If you happen to be in Budapest, better not miss out on Kazinczy Street! Located in the heart of the Jewish district, this place is known as the street of art and parties. Its colorful mixture of cultural heritage, a diverse gastronomy scene and vibrant nightlife venues makes it a definite must-see in the Hungarian capital. In the following, we will introduce you to the most significant hotspots on Kazinczy Street, so let’s dive into it!
Historical Significance and Heritage
Previously known as “Small Cross Street” and “Big Cross Street”, the narrow road connecting Király Street and Rákózci Street was renamed Kazinczy Street in 1879, its namesake being the Hungarian linguist Ferenc Kazinczy. Having always been part of the Jewish quarter and, sadly, the Budapest ghetto, countless displays of Jewish culture can be found all over this place. Apart from the Orthodox Synagogue, kosher restaurants and bakeries offering traditional Jewish dishes and pastries, numerous premises named after important Jewish personages as well as other cultural monuments, such as a mikvah, a ritual religious bath, bear testimony to the quarter’s past. On Kazinczy Street, ancient culture is mixed with the contemporary, its result being the best of both periods.
Where to Get Culture
The most striking monument of Jewish heritage is obviously the Orthodox Kazinczy Street Synagogue. Designed by the brothers Sándor and Béla Löffler, this beautiful Art Nouveau-style building was finished in 1912 and is still a significant venue of the Orthodox Jewish community using it frequently, for example for traditional Orthodox marriage ceremonies. The synagogue complex does not only consist of the house of worship itself, but also of an adjoining building serving as community house and school, and an inner courtyard. For a small fee, you’ll be allowed to enter this centre of Jewish culture where you can marvel at the gorgeous ornamental elements hand-painted by artist Miksa Róth.
Where to Eat
Curious about traditional Jewish dishes? Then Macesz Bistro is your place to go! This Eastern European bistro offers the best of the Hungarian as well as the Jewish cuisine, thereby serving both traditional and innovative courses. Besides, their high-quality menu is always diversified by seasonal specialties. So if you feel like having a fancy feast in one of the most exciting culinary spots in Budapest, be it with your significant other, business partners, or your entire family, you’re making an excellent choice with this restaurant on Kazinczy Street.
Another traditional Jewish eatery on Kazinczy Street is Carmel Restaurant, one of the three glatt kosher restaurants in Budapest. Consequently, this place gets most crowded on Friday nights and Saturday noons, as this is the time of Shabbat when many orthodox Jews, Hungarians as well as internationals, gather there to enjoy festive meals. Carmel’s menu includes both Jewish and Hungarian dishes, and even a couple of mouth-watering items from the Israeli cuisine.
Kazimír is a cosy bistro opposite of the Kazinczy Street Synagogue where you can indulge yourself in Hungarian delicacies. Although their menu consists primarily of meat-based dishes, there are in addition a couple of vegetarian and even few vegan options. We highly recommend their daily specials, which are not only a culinary delight, but also fill your stomach at a comparatively low price. Apart from being a restaurant, Kazimír often serves as venue for various programs, including concerts, talks or discussion rounds.
Although Kazinczy Street is predominantly characterized by its Jewish heritage, there are also other cultural peculiarities to be found. If you want feel as if you were in New Orleans, you should totally pay a visit to Soul Food, as this restaurant is selling toothsome American dishes as well as Creole delicacies. Choose from their wide selection of tasty meals, ranging from spicy Caribbean curry to meat-free soul rolls and sweet fried bananas.
A real American style BBQ requires a real smoker pit. At Fat Mama, they’re aware of it, which is why they prepare many of their traditional BBQ dishes in such a pit. This might mean an hour-long process, but also perfectly cooked and tender pieces of meat! When it comes to authentically prepping grilled meat, Fat Mama can hark back to Bertha as well. Bertha is not a particularly skilled cook, but a charcoal oven that does not only create authentic barbecue flavours, but also a special atmosphere in the restaurant itself.
At Bors GasztroBár, the whole concept of soup got redefined. Instead of just listing it as a starter on their menu, they put soups at the heart of their entire business, aiming at the combination of street food and bistro elements. The results are traditional as well as unique creations made from fresh and premium ingredients. Thus, you can, for example, order a cup of the popular borscht or go for something more unusual, such as sweet pancake soup with blueberries!
You’re craving TexMex food after a wild night out on Kazinczy Street? Good thing El Rapido is nearby! No matter if quesadilla, burrito, taco or a portion of spicy chili con carne – this place has it all. Jump in and enjoy your meal inside of this cosy and colourful restaurant, or simply take it to go on your way to the next bar. And if you feel like lifting your spirits with some Mexican spirit, you can order some shots from their wide selection of tequilas.
The increasing popularity of the entire street food concept finally led to the opening of Karaván, a street food court located on Kazinczy Street. As it is right next to the famous Szimpla Kert, it is the ideal place to crash for all party people getting the munchies. And since they offer a wide selection of different food, ranging from burgers and pasta to Hungarian and vegan dishes, every member of your party squad will find something to his or her liking.
Where to Party
The probably most famous location on Kazinczy Street is Szimpla Kert. Its opening in 2002 is considered a milestone in the history of the alternative scene in Budapest, as a rundown factory building was converted into an oversized open-air ruin pub, where concerts, stage plays and other cultural events like the Szimpla Farmers’ Market are hosted on a regular basis. The unique Szimpla lifestyle is characterised by an informal and laid-back atmosphere that aims at making every single person feel welcome. Individuality is the main focus, which is also reflected in the interior design of the ruin pub: there is barely any matching furniture. Instead, everything is cobbled together, but still fits into its place. With Szimpla Kert being a massive success, many other ruin pubs have opened their gates, yet none of them has been able to challenge Szimpla for its crown.
This party garden is a relatively recent addition to the vivid bar and club scene on Kazinczy Street. Numerous lush plants add a touch of exoticism to Hétkert, so that guests can snuggle down in comfortable chairs distributed all over this urban jungle while munching pizza and sipping on a fruity cocktail – word has it that their gin and tonic creations are outstanding! To not only please the taste buds, but also the ears, a trendy musical backdrop is given, sometimes even in form of live acts.
Mika Tivadar Mulató
What once was an iron- and copperware factory, is now a new-wave nightclub named after its former owner, Mika Tivadar, who wrote his name himself on the front of this building once its construction had been finished. Today, Mika is known for its modern interior, terrific music and exquisite drinks. During the warmer seasons, the club’s own garden is open to guests as well, so that they can take a break from all the dancing while enjoying an ice-cold beer.
Another party hotspot on Kazinczy Street is BRKLYN, a kind of crossover between club, bar, and restaurant. During dinner time, guests can order premium dishes from a menu composed by the brilliant chef Gábor Krausz, but once meal time is over, the dining hall is turned into a dance floor. So if you feel like cutting the rug to electronic music, good old hip hop or catchy songs of the 2000s, you should drop by!
Where to Drink
Yellow Zebra Bar
If you’re not so much into partying that includes wild moves on a dance floor but love to enjoy a cold beer at a quaint tavern, you might want to check out the Yellow Zebra Bar. And this place truly is everything but stingy with beer: Apart from micro beer in bottles, you can order the house micro brews straight from the tap or their famous Yellow Zebra house beer made by a local Hungarian brewmaster. Craft beer fans will totally get their money’s worth! To be able to try even more different beer types, you can link your stomach with a portion of some hearty Hungarian delicacy.
Our list of best places on Kazinczy Street wouldn’t be complete without Ziccer, a textbook example of a sports pub. Soccer enthusiasts who’d like to watch a game of their favourite team while enjoying a pint of cheap quality beer will definitely feel at home there immediately. Apart from beer, bottled as well as on tap, Ziccer’s extensive drink menu also features fine Hungarian wines and fruity but strong pálinkas. If you happen to leave this place sober, something must have gone terribly wrong.