Bar Ladino

Dob utca 53 [map]

Pest Centre, VI, Király utca (T4/6), 5 min

Rating: 8.1/10

BAR LADINO; the words hit you like the typeface on a magazine cover. Moreover, “Ladino” makes me think of Loaded magazine; it might be another word for “ladette”. A huge knife, fork and spoon are emblazoned unapologetically between the windows and say “Hey lads and ladinos, want a slice of Budapest?” But, for better or worse, Bar Ladino is not full of swaggering beer monsters and Kelly Brook look-a-likes.
Ladino, it turns out, is a language, otherwise known as Judeo-Spanish and you’d be correct to infer that the bar’s located in the old Jewish Quarter, otherwise known as the most interesting part of town.
Bar Ladino is a grower. It lacks the fluxus, beatnik, makeshift chic of Budapest’s most “Budapest” bars but it doesn’t for a moment approach swanky. However, someone with a modicum of design nouse has clearly been involved, with the interior at least. The strikingly trad-style wallpaper looks pretty damn contemporary when it’s limited to the bar and the thick pillar that supports the high ceiling. It’s worth noting, for any anablephobics out there, that the ceiling by the bar is made of brick! The walls double up as an exhibition space, displaying local modern artists, that change from time to time.

By day, Ladino attracts an interesting mix, separated by two generations: bronchial pensioners play cards while the WIFI-enabled gather around the plug sockets. In the evening it becomes a chat-with-friends kind of a place. It can be quite tricky to get a table but it’s in the right part of town to choose alternatives if you fail, or if you want to make more of a night of it: Szimpla Dupla, Elláto, Fészek, Mumus and Lámpás are all in the neighbourhood.

Ladino’s great strength is its menu: basic but decent food at a decent price. The burgers aren’t bad – better when they don’t serve them in a shiny bun – and the 3-course lunch at 990Ft is a godsend, which even has a choice of 6 mains. When you’ve finished trawling the streets looking for that place your friend told you about, and you’re not sure it’s even lunchtime anymore, you can rely on Bar Ladino to help you out – they serve lunch until five!

It’s not often that I think “Let’s go to Bar Ladino!” but I do tend to end up there an awful lot. They may have put ice in my brandy the other day, and service can be a bit lackadaisical when you want the bill, but these I’m willing to forgive. Bar Ladino may not be the perfect plan A but it’s a really good plan B.
Service: 8.0/10
Atmosphere: 8.0/10

Value for money: 8.5/10
What people we know think: 8/10

Take a 4 or 6 tram to either Király utca (or Wesselenyi utca) and walk down (or up) the körút until you get to Dob utca. Then walk in a Deák tér direction for two minutes, and it's on your left.
laddino, aladino, alladino, aladdino

Andy Sz.


  1. Anonymous said...

    I think what I like best about this place is the fact that it doesn't feel overly expat; there's plenty of Hungarian regulars. They strike a nice balance.  


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