New York Café Budapest holds the title of being the world’s most beautiful cafe. With an opulent interior, bathed in gilt and velvet and a menu of sumptuous dishes, it promises to be a feast for the eyes and the palate.
This article tells you everything you need to know about visiting the New York Café, so if you want to have the best breakfast or brunch in Budapest, keep reading!
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Located in the New York Palace Hotel, this unique cafe invites diners to experience this incredible space while enjoying the best Budapest breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner in town.
I was fortunate to spend three nights in Budapest at the Anantara New York Palace Hotel, so I had several chances to eat at one of the best cafes in Europe.
In the mornings, I loved having breakfast in this high class café surrounded by such ostentatious surroundings. It’s not every day you get the chance to be part of the history of Budapest by eating somewhere like this.
And in the evenings at the New York Café, I enjoyed fine dining at one of the best Hungarian restaurants in Budapest.
Whether or not you are a hotel guest, you will receive a warm welcome at the NY Café.
A visit to this flourishing cafe, still going strong after 125 years, is a must when visiting Budapest.
Why is New York mentioned in Budapest?
It seems pretty strange that one of the most famous restaurants in Budapest is called the New York Café. But there is a good reason for its name!
One hundred twenty-five years ago, the opulent building was designed as the Hungarian headquarters for the New York Life Insurance Company.
The late 19th century was also when coffee houses were used as meeting places to conduct business. Put the two together, and the beautiful coffee shop at New York Life became the place to be seen.
Hungary’s most important news agencies had offices on the second floor and spent time in the cafe making connections.
Writers, poets, artists and musicians of the time would all come together to talk, debate and swap creative ideas. Little did they know that decades later, their local meeting spot would become one of the most beautiful coffee shops in the world.
‘There is no literature without a Café’Sándor Márai, a 20th-century Hungarian writer who frequented the New York Café.
The cafe fell into disrepair following WWll and reopened briefly in the 1950s as the restaurant Húngaria. After that, the building became a store selling sporting equipment.
Finally, the Italian hotel chain Boscolo bought the New York Palace. Boscolo set about sympathetically renovating the hotel and cafe to their former glory. I think they did a spectacular job of bringing back to life one of the world’s best coffee shops.
Decadent styling in the New York Palace Café
Italian Renaissance-style frescoed ceilings showcase Venetian glass chandeliers. And gilded balustrades with delicate pastel walls make this amazing cafe feel like a palatial stateroom inside a noble palace. And the upper terrace viewing balcony lends itself to the old-world Hungarian glitz and glamour of bygone times.
You would be forgiven for thinking that the cafe is stuffy and pretentious. Far from it, the New York Café welcomes tourists to experience why it holds such a prestigious title.
It is one of the most instagrammable cafes in Budapest and one of the most photographed cafes around the world.
What is there on the menu at the New York Café?
Of course, visiting one of the best cafes in the world wouldn’t be complete without indulging in a glass of bubbles. Or a unique coffee like a 24kt gold cappuccino or latte from the New York Palace Café menu.
Give in to the temptation to try one of the mouthwateringly decadent cakes like chocolate torte. Or linger for longer and order the New York Café afternoon tea for two.
For those who prefer savoury to sweet, there is a range of dishes from hamburgers to omelettes to pasta.
And if you want both sweet and savoury, opt for the ‘Franz Joseph Experience’, named after the 19th-century King of Hungary. It includes beef goulash and noodle soup, pies, cakes, coffee, tea or hot chocolate!
While prices at the New York Cafe may make your eyes water, you must expect to splurge a little when experiencing such grandiose surroundings.
They are on the same scale as other world cafes like Caffè Florian in St Mark’s Square Venice, where you pay more because it’s a bucket list experience.
A resident band arrives at 11 a.m. to play while you dine at the New York cafe, so it’s a thumbs up from me.
The food, drinks, surroundings and music make this beautiful Budapest café one you must visit on a trip to Budapest. Like me, you will love experiencing one of the world’s best coffee shops.
Is the New York Café Budapest worth visiting?
Absolutely! You will enjoy mouthwatering dishes while immersed in a piece of Hungarian history.
To see the incredible architecture inside this building is awe-inspiring. The menu prices are high compared to other Budapest cafes, but that’s because the New York Café is unique!
Helpful information about the New York Café Budapest
Find the New York Palace Café at 1073 Erzsébet krt. 9-11, 1073 Hungary
Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday: 08:00 – 24:00
The New York Café works on a walk-in basis only, so expect long queues (but it’s worth the wait).
Only dinner reservations for tables after 6 p.m. can be booked.
I would highly recommend staying at the 5* Anantara New York Palace Hotel while you are in Budapest.
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