Saturday, July 03, 2010

Starbucks in Budapest: A Report

On our way home on Saturday from a conference in Vajta, we stopped in Budapest to eat and feed the baby, and we figured since we were there, we might as well try out the new Starbucks in the Westend mall.

The long and short is this: It's expensive. But that's probably not a surprise to anyone.

I got a solo espresso for 420 HUF and Rosemary got a caffé latte for 620 HUF. My espresso was good - but certainly not amazing. Rosemary said her caffé latte was very weak and tasted mostly like warm milk.

For anyone who likes Starbucks memorabilia - the mugs or thermoses, they have them there. They also have lots of expensive pies and cakes.
The atmosphere is very hip, and the place was packed. They do have free wifi, which is a major plus for any coffee shop - and an improvement on the US Starbucks, where there is wifi, but it's not free.

They also sell coffee beans for making at home - the espresso roast was 1500 HUF for 250 grams, which isn't bad for gourmet coffee. Illy costs at least 2000 HUF/250 gm.

So, if we go back it will probably only be to buy beans - or to stand outside and use their free wifi :)

The thing is that there are so many other cafés with coffee that is just as good and an atmosphere that is just as good at far better prices. The prices were all the more shocking since we had just come from Vajta, where we spent our days drinking espresso which tasted just as good for almost a third of the price.

One of the only things Starbucks offers which is unique is that if you want - and are willing to pay for it - you can get a GIGANTIC coffee. But I think we've been in Europe too long to appreciate that :)


  1. Anonymous8:48 AM

    I thought you were always up to date, but this time you must have missed this info a few weeks back.

  2. That's good news! Last time I was in the States, about a year ago, you still had to pay.
    I am a big fan of free wifi. I think McDonald's is a good example of how having free wifi brings more business.