The 7 best places to brunch in Budapest
It is a truth universally acknowledged that breakfast is the best part of the day, whether you’re an early bird eager to have your first bites by eight or a late riser needing your perfect pick-me-up brunch. From crispy croissants with warm melted cheese oozing out after the first bite to fluffy American pancakes soaked in maple syrup or a hearty Hungarian ratatouille, the options are endless in Budapest. And as all-day-breakfasts are common, you don’t even have to be a morning person. All aboard the brunch bandwagon, calling at seven of Budapest’s best brekkie spots that all tick the taste box.
With a passion for the bean, people and high-quality, yet casual comfort food, bohemian Cirkusz has been a reliable brunch place in Budapest for years. The key feature here is coffee, made from their own speciality Bagira brand by the best baristas in town, including the Hungarian Barista Champion of 2018, Ádám. You can pair your excellent cup of java with classic breakfast bites like croissants, French toast and a fry-up, or more exciting eats such as the hearty ‘recovery’ plate (it has got your back after a wild night out), cold Turkish eggs or the Cirkusz poached egg – the latter are soft, silky, substantial and probably one of the best in town. On the healthier side, fruit bowls, homemade granola and oatmeal are all good options. With brunch available until 5pm, Cirkusz is perfect for late risers.
Á La Maison Grand
Oh là là... at this chic French-style café, breakfast all-day is the raison d’être. Offering one of the vastest brunch selections in the city, the menu here holds the reliable croque couple, eggs in every which way, salty and savoury waffles, American pancakes, French toasts and healthy bites like an acai bowl or gluten-free granola. For a taste of Hungary, try any of the many lecsó(Hungarian ratatouille) variations. The Insta-worthy plates are served up amid a sophisticated interior, enhanced with high-ceilinged whitewashed walls and comfortable dusty blue plush chairs. As Á La Maison Grand is cosied up on the ground floor of a 1096 Art Nouveau building, don’t forget to take a glance at the magnificent façade on your way out.
London Coffee Society
With echoes of Brick Lane in Shoreditch, London Coffee Society brings a little bit of Britain to central Budapest. And oh boy, does it do it well. LCS is the cool kid on the block, with loud music playing amid an industrial-style interior that is simple, yet hides a few funky details. Fry ups, eggs and avocado bites beyond measure star on the menu, while the Nutella banana bread melts the hearts of the most hipster millennials. Take your order upstairs, or make one of the mini tables outside yours, and be a part of the buzz of Budapest. The ambience is so cheerful here, you’ll certainly leave with a smile. And which way to the loo? Platform 9¾ at King’s Cross!
For many years, hip corner café STIKA has managed to keep up with trends while still staying innovative. The design is sleek and full of greens, the bow-tied baristas always lighten the morning mood, and the food is really something else here. If you’re looking to start your day with poached eggs topped with Hollandaise sauce and crispy bacon, a Serrano ham and Gouda cheese sandwich or the Breakfast Burger (that is, a huge patty in an American pancake), you would do well to stop here. STIKA knows no compromise when it comes to coffee; their caffeine-infused kicks are among the best in town. And on top of it all, brunch can be ordered until 6pm daily.
Tucked away in the cobble-stoned inner courtyard of a century-old building, bite-sized Szimply is a haven for health-conscious customers, thanks to a seasonally changing selection – heavy on superfoods and gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan dishes. The breakfasts are always on-trend, and quite frankly are edible artworks. Currently, you can gobble up avo bowls, rice pudding and a morning booster of sweet potato cream with garlic and onion jam on sourdough bread, complete with cherry tomatoes, asparagus, Serrano ham and a six-minute egg on top. Delish! Coffee comes from Kontakt, an adjacent speciality place run by the same owners. So if you can’t be seated immediately, which is likely, you can linger between the two venues, sipping on a cuppa.
With a fancifully romantic, flower-powered shabby chic milieu, Vintage Garden is a jewel-box in downtown Budapest. The scent of lavender filling the air amid the white-wood finishes and quaint decoration flies you to Provence, while the bistro culture is un peu Parisian. The stars of the breakfast menu are the smoked-salmon bagel, French toast with maple syrup and fruits, Viennese sausages and egg dishes galore, while after the non-existent lunch bell chimes other substantial specialities are savoured here. Vintage Garden is an ideal spot for slow-paced get-togethers with cheerful chatter, or a romantic rendezvous.
A great choice for early birds, this sweet shabby-chic breakfast café serves go-getters between 7am and 6pm daily (except for Sundays). Hiding in a quiet side street, Zoska is a charming little place with floor-to-ceiling windows for people-watching, and an indoor picnic area with fake grass. The menu plays it safe with classics like scrambled eggs with various toppings, frankfurters, American pancakes and toasted sandwiches, but the quality is decent and the prices are not sky-high. If it gets a bit too busy in there, a hidden gem is the absolutely lovely Károlyi Garden just steps away, so order your brekkie to go. But don’t forget to leave a lovely message on the wall: trust us, you will want to.
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