No need to travel to Prague; scattered throughout Budapest are some really great little Czech pubs
The Czech Republic prides itself on some of the best beer in Europe, if not the world, and rightly so. Although Czech beers may not be as well known as the Irish or the Belgians, the breweries in the Czech Republic have a tradition of almost nine hundred years, and their products live up to the expectations of even the most critical beer-tasters.
For Budapestians looking to savor these special brews, the Hungarian capital has some wonderfully hidden (and not so hidden) Czech specialty pubs to delight and amaze the taste buds. Here are a pair of fun places to sample your favorite Czechland beers.
This place is a real treat for locals, expats and tourists: a pub dedicated to Bohumil Hrabal. This most famous of all Czech authors (1914–1997) was born in Brno, Moravia, and, by the time of his death, he had written nearly fifty books. He was also, like pretty much all Czechs, a lifelong devotee of the country’s national drink – beer.
The Hrabal Söröző is just east of Astoria, located at Rakoczi út 11. It has a wide range of beers (draught and bottled) at prices fit for the end-of-month shortage. The pub has a main floor area and upstairs loft seating, with attentive, welcoming staff and a cozy, friendly atmosphere. Hrabal offers several tasty draft beers from the Postřižinské brewery and also has some of those famous Czech beer-related side dishes, like a “beer-goulash,” head cheese or a nice local kolbasa.
This is a place for the semi-professional barfly, ideal either for a quick midday pint or a more prolonged evening visit
Ferdinand Monarchia Cseh Sörház
The Ferdinand Monarchia Beer Hall is another top spot for lovers of Czech beer and it brings a little bit of Prague to Budapest. While they specialize in brews from the Ferdinand Benešov Brewery (which was once owned by the heir to the Czech throne), they also offer several other Czech guest beers: Ferdinand Svetly (draught light), Sedm Kulí (semi-dark) and Tmavy (dark ale) are all available on tap. The beer is paired with authentic Czech pub food, prepared by an authentic Czech chef. These munchies include: Nakladany Hermelin (cheese in oil with chili and onions); Utopenci (pickled sausages); and Chlebicky (open-face sandwiches).
The entire atmosphere is traditional Bohemian, including the small pieces of paper on the tables used by waiters in Czech pubs to keep track of how much you have consumed. You can find this Hidden Gem near the Kodály Körönd Yellow Metro stop at Szív utca 30 in District 6. Czech it out.