One of things Budapest is most famous for is its ruin pubs, abandoned buildings that have been converted into bars and restaurants. The hot spots on this list range from beautifully remodeled to industrial chic, but all reflect the distinctive history and culture of Budapest. If you don’t make it a point to explore these eclectic bars, you’ll be missing out on one of the elements that makes Budapest truly unique.
1. Mazel Tov
Serving Israeli food and creative cocktails, Mazel Tov is one of the most popular restaurants in Budapest, especially good for group travel as they offer a wide selection of vegetarian and vegan options. Located in the Jewish District (Party District, District VII) it’s a great place to grab a cocktail, around 3-10 USD, and dinner before exploring the rest of the bars and clubs in the area. It is actually located directly next door to one of Budapest’s most popular clubs, Fogashaz. It is definitely recommended that you make a reservation, which can be done on their website.
Address: Akácfa utca 47., 1073 Budapest, Hungary
Website: Mazel Tov
Unlike Mazel Tov and Grandio, Anker’t is not located in the Jewish District, rather it is in District VI, just off of Andrassy, the main shopping area, and near the Opera. Anker’t is bigger than the previous two pubs, with a large area for dancing and events multiple days of the week. Their minglers for expats and travelers and their dating events are particularly popular.
Address: Paulay Ede u 33., 1061 Budapest, Hungary
3. Szimpla Kert
Szimpla Kert, located in the popular pedestrian area, Kazinczy Street, is the most famous ruin pub. Because of this, it gets packed on weekends. To properly enjoy this huge ruin pub it’s best to come to eat dinner upstairs before 8 o'clock and then check out some of the less crowded ruin pubs in the Jewish District. For a more laid back experience, come to their farmers market on Sundays for brunch. Szimpla is also connected to a design shop and has a breakfast cafe across the street. If you’re there when it’s super crowded just beware of pickpockets, as you would at any tourist attraction.
Address: Kazinczy utca 14., 1075 Budapest, Hungary
Website: Szimpla Kert
Located in the middle of City Park, Kertem is beloved for its surrounding greenery. Kertem is in the same compound as Szechenyi Thermal Bath and Heroes’ Square, so stop here for a beer after a long day of sightseeing. If you’re hungry, Kertem has a delicious Balkan food truck on the property. Kertem does not serve cocktails, just beer, wine, and shots, so if fancy cocktails are what you’re looking for Mazel Tov is probably a better option. But if you want to sit outside surrounded by nature, come to Kertem.
Address: Olof Palme sétány 1., 1146 Budapest, Hungary
5. Vintage Garden
Also in the Jewish District, Vintage Garden is at the ritzier end of the ruin pub scale, serving up French cuisine and glamorous cocktails. Their soft, feminine decor, which changes seasonally, makes it popular for birthday parties and bridal showers. Try the Lavender Tom Collins or their signature, Vintage Garden for a fruity and floral cocktail. Reservations are recommended.
Address: Dob utca 21., 1074 Budapest, Hungary
Facebook: Vintage Garden
6. Puder Barszinhaz
Located in District IX near Kalvin ter, Puder offers creative cocktails (and frozen margaritas!) and food, with some vegetarian options. Puder has outdoor seating for the warmer months, perfect for dog watching and hosts regular community events like film screenings.
Address: Ráday utca, 8, 1092 Budapest, Hungary
Facebook: Puder Barszinhaz
7. Kek Lo
Kek Lo or ‘blue horse’ in Hungarian, describe themselves as a “surrealist concept bar,” popular among locals. They are known for community events like psychedelic parties and Anthropomorphic night. Stop at Kek Lo for a bite to eat and be treated to their inexpensive, ever changing, and veg friendly menu.
Address: Víg utca 28., 1084 Budapest, Hungary
Facebook: Kek Lo
8. Koleves Kert
Koleves Kert is an outdoor bar located just a few minutes from Szimpla on Kazinczy Street. It also becomes very crowded in the summer, even during the week, so it’s best to come in the late afternoon or early evening. It could even be a nice dinner option. Be sure to try their Rosemary Gin & Tonic, about 6 USD, or their lavender spritzer for an inexpensive, but unique take on the Hungarian classic drink, Fröccs.
Address: Kazinczy utca 41., 1075 Budapest, Hungary
Facebook: Koleves Kert
9. Grandio Party Hostel
While many ruin pubs in Budapest, like Mazel Tov and Szimpla, can become incredibly crowded, visit Grandio to avoid the crowds. Unlike Mazel Tov, Grandio is on the grungier end of the ruin pub spectrum and this is reflected in their drink prices. Their spacious garden has many secluded areas making it an ideal location for dates. Because it’s located within a hostel, Grandio is always filled with an interesting cast of friendly travelers, which means the bar can get rowdy, but the garden is large enough that you can usually avoid the crowd. Like Mazel Tov, Grandio is a cash only establishment.
Grandio Party Hostel
Address: Nagy Diófa u. 8., Budapest, Hungary 1075
Website: Grandio Party Hostel
In the summer months, everyone wants to hang out on Budapest’s rooftop bars. However, many of these bars can be pretty pricey; Liebling is a more casual option. Part of Fogashaz, Liebling is located on the same street as Mazel Tov in the Jewish District. It’s a great place to enjoy the weather in the summer, but it is open (and heated) year round. Come to Liebling to watch the sunset or listen to local musicians performing.
Address: Akácfa utca 51., 1073 Budapest, Hungary
See them all
There’s something at each of these ruin pubs that you won’t find anywhere else. Don’t miss the chance to check out some of the coolest bars in Central Europe. If you’re a design, history, or architecture buff, Budapest ruin pubs are a must see. If you’re interested in learning more about architecture in Budapest or repurposing buildings and design, head over to KEK Contemporary Architecture Center for unique tours of the city.
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