Welcome back, faithful readers! During the last days, I managed to get some first-hand experiences of Budapest’s teahouse culture – it’s really kind of a thing here! That’s why there are several places around town where you can just chill out with a cup of hot tea to recharge your batteries. Besides, these places have a very unique atmosphere, so if you’re into Bohemian and Far-East style ambience, you should totally pay a visit to them! Since I’m always keen on getting in touch with the local community, I popped in those Budapest teahouses and shisha bars that are most popular among Budapest peeps, so I can share my impressions with you in this blog entry. Enjoy!
The first teahouse I dropped by was Altair Teaház, which is truly a hidden gem. For one thing, because the entrance is a bit hard to spot, for another thing because this place is actually quite charming. Its interior is sort of a stylistic mixture of oriental and rustic elements, thus having various seating accommodations that include, besides regular chairs, cozy beanbags and chaise lounges. While slouching on them, you can maximize your level of relaxation by picking one of the over 70 different types of tea offered, ordering a shisha, or stuffing yourself with delicious desserts.
Zöld Teknős Barlangja
The name of this teahouse already sounded mysterious and eccentric to me, for it means “The Cave of the Green Turtle” in English. As interesting as its name is also its interior, all Native American themed and creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere with its funky decor as well as the reddish lighting. When picking a place, it’s up to you if you want to sit in the public area or wish to rent a private room for you and your friends to enjoy your tea in peace and quiet. Apart from an extensive tea menu, you can also go for a wide range of cocktails, including tea cocktails, or an aromatic shisha.
Located on Váci Street, and thus the perfect spot for tired shoppers, is 1000TEA. In this teahouse, you can choose from a huge selection of high-quality Chinese teas, such as Huang Shan Mao Feng or Qing Beeng Cha, which are brewed in the traditional way. Nevertheless, they also offer types of tea from other areas, such as Africa, South America, Nepal or Taiwan. You enjoyed one flavor in particular? Just order it via the 1000TEA webshop and find your inner peace while enjoying it within your own four walls!
Habibi Shisha Bar
Entering this place really felt like having passed a portal from Budapest to a fairy tale from Arabian Nights. Apart from the obligatory shisha rich in flavor, you can order fresh juices, tasty cocktails, as well as traditional Oriental dishes all of which you’ll get to enjoy in an authentic Near East atmosphere. Sometimes, the Habibi Shisha Bar also hosts belly dance nights, so make sure not to miss out on this exotic extra!
Kelet Kávézó és Galéria
Kelet is a particularly special coffehouse since it’s also a gallery at the same time, occasionally hosting exhibitions or discussion forums on various topics. The huge shelves filled with countless books and the noble furniture made of dark wood create a homely ambience and invite you to come around and getting absorbed in a novel while enjoying a cup of delicious coffee. And if you want to start your day right, just order something from their breakfast menu, your taste buds won’t regret it!
Big Ben Teaház
It’s no secret the British are obsessed with their tea time, so if you want to experience tea culture in an authentically British ambience although you’re in Budapest, Big Ben Teaház is your place to go! They offer a huge assortment of different teas which are best enjoyed in combination with a piece of their home-made cake. My personal favorite was the pogácsa, a Hungarian scone filled with cottage cheese, letting me bring the best of these two culinary cultures together!
Last but not least, I went to Rengeteg. This lovely little café is neither a coffee- nor a teahouse, but focuses entirely on hot chocolate. I had to add it to this list anyway because its atmosphere is just as sweet as sugar, not least because it is decorated with numerous teddy bears. If you want to, you can also find a teddy bear on top of your beverage, since every hot chocolate is decorated in an extremely creative way, making it almost too beautiful to drink. Besides the regular hot chocolate, you can order countless other flavors, including white chocolate, and extra add-ons to create a drink tailored to your preferences.