As a former barista who served in an artisan coffee shop - Cafecito Organic Malibu - the first thing I do in any new town I visit is scout out the places that serve the creme de la creme of espresso. Working for over a year with organic, personally-sourced coffee beans definitely left me with discriminating taste buds... And I also love the warm, cozy atmosphere of local mom and pops cafes where you can read, work, write, and be social.
My sister Melissa and I decided to take a trip to Budapest, and when we arrived I immediately began my search. I was so excited to discover a lengthy list of great coffee shops to visit!
Budapest is blooming with third-wave coffee shops that ethically source their beans and have beautiful, unique interior designs. If you ever get the chance to visit the enchanted city of Budapest and if you are an avid coffee lover like me, here are the places you should definitely hit up for a special experience:
Espresso Embassy: By far the best espresso out of any of the other coffee shops I visited. I immediately noticed the shiny, new Marzocco machine and the rosetta ring that one of the baristas was sporting (sure sign that these people are truly coffee-obsessed and know how to pull a mean shot). Amazing, juicy, fruity espresso. The atmosphere was warm and cozy, with rustic, grey brick walls and curved ceiling. Perfect place to go to whether you need to clock in some work on your computer, or meet up with a friend for coffee. They also serve green juice :)
Madal Cafe: When I walked into Madal Cafe, the first thing I noticed was the plentitude of window lighting that made for a cozy, warm atmosphere that you feel at home in. There were two levels, with counters adorned with succulents and lots of people working and conversing over a drink. Amazing coffee, and the pastries were the best out of all the shops I visited!
Kontakt: By far the cutest and most adorable! It is tucked away down a quiet cobblestone alley, and the whole store-front is purely windows (if you can't tell already, I am very fond of window-lighting). It is certainly small, with just three small tables to relax in, but you can tell that it doesn't get terribly crowded in there like some shops so it's the perfect place to go for quiet time or read a book. The interior is designed with floating shelves and steel pipes that are painted a tiffany blue. Super sweet staff that is very knowledgable about coffee, and their espresso is just as good as Embassy's!
My Little Melbourne. This adorable two-story cafe located in the business sector of Budapest is small yet cozy and clean. There were signs everywhere calling objects "My little... cup" or "My little... toilet" ;) Very warm atmosphere, with vintage bikes on display and succulents adorning the tables (They even had a vertical garden in the upstairs seating area). In addition to their syrupy-sweet espresso, they offer a wide selection of yummy, healthy snacks and food. Perfect place to drop by if you're on the go or need a quick pick-me-up in the afternoon.
Tamp N Pull: The name Tamp & Pull refers to the last two steps of making an espresso before pouring the coffee into a cup. Award-winning baristas man the counter here. Excellent espresso, who also have great taste in music. My only qualms with Tamp N Pull was the lack of that cozy, warm atmosphere that I prefer... and there's no wi-fi.