While the perfectly made and frothy-as-all-hell almond butter latte at Mantra on Veres Pálné utca will always be my first choice to sip during catch-up sessions with my sister-in-law during visits to Budapest, Fekete is a close second. This place is the perfect example of what this city is just so damn good at: converting residences (both the beautiful and the bombed) into commercial spaces meant to be shared. Ruin pubs are perhaps the most famous example. Fekete is housed in a gorgeous first floor former home with access to one of Budapest’s typical open-air courtyards, excessible through a long entryway from the street. The interior is decorated in a contemporary style, with bare Edison bulbs hanging from refurbished wooden fixtures. A rustic counter is topped with several different pastries and cakes, cardamom bullar from Norway and mouthwatering homemade quiches.
But what Fekete really specializes in is its coffee selection. You’ll find both espresso-based classics and pour-over drinks, made with care right in front of you, so you can follow the whole process. On my recent visit here to catch up with a friend, I ordered a latte. I still dream about the texture of that foam. And for red-hot summer months, this is the kind of coffee place I’d trust to make decent iced versions of espresso drinks (you know, instead of just dropping 2 ice cubes through the milk foam and diluting everything). They also offer a cold brew that seems pretty popular.
To eat, I ordered one of their savory waffles. They have five different toppings, combinations of ham and egg with a vegan hummus and sundied tomato option as well. With a long day ahead of me, I ordered the salmon and egg waffle, which came with a neatly dressed side salad of peppery arugula, and a kind of yogurt based cream with crunchy cucumber. This is exactly the kind of hearty yet light brunch you want when you’re hungry on a summer morning. The waffle offered the right sequence of crunchy, soft and chewy textures. The fried egg had a yolk still slightly undercooked so that it oozed forth its thick, bright yellow goop of protein when poked. The smoked salmon was also pretty nice in quality, perfectly plump and juicy, not too oily or dried out around the edges.
Ideally situated on the Múzeum Körút at Astoria, between Deák Tér and Kálvin, Fekete is a great option for an expertly made coffee and bite to eat during a day of sight-seeing in Budapest.