Getting a coffee or a drink in Budapest is necessary and there are some great places to choose from. The city is full of things to do and see, so that’s why you will need a break. The best thing you can do is to grab a cup of coffee/tea or get something sweet to eat. There won’t be any problems, because you can find a café at almost every corner of the city.
I’ve been to Budapest a few times and I really love this city. And I love coffee as much as I love Budapest, so I really enjoy in discovering cafés.
First of all, let me tell you something about Budapest’s café culture. In the late 19th century, a vibrant café culture boomed here, just as it did in Vienna and Paris. The kávéház was a local institution. By 1900, Budapest had more than 600 cafés. Local people didn’t want to pay to heat their homes during the day, so instead, they could come to a café to enjoy warmth and companionship.
Hungary also has a proud tradition of cakes and pastries – here are some favorites to look for:
- the classic Dobos torta is a sponge cake and buttercream concoction with layers of chocolate and vanilla, all topped with caramelized sugar
- Rákóczi turós is a dense cake of sweet cheese curds with jam on top
- Somlói galuska is pieces of moist sponge cake soaked in rum, mixed with whipped cream and drizzled with chocolate
- Krémes is a custard sandwiched between delicate wafers
- Flódni has layers of apple, nuts and poppy seeds
I’ve gathered our top 7 patisseries & cafés in Budapest you must visit.
1. RUSZWURM CONFECTIONERY
On the Buda side of Budapest you will find Ruszwurm Confectionery (Ruszwurm Cukrászda in Hungarian), the oldest confectionery in the country. It is perfectly located, right by Fisherman’s Bastion & Matthias Church, that’s why it’s almost always full. It was found in 1827 and almost 200-years old cherrywooden counters will take you back in time immediately. Their cakes are delicious and not expensive (around 750-850 HUF). We’ve tried the “Ruszwurm” chocolate cake, the “Ruszwurm” cream cake and the one with sunflower seeds (top cake of 2021) and they were all amazing.
My advice is to spend the day on the Buda side with a visit at Fisherman’s Bastion, followed by a coffee break at Ruszwurm before heading to Buda Castle.
Szentháromság u. 7
2. CAT CAFÉ BUDAPEST
If you are a cat lover, this is the PURRRFECT place to visit. The café is located in the heart of Budapest, in the city centre next to the St. Stephen’s Basilica. There are 15 cats at the moment, ranging from rescue cats to maine coons. Once you get inside, you get the instructions and important rules on how to behave.
You can play and socialize with lovely cats while relaxing with a cup of coffee.
The place has many visitors, so that’s why you should book a table in advance if you don’t want to wait for a free table – you can book a table online here.
Revay Utca 3
A 2-min walk to Szent Istvan Basilica, near M1, M2 & M3 underground stations
3. GERBEAUD CAFÉ
Although it is not as famous as New York Café, this old, traditional coffee house also attracts many tourists. Café Gerbeaud is popular for its confectionery and delicious breakfasts. Café Gerbeaud has been a gastronomic delight since 1858 and is one of the oldest cafe’s in Europe. The outdoors and also the indoor is very charming and it has the perfect location – it is in the centre of Budapest and it is very close to everywhere, which is something I like.
Café Gerbeaud has specialized in gourmet chocolates, traditional Hungarian cakes and other fine pastries. If you are looking to try their cakes, the sampler plate is the perfect way.
Vörösmarty tér 7-8
Outside the M1 underground station
4. NEW YORK CAFÉ BUDAPEST
New York Café is claimed as the most beautiful café in the world. Obviously, I haven’t visited every single one café so I can’t judge, but I can tell you that this one is pretty stunning. Originally built in 1894 as part of the “New York Palace”, this fanciful, over-the-top explosion of Neo-Baroque and Neo-Renaissance epitomizes the “mix and match, but plenty of everything”. In the early 20th century, artists, writers and musicians came here to sip overprices coffee and bask in opulence.
The food is overprices and disappointing, so don’t bother eating a meal here, but do consider coffee and cake.
Erzsébet krt. 9-11
5. ZOO CAFÉ
This quirky café is home to tasty treats, delicious homemade lemonade and some of the fluffiest and most epic creatures. Grab yourself a cup of coffee or tea and enjoy in cuteness of friendly animals. Zoo Café offers a shared dining experience with animal pals, who will visit your table whilst you are into your morning coffee or afternoon cake.
Zoo Café is dedicated to the safe handling and safekeeping of every hand-raised creature under their protection. The zookeepers are super friendly and happy to share their knowledge and offer advice or answer any of your questions.
You have to book in advance, as this place is very busy.
Fejér György u. 3
You may also be interested in best breakfast places in Istanbul.
6. ESPRESSO EMBASSY
Espresso Embassy is a paradise on earth for specialty coffee fans in Budapest. The people running Embassy have been at the forefront of the specialty coffee revolution – the third coffee wave in Budapest. The place is minimalist-industrial, but it feels intimate and cozy. The inside of this cafe is cool with plenty of seating.
All of the drinks are made from coffee beans of the highest grade. Sourced carefully from roasteries both local and international. The delicious drinks are prepared by award-winning Baristas using the hi-tech machinery.
Arany János u. 15
With three locations in the city, Madal is known as one of the best coffee shops in Budapest.All three cafés are located on the Pest side. Madal Cafe is a goos choice for quality espresso. You will find a wide selection of teas, espresso drinks and filtered coffee along with pastries including vegan and gluten free options.
– Ferenciek tére 3
– Alkotmány u. 4
– Hollán Ernő u. 3
I hope this list of the 7 cafés and coffee shops in Budapest keeps you energized during your sightseeing. Let me know about your favourite coffee place in Budapest if you’ve been there already.
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