Craft beer is big in Budapest right now, with an explosion of bars serving local creations and imported tipples. Had you come only a few years ago, though, you’d have been pressed to find it served anywhere but a few dingy basement bars in the fringes of the city. Now, however, you’ll wander the downtown and be spoilt for choice on every street. Charming cellar bars, chic warehouse-style places and hopping beer gardens, Budapest has it all, and in this guide we’re going to introduce you to some of the chillest.
Neked Csak Dezső fits firmly in the hip/chic category. Located just a short walk from Blaha Lujza Square, it’s open plan, light and breezy, with floor to ceiling windows surrounding an L-shape bar and seating area.
Also cool - the huge shelves of beer bottles and gigantic beer tanks doing their thing behind the bar - this place is thoroughly well stocked for an all-day drinking session, with knowledgeable and friendly staff that will help guide you to something you’ll like.
This place is somewhere between a bottle shop and small bar that promises “csak ajó rsör” - meaning ‘only good beer’. A bold promise indeed, given how busy it is when it’s open, they appear to have succeeded.
They only stock winners - like Pilsners, IPAs, and lagers from home and abroad, as well as an exotic selection of darks, reds, ales, and malts. Stop in for a browse and stay a while. They have four house taps and a rotating selection.
Élesztő basically started the craft beer scene in Budapest. Located on the site of an old factory in the city's ‘forgotten’ VIII district, and with a huge courtyard and indoor seating rooms, this place started off as a craft beer bar for the young creatives of the neighborhood and has grown into so much more.
Visit today and you’ll find their usual rotating selection of 20 beers, alongside delicious food, wines, cocktails, a basement cafe and even a hostel now, if staying that close to the action seems important to you.
Go late enough to Szimpla on any given evening, and you’ll probably find that the line to get in stretches all the way down the street to a cute little hole-in-the-wall bar called STart. From humble beginnings as a place to get cheap palinka and Hungarian lager, this place now has a cozy layout and an impressive selection of bottled and tapped craft beers at prices well below what you’ll find it nearby trendier places.
Edison is one of our personal favorite bars in Budapest period. It has over a dozen craft beers on draft and even more in bottles. Have a few bevvies with the bartenders or chill downstairs in their underground seated section. The best part about Edison? It doubles as a tattoo parlor! Get inked with a craft beer in hand...there’s nothing better!
Finally, if you fancy getting away from the hustle and bustle of the Jewish Quarter to enjoy a pint by the river, then you should definitely go check out Jónás, a relaxed craft beer bar attached to the futuristic-looking Balna Building down by Liberty Bridge.
With a great selection of cold beers, tasty bar snacks and, crucially, outdoor seating galore, we couldn’t recommend anywhere better to raise a glass to the sunset and toast the start of another wild night in Budapest.
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