Fecske has two wings. Fecske Presszó has recently alighted next to the Central Library, allowing Raday utca to get on with what it's good at (hosting rubbish bars.) Fecske Terasz on the other hand is perched on top of Császár-Komjádi swimming baths, one bus-stop north of Margit hid, on the Buda side, where only the swallows fly.

Fecske Presszó (Rating: 7.4/10)
Szabó Ervin tér [map]
Pest South, VIII, Kalvin tér (M3), 2 min
At the risk of sounding boorishly sentimental, the old Fecske Presszó was great: a coffee shop with a literary atmosphere, a patch of outside seating and a few cosy rooms downstairs with sofas for everyone. Only, I can't really get too teary-eyed about it because, in two years, I must have gone there all of five times. The problem was that it was just that bit far away from anything else. The 'new' Fecske is far more conveniently located in what used to be (yawn) Archivum, and what was once (stop me) my favourite basement brasserie, Kotyogó vendeglő. (I'm weeping nostalgically for my catfish in ginger-butter sauce, gone forever.)

The triumph of this location is that the path opens out into what is nominally a square. In other words, you can sit outside comfortably, without feeling like you're sitting in the road (and with a fine view down Reviczky utca, above.)

So for summer, Fecske's landed on its feet. The problem is when it runs out of outdoor seating, or when the summer runs out of sun.

Inside, it's a real step backwards. Opening up a second room doesn't stop it feeling pretty pokey, and putting up a few posters, sticking a blackboard on the ceiling and throwing books on the shelves, doesn't do enough t
o turn it into a cool hangout. It's still Archivum, a nothing-special cellar bar, albeit with improved service.

Fecske Terasz (Rating: 9.0/10)
Árpád Fejedelem útja 8 [map]
Buda North, III
Császár-Komjádi uszoda
(B86/160/260/923), 0 min

If outdoor seating is Fecske Presszó's strong point, it's Fecske Terasz's raison d'etre. Only open for the spring and summer, Fecske Terasz makes you feel like you're on holiday, overlooking the pool on one side and the Danube on the other. Unlike Corvintető, it's clear that you really are on the roof.

There are some nice touches too: silly bar stools made out of bicycles, a swing, a patch of sand, ping pong and a giant chess set which I've actually seen people playing. You should too: you're on holiday. Except no one's really on holiday because a bus-stop north of Margit hid doesn't show up on the tourist radar.

Fecske Terasz hangs onto the sun while the rest of the city is already bathed in darkness, but when the night does finally fall, there's a chilled-out, intimate atmosphere. It's not party central but it's a nice place to be. The only drawback is that when you want to leave, Margit hid will seem miles away, even though it's only a five minute walk. There is, however, a night bus, that goes every half hour and follows the 4/6 tram route through Pest.

In the winter, Fecske is a name you can forget but in summertime, it's synonymous with relaxed outdoor drinking. Both bars have the same reasonable menu too, so a quick beer at the Presszó can easily become lunch, and an afternoon at the pool can turn into a long, lazy day out.
fechke, fechker, fetchke, fetchker, kert
Andy Sz.


  1. freddie said...

    this whole blog is great! But aren't there any 24-hour cafes in this city?  

  2. Andy Sz said...

    @ Freddie - Múzeum Cukrászda is the obvious choice, when there's nowhere left to go - on Múzeum körút just before Bródy Sándor.

    There's also a small bar at Blaha that's quite convenient - on the corner of Akácfa - glass windowed place. I don't recall it closing.

    I think Cafe Vogue on Teréz körút is always open too - see Sports bars post - although I may be confusing it with some other bar on that side of the road.  


Copyright 2006| Blogger Templates by GeckoandFly modified and converted to Blogger Beta by Blogcrowds.
No part of the content or the blog may be reproduced without prior written permission.