16 December 2021 / Dániel Ercsey
First of all, a few words of advice, just in case this is not obvious to everyone. Pay some attention to your loved one, it’s worth it! So you don’t miss a smile, an important thought or a request. Life will reward you many times over if you don’t spend your date tapping away on your smartphone, even though it may be tempting. Choose a place where your partner feels comfortable, not just you. Don’t just stick with your own ideas, dare to be different, because it’s good if you both feel comfortable. Finally, please each other in your own way. A flower, a little thoughtfulness, a few compliments can all work wonders!
The location is charming in itself, as it is located in the city centre, near the Basilica and the Christmas markets, close to Liberty Square and one of Budapest’s legendary cafés. You can see in from the street right to the bar through the large glass window, but what you can’t see from here is its winding continuation, with cosy corners and concealed galleries where you can hide away from the world. And if that’s not enough, their excellent wine selection guarantees you’ll both have a great time. You can even stop in if you feel cold after a stroll in the city centre!
It’s romantic enough to get in the car, drive to Sárospatak, see the castle once occupied by Bálint Balassi, admire the Reformed College library and have a walk along the banks of the Bodrog. But even better, afterwards you can visit this wine bar converted from an old bourgeois house (it must have belonged to wine merchants). You can find all the wines from the northern half of the Tokaj Wine Region here, so whether you are looking for a dry or sweet wine, a linear Furmint or a silky Aszú, you can be sure of a good choice here. Moreover, they food is great too…
I am love with the old cellars of Pest. It’s not a coming out, I’m also in love with its apartment buildings, my wife and daughters, wine magazines and some books. As well as with this place, where the wine selection is so incredible that the American wine magazine Wine Spectator also heaped praise on it. The atmosphere is created by its brick arches and the delightful pork tenderloin rillette. And if you get bored, you can try the country’s first wine-themed escape room too.
It is no coincidence that we’ve included another cellar in our selection. But Zengő is interesting for a different reason. It’s not the cellar that sets the mood here, not even the wine, but the really incredible music. If you are in search of blues, jazz or just a frenetic jam session, this is the place for you. And if you dare, you can even get in on the action, learn from the musicians, or even teach them – if you are Edi Nagy or Laci Borsodi in disguise. So, music fans first!
What could be more romantic than walking through the winding streets of Eger while the snow is falling, from Dobó Square, following the line of the castle walls, to Macok? Well, we could then go and enjoy a drink in Macok too. It’s well known throughout the country and for good reason. There’s a great atmosphere, an exceptional wine selection and good food, plus you can read the Stars of Eger or listen to it as an audio book, the main thing is to have a good time.
There is only one thing I like better than old cellars. Reading! And the Könyvbár (Book Bar) is every booklover’s dream. A place where they cook along to books, accompanied by wine! A miracle come true, where you can get a taste of Rowena Ravenclaw’s diadem (Harry Potter) or Bendegúz Regös’s shoelaces (Indul a bakterház – a Hungarian classic). Believe me, it’s worth it!
5 unmissable wine bars outside Budapest
Wine bar guide
Our cover photo is of the Sauska restaurant in Villány, which is not on this list but is also a great place for a romantic wine dinner (editor's note).