Budapest is full of great delis, cafés and bakeries—especially if you know where to look. Whether it’s in the middle of the city center or in a hidden little street on the outskirts, we’ll find it. In our new series, twice a month, we’ll feature 3-3 gastro places that are my current favorites, giving you inspiration for a quick lunch or creative pre-cooking shopping.
Bake My Day Hegyvidék
1126 Budapest Böszörményi Street 34.
The story of Bake My Day is a story to love—founders Péter Szabó and Zoltán Takács have found the perfect intersection of different directions. Zoltán had worked as a baker in several places and dreamed of having his own place, while Péter helped the integration of people with disabilities with his business, providing call center and cleaning jobs. The story started in 2018 in Őrmező, and continued soon after with a chapter in the mountains, and this year with a chapter on Attila Street. A truly diverse team has gathered in the bakeries and everyone has found their place, from the blind baker with excellent manual dexterity to the colleague with depression or even hyperactivity, as well as socially sensitive and healthy colleagues.
The workflow is divided up accordingly, each task is tailored, but the most important thing is the welcoming, loving atmosphere, which also has an effect on the customers. Not to mention that the products are great, the Greek yogurt rye bread is still perfectly fresh days later, and it’s one of the few bakery products I can eat with peace of mind. However, the unit on Böszörményi Road is worth a visit for more than just that, you can also stop by for a cocoa roll, a pacsni (a traditional Hungarian pastry), a coffee or even a blue cheese steak sandwich, all guaranteed to leave you smiling.
1024 Budapest Lövőház Street 12.
A good soup starts with a good base stock—as anyone who has cooked a Sunday soup starting on a Saturday knows. Simmering the bones over a slow fire for hours on end not only enhances the flavor but has proven positive health benefits, which can also be used for therapeutic/regenerative purposes. It provides a wealth of minerals, vitamins, collagen, amino acids, which nourish joints, muscle tissue and gut flora and support the immune system. However, people don’t always have the time or the mood to spend hours on this, and this is why the emergence of the Alaplé Bár in 2020, which sprang from the mind of dietician Évi Király, exploded like a comet.
The small shop on Lövőház Street (followed by another one on Nagymező Street) sells chicken and beef broth in different flavors (e.g., oriental or shy mixed with fermented beetroot juice) and in various portions, so you can even sip it from a glass on the go. On chilly days it tastes better than any coffee, but you can also plan ahead and integrate it into your weekly menu: my current favorite is natural beef stock, which makes any homemade spicy pepper or ramen soup go to heaven.
Cho Coco The Cafe & Chocolate Shop
1013 Budapest Pauler Street 7.
If you want to go beyond the monotone selection of chocolates available in chain stores, if you’re looking for the perfect gift for a sweet tooth, or if you’d like to try a hot chocolate made with Hungarian bean-to-bar chocolate, or refresh with a specialty cappuccino, Cho Coco in Buda is the place for you. The chocolate shop opened more than 10 years ago, not far from Krisztina Square, but a few years ago, it underwent a complete facelift after it was taken over by Kristóf Pintér and Ajna Csima. Kristóf has combined his previous marketing experience with his passion for chocolates to reimagine the brand, and the result is a jewel box that is also “dangerous”—there’s no way you’ll leave empty-handed, even if you’re just stopping in for a quick coffee.
You will always receive a warm welcome; they are happy to help you with anything and even prepare corporate gift packages. I really like that they introduce you to the products of small local chocolate manufacturers, but they also have products from renowned foreign brands like Menakao. Now that Christmas is around the corner, it’s definitely worth a visit, as the range has taken on a festive feel—plus they have a strong wine selection, thanks to the family’s wine expertise.
Photos by Krisztina Szalay