Cocktail bars are becoming a huge trend again in Budapest with a wide variety of them popping up around the city from speakeasies to 20’s steampunk cabarets, refined and elegant bars, huge tropical poolside affairs, and, naturally, quite a selection of special, signature ones. This list compiles the 10 best cocktail bars in Budapest, in hopes of touching on all of the different styles and types there are, so that everyone can find something matching their own tastes, however peculiar it may be.
Boutiq is the quintessential Budapest cocktail bar. It is partially leaning towards the steampunk, speakeasy style, but has its own unique flavor. They have signature cocktails that you can only get there. They are on the affordable end of the spectrum, but are still exclusive enough. Very involved and masterfully served drinks, and perhaps the best Whiskey (and Whisky) list in town. This bar is so superbly equipped that they hold events and have guests like Stan Vadrna come and visit. You can learn about liquors and cocktails at this place besides having some amazing drinks.
PIÑA is a classic poolside cocktail bar, where every drink is inspired by pineapple (hence the name). There are lots and lots of signature fruity cocktails, but what this Budapest cocktail bar is great at is reimagining the classics as poolside, fruity affairs. They have a Margarita made with passion fruit juice for example. PIÑA is one of the most affordable and party-friendly cocktail bars, with regular DJ events and parties that last all night. Although they specialize in tropical drinks, you can get some very straight forward, tried and true long drinks at PIÑA as well. They also have deals on different kinds of shots that you can buy as a package.
In the heart of the Jewish district is one of the only glatt kosher restaurants in Hungary, Mazel Tov. Unknown to many, this is also one of the best cocktail bars in Budapest! This should come as a small surprise, as the old Jewish Quarter is the Party district of Budapest, and Mazel Tov fits the bill in every way. Focusing on Middle Eastern cuisine, and on creating an all inclusive space within the party district where everyone can feel at home (along with their dogs!), Mazel Tov is a beacon of culture in the busy nightlife of Budapest. It is mostly a garden with fresh grilled foods and delicious cocktails for a good price, but they also have an indoor area, so Mazel Tov can be visited at any time of the year. Try the prosecco- and champagne-based cocktails, they are truly the best!
As the name implies, WARMUP is a Budapest cocktail bar that fits seamlessly into Hungarian party culture. Usually, Hungarians like to warm up at a bar before going dancing, and this snazzy bar aims at providing a place to do just that. They achieve this by serving “personalized and molecular drinks”. This means you can choose the amounts and ingredients going into your cocktail, and no two are ever the same. Molecular cocktails have an edible portion as well, and are tantalizing and delicious. But what makes WARMUP the perfect place to start the night is its location: It is in Klauzál Square, right in the heart of the 7th district, so every party place, disco and dance club is within walking distance. They have three of the best bartenders and mixers in the country, so just tell them what you are looking for and let them cook up something just perfect for your mood.
Doctor, I am ill – give me a shot of your best medicine! Bar Pharma is a cocktail bar that is chemistry and pharmacology themed, and they have the best medicine you can imagine: long drinks galore! One of the more affordable bars, but with a very professional attitude, a unique mix of drinks, and a couple of signature cocktails. They also have bar foods and were awarded a certificate of excellence from Trip Advisor. Their location is absolutely perfect as well, with Kazinczy Street being the main artery of the Party district. A great place to warm up and from where you can continue on into the dazzling world of Budapest nightlife.
KIOSK is a restaurant that is located on the fabulous Danube corzo. They are well known for trying to bring back the 1920’s Budapest vibe, that art deco Golden Age that has a special place in Hungarian nostalgia. They are also very well known for their delicious artisan cakes and pastries. Lesser known is that they are one of the most diverse cocktail bars in Budapest. They touch on all the classics, with a few twists and lots of signature drinks, and have a Hungaricum menu as well, featuring cocktails that are made with Hungarian liquor, an extremely rare and very satisfying thing. They are in the middle in terms of price,and exude a cool, cultured vibe. The surroundings are perfect for romping around in the city, so we recommend having dinner after a long day of sightseeing, and testing their amazing cocktail with some of their equally amazing cakes.
Good Spirit is a whisky bar. They pride themselves on having 500 spirits on hand, and a very, very fine selection of whisky. Of the 500 spirits, 300 are whiskys or bourbons. And that should give you a VERY good idea of where their priorities lie. They also have expert mixers on staff, so you can be sure that you are getting some of the best cocktails that man can conjure up at this hip yet elegant Budapest cocktail bar. Their profile is on having a large variety of quality spirits, so this is a great opportunity to try rare and famous hard alcohol, either as a shot or in a mixed drink. Of course the main attraction is the whisky and we can highly recommend it as there are many rarities and delicacies available at GoodSpirit.
Impostor is a bar and eatery, and they also run a food truck. This bar is mostly recommended for foodies who love a good drink. The best club sandwiches, bar foods and soups can be had at this Budapest cocktail bar, along with a very fine selection of mixed drinks. Located at Szabadság Square, in the center of the museum district, this is a great place for a pit stop after a day of culture. Load up on carbs and booze, and renew the energy you need to dive into the hectic world of Budapest nightlife! Impostor also hosts events and DJs spin lounge classics and deep genres, so perhaps staying is also an option, as they are open late.
The Bar is the most refined, stripped down, and elegant bar in the city. A tiny hidey hole in the inner city that focuses on having one main ingredient: Smirnoff Black. Everything about this drink fits perfectly to the establishment, as it is strong, simple, yet refined and of high quality. They have an amazing selection of cocktails, and are all themed, so they have their own poolside varieties, their own classics, and of course, some recent trends as well. If you are a no-nonsense sort of person, and you like it straight, this is definitely the place for you. It is located in the beating heart of the city centre, a block away from Deák Square, the main transportation hub of Budapest.
By far the snootiest and most upper class place on this list is Black Swan. Hidden in plain sight, with nothing telling youth that there is a bar inside, this most elusive cocktail bar in Budapest is located near Klauzál Square, in a beautiful art deco building. Stepping in is like going into a time machine, and being transported back into the early 20th century. The drinks are almost all signature, with fine mixes, refined packages of different flavours, and a very fancy food menu to boot. If you are looking to enjoy a few cocktails in style and an exclusive place, we recommend the Black Swan. One of the most atmospheric bars around, although quite pricey by Budapest standards.