It is always pretty tough to decide what to have in a pub. Especially when there are so many great options, just like in Hungary. But fear no more! Read our tips to know how to get tipsy the best way in Budapest bars!
If you go to Russia, you drink vodka. If you go to Ireland, you drink Guiness. And if you go to Hungary, you drink pálinka. Sounds easy, right? But in reality, it’s a bit more complicated. Pálinka is a strong spirit distilled from fruits of any kinds. Plum and peach are the most common, but there are raspberry, grape and even banana pálinkas as well. This may suggest something sweet and light, but actually it is as heavy as a shot in the head. The only difference is that it makes you feel better. Our suggestion is to try to find homemade pálinka, but if you really need to drink it in Budapest bars, then ask for the recommendation of the bartenders. They will hopefully bring you a real culinary experience.
The unique Unicum
A more commercial national drink in Hungary is Unicum. It’s a liquor similar to Jägermeister in appearance and taste, since it is a black, spicy and strong treacle. Made of various herbs and plants, it was created as a form of medication for the Hungarian king Joseph II. Ever since then, it has been popular in everyday life, even though the public opinion on it is divided. Some say you have to be mature enough to like Unicum, as it’s taste is not for everyone. To see if you belong to the elite club or not, hop into one of the Budapest bars or go on a full-fledged pub crawl and be the first to say “Egészségedre!” (the Hungarian “Cheers!”) with a cup of Unicum in your hand.
Great beers and even greater wines
Hungary always had its fair share of good beers for centuries. But in the last few years, it really caught up in the league of craft beers. A lot of newly-opened pubs started serving the products of local small and micro breweries to great appreciation. This boosted the scene to the point where you can have delicious craft beers at almost every corner of Budapest. Go into Élesztőház or Sörmanufaktúra to try some of them! If you are, however, more of a wine person, then you can be even happier. Hungary has an exceptional range of quality wines. The Tokaj or Badacsony regions supply the country with wonderfully tasty bottles that can seduce you in many Budapest bars and pubs. Our recommendations for specialised wine places are DiVino and L’Enoteca. Just don’t forget to soak up the alcohol with something edible!