The best shabby chic pubs in Budapest

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Someone loves ruined pubs, and many more choose stripped down, classic bars. But in the last ten years the Ruin pubs have become a fashionable phenomenon all over in Europe and there are many locations to choose from. What makes them so trendy? Because they are all unique and each of them have interesting individual style? Maybe…However the most striking characters of all of them that there are no stereotypical furniture, chairs, or tables or other familiar decorations which are typical of the common pubs, but their below minimum styles seem trendsetters, sometimes there are only walls and maybe golden painted stoves (in order to warm us up) or a shelf winks at us, or our favorite childhood game lures to play with and at the backyard a frayed grandmother’s lamp beckons…..

The adventure

In the beginning of April 2012 when I was in Budapest I’ve tested six shabby pubs: The Firecargo, Instant pub, Simple (or single) garden, Grandio, Fairy factory and the Garden. Their slogans could have been: nice wines, yummy beers, no chic and expensive furniture. But I’ve also found lots of “old” retro stuffs and memorabilias. I was amazed by the totally non-matching furniture at Simple garden, which gave a bit of bohemian atmosphere to it. I felt also good at Fairy Factory where I discovered an East-German cartoon on the wall, or a commercial from the 70-s so called “piggy” joke. At the Dürer pub I just simply lumped down a sofa and made myself comfortable, like at home with friends. All in all the Tűzraktér (the Firecargo) was my favorite one, but I could tell the dentist’s chair was a shocking item at the Instant bar as well. But just a shame, that price and popularity walk hand in hand. 

So when you happen to be in Budapest just catch a mood and direction of an inviting place but before you decided which place is going to be your favorite one, read my list over 6 shabby pubs:

Firecargo-Tűzraktér: Violin street 3. 

Tűzraktér pub is not just a regular pub but much more. On weekdays it makes a house of Hungarian language courses for foreigners, moreover film clubs are running and craft making workshops as well, dance courses are operating, etc. so you can see it’s a very diverse place, where not only the cold beverages could be enjoyable, but also the rich culture life. You can rent a studio and throw a party…..

Instant pub: High Field Street 38  

The Great Hungarian (High Field) street’s nickname is Broadway. Today, more pubs and streets became snack bars there. The Instant Art Bar is hidden behind a large gate. Since 2008 has welcome everyone. The bar is the most eclectic in design among the other existed pubs, a fish net stretched over the garden and ivy garlands on the wall. However Instant’s has had ups and downs, luckily they could manage to expand themselves, in the basement there is an underground scene, stand-up nights are held there at dawn and electronic music gigs as well. The floor in the waiting room will guide you to a surreal world: Reverse rooms, dental chairs and lots of other bizarre stuffs can be found. Do not be afraid, no harm to the injection, the furniture upside down is made of bricks. 

Simple garden, at Kazinczy street 14th

This is the one shabby bar everyone knows. Before it had been converted into a pub it was an old house. The place was enlarged so that summer time it can work partially convertible. Here you can drink beer from tub, ramshackle the cultic East-German folk car the Trabant. Don’t search for matching chairs because there isn’t just God’s design! It seems that it took many, many years picking up the treasures. However the atmosphere is still the same but you have to reach deeper into your pocket, and to be honest the quality is not always the best, the beer was washed. But maybe the many interesting programs compensate you, for example: jazz evenings.

GranDio: VII. district Great Walnut Street 8th 

You can find bar GranDio in one of the newest and greenest area of the city center. The election of the pub’s name is a sort of “I’m going to my head” joke, but it sounds very aristocratic, and foreign visitors will not know that the meaning of GranDio is a Grand or Great Walnut……hahaha…but in many ways GranDio is different from other Budapest ruined pub’s, but most importantly, the house operates as a hostel. Yes, the club is a hotel, and the accommodation is in the club. The unusual idea came previously to meet with decadent Dutch neighborhoods. The result now you can see in the seventh backpackers, unruly tourists, who are known to hold. Last but not least, the panel makers are nice, they all speak English, and many of Lianas, Oleanders, the Ivys provide of the oxygen supplies, 100% guaranteed. One more plus point goes for the stuffed animals and for the colorful tables!

Fairy Factory: Fire street 22

Although the Fairy Factory falls out of the five or six and seven district triangle of Budapest, yet it stands completely alone at the abandoned Ferencváros as close to the transformer and the Corvin cinema. Otherwise, the name of the assembly plant was Fairy. To linger at the yard area is always admission free, and organizers are trying to arrange as many free concerts as possible. Finally a place pays regard to the entertainment’s wallet! It’s not just about jazz and electro: indie, elastic rubber pop, hip-hop and rock concerts enrich the programs. There are special unplugged evenings, when people in front of a fiber can listen to a guitar solo. In addition to the Fairy factory, do not miss the show and the bikes fair (second hand market). Not incidentally, in the yard was opened the two-wheel grill restaurant: feast for the “Gods” Thursday to Saturday. Prices are the friendliest among the ruined bars!

Garden: Olof Palme promenade 3. 

Located near the vast green of the City Park. It looks very retro, almost like of some scenes from the Hungarian movie the Dollybirds. It has a lemon juice bar and a beer garden. The interieur? Well there are no fairy-colored lanterns, in contrast to the loud-lolly pop colored chairs and tables. Special pleasure is that the garden is not the usual inner-city environment, but the heart of leafy area called Zuglo. It is also very nice that pets are welcome. If you are hungry, grilled meats, burgers, sausages nostalgic dishes on the menu. And if you took the plunge and want to burn calories, a great DJ dance music at your service anytime  – especially on Friday and Saturday night there are big parties..

At the A38 website you can find a travel guide list for the first Budapest ruin pubs, good news that the Single garden (Simple garden) finished with the third place with 4480 likes, while beating the second degree a Dutch site, in Rotterdam, the White Monkey (De Witte Aap) was. Now the Dutch are desperately battling for the first place. The Dutch offensive in news Boat Hungarian sympathizers also joined forces gained the White Monkey 9718 votes against. the A38 website thanked for the sponsors and fans congratulated to the Simple bar and expressed his delight that shortly after the Island Festival (it has been Europe’s best’s, the two bars will belong to the forefront.


3 thoughts on “The best shabby chic pubs in Budapest

    Naz Kovacs said:
    May 5, 2012 at 7:35 pm

    Looking forward to one day visiting Hungary 🙂

      spajzgirl responded:
      May 5, 2012 at 7:58 pm

      You really should! I enjoyed very much the spurgling and vibration of the city… do you have any plan for summer holiday? Where do you want to go?if you happen to be in Europa we can meet somewhere in Belgium in France in Hungary or Germany… have a nice weekend I loved what you wrote of the coconut I’ve learned a lot from the blog!!! Thanks!!!

        Naz Kovacs said:
        May 5, 2012 at 8:20 pm

        No but I know my husband wants us to visit Hungary some time so I’m sure we will see other parts of Europe also. Would be great to meet with you!

        Thanks 🙂

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