If you typically start your day with coffee, this tour is for you. Nowadays, speciality or gourmet cafés pop up on every corner, but Dezső Kosztolányi called Budapest the “city of coffee” as far back as the turn of the previous century. This is no coincidence, as the first known coffee shop in the country opened in the city centre in 1714 and the development did not stop until World War II. The streets around the small ring road and downtown were once full of cafés where literary scholars and chess players were regulars. Crossing over to Buda, get to know the history of the coffee shops and how this modern achievement of the turn of the century, the successor to the café, was transformed into the number one catering outlet for socialism. Starting from the iconic Bambi, entering coffee shops and pubs, you can discover what its consumer culture reveals about an age and a society.
A cake or pastry goes hand in hand with coffee. For this reason, even the most famous confectionery in Budapest offers a glimpse behind the scenes. Everyone has a story about the Gerbeaud patisserie, a worthy counterpart to the Sacher of Vienna or the Ladurée of Paris. But this is not the only gastro-themed walk for those with a sweet tooth. On a chocolate tour of Budapest, you can also learn whom Tibi Chocolate was named after, and even what the coolest chocolate candies in the city are made from. The Gundel restaurant is a similarly legendary treasure trove for sweets. Find out how an adventurous Bavarian waiter at the restaurant, which is famed for its pancakes, became the founder of one of the most influential Hungarian gastro dynasties. The modern, yet traditional cuisine, at once cosmopolitan and Hungarian in all its flavours, is just as fresh today as when it was founded.
The downtown wine tour reveals where and what kind of wine was once made in Pest-Buda, how the famous brewer Jakab Proberger got rich, who introduced bottled beer to Budapest, and where the largest brewery operated in the first half of the 20th century. There will be mention of the Törleys, Mihály Gschwindt's distillery, the special rums of the Gottschlig company, and of course, the tour includes a good deal of craft beer tasting. It’s worth attending one of Csaba Katona's gastro-historical lectures or stand-up performances on the topic, because the historian of the Institute of History of the Research Centre for the Humanities recalls Budapest’s history, which is also imbued with alcohol, in an extremely entertaining way.