No question about it, Budapest's wine-bar-scene is thriving with new wine bars opening faster than Starbucks, at least for now, offering wine by the glass, appetizing bites and plenty of socializing. In addition, with many award-winning vintages, Hungarian wines are a must-try. The following wine bars in Budapest are a mix of old favorites and new gems offering a good selection of wines as well as knowledgeable staff and, where available, some well-paired food.
Drop Shop is the wine bar you'll never want to leave. A huge by-the-glass selection with as many as 60 types of wine open for tasting at any one time and more than 200 bottles on the shelves, the choice is vast and diverse. Both, Hungarian and international varieties are in stock, including about a dozen Champagnes. The food isn’t fussy (freshly prepared Panini sandwiches and cheese plates to accompany the wine) and the wines are priced right. Drop Shop is small and cozy with a modern design. There's a bar, a few tables inside and a side walk terrace in the summer. (Balassi Bálint utca 27, Pest, District 5, Monday-Sunday: 11 am to midnight)
Meet up and coming young winemakers under the age of 35. DiVino specializes in Hungarian wine from the ‘Junibor’ movement and is presently serving wines from 30 young winemakers. The extensive wine list (about 500 bottles), with some very good deals, features a different young sommelier each month. DiVino's design is hip, young and minimalist with a bar area perfect for wine tasting and a relaxed seating area at the back. The location couldn't be better either, as the wine bar is located in the lively square in front of the Basilica. There are small, and not so small, tasty bites that go with the wine. (Szent István tér 3, Pest, District 5, Monday-Sunday: noon to midnight)
A more formal wine bar, Andante Borpatika, is an old favorite. Their wine list represents each region of Hungary, with a strong showing of award winning reds from the Villány region. Oenophiles won't want to miss this wine bar as the wine list is curated by Zsolt Tiffán, a respected sommelier from Villány who is also one of the owners. Andante's creative menu goes way beyond the cheese plates, with enticing dishes like goose liver paté in onion sauce. Wine tasting dinners are offered weekly. Bring a date, as this place is romantic. (Bem Rakpart 2, Buda, District 1, Monday-Friday: noon to midnight, Saturday: 4 pm to midnight)
A stellar Hungarian selection, without being overpriced, makes this Jewish Quarter wine bar a great choice for wine lovers. Doblo stocks over 200 types of Hungarian wine, sparkling wine and pálinka. The bar serves an impressive array of reds and roses from the Szekszárd and Villány wine regions. The atmosphere is casual and friendly and the brickwork decor adds a wine cellar feel to the place. Doblo runs regular wine programs and themed tastings and, who would have thought, they serve breakfast until 2:30 pm daily. (Dob utca 20, Pest, District 7, Monday-Sunday: 8 am to 2 am)
Kadarka offers a short yet inspiring wine list that features Hungarian vintages exclusively from small, family owned wineries. Kadarka, as its name would suggest, is not solely dedicated to the spicy Kadarka grape. The bar offers 30 to 40 different varieties daily. A selection of paired snacks, like cheese and pogácsa, are also available. Kadarka is a great way to sample wine with wallet-friendly prices. The atmosphere is casual and unpretentious, it's a perfect spot to pop in for a wine spritzer or to mingle with an after-work crowd of locals. There is sidewalk seating in the summer. (Király utca 42, Pest, District 6, Monday - Sunday: noon to midnight)
A new addition to the Budapest wine scene, Innio is already generating buzz for its one-of-a-kind cosmopolitan vibe. They offer a nice Hungarian selection and a respectful showing of French, Italian, German, Slovenian and other international labels. With up to 250 varieties to choose from, including some Champagnes, the wine list is impressive. There is a huge bar with comfy seats, ideal for wine tasting and sampling some food. The short menu features creative dishes to accompany your drink (like duck steak and lentil salad), but portions are small, so don't go there hungry. (Október 6. utca 9, Pest, District 5, Sunday-Wednesday: 11:30 am to midnight, Thursday-Saturday: 11:30 am to 2 am)
These are some of the hippest places to sip wine in Budapest. Whether you're new to wine or a master sommelier, these wine bars offer a great selection of Hungarian wine and a cozy atmosphere. Cheers!
For a more personalized experience and to learn about some of the best vintages join Taste Hungary's Wine Tasting in Budapest Tour.