New York Café in Budapest
Budapest is known for its grand cafe culture, and the New York Cafe has been a prominent feature in the city for over 125 years. Located in the neo-renaissance-style Boscolo Budapest Hotel, this cafe has been a gathering place for writers, poets, and the local bourgeoisie. Today, it attracts tourists from all over the world who are eager to experience the old-world charm and elegance of this stunning establishment.
- Address: Budapest, Erzsébet krt. 9-11, 1073 Hungary
- Phone: +36 1 886 6167
- Website: www.newyorkcafe.hu
- Opening time: Monday – Sunday: 8 am – 12 am
- Breakfast time: Monday – Sunday: 8 am – 11 am
The History of New York Cafe in Budapest
The story of the New York Cafe dates back to 1894 when the New York Life Insurance Company opened its European headquarters in Budapest and decided to build a coffee house right inside. It was one of the 500 coffee houses that opened in the city during that time. Its owners aimed to create the “most beautiful cafe in the world,” and they went all out to achieve just that.
Initially, it was a meeting place for the local bourgeoisie, as well as writers and poets keen to sell their skills to the highest bidder. It became a popular hub for Hungarian modern literature and the starting point for the Nyugat literature movement, which took its name from a periodical that published poetry and prose by Hungarian writers.
For years, it was a famous gathering place for writers, who would sit in the cafe and write stories while waiting for wealthy patrons to offer them a meal. This brought about a literature movement known as “Nyugat.”
The New York Cafe is nothing short of spectacular. The cafe is built in neo-renaissance style, with marble columns, sparkling chandeliers, stunning frescoes, and gilded details. The interior is adorned with stuccoed angels, and the ceilings are decorated with magnificent frescoes. The cafe looks more like a lavish palace than a place to grab a slice of cake and coffee.
The cafe’s architecture is said to be inspired by the Italian Renaissance, and it is often compared to the Sistine Chapel. It is easy to see why the cafe is regarded as the “most beautiful cafe in the world.”
Menu and Culinary Delights
The New York Cafe is not just a feast for the eyes; it’s also a feast for the taste buds. The menu is filled with a large selection of decadent cakes, including the famous caramel Dobos torte, traditional layered chocolate cake, and rich hot chocolate. The cafe also offers a variety of savory dishes, including Hungarian goulash and beef tenderloin.
One of the unique features of the New York Cafe is its breakfast menu, which is served until noon. The breakfast options range from traditional Hungarian dishes to American-style pancakes and omelets. The cafe also offers a variety of vegetarian and gluten-free options.
Interior Design and Atmosphere
The New York Cafe is a masterpiece of interior design. From the moment you step inside, you’ll be transported to another time and place. The cafe’s neo-renaissance style is evident in the marble columns, ornate ceiling frescoes, and gold leaf accents. The chandeliers are particularly impressive, with their sparkling crystals and elegant design.
The atmosphere of the New York Cafe is equally impressive. The live Gypsy music that plays from 11 am creates a certain ambience that is unmatched anywhere else in Budapest. The service is also impeccable, with the waitstaff dressed in traditional attire and ready to attend to your every need.
The Decline and Revival
During the communist era, many of the famous coffee houses in Budapest, including the New York Cafe, were shut down. The venue went through various different incarnations, operating as a restaurant at one point and even a sports store.
However, the Boscolo Group acquired the building in 2001 and began a five-year restoration project, led by creative architects Maurizio Papiri and Adam D. Tihany. The main building was transformed into a luxury hotel, and the cafe was completely restored to its former glory. The original plans were found in the basement, which meant that by the time it reopened in 2006, renovators had recreated it almost exactly.
Visiting the New York Cafe
Visiting the New York Cafe is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and it’s worth making a reservation to avoid long lines. The cafe is open from 8 am to midnight, and it’s usually crowded throughout the day.
The cafe is located in the New York Palace, The Dedica Anthology hotel, at 1073 Budapest, Erzsebet krt. 9-11. The nearest metro station is Blaha Lujza tér, which is just a few minutes walk from the cafe.
What is the New York Café in Budapest?
The New York Café in Budapest, known as the "Most Beautiful Café in the World," is a historic coffee house renowned for its opulent interior, featuring gilded stucco, crystal chandeliers, frescoes, and marble columns.
Where is the New York Café located?
The New York Café is located in the 7th district of Budapest, on the Erzsébet körút part of the Grand Boulevard, within the Boscolo Budapest Hotel (formerly known as the New York Palace).
What kind of food and beverages are served at the New York Café?
The New York Café serves a variety of Hungarian and international dishes, as well as a selection of desserts, coffees, and other beverages.
Do I need to make a reservation at the New York Café?
Reservations are highly recommended at the New York Café due to its popularity, especially for dinner. Reservations can be made via the café's official website or by phone.
Is there a dress code for the New York Café?
There isn't a formal dress code for the New York Café, but due to its elegant ambiance, most guests choose to dress smartly.
Can I just have a coffee at the New York Café?
Yes, you can visit the New York Café just to enjoy a coffee and admire the beautiful interior.
What languages do the staff at the New York Café speak?
Staff at the New York Café typically speak Hungarian and English, and some may speak other languages as well.