New added reviews in blue
Liszt Ferenc Ter, Oktogon, Andrassy
Fresco (formerly Cafe Leroy) - A Cafe-Restaurant-Bar chain of which there are a couple around Budapest. Food and Drinks good, popular. Try the “Curtis special”, Goulash soup followed by a Club Sandwich! Liszt Ferenc tér 10.
Karma Cafe - A Restaurant with a distinctly Eastern Decor, good choice of international food open until 2am. Great terrace for watching world go by. Liszt Ferenc tér 11
Cafe Vian - Very popular with the French contingent that I know in Budapest, A good place to get a coffee and a light lunch if you are in the area, also serves Breakfast. Liszt Ferenc tér 9
Cafe Incognito - Another trendy place in Liszt Ferenc Ter. Liszt Ferenc tér 3
Cafe Miro Grande - A huge bar very nicely decorated and from what I remember at least a couple of bottles of Hungarian White. Liszt Ferenc Tér 9
Menza - A kind of 60s retro feel inside, we sat outside and there were at least 12 of us, they manged with us making a somewhat unusual table arrangement, and made a good job of it! Liszt Ferenc tér 2
Night and Day Cafe - Its 3am and you haven’t drunk enough, you are still able to maintain a fairly coherent conversation, nowhere to go, oh no go in here! A place to grab that last night cap or to drink until the Sun comes up!Andrássy út 46
Basically with the better weather all these places should have terraces outside at which you can stop and watch the world go by. Note that due to local zoning restrictions a lot of these places close at or around midnight because it is a residential street. Due to that most of the clubs are nearby and not in the square itself.
Cactus Juice - Another of these subterranean affairs this time kitted out just like the wild west alledgedly, quite large dancefloor fairly standard tunes, access is down a steep staircase into the cellar Jokai ter 5
Morrisons Irish Pub - Yet again an underground adventure. A back room with a video wall (just like in Ireland obviously). A large dance floor where locals and foreigners alike strut their stuff. Révay u. 25
Djinn - Owned and operated by some mates of mine, a good place with a middle eastern decor, two good bars, the one nearest the dancefloor can get a bit rammed! Terez Korut 23.
TGI Fridays - At the Oktogon will find this haven of Americana (owned by Whitbread I think). But seriously you know what you will get, its very nice and the serving staff try very hard to keep you happy. It's dear compared to other bars and restaurants but if you fancy a Fridays Burger or Buffalo Wings etc this is the place. Oktogon tér 3
Indigo - Indian restaurant just off Terez Korut very authentic, Cobra beer, Poppadoms, chutney naans and curries that are the biz. Very good and much welcome now that the Bombay Palace on Andrassy has become some kind of experimental fast food curry wrap house. First time we tried to go it was booked out, reservations recommended. Visited 29/09/06. Jokai utca 13
That takes care of everything in Liszt Ferenc and Oktogon, the avenue that cuts the Korut at Oktogon is Andrassy, it stretches from Hero Square all the way down to the city centre. heading towards the centre
Wall Street - nicely kitted out bar, the prices of the drinks are displayed stock market style and they are supposed to change (Never seen it myself though). Mincing waiters ! Andrassy ut 19
Pizza Express San Marzano - Fancy a pizza, reasonably priced exact copies of their English equivalents! Andrassy Ut 41
Voros es Feher - Drop of vino, fancy splashing out on a top meal, the food and the wine here are excellent, as they should be considering it is owned by Budapest Wine Society! Andrássy út 41.
Goa Cafe - I know I have recommended a lot of places but if you go to one restaurant that isn’t on a boat moored by the Danube (see below) choose this place. Minimalist decor accompanied by the most awesome fusion cuisine I ever had. And a great wine list too, service is not quite at Spoon standards, but the food is just awesome. Go out to somewhere like this in London you would pay 4 x as much, but believe me its not about the prices... Fantastic.Andrássy út 8
At the end of Andrassy where it meets Bajcsy-Zsilinszky utca you will be able to see the Basilica very nice and all that but in the Square behind it there are a couple of bars worth mentioning.
St Istvan Basilica and towards the Danube
Negro - Excellent place great cocktails and the bar is very stylish, I like this place a lot.Szent István tér 11
Leroy Cafe - Yes there is one here as well, Cafe Leroy attempts to conquer the world!! Sas utca 11
La Fontaine etterem - A real French restaurant in the streets behind the Basilica, great place, there is no menu, just a blackboard with their creations on it. The service is great and they will select the wine to complement the meal for you. A real gem!Merleg utca, 10
Tom George Restaurant - Really a top place not cheap but one of the best in Pest. Had a sushi starter and Chicken Tikka Masala balti style for my main course. Owned by the same guys who run Fresco and Leroy Cafe chains. Place to be seen in! Last visited October 06.Oktober 6 utca No 8
Salaam Bombay - A great Indian restaurant, I would put it a touch above Indigo, everything in here was good, Poppadoms, Chutneys, Cobra beer, curries but all served up in a very trendy minimalist surroundings, not your average Brick lane style curry house, but everything done very well. Even has Bollywood movies playing in the Loos! Visited October 06 Merleg u. 6
Gresham Palace Hotel Bar - In the marvellous Four Seasons Gresham Palace Hotel there is this gem, it is a Hotel Piano Bar, very good service, and an unusual choice of beer Borostyan (rumoured to be actually v cheap to buy! So nice margins). Imagine yourself negotiating a corporate takeover or as James Bond sipping a vodka martini whilst the exceptional pianist does his stuff. Sheer ambiance. Visited often, a good place to start an evening. Roosevelt Ter 5-6
Returning to Bajcsy-Zsilinszky utca you will see on the opposite side the .
Captain Cook Sorozo - you can get a late drink in here if my memory serves me well. Still good, particularly when learning to ask for Becherovka and tonic in Hungarian. Last visited 01/10/06 Bajcsy-Zsilinszky utca 19a
If you continue along this road you will see a couple of other places worth mentioning,
Becketts - An Irish bar not far from Nyugati Station. It is quite airy and large, the food isn't bad and they have Irish accented Hungarian barmaids... trust me its true! Bajcsy-Zsilinszky utca 72.
Marquis de Salade - A really top restaurant, that does lots of stuff apart from salads, but I must say the portions are huge , the starters would be enough to fill most people. Prices aren't bad and service is good Hajos utca 43
Lancelot - A medieval themed restaurant, it is so busy caters a lot to large groups of tourists a lot of fun though. Podmaniczky utca 14.
If you find yourself in the vicinity of the Parliament building
Iguana Bar - This is a top venue very ex-pat-ish (is that a word?), however it is packed . A bit pricey compared to some but never quiet. Worth checking out if you are in this part of town. Zoltan ut 16
Pot Kulcs -Near to Nyugati station. Spare key apparently in my somewhat loose Hungarian vocabulary. A student place with a garden, enter via a relatively unmarked gate into a garden area, very hip! Csengery u. 65/B
Ok that takes care of a few places here are some more grouped by location (roughly)
In the Nagymezö area
Club B7 - past the bouncers and in through the front door up in a lift and then you are in a pretty good Disco. Lots of Locals. Akácfa u.7
Ket Szaracen - Only ever really been here for breakfast but I must say it is very good, and also the service is friendly. I think the breakfast menu is only served until about 10,30 or 11 am so as Matt Bianco would have said, Get uppa your Lazy Bed! Nagymezö u 14
Deak Ferenc Ter
Gerloczy Kavehaz - Its in a kind of weird place this one, the food was good but I have read many reviews of this place where they say the service was a bit poor. It wasn’t the case when I was there. Good wine list. Also was used in the film Munich by Spielberg as were several locations in Budapest in case you have some sudden Deja vu moment. Deja vu very appropriate its a French style Bistro. Last visited 01/10/06 Gerloczy utca 1
On the Small Korut and near the National Museum and Raday Street
The Black Cat Irish Bar - On our never ending quest to find Irish pubs throughout Eastern and Central Europe took us here. Not a bad place, its underground, and can get fairly packed with a mostly young clientele Thursday-Sunday. Good Guinness! Museum Korut 41
Darshan Udvar - It could be very easy to miss this place, it is a bar above a courtyard along Krudy Gyula street. The courtyard comprises of an Indian bookshop, and a vegetarian restaurant, above it is Darshan Udvar, open air and very hip, I don’t know if there was a DJ the night I was there but even so the music was good .It is more or less opposite the Darshan Cafe on the right hand side as you walk from Szent Kiraly Utca to the Korut. Krúdy Gyula Utca 7
Cafe Mamoar - Basically I went here for breakfast a couple of times, they have a terrace in the street, and they served us breakfast even though we turned up a little late. Looks like a recent change of ownership as there was a courtyard out back that looked like it was in a transitional phase! Raday Utca
Red Cafe - Have been to this place twice now, last time I am sure I wouldnt have survived 10 minutes on the terrace, mind you this time it was hot. Food was good as was the service, this whole street deserves checking out, so far I didn’t get the time. Raday Utca
Dohany Utca area
Szimpla Kert - The mystery first location we went to when we took our customers on a weekend away in Budapest. The building opposite has been demolished and entering this place you feel it may not be too long before this building joins it. That said it was an interesting experience. Live music from what I remember! Kazinczy utca 14
Fat Mo's - Was briefly in here one night looking for someone or something long long bar it was very busy. Think there was a dance floor at one end ? Anyway quite lively should be just the job! Nyari Pal utca 11 ..
Portside - Only been in here a couple of times, lots of young hungarians trying to get very drunk from what I remember and mostly succeeding, and all of us feeling quite old! Dohány utca 7
Szoda - So trendy it hurts can be recognised from outside by the many soda siphons in the windows, small dance floor downstairs. Wesselényi utca 18
Old Man's music pub - Dont't let the name mislead you, it is a top place and is always incredibly busy, it can take a little while to find a table if you just want to sit and drink. It is very crowded around the dance floors and the bar areas. Whilst not the most aesthetically pleasing nightclub in the world it certainly has a hell of a lot of atmosphere. And you can order food very late here which suits if you have the munchees big style. Akácfa u 13
Champs Sports bar - Plenty of screens to watch footy on and a big back room with a large screen for major events.Dohány utca 20
Vaci Utca and Danube (Pest side)
St Tropez - A bar on a boat moored along the Danube, also mainly fraternized by the French contingent. The prices are good and the service too. Vaguely recollect there being a dancefloor.Can get out of action due to flooding Danube!
Columbus - An Irish pub on a boat moored on the Danube, sounds like a recipe for disaster or a plot for a disaster movie, but it can get quite lively in here as well. There is an upstairs and a downstairs here. Don't think the downstairs was below water level!
Spoon - An excellent restaurant, if you splash out on one meal in Budapest I maintain that this wins because the overall package is so good. Food, Wine List, Location and View.
Anna Cafe - I don't remember much about this one, it didn't leave a big impression on me, but Trayf used to reckon this was a top place and it's the only place I can remember on Vaci utca. If you are in this part of town avoid the Konsum girls Vaci utca
Stage Pub - This Pub is behind Vaci utca on a road running parallel to it, it makes it the ideal place to go for a few drinks if you have been to any restaurants in the area. I just about remember several amusing incidents in this place, mostly involving karaoke which I think is on Thursday or Friday night in here. It is amazing the number of people who want to get up and have a go at belting out some old Hungarian tub thumper, and there are a few people who want to sing too! Great Guinness open late and no-one seems to care what you do here. Visited numerous times, coherent memories none, hangovers loads! Aranykez utca 5
Ocean - Yes they will make you Fish and chips if you ask nicely, the venue before it all went haywire in Stage Pub. Great Fish. Last visited October 06 Petofi Ter 3
Cafe Alibi - Run by friends of friends so maybe i am a bit biased, but having said that the food was very nice and they also have a catering service, worth bearing in mind for the future i would say. Egyetem ter 4
Fatal - Recommended to me by my brother they serve large portions of basic Hungarian and International Grub, probably one of the only places I would recommend on Vaci. Vaci Utca 67
Jazz Garden - An underground restaurant which is the place to go for Jazz in Budapest, although I was told that the group that played that night wasn't the best music in there, I personally liked it, despite the fact I am not really a huge fan of that genre. Anyway, lets get onto the food, a good menu and a good wine list, actually the food was very nice, and an unusual setting (Apparently it was all built by the owner, there are lights in the black ceiling made to look like stars). Veres Palne utca 44/a
For Sale Bar - A pretty basic place decked out like a wooden cabin inside, bowls of monkey nuts and cheap drinks , excellent place to have a few jars. Vamhaz korut 2
Due to public demand (in fact due to a business trip to Budapest and a conference venue on the Buda side of the river) I am now proud to present the few places I know over there!
Oscars - A great cocktail bar either on the way up or way down from the castle, a book of cocktails and a great Bloody Mary! Ostrom utca 14, Moskva Ter
Bowling at Mammut - A bowling alley in a shopping centre, yep thats right and it is very good, service is ok and the food is standard Americana, however the DJ is an undiscovered talent, he spins some great tunes! Mammut Shopping Centre
Jam Pub - Went here following a corporate event, really didnt know what to expect but knowing it is in the ground floor of part of a shopping centre didn’t really have high expectations. Well it just goes to show how wrong I can be ! We got in early and it was quiet but it soon filled up, Gangster Zoli and his cartel were playing their tunes in a Jazz style ( apparently the lyrics are quite rude in Hungarian). The service was really good, it was packed full of stunning women, and the queue to get in when we left at 11pm was down the street. Apparently its one to be seen in! Last visited December 06. Mammut Shopping centre.
Champs Sports Bar Buda - Smaller than the one in Dohany utca, but same menu. If you phone to reserve make sure they tell you whether you are in the Buda or Pest branch .Last visited December 06. Eröd u. 22
Manna Euthentic Lounge - Euthentic? No idea what this might mean, luckily not Euthanasia apparently. Arriving here after highly amusing Pointy chin incident on the bus, had a situation where the Wine waiter on realising we were foreign tried to sell us a bottle of Demeter XY (expensive) when all we wanted was Wenninger Terranovo(by far better value). A very amusing incident followed where we each had a glass and then told him it wasnt worth the price. Hoho. Interestingly the next time I went back with 2 Hungarians he didn’t attempt to foist his wine on us the arse! That said its a very interesting place a giant greenhouse above the back of the tunnel that comes through the hill below the castle. Last visited November 06. Palota ut 17.
Club B7 Terrace - If you make it up to the Citadella and you need a breather, check out the view over the Danube from this bar around the corner from the Liberty statue.
Rio - An open air nightclub that I frequented a few summers back, it looks like it has had a bit of a facelift, a great place to spend a hot Budapest evening.
Arcade Bisztro - Didn’t actually go to this one but sent the conference organisers there for dinner and they said it was wonderful. It is in a bit of an incongruous location but you have to assume that it is very well regarded indeed to offer the cuisine they do in a relative backwater.