So many options for eating in Budapest with your dog!
Dear Reader, there are a lot of things that make a city really pet friendly. Access for pets on public transit or to sites. There is also the overall vibe you get from locals and how they treat their own pets. But for us… the ability to dine together is likely THE most important. It’s a reason we favour Europe for the most part.
Sadly, North America tends to not allow this. It’s certainly true of our own Province of Ontario in Canada. And sure some North American cities do allow pets on patios (as we discovered in Naples and Miami Florida or in Philly)… but patio dining puts you at the mercy of weather. What is a with pet family to do if it rains or gets too cold?
Although I was not surprised to discover this, Budapest was very accessible for dining with a pet. Over the three days we were there we only encountered one “no dogs” sign for a place we wanted to try out.
One of our absolutely favourite spots was having a real tea experience at Zhao Zhou. This place is on the main street that follows the river right near where the cable car to go up to Buda Castle departs. The tea house boasts a discreet façade and if the young lady that works there hadn’t spotted me and been kind enough to invite us in – before opening – to try some moon cakes and really special tea… I think we would have missed it. Especially since Dad is more of a coffee man.
What a sad mistake that would have been! This tea house completely change the way the bipeds view tea. In fact when they got home in Canada they looked into what was available locally. From a quality perspective… never shall they drink tea that comes in a tea bag again! And once you’ve tried well aged Pu-erh tea … there is no turning back.
Wonderful clarity of mind, without the crash or nervous buzz? yes please… I am told it’s remarkable. The young lady begged us to return later in the day to meet the owner. We did and we are all so glad we did!
The owner is very very passionate about tea and travels to China often. As a result, you can find stunning table books to flip through as you sit and sip. It really is a palce to relax – so much so we spent nearly 3 hours there!
After tea we got hungry for dinner … so on the same stretch just a little further down, we settled inside an absolutely adorable little restaurant called MARVELOSA.
The bipeds had a delicious meal and the cook was kind enough to prep a little chicken breast for me. Free! Complete with my own baby carrot and gravy.
It’s hard to beat sitting in comfy chairs in an open doorway watching Budapest light up as the night falls. Budapest you had stolen our hearts!
Our luck with places to dine continued the entire time we stayed in Budapest including the dining room of our own hotel, that ensured a table was held for us every night. Even though they were not use to pets joingin the family over a meal; they were happy to oblige us.
Continuing with our habit picked up in Vienna we hunted down some of the best coffee houses in Budapest. After all for a while it was all the Austro-Hungarian Empire! So it was logical that the wonder of the Viennese coffee houses would be alive and well in Budapest. We were not disappointed.
Let’s start with the most VAVOOM shall we? Take a look:
RIGHT? Insane. So the New York Café has a super interesting a long history. The Cafe is part of the New York Palace Budapest; a luxury hotel.
Surprisingly it’s not as old as you may think. Rather modern actually. It’s not from the Rococo era it emulates but rather a hundred years later. The building was constructed in 1894 by the New York Life Insurance Company as a local head office, hence the name.
Just like the coffee houses in Vienna, the ground floor has been a longtime center for Hungarian literature and poetry. Interestingly, the building was nationalized during the communist era. After the collapse of communism, the structure was subsequently bought by the Italian Boscolo Hotels chain in February 2001. The building was totally renovated and reopened on May 5, 2006 as a 107-room luxury hotel, with the Café, also totally renovated, on its ground floor
Eager to see what the fuss was about for ourselves, we made our way during one of our self guided walking tours we had plotted (about 5 hours long) only to find …. No dogs allowed inside.
We were absolutely bummed. Especially since it hadn’t become clear until it was nearly our turn to enter after standing in line for 15 minutes (worth it just to take in the ceiling fresco in the entrance area).
Now we don’t’ advocate this…. Ok? But the bipeds decided to sneak me in. Our reasoning was that as a whole the city is pet friendly and … worse case…? We’d be asked to leave. It’s a risk and admittedly even a bit disrespectful; but there you have it. So Dad put his cardigan over me as I slept in my sling bag and we went in.
The bipeds had a wonderful time. There was live classical music, and the atmosphere was amazing. No regrets.
The waiter noticed me, went to the floor manager to report us… and as the floor manager came to our table… he just winked at mom and waved his hand to the waiter brushing our infraction off. Obviously we had gotten lucky and fallen on a dog lover.
While we were in Budapest we found ourselves returning to Café Gerbeaud. Not only was anything chocolate there fantastic, the patio was superb, the indoors magnificent and pet friendly; and most of all, it was the impeccable pet friendly service that made us accept the slightly high price point.
I was spoiled Dear Reader… my own treats, water dish … lovely fleece blanket to keep me warm when outside under the heat lamps (it was fall and a little cooler), but I also got loads of snuggles from staff that seemed otherwise professionally aloof with others … hehehehehee.
They are known for their chocolates (we brought some home as gifts) and cakes but you can eat there and the food was delicious. It’s a huge patio on a pedestrian square. An amazing spot to people watch and more. Honestly … if you don’t have much money it’s still worth a stop – just order a drink and share a dessert.
And so, we can honestly say we found Budapest pet friendly. Because as we said – if you can eat with your dog in a city…. It gets a 5 paw rating from us.
Do you have a place you can dine with your canine companion? indoors or out?