Szimpla Kert / Karavan

We run terrified from the Electrotechinal Ghost Giggler back to Kazinczy St in Budapest’s 7th District, Jewish Quarter hmmmahehehe. The next block over is Szimpla Kert, a romkocsma, which means ‘Ruins Pub’ in Hungarian (not to be confused with British romcoms or rock ’em sock ’em robots). This was the first of such ruin pubs in Budapest but our sources say there are a number of popular ones here now.

This guy’s got cooler poses and sneaks than me so I’ll just get a pic of him outside the entrance instead of us being douchebags looking rad.

This old gaggle of geese blocking our path immediately on entry tells me this place probably turned the corner from trendy underground hangout spot to full blown tourist attraction some time ago.

Still, it offers a cool ever-shifting atmosphere as it sprawls out into multiple nooks, crannies, bars and hidden gems.

This looks like a good place to start.

“First rounds on you, bro”, “Yeah, that museum did suck”, “Look at that. Unicum is only a buck”, “No thanks”, “What? You gotta try it”, “Nope, not feeling it”, “You’ve never had it before. You can’t come to Hungary and not try their national treasure”, “It’s a digestif?”, “Ya, I’m expecting something Fernet-like”, “No thanks”, “Suit yourself. You’re still buying.”

Yep, very Fernet-like. Maybe a little sweeter. Enough to knock the Art Deco dust off. We get some G&Ts and continue our investigation.

Lots and lots of random shit in here. Every inch of every wall seems covered in some found object or graffiti.

There is a large open atrium area in the center with the bulk of seating options. Stairs lead up to a second floor full of more randojunk spaces and bars. There’s an old Russian military car under the steps.

Every doorway we look in has a whole new themed area to hang in. Actually there is more than enough space in here to get away from the tourists and occupy a party all your own if you wanted.

We find a CD vending machine. Hmmmm don’t recognize any of the bands in here. Maybe they’re local bands, that’d be sweet.

DUCKSHELL!?!?

Let’s see what Duckshell are about. Yep, Budapest based world music band

We go upstairs to check it out. Man, this place just keeps going. Colorful up here. Digging all the plants

We find a photobooth type thingy. Don’t have a 1000 huf for this stuff so we’ll just get a pic of our would-be pic

Keeps going…

Back to another graffiti’d up little bar area

Cool poster. I like the periodic table style logo

One of the rooms off to the side looks like it’s getting set up for live music on a little stage. I guess they do a lot of community events in here. Local bands and art shows, indie films, a farmers market, etc…

Awesome da Vinci drummer painted on the wall by the stage. Four-armed da Vinci vs Neil Peart, who wins?

Cool place for sure. Just as we get back downstairs we’re fortunate enough to nab the table in the Russian car under the stairs. Cheers to that.

“Sitting in a car, drinking in a bar”, “Ya this is killer. Amazing city in general”, “Definitely. Especially the Electrotechnical Museum”, I’m not quite ready to let it drop just yet. “Hey, we can go in again on the way back”, “Is it wrong to check something off your bucket list twice in one day?”

We get a couple rounds of beer and chill in the car for a bit watching tourists mill about the place. Pretty chill. Budapest certainly has a lot of character so far. Glad we altered the plans and came this way.

Karavan

We finish our rounds and decide to mosey on. Just around the corner is a courtyard area filled with street food and food trucks. Badass!

There are multiple bars in here too.

The Goulash Station looks dope.

“What was that thing your buddy told us to get?”, “Oh yeah. Lángos. There’s got to be some in here somewhere.”

Bingo! “Damn, these look killer”, “Should we just go for the classic. Get the original dealio?”, “Sounds good.”

Wow. Fried dough, sour creme and cheese. Simple. Effective.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaand let’s try it!

Holy smokes. It’s basically a sour glazed doughnut with cheese on it. Tastes exactly as it looks. Hmmmm it’s really good. How are all these Hungarians so skinny?

Gonna need a cocktail to wash that down. The bar offers a number of good sounding drinks and you choose which alcohol you want to add. A couple of passion fruit lemonades and vodka should do the trick.

You pay 100 huf for the cup and get a little token. The bartender tells us to return the cup on the way out and give the girl the token to get the money back. Guess they wash and reuse all the cups. Great system.

We grab a seat in the back and kick it with our drinks. This is great. Damn, these drinks are good. We’re bringing our cups back for refills in no time.

We’re sitting behind the old factory that is now Szimpla Kert

“Did you know that Metropolis anime was done by the same guy that did Astro Boy?”, “Well that’s a random ass thing to say. No I didn’t even know there was a Metropolis anime”, “What?! You haven’t seen the Metropolis anime?”, “Nope”, “Oh, man. You gotta watch that”, “Ok. But why the hell are you even thinking about that?”, “Ahhh ya. I don’t know haha.”

Starting to get dark out now. Looks like our random walkabout might be coming to an end. “Nothing on our list is open anymore. We’ll have to hit things up tomorrow”, “Maybe grab a bottle of gin and blog it up at the hostel for a bit?”, “That’s a good plan. We can hit another ruin bar later on too”, “Perfect. I’ll see what Ass Antlers is up to.”

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