Top 5 Bars and Cafes with Alter-Egos

June 15, 2017 | Jake Couvret

Bars for the brave and artistic can be found where you can get yourself some new ink, listen to hardcore music and have a drink after. Or for the lighter hearted; order yourself a cafe latte with a Hedgehog on the side to play with. (Yep, we have that too).

Top 5 Bars and Cafes with Alter-Egos


Budapest is a vibrant and colourful city for reasons many people already know. From the ruin bars of District 7, to the thermal baths at Szechenyi; the likes of Szimpla Kert and Sparty are common attractions for Budapest-goers. But becoming increasingly popular to the alternative scene are a few hidden jewels, perfect for travelers looking for something more than TripAdvisor’s “Top 10 things to do in Budapest”. Bars for the brave and artistic can be found where you can get yourself some new ink, listen to hardcore music and have a drink after. Or for the lighter hearted; order yourself a cafe latte with a Hedgehog on the side to play with. (Yep, we have that too). Introductions aside, we are here to show you that not every cafe is for the caffeine addict and not every bar is for the drunk. Subtle alter-egos exist amongst this concrete jungle that is Budapest and we are going to tell you our top 5!


Edison Bar and Ink

First off, we have Edison Bar and Ink. Simplistic in design but pleasantly reminiscent of an older time, you'll be sipping on craft beer in celebration of a new tattoo with the company of friendly bartenders and artists. The glossy wooden bar top shadowed by the sound of buzzing tattoo guns will find you feeling a part of something slightly less typical than your usual bar crawl location at a ruin bar.  Budapest is home to many talented tattoo artists and you'll be sure to find them here. Looks can be deceiving, and on arrival it may look small, but take a closer look and you'll notice an almost hidden basement area is waiting for you to come and play games and hang out, and like every walking tour guide will tell you; don't forget to look up! Directly above the bar is the tattoo studio. Whether you are wanting a more permanent souvenir from your time in Budapest or simply just trying to drink away the city’s classic post-boat party hangover, Edison Bar and Ink cater to all. They may be covered in tattoos, bearded and pierced up, but we promise they don't bite!


Check out their sister shop too; Knuckle Up Budapest - Tattoos and piercings. Equally awesome. Equally friendly.


Zoo Cafe

Now when we said you could order yourself a coffee with a Hedgehog on the side, this was no joke. The Zoo Cafe is one of the most unique cafes in Budapest (and probably anywhere for that matter!). With a variety of coffee, tea and cakes to choose from, all you need is a fluffy friend or even a reptile by your side to completely change your average cafe experience. Rabbits, hedgehogs, lizards, chameleons, snakes and more are ready for you to give attention to at your command. All you need to do is make a reservation at Zoo Cafe Budapest, show up, buy a coffee and you're on your way! If you've had enough of the ruin bars and pub crawls for one trip, or you just want to escape the nightlife, try a chilled and fun day at the Zoo Cafe.


Vinyl and Wood

A personal favorite of ours is the slightly peculiar, Vinyl and Wood. This little street cafe not only sells a selection of coffee to heal your hangover, but also stands as a vinyl store for those who have a taste for the vintage. But possibly the coolest thing about this cafe is the afternoon DJ sets they have going on inside the store. Walk by at the right time and you might see a DJ playing in the shop window with some slowly bobbing up and down people behind, Boiler Room style. The artists who play here tend to be slightly underground and often use it as a warm up to their later sets at Corvin Club or Larm. Perfect for a chilled out pre-party on a Friday and probably something you didn't even think about putting on your Budapest bucket list.


Medium Skate Shop and Bar

Something for the skaters! Medium Skate is located along the famous Danube (the big ass river!) and is acting as a triple whammy for anyone who checks it out. Grab a drink and browse through the skate store for clothing, shoes or skate gear. As well as what the names tell you; “skate shop and bar”, Medium Skate will be fully equipped with an indoor skate park! Since the city streets aren’t exceptional for skating, this is a must-do for anyone who wants to roll around. Frequent premiers of new skate movies are held at Medium and you'll be sure to meet a lot of cool and friendly locals.


Let's Go Arcade

What may seem like something your mum would take you out for, going to an arcade mixed with a few beers can be an awesome way to start your night. Let's Go Arcade is located in the heart of the party district of Budapest, close to ruin bars, restaurants, street food and live music. The arcade is fully equipped with a bar for party goers and open late for adults searching for their inner child. Perfect for pre-gaming (quite literally) before a pub crawl and a great way to get your night started on a fun and friendly track. Behave yourself guys there are children there too (we’re looking at you stag dos)!


~Honorable Mentions~

So that was our top 5 bars and cafes who have alter egos! But that's not to say there isn't more. We have honorable mentions going out to the Cat Cafe and Whiskers Pub, similar to the Zoo Cafe but for cat lovers. Furthermore, beer bikes riding along the famous Andrassy never fail to impress. A fully equipped 10-16 person bike with a bar in the middle that keeps the beers flowing is a must-do in Budapest. If you're going for a boring day of laundry, go to Bubbles launderette. Self service laundry with a craft beer bar inside! Plus, the Beer Spa at Szechenyi is a great way to relax in wooden baths filled with hops, malt, wheat and yeast. A self served beer tap is included which means unlimited beer for the hour. There is more to Szechenyi then Sparty!


All this being said, there are likely tons of places we are yet to discover in Budapest. Now it's your turn. Come to Budapest! Have a look, have a beer, get lost and let loose. We are waiting for you!


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