Let’s face it- Hungary is not known for it’s beer. Wines, most certainly as some of the best European wines can be found in Hungary, and we are internationally known for our national spirit, the infamous Pálinka, joy and dread to tourists and remedy to locals. We have beers, they are okay, but they are certainly nothing to write home about. Perhaps Dreher and Arany Ászok are the best, but both are well in the category of yellow swill. As for Soproni and Kőbányai, they are mostly only truly enjoyed by the locals, and the only enjoy it after the 3rd or 4th round.
But there are bars that cater especially to those who want to drink fine beer. Austria and the Czech republic are all very close by, and Germany is not that far away either, and their cultural odyssey of fine lager, tangy pils, and stark ale is available in the city of bridges. Here is a list of places to go to get something other than the local beer.
The PIVO beer bar is a bar that hosts Austrian and Czech beers exclusively.
The PIVO beer bar is a bar that hosts Austrian and Czech beers exclusively. It is a small establishment geared towards the gourmands who like the beers of these regions, and there is a wide variety of beers on tap as well as in flask. They have a guest tap every week, with a different beer on tap on this one. Often times it will be the choice beer of a microbrewery, but sometimes a more mainstream, but less known beer will be on tap. The bartenders are real walking beer lexicons, too, so don’t be afraid to bombard them with questions.
Belgian beers were among the first to start becoming popular in Hungary.
Belgian beers were among the first to start becoming popular in Hungary. Belgian beer is internationally known to be extremely strong and flavorful, and this Belgian beer bar has a fine selection of ales, beers, and even some lagers and ‘whitbiers’ or wheat beers. They carry the traditional abbey ales and triple fermented ales that are as strong as wine, too, and also have something for the ladies; abbey and fermented ales that were stored with fruit in the casks, and this is how you have quality flavored beers, like cherry, apple, blueberry, etc. The place is also a restaurant and you can get delicious a Belgian foods and beer coasters to go along with your ales.
The place also has quite a selection of bottled ales, usually also German or Czech.
Located on Buda side in the high end mall and design center called MOM Park, this is pretty much the only bar worth mentioning in the establishment. The place is spectacular and of course is home to the best glass of Paulaner on tap, and they have a wide variety of Paulaner and other, related German lagers. The place also has quite a selection of bottled ales, usually also German or Czech. The most attractive option is the 1.5 liter mug that they have, it is a very Oktoberfest type of affair. Try their Paulaner white, you will definitely not regret it!
Named after the tragically deceased but bohemian and fun Czech author Bohumil Hrabal (who died falling out of a window when trying to feed pigeons), this pub is basically the Budapest outlet of the Nymburk beer manufacturing company. They are a small brewery, and they make plenty of kinds of beers, including ales, IPAs and of course the expected Pilsen as well.
They truly have a selection that just will not end, and their food is out of this world.
This Belgian restaurant and pub is one of the hidden gems of the city. Located just behind the theater district on an off street of the XIIIth district, this is by far one of the larger establishments in the city. It has a huge room for events and conferences, and has plenty of belgian beer on tap as well as abbey and fermented beers. They truly have a selection that just will not end, and their food is out of this world. Rare for Belgian beer places in Budapest, this place has a lot of vegetarian options to choose from, and is considerably more affordable than other places of similar name and stature.