Király utca (King street), the borderline between District Six and District Seven is one of the longest, most notable and popular pub streets of Budapest's famous-infamous party quarter fully packed with different type of drinking units. It can be also considered as the final frontier because the pub density goes downhill from here towards the direction of Andrássy avenue. In District Six there are significantly less pubs. Of course you can catch some rare gems in the crossing streets also on the left side. But when you start from house number 1. in the order to get the most out of the pub hunt you have to stay in line and when it comes to turning, better turn to the right!
Finding your apartment here you may get yourself ready to stay always in the middle of the buzz. If there is a part of Budapest that never sleeps, than this is the one. In the daylight hours friendly tourists are walking by in smaller groups but when the dusk comes, the crowd like a vampire suddenly wake up and people start to invade. It is not as bad as it may sounds. You can hear some lonely battle-cries from the most dedicated ones but when your windows face the courtyard you won’t be extremely bothered.
There are always people which also means that there are conversations, laughs and noises. This is the price tag for living in a popular neighborhood in the downtown. Fair enough! If you are more than medium noise-intolerant don’t pick a room here with your bedroom facing the street.
On the other hand if you consider yourself to be the biggest party king of all, this is definitely your nest. Whenever you go down after working hours, the party life welcomes you on the streets. Many pubs open at 3:00-6:00 PM and are open till dawn. Király street is also the gate for Gozsdu-Udvar the centrum of the current posher night life scene of Budapest and is also attached to the Madách square and its eternal colorful folk of late nighters.
Pubs and bars in the beginning of Király street:
You will be surprised. Despite the folks all around the Király street contains only one bar on the street front for quite a long distance.
Cool Tour Bar II. - Super Mario in a new Bonus Level
Cool Tour Bar II. is part of a Budapest pub chain.
There are currently four ones operating in the city. The biggest one is also to be found in this street. This smaller venue is a most of the time vivid, buzzy but friendly on two levels (there is a mezzanine.) Especially at the evening hours the place is filled up with guests but the crowd still feels comfy most of the time. You feel as part of something. It is easy to get into interaction.
From spring till autumn it comes with a medium sized terrace, ideal to people’s watch. The inner design reminds me of the Belgian and Dutch "bruin café" style with many wooden material, twilight and mostly black and dark brown furniture but it is shaked up with such Hungarian features like a wallpaper with the 80’s cartoon hit Macskafogó (>Cat city).
You can find here at the same time local Hungarian people sharing some daily words above the daily drink with the waitresses and also foreign tourists from youngsters till retired age, and girl groups either all the time. The prices are quite friendly to the area. The beers on the tap are import ones (Carlsberg Company: Tuborg, 1664 Blanc, Grimbergen Amber), but among the large scale beers they are relatively harder to find so better appreciate them! Hungarian beers are only to find in bottles. For other characteristic drinks pay attention to cocktails and the shots of the house like hard shit or cool tour shot! They don't have warm meals, only snacks: nachos, ropi (salty sticks), salty peanuts.
Some of the seats are extraordinary comfy, there are seven chairs at the bar and also tables to gather around for four people. The coolest thing of all features is the additional Nintendo (NES) console in the guest area that you can freely use to play the old school Super Mario Brothers.
The upper level is ready to reserve for private parties, even for 60. They speak English in the bar. Also the small things deserve thumbs up: the toilets were extremely clean, and they have clothe hangers below the counter.
Opening hours: from 9:00 AM till 5:00 PM - they can be your first and last bar of the day at the same time.
Mostly recommended for: Play Nintendo while drinking, bruin café atmosphere, many different people, compatible with girls, rarer import beers on tap
For the further bars in Király streets you have to enter courtyards opening from here. The Central Passage is a modern building with high class apartments, lot of rentals among them. Its passage connecting Király and Paulay Ede streets includes a few gastronomical venues (restaurant, pizzeria and top level Italian bakery).
Beer market - the liquid side of a food hall
The next reliable drinking venue is in the greatest street foods spots of all Budapest.
It reminds me other European downtown gourmet markets. A fancy, modern but really pleasant interior with attractive illumination and a lot of greenery.
From its four counter services Beer Market is the only one focusing on the alcohol. But basically all the parts are connected in a great charming environment where even the decoration details draw attention.
You can go the bar where all the heavy fluids run together but you can bring them to any table and drink it with your food. As a result the public consists from all possible people: from a baby till the grandparents even at 9 PM. There are a lot of bigger companies or even couples in love. Good energies float in the air.
Their programs: LIVE Music at Thursdays, regular DJ set on Fridays and Saturdays from 10 PM till Midnight or 1PM. It's a place where you can spend your whole day if you prefer to, from the morning coffee till the late night cocktail.
About the drinks: despite the name contains it beer is not their strongest point: taps of one of the most general Hungarian large scale breweries (Soproni - ran by Heineken). This sortiment has also some titles worth to try but if you are hunting for rare or special beer this is not your place to be.
More interesting feature is that they also mix cocktails from the beer. The Mexican profile brings you in also rare kind of Tequilas (for example the Kah in the skull shaped bottles) either. From whiskeys they also have wider selections and additional rums, gins, bitters and further cocktails - even Mexican cocktails. The prices are medium, normal for the area.
Mostly recommended for: Alcohol and street food comes together, nice ambiance, beer cocktails, Nexican cocktails
Not recommended for special beer lovers.
Lángosh - When the most popular Hungarian street food mates craft beer
At this point you have already reached the greatest night life and gastronomical spot of current day’s Budapest. The Gozsdu Udvar is an apartment complex of 6 buildings with incredible number of different restaurants, coffees and pubs below. It is so big that it has two facades. One on the Király and one on the Dob street.
The second store of the Király street frontage sells alcohol. I told you about the surprising lack of literal pubs in this etap. Lángosh is also a street food bistro but it is also important on pub perspective.
It is based ont he most beloved Hungarian street food of all, the lángos. A round, thick fried dough that most of the times is - like pizza - eaten with different toppings (also without). The most popular topping combination is: sour cream with the grated cheese.
In Lángosh besides this standard one you can get a lot of various toppings. Mostly buyer's favorites are added to the menu but there is also the extraordinary one with egg cream.
You can spot even sweet formats – with raspberry / peach jam or cottage cheese cream. But the extra topping are the hottest: for example jalapeno, smoked sausage or bryndza (Slovakian spicy cottage cheese). Lángos is infamous for being stinky and fatty but here it is solid: a full meal buta as dry as possible and still brings the good old lángos feeling.
How we come to the bar feature after all: they have tap beer from one of the fanciest, lately most spreading Hungarian brewery: First The Craft Beer Company.
They are called "first" because they are first in a newer new wave of medium sized regional beer companies on the Hungarian Beer Market at the range of Budapest. Their selection in Lángosh contains Pils, APA, IPA and Wheat Beer types and the suprahit Belgian Cherry.
That turns Lángosh quasi into a superimportant spot because the Hungarian pub food is not on its highest yet and especially traditional lángos you can’t get in no pubs – not that I am aware of… Here is the clever answer that you can get the beer next to the lángos instead. In other terms you can't rely on Lángosh as a pub. Although they are open till 3 AM and you could have one beer after the other but you can't have any other type of alcohol and the atmosphere isn't one of a bar at all.
They are a welcoming, bright illuminated big shopping window zone with daylight colors and nice wall stickers and a shiny beer tap. You have to do at least once this lángos and beer combo in the middle of party quarter with higher class beer than you usually could at Hungarian lake sides where they are normally to be spotted together but you can go to the next bar right after: with heavier toughs and stomach but no bad small because their air conditional system is a supernatural one.
Mostly recommended for: Not the usual beer types to the lángos in the city center, Good quality lángos in the party quarter
Not recommended for: those who prefer other alcohol but beer
Also the reviewed bars on the map: