• Simon A Bird

New view of some Budapest bar

Having moved from Washington DC to Hungary, an important area to explore has been the social scene. I’m now way beyond clubs etc but I do enjoy the bars and have started to explore what there is here. What I do like is there is an honesty about all the places I have visited. In other big metropolitan areas like London and Manchester, the gay bars can seem to be too self-consciously striving for effect. Not so here

While have visited most, on a number of occasions, the ones I mention here I went to on a Saturday evening recently.

Why Not. Café and bar

A quietly enjoyable space (when I went). There seemed to be a good mix of gay and straight there – I actually think that the days of the ultra exclusively-gay bars are fading which is a good sign – and bar service very friendly with decent prices. The music soundtrack was…well, OK but not intrusive and it is clearly a space where you can comfortably spend a long or a little time there. There was a decent selection of drinks, some interesting cocktails and a good range of food – it’s the sort of space that ‘works’ at any time of day and while initially quiet when I went, by the time I left it was buzzier.

I think probably it is best if you go there with friends/a group but of course with no Hungarian (yet) that makes breaking the ice more tricky although that may just be me personally! Reckon it would be a good place to start the evening and of course it’s good to have somewhere that is open during the day as it is a multi-functional space – café and bar.

Habrolo Café and bar

I really liked this place – it has fantastic décor. Its very stylish, individualistically quirky with a great range of colours/styles/designs in every aspect, but done in such a way that everything seemed to hang together in an original and interesting way. By the time I got there, it was pretty busy – packed even but it is a small space but with some lovely nooks and crannies if one wants privacy. There is a small upstairs area as well but I did not make it up there but suspect it is just as good as the downstairs.

Bar staff and drinks were super and the website has parts in English and much information – although I personally felt that in places it was a bit overly elaborate with a multitude of colours/images/fonts/shapes and spaces. This worked in the physical décor – but for me slightly less effective.

People there very friendly and welcoming and if I had gay friends visiting, like my NYC friend Canute Malcom (self-described as ‘painfully glamorous’!) , I would definitely start there for an evening. I am already looking forward to going back!

#WhyNotcafébar #Habroló #English

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