Last weekend, a mom and her son made their way to Budapest for the first time to see what the hype was all about. Between moments of anguish as the generation gap differences kicked in, the two certainly found some common ground in the form of wine and desserts. These are the places in Budapest that they found to be particularly “awe-inspiring”. Should you and your momma make it to Budapest together, we’ve done the legwork for you in making a list of mother and son approved places.
Szimpla Kert - Ft
Absolutely the one of the coolest redevelopment projects I have seen in any city, this place is a massive multi-room and multi-floor bar built out of old ruins. The decorations are ridiculous at best and you may find yourself sitting in an old car or bath tub. For just around 1000 Ft (3 Euro), you can get large Budapest IPA (be weary of the Budapest Cherry Beer - so not my thing) or for only 600 Ft (2ish Euro), you can get a massive cup of local wine.
The coolest part, on Sunday mornings, this place transforms into a Farmer’s Market with tons of raw baked goods and cheese and meats to negate the healthiness of the raw baked goods. Mom and son found themselves there every day, multiple times a day.
Stex - FtFt
Nice bar/restaurant in Pest with free pool and late hours. Lots of super sexy local men boasting big muscles (at least the waiters).
Stex’s Damn Good Beef Goulash
Hungry? (Couldn’t write this post without a “Hungary” pun)
Leves Gyorsétterem - Ft
For soup and sandwich enthusiasts, Leves has got your back. Served out of a disposable coffee cup (okay, not the most environmentally friendly), the soup is scrumptious and differs on the daily. If you happen to be there when “Curry and Carrot Soup” is a thing, get it, top it with roasted almonds, and pair it with a mozzarella and crème fraîche sandwich. You and your momma won’t regret it.
DesszertNeked - FtFt
Looks like a naughty name, but as mom says, the dessert is “bespoke, delicious, and unusual”. Try the cheesecake and the lemon meringue pie with pistachio, and maybe a macaron or five on the side. Of course all this sweet stuff deserves a side of coffee, too.
Frici Papa - Ft
The cheapest authentic Hungarian dishes you are going to get in the center of the city. The table arrangements are a bit odd, but if you can get past the dire aesthetics, then go down on some Goulash or Chicken Paprikash. Pair that with some Hungarian beer or wine, and you’ve got yourself a seriously cheap but hearty dinner. Tip: There is a board in the front of the room in only Hungarian. If you google translate those, you will find special dishes that aren’t on the menu!
Kéhli Vendéglő - FtFt
Situated in some old houses in the Northern end of Buda, this place was the most exquisite on our list, but still was a bang for the buck. Momma got the Pork Medallions and son got the stuffed cabbage. Paired with a local rosé and then finished off with an apple pie with ice cream, and yeah, it was nearly perfect. If you are there at the right time, a little string band comes in and plays, but leave before they start harassing you to buy CDs (I don’t even know where to play those off of anymore…)
Dirty? (Cannot think of a better adjective for this one)
Budapest is located on a fault line, so the natural hot springs are the natural choice for cleansing oneself. The best part is that, unlike other places in the world, moms and sons can go into all the baths together (sounds awkward, but was convenient for not having to split up!).
Okay, so this was the only one we went to, and while at first we could not approve of it making this list due to the copious amounts of bodies in too small a number of hot baths, the journey up to the outdoor hot tub overlooking all of Budapest made it jump up to the top of our radar! Sure there were too many bodies, but a hot soak while staring at the gorgeous bridges crossing the Danube made it worth it. Tip: Bring your own towel, or you will have to purchase one, or dry off with a blow dryer like we did.
Hike up to the Citadella on the Buda side. It is a gorgeous park, especially when snow covered.
Hang out on Margaret Island in the middle of the Danube. We went at night and found it to be a really cool island that was essentially one massive park.
Finally found a Budapest sign on Margaret’s Island!
Want to be trendy?
All local Hungarian designers, the clothes are far out there, colorful, and scream techno. If it weren’t in Budapest, I would swear it were in Berlin.
City Design Apartment - FtFt
Each room is themed, so we happened to get the Budapest Room, which was…you nailed it…is Budapest themed. There is also a Coca Cola Room. It had all the essentials and was in a great location on the Pest side in perfect proximity to the center of the city and with easy access to the airport.
City Design Apartment Facade
Parliament was gorgeous at twilight and The Dohany Synagogue was informative and inspiring. I wouldn’t recommend the castle as much, as it was just flooded with people.
Parliament at Night
Of course, a Saturday and a Sunday is not nearly enough to take in all of what Budapest has to offer, but mom and son thinks they did pretty well. What are your mom and son approved places in Budapest?