, but very good. Excellent service. Closed on Sundays and full all other days.”

It was number 88 out of the top 100 restaurants in the world made by Restaurant Magazine in 2007.

Cafe Kor restaurant in Budapest Cafe Kör

Phone: 00-36-1-311-0053
Opening hours: Mon-Sat 11 am – 10pm
Address: Sas utca 17, Budapest Hungary
Note: Cash only

See the location of Cafe Kor on the Budapest Tourist Map (fork & knife map icon in the middle):

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Read more about the Best Restaurants in Budapest.

Gloria Jean’s Coffee Houses in Budapest

Gloria Jean’s Coffee House

The cafe chain has more locations in Budapest. This coffee house is one of the early birds of big chain cafés importing the American style café culture (emblematic of Starbucks cafés) into Hungary. Big cups, fresh cakes, reliable services, free wifi.

Gloria Jean’s Coffee House at Heroes’ square sounds very handy after/ before a long visit in the Museum of Fine Arts (Szepmuveszeti Muzeum) or the Hall of Art (Mucsarnok) on Hosok tere, or a long stroll in the City Park. “The cafe is located in a beautifully renovated old villa and has several big rooms ideally suited to larger gatherings,” says the website.

Address: Dózsa György út 96., 1068 Budapest
Phone: 00-36-1-354-10-98
Opening hours: Mon-Sun 8.30 am – 8.30 pm

See its location on the Budapest tourist map (check the Cup icon in the middle):


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Gloria Jean’s Coffee House in Mammut Shopping Mall (a ten-minute walk downhill from the Castle District in Budapest). It has a nice view over Széna tér from comfortable armchairs with occasionally good background music. It’s good to have a break here before/ after a walk up the hill to the Royal Palace, the Fishermen’s Bastion, etc. or while shopping in the mall.

Address: 1024 Budapest, Lövőház utca 2-6. III. emelet 301. – basically, in Mammut Shopping Mall next to Moszkva tér, Mammut Building I., third floor.
Phone: 00-36-1-345-82-04
Opening hours: Mon-Sun 8.30am-10pm
Prices: (coffees) from about 515 HUF

See its location on the Budapest tourist map (check the Cup icon in the middle):

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The good thing about Gloria Jean’s Coffee House that it’s a coffee house in a sense that it also sells various coffee beans and coffee making accessories – unlike most of the Hungarian cafes.

Read more about the Best Cafes in Budapest.

Cafe Central (Central Kávéház) in Budapest

Café Central, which is a coffee house and a restaurant from the 19th century, has a good central location on Ferenciek tere, and it is also spacious and bright. Insert it in your Váci utca shopping spree, or on the way to the Central Market Hall. There are marble tables (for four and eight), normal chairs or comfy armchairs and lots of lots of big windows. You can have Italian, Viennese or gourmet coffees, Esterhazy, Dobos cakes and Flodni, soups, pastas, hot meals, kid menus, etc. You can also choose the cafe as an alternative breakfast place (e.g. sausages, sandwiches or fried eggs from 1000-1500 HUF).

Address: Károlyi Mihály utca 9. Budapest 1053
Phone: 00-36-1-266-2110
Opening hours: Mon-Sun 7am-12am
Prices (coffee): from 420 HUF

See its location on the Budapest tourist map (check the Cup icon in the middle):


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Read more about the Best Cafes in Budapest or the Best Restaurants in Budapest.

History of Cafe Centrál

Café Central established in 1887 was one of the great coffee houses of old Budapest – similarly to the old Cafe New York, it was a hub, an artistic and thinking academy, a center of networking, news making and breaking, and in general, making progress. “The Central was a unique institution of its kind, something like an open university but more than that, because it was more fruitful” claimed Emil Kolozsvári Grandpierre writer. Its location was central in the 19th century too: very close to universities, libraries, etc.

Once Dezső Kosztolányi, one of the most talented Hungarian writers (and poets) paraphrased the saying ‘My Home is my Castle’ as ‘My Cafe is my Castle’ and it was no exaggeration, journalists, artists, etc. spent far more time in the cafe than at home. In the 1890s, at the Round Table of the Central Café, which consisted of multiple round tables rather than one single table, the newspaper ‘A Hét’ (Week) was edited by suspicious looking progressive writers invigorated by the atmosphere of the smoky cafe. This Hungarian periodical was easily available in all the 400 (!) cafes in Budapest. A few years later, the highly progressive and best quality periodical named Nyugat (West) was also started here, revolutionizing the Hungarian literature. Although editors of Nyugat moved away to Cafe New York for a good while, they came back here in 1920.

In the 1910s, Győző Mészáros, the head of the cafe has two big challenges: the growing worker’s strike (including the strike of the waiters), and the growing competition posed by more modern coffee houses built with American elegance (mirrors, marbles, games, etc.). Mészáros copes with both challenges successfully: he becomes an active member of the waiter’s movement and contributes to the development of free apprenticeship programs, and in 1913 he decides to close down the cafe for a temporary refurbishment. He fights in the First World War, and survives it.

In the 1920s a Hungarian newspaper sarcastically writes: “There are so many real and fake writers in Cafe Centrál that Mészáros has started to build a new gallery – closer to Olympus – for them. It may make more room and comfort for respectful citizens too.” But Mészáros liked the intellectual atmosphere of his cafe and even lent money to young writers. Later on another outstanding literary periodical, Újhold (New Moon) found its inspirational home in Cafe Central.

Unfortunately, in 1949, in the year of nationalization when precious lands, manors, palaces, etc. were confiscated from the pre-war aristocracy, and taken into state ownership, Cafe Centrál was closed down, then turned into a diner for construction workers of the underground… In the 1960s it became the Eötvös Club of the ELTE University. In the 1990’s it was used as an amusement arcade – causing heartache for many people.

In other words, Cafe Central was an abused sleeping beauty for more than 50 years. Thanks to Imre Somody the place is a coffee house again: and we may never know when a really talented new literary group turns up in this noble cafe.

Source (in Hungarian): Bogáta Sárossi: “A Centrál kávéház tükörcserepei”