Sometimes you have to treat yourself to something amazing. For my girlfriend this means visit a luxury place. So that is why we went to New York Café.
At the turn of the 20th century the New York Café (New York Kávéház) was the most beautiful and most beloved coffee house in Budapest. It was a popular place among writers and editors. In fact the most influential newspapers were edited here upstairs in the gallery.
However after WWII, this once famous café fell into disrespair and served as a sporting goods shop. Although the café reopened in 1954, under the name Hungária, it wasn’t until 2006 that this place was restored to its former splendour.
Nowadays, the building built in eclectic Italian Renaissance-style, serves a hotel, restaurant and a cigar bar. The menu has a multicultural cuisine of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy. Expect classic dishes such as Houlash, Fisherman Soup, Chicken Leg Paprikash-style, but also Italian food such as spaghetti. The famous desserts are Dobos, Sacher and Eszterházy cake.
The place isn’t cheap. Expect prices as € 7,- for a coffee. And € 14,- for a plate of spaghetti and € 23,- for a traditional main. In terms of Hungarian prices this is expensive. But luckily I am used to London prices nowadays so in comparison with London for such a beautiful place it is quiet cheap.
During your visit you will have live music. There is a piano player on the balcony and this will be alternated with a classical Hungarian live band. The band consists of a violin, contrabass, clarinet player. There is also another player on a traditional instrument but I don’t know the name of this instrument. It is a mixture of a xylophone and a harp.
My advice, don’t go here for lunch or dinner. The food is okay. However it is definitely worth a visit when you are in the area for just a drink! The ambiance is amazing and the decoration inside is fabulous. However be aware that for Hungarian prices this isn’t a cheap place.