While Hungarian wine gains traction and Budapest’s craft beer scene is on the rise, even if you’re a cocktail lover there is no need to feel left out when you come to the Hungarian capital. If your preference is sipping a classic Martini or an experimental concoction, here’s our guide to Budapest’s cocktail hangouts – whether you prefer your poison shaken or stirred.
If you’re into cocktails, then Boutiq’Bar has your name on it. It’s won awards over the years, including the winning title as Hungary’s best cocktail bar as well as one of the top fifty cocktail bars in the world. And understandably so, since the bar boasts it can offer 350 cocktail options thanks to its staff of highly knowledgeable bartenders who can knock up anything from a Whisky Sour and an Old Fashioned to a unique, adventurous concoction you won’t find anywhere else!
Address: 5 Paulay Ede Street, 1061 Budapest view map
Opening hours: 6pm–1am Tue-Thu, 6pm–2am Fri–Sat, closed on Sunday and Monday
Photo: Official Facebook page of Boutiq’Bar
While Brody Studios is a private members club, some of its events are open to the public, including its Alchemist Nights, a special event for cocktail lovers that follow a special theme with various cocktails centred around that theme. And even if you don’t make it for one of the Alchemist Nights, you can try some of the in house cocktails from the menu, such as the Botanist, a herby cocktail with gin and an accent of absinthe and pepper, or classics like the Gimlet or Monkey Gland.
Address: 38 Vörösmarty Street, 1064 Budapest view map
Opening hours: 6pm–1am Mon–Thu, 6pm–3am Fri–Sat, closed on Sunday
Photo: Official Facebook page of Brody Studios
You won’t find a menu offering a list of cocktails at WarmUp, a small bar on Nagy Diófa utca. Once you sit down, you’ll get a glass of water and your bartender will come to your table and ask for your preference. If you want a Negroni, they’ll mix you a Negroni, but if you’re not sure, you’ll get questions like whether you prefer gin or whisky, or whether you like sweet or sour cocktails. In the end, you’ll get a bespoke cocktail tailored to your tastes.
Address: 26 Nagy Diófa Street, 1072 Budapest view map
Opening hours: 6pm–1am Sun–Wed, 6pm–2am Thu, 6pm–4am Fri–Sat
Photo: Official Facebook page of WarmUp
Molecular gastronomy and molecular cocktails may not have taken off in Budapest to date, Nano is a pioneer in this movement of avant-garde dining, where curious drinkers and try a gin based cocktail with spherified pearls of cassis liquor or anything prepared with liquid nitrogen or foams. If you’re an adventurous drinker, this may be the place for you
Address: 10 Papnövelde Street, 1056 Budapest view map
Opening hours: 6pm–12am Tue–Thu, 6pm–2am Fri–Sat, 6pm–12am Sun, closed on Monday
Photo: Official Facebook page of Nano
Mixology with a pharmacy vibe, Bar Pharma offers an eclectic mix of curious cocktails in their tiny VII District cocktail bar that come in pharmacy bottles. If you’re after something different and a whole new experience in cocktails from your favourite to something completely whacky, then Pharma is the alcoholic prescription you need.
Address: 35 Kazinczy Street, 1075 Budapest view map
Opening hours: 6pm–2am Sun–Thu, 6pm–4am Fri–Sat
Photo: Official Facebook page of Bar Pharma
While Farm is mostly a restaurant, you’ll find a great selection of craft cocktails on the menu. From artesanal liqueurs to craft spirits and real pieces of dried fruit, herbs and homemade syrups, you can try some great interpretations of cocktail classics that bring out the best of their ingredients. And, if you’re someone who enjoys something different, you can try your cocktails at the inhouse Blind Bar, so you can really focus on the smell, taste and texture without getting caught up with looks.
Address: 14 Ó Street, 1066 Budapest view map
Opening hours: 6pm–12am Mon–Thu, 6pm–2am Fri–Sat, closed on Sunday
Photo: Official Facebook page of Farm
KIOSK embodies the shabby and industrial chic feel with a party vibe, making it a good place to party, especially if cocktails are your thing. You’ll find all the classics here with a house twist to have with a meal or on a fancy night out.
Address: 4 Március 15. tér, 1056 Budapest view map
Opening hours: 12pm–12am Sun–Wed, 12pm–1am Thu–Sat
Located in the former MTV Building on Szabadság Square, Impostor captures that ruined Berlin vibe after taking up residence in the dilapidated and abandoned space. But it’s more than just a ruin bar, since in addition to its Asian street food themed restaurant Baotiful, you also can get some interesting and unique cocktails with a bit of an eastern twist to them.
Address: 17 Szabadság tér, 1054 Budapest view map
Opening hours: 6pm–12am Thu, 12pm–3am Fri–Sat, 12pm–10pm– Sun, closed on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday
Midnight Espresso with Corralejo Reposado Tequila, homemade banana syrup, Kahlua, and a shot of espresso. Photo: Official Facebook page of Imposter
Good Spirit Whisky & Cocktail Bar
If whisky cocktails are your beat, then make sure you check out Good Spirit Whisky & Cocktail Bar. Founded by the brains behind WhiskyNet, you’ll find a stock of over 500 spirits. On top of that, Good Spirit Whisky & Cocktail Bar boasts a collection of around 300 whiskies from across the world, where you’ll find the classic Scotches as well as Irish, American and even Canadian and Japanese whiskies, as well as malts from beyond. You can even try Hungarian whiskies, if you’re curious. With a collection of other fine spirits, you can get the whisky cocktail of your dreams here.
Address: 7 Veres Pálné Street, 1061 Budapest view map
Opening hours: 11am–12am Mon–Sat, closed on Sunday
Photo and featured image: Zoltán Perényi / Budapest Local
About the author: Jennifer Walker is an Anglo-Hungarian former nuclear physicist turned writer based in Budapest, Hungary. She’s passionate about discovering Budapest’s hidden places, architecture and art.