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Cafés and coffeehouses are establishments that sell coffee, other refreshments, and desserts for customers, who enjoy having nice and intellectual chats with their friends. Coffeehouses act as informal clubs for members of the cultural scene, including writers, actors & actresses, and artists.

Budapest also had a thriving coffee house culture during the Austro-Hungarian Empire times. Like its “sister” city, Vienna. There were more than 500 coffeehouses in Budapest, providing excellent places for several iconic members of those days’ cultural scene. Famous novel writers like Rejtő Jenő (P. Howard), or Karinthy Frigyes loved spending their times in coffeehouses, many times using them as creative sources for their writings.

Many of the traditional coffee houses are gone, but the spirit of coffee culture remains in Budapest. What is more, in the last couple of years it experienced a sort of renaissance. Many new contemporary cafés were opened, and also some coffee houses were reopened.

It’s hard to show all the great coffee houses of Budapest, as the list would be endless. However, we collected the top 10 cafés and coffee houses of Budapest, ranging from New York Café to Gerlóczy Kávéház, that students shouldn’t miss during their Erasmus in Budapest!

P.S.: we couldn’t resist and also included some Honourable Café Mentions at the end of the article. We highly recommend visiting them as well!

Top 10 Cafés & Coffee Houses in Budapest Students Shouldn’t Miss

The top 10 cafés & coffee houses in Budapest that Erasmus students shouldn’t miss are the following.

  • New York Café
  • Gerbeaud Kávéház
  • Centrál Grand Cafe & Bar
  • Párisi Passage Restaurant
  • Kelet Café és Galéria
  • Tamp & Pull Espresso Bar
  • Café Astoria Restaurant
  • Espresso Embassy
  • Gerlóczy Kávéház
  • Arch & Beans

Some of them offer breakfast and brunch options, too. We indicated this in some places.

New York Café

The New York Café in Budapest is more than just a place for a quick coffee; it’s an institution, a historical gem that dazzles with its opulent décor and a rich history of serving as a hub for the literary and artistic elite.

Located in the heart of Budapest, this café offers a window into the grandeur of the past with its intricate frescoes, gold gilding, and luxurious chandeliers. It’s a venue where the ambiance is just as important as the quality of the coffee and pastries on offer.

Despite its popularity, which can lead to longer wait times, the New York Café remains a must-visit for those seeking to immerse themselves in the elegance of the Austro-Hungarian empire while enjoying traditional Hungarian dishes or international cuisine.

It’s a place where you can savour the experience of dining in what has been dubbed “the most beautiful café in the world”

  • Address: Erzsébet körút 9-11, 1073 Budapest
  • Telephone: +36 1 886 6167
  • Opening Hours: Monday – Sunday: 8:00-0:00
  • Current Google Ratings (04.2024): 4.1/5​

Gerbeaud Kávéház

Gerbeaud Kávéház boasts a prestigious history stretching back to 1858 in the heart of Budapest’s vibrant city centre. This café-confectionery is not just a place for enjoying exquisite desserts and coffees; it’s a living piece of Hungarian history and a testament to the art of patisserie and café culture.

Gerbeaud Kávéház, with its sumptuous interior and tradition of culinary excellence, invites guests into a world where the elegance of old Budapest meets the luxury of contemporary dining.

It’s a must-visit destination for those who appreciate the finer things in life, including the cafe’s legendary pastries, such as the iconic cat’s tongue chocolate and cognac cherry bonbons.

Over the years, Gerbeaud has seamlessly blended tradition with innovation, ensuring a unique experience for all who walk through its doors

  • Address: Vörösmarty tér 7-8, 1051 Budapest
  • Telephone: +36-1/429-9000
  • Opening Hours: Monday – Thursday, Sunday: 09:00 – 20:00; Friday, Saturday: 09:00 – 21:00
  • Current Google Ratings (04.2024): 4.2/5

Centrál Grand Café & Bar

Stepping into Centrál Grand Cafe & Bar is like walking into a blend of history and contemporary Budapest. Located in the heart of the city, this café has been a beacon of literary and social life since its opening.

With its elegant interior and vibrant atmosphere, it’s a place where today’s ideas meet yesterday’s traditions. The café offers a wide range of coffee, exquisite desserts, and a menu full of hearty meals, making it a perfect spot for any part of the day, from a morning coffee to a late-night drink.

It’s not just about what’s on the plate or in the cup; it’s about the experience of being part of the ongoing story of one of Budapest’s most classic venues​

  • Address: Károlyi utca 9., 1053 Budapest
  • Telephone: +36 30 945 8058
  • Opening Hours: Monday to Wednesday, Sunday: 09:00 – 22:00; Thursday to Saturday: 09:00 – 00:00
  • Current Google Ratings (04.2024): 4.5/5

Párisi Passage Restaurant

Párisi Passage Restaurant, situated within the breathtakingly restored Parisi Udvar Hotel in Budapest, offers a luxurious dining experience amidst Neo-Gothic and Moorish architectural splendour. This restaurant, renowned for its traditional Hungarian cuisine with a modern twist, promises an extraordinary culinary journey.

The ambiance, reminiscent of Budapest’s early 20th-century café culture, combined with innovative dishes and artisan cocktails, makes it a sought-after destination. It’s advisable to book in advance, especially during weekends.

Párzsi Udvar was renovated only 5 years ago, so you’ll be amazed at its current outlook!

For a truly immersive experience, consider visiting early on a weekday to avoid crowds, and don’t miss out on their seasonal specials for a taste of the best they have to offer.

  • Address: Károlyi utca 9., 1053 Budapest
  • Telephone: +36 30 945 8058
  • Opening Hours: Monday to Wednesday, Sunday: 09:00 – 22:00; Thursday to Saturday: 09:00 – 00:00
  • Current Google Ratings (04.2024): 4.5/5

Kelet Kávézó és Galéria

Kelet Café is a cosy spot for book lovers located on the famous Bartók Béla út in Budapest. It’s a café that doubles as a social and informal library, boasting around five thousand volumes, mostly in Hungarian. A truly popular gem in Budapest’s coffee house scene!

The atmosphere is described as intellectual yet welcoming, with warm lamps and kaleidoscopic oriental patterns. It’s a favourite among locals for its home-made coffees, ice teas, pastries, and a comfortable space for both bustling socialising downstairs and quiet work or reading upstairs.

  • Address: Bartók Béla út 29, 1114 Budapest
  • Telephone: Not provided.
  • Opening Hours: Monday – Wednesday 07:30 – 22:30, Thursday – Friday 07:30 – 23:30, Saturday: 09:00 – 23:30, Sunday 09:00 – 21:30
  • Current Google Ratings (04.2024): 4.7/5

Tamp & Pull Espresso Bar

Numerous baristas and students across Budapest recommend a visit to Tamp & Pull for those passionate about their brews. Situated near Corvinus University, this modest venture has been at the forefront of the specialty coffee movement in Budapest since its inception in 2012.

The coffee has a wide array of coffees as one can see on its blackboard, indicating the bean’s variety, processing technique, source farm, and elevation. Selections hailing from Brazil and Honduras. Their coffee is beyond delicious!

The café serves up a variety of standard espresso drinks such as cappuccinos, cortados, and lattes, alongside both artisan and batch brew filter coffees. For those opting out of dairy, oat and rice milks are available alternatives. Complementing the coffee are a selection of cakes and sandwiches, catering to all tastes.

The place also offers RAWBITE vegan fruit bars to everyone who is not only looking for a great coffee between two lectures, but also for some healthy snacks.

  • Address: Czuczor utca 3, 1093 Budapest
  • Telephone: +36 30 456 7618
  • Opening Hours: Monday to Friday: 07:30-18:00, Saturday: 08:00-17:00, Sunday: 08:00-15:00
  • Current Google Ratings (04.2024):4.8/5

Café Astoria Restaurant

Café Astoria Restaurant, offers a mixture of traditional hospitality with contemporary quality. Located within the Danubius Hotel Astoria City Center, this dining spot has been serving guests since the hotel’s opening in 1914. It’s recognized for its sublime architecture, marrying fin-de-siècle elegance with modern comforts, making it a prime location for both casual meetups and professional gatherings.

The restaurant promises an exceptional culinary experience with a menu crafted by head chef Tímea Lakatos, known for her role in earning a Michelin star for Costes restaurant.

Café Astoria provides an authentic coffee-house atmosphere, inviting guests to enjoy aromatic coffee, fragrant tea, and delectable desserts in a setting that recalls the grandeur of early 20th-century Budapest.

Also, this place was used for filming some scenes for the Hungarian TV Show ‘A besúgó’ (The Informant).

  • Address: Kossuth Lajos utca 19-21, 1053 Budapest
  • Telephone: +36 1 889 6022
  • Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday: 07:00 – 10:00 for breakfast, 12:00 – 16:30 for lunch, 17:00 – 23:00 for dinner
  • Current Google Ratings (04.2024): 4.2/5

Espresso Embassy

Espresso Embassy is a true haven for specialty coffee enthusiasts in Budapest, located in the vicinity of the Hungarian Parliament and Szabadság tér. Recognized for pioneering the specialty coffee revolution in Budapest, it’s not just a café but a culture hub that brings together a cosmopolitan crowd ranging from students and academics to creatives and tourists.

The café is known for its quality coffees, sourced from Hungarian roasters, and its minimalist-industrial yet cosy interior that’s welcoming to all, including four-legged friends.

There are no reservations, so visit the place anytime during opening hours!

  • Address: Arany János utca 15, 1051 Budapest
  • Telephone: +36 20 445 0063
  • Opening Hours: Monday to Friday: 7:30 – 17:00, Saturday to Sunday: 8:30 – 17:00.
  • Current Google Ratings (04.2024): 4.8/5

Gerlóczy Kávéház

Gerlóczy Kávéház, with its Parisian flair, is a beloved meeting spot nestled in the heart of Budapest. This café and restaurant not only charms with its Austro-Hungarian Monarchy era roots but also offers a unique dining experience from breakfast through to dinner, accompanied by live mood music.

The cuisine here blends Hungarian and international flavours, masterfully crafted by Chef Attila Nagy, making it a standout in Budapest’s dining scene. Beyond its culinary delights, Gerlóczy Kávéház’s setting in a historic building and its role as a Hollywood filming location add to its allure as a hidden gem

  • Address: Gerlóczy utca 1, 1052 Budapest
  • Telephone: +36 1 501 4000
  • Opening Hours: Every day from 07:30 to 23:00.
  • Current Google Ratings (04.2024): 4.5/5

Arch & Beans

Arch & Beans Coffee Works, situated at Astoria and Corvin-negyed, combines traditional coffee house charm with modern specialty coffee offerings. Opened in June 2020, withstanded COVID19, and since then this coffee house delights guests with its 19th-century architectural features, including rich gold decorations and monumental limestone columns, which reflect its name.

The café offers a wide range of freshly roasted coffee beans, delicious sandwiches, and tasty cakes, enhancing the coffee house ambiance. It’s a spacious venue, perfect for small events too.

  • Address 1: Rákóczi út 5, 1088 Budapest
  • Address 2: Horváth Mihály tér 3, 1082 Budapest
  • Telephone: +36 30 784 9081
  • Opening Hours: the venue at Astoria is open Monday to Friday: 8:00-18:00, Saturday: 9:00-18:00, Sunday: 9:00-16:00; the venue at Corvin-negyed is open 9:00-18:00 every day.
  • Current Google Ratings (04.2024): 4.6/5 and 4.9/5, respectively.

Honourable Café Mentions

We know many lovely cafés and coffee houses. Unfortunately, we can’t list them all. There are many awesome places that couldn’t make it to the top 10. Yet, we couldn’t resist, and decided to list 4 additional places as honourable mentions. These café places are the following.

  • My little Melbourne Café
  • Cat Café
  • Zoo Café
  • Café Frei

My little Melbourne Café

My Little Melbourne Coffee & Brew Bar, a pioneer among Budapest’s specialty coffee shops since 2012, is located in the 7th district of Budapest, next to Gozsdu udvar and the Jewish Quarter.

Known for its meticulous approach to filter coffee using V60, Chemex, and AeroPress, alongside espresso-based drinks, it’s nestled in the trendy Jewish Quarter. This spot is a favourite for its coffee and pastries, attracting tourists and fashionable locals alike.

  • Address: Madách Imre út 3, 1075 Budapest
  • Telephone: +36 30 394 7002
  • Opening Hours: Monday to Friday 7:30-17:00, Saturday to Sunday 8:00-17:00.
  • Current Google Ratings (04.2024): 4.5/5

Cat Café

Cat Café Budapest is a cozy spot for cat lovers, located in front of the Szent István Bazilika. It’s home to 15 cats, including purebred Maine Coons and rescued felines. A perfect (purrfect) place for coffee and cat lovers alike!

This unique café offers a chance to enjoy your favourite coffee or prepare for exams in the company of cats. It’s also a great choice for a date, offering delicious cocktails and wines. Remember to follow the house rules for the well-being of the cats!

  • Address: Révay utca 3, 1065 Budapest
  • Telephone: +36 30 394 7002
  • Opening Hours: Every day from 7:00 to 21:00.
  • Current Google Ratings (04.2024): 4.4/5

Zoo Café

Zoo Café is a unique venue where visitors can enjoy the company of various animals while sipping on their coffee. You can see there “regular” pets, like cats, but also more exotic animals like canary or tucan. It’s essential to make a reservation due to its popularity. For bookings, you should contact them at least 3-4 days in advance either via phone or email.

  • Address:, Fejér György utca 3, 1053 Budapest
  • Telephone: +36 30 394 7002
  • Opening Hours: Every day from 10:00 to 21:00.
  • Current Google Ratings (04.2024): 4.5/5

Café Frei

Café Frei got its name after its founder and owner Tamás Frei, a former journalist and explorer. Mr. Frei spent many years abroad, and after his adventurous years, he decided to bring cultures to Budapest. How? By opening a coffee house franchise that has a huge palette of international coffees ranging from South-America through Ethiopia to Japan.

Café Frei also offers many different desserts that you can enjoy in an excellent combination with your coffee.

The interior of Café Frei reflects a jungle-like environment, where you can feel like you are on an exploration in a foreign culture with the founder together.

There are countless Café Frei houses all around Budapest, so pick the closest one! The 2 most central venues can be found at Váci utca 74., in the proximity of Fővám tér, and at Károly körút 9., between Astoria and Deák Ferenc tér.

  • Address: not provided, depends on the actual venue.
  • Telephone: not provided.
  • Opening Hours: vary depending on the actual venue. Opens usually around 7:00-9:00 and closes around 19:00-20:00.
  • Current Google Ratings (04.2024): not provided, depends on the actual venue.

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