Is this the most beautiful cafe in the world or a palace?
Sitting pristinely on the corner of a street in the downtown area of the Hungarian capital of Budapest, is a century-old majestic building that has enchanted both tourists and locals.
Stepping inside the resplendent building, you may be inclined to think that you’ve been transported to the Hungarian equivalent of the Sistine Chapel. But make no mistake about it, you’re very much still in the peaceful neighbourhood of Budapest.
In fact, the grandiose architecture you’ve entered is oftentimes touted as the prettiest coffee shop in the world — known as The New York Café.
Origins of The Most Beautiful Cafe
First, a short history lesson. The prestigious coffeehouse first opened its doors in October 1894 and the building that the café now resides within was built by the New York Life Insurance Company as a local head office. Apart from its hotel and luxury café roots, New York Kávéház (as it is known locally) served as the centre of Hungarian literature and poetry activities for decades.
It is also here that the literary movement known as “Nyugat” — a name that was taken from a periodical which published poetry and prose by Hungarian writers — was borne.
World Famous Literary Coffeehouse
The New York Café has since lived through many eras, including huge political upheavals and major historical turning points. Yet the elegant coffeehouse remains largely unspoiled, unbroken, and ever-present in the lives of the local creative community which include Hungarian writers, poets, and artists.
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Built in an ecclectic Italian Renaissance-style, this renowned Cafe in Budapest, Hungary has lived so many eras and political dynasties. Have you gone here too? 📍New York Cafe, Budapest, Hungary 🇭🇺 . . . #allthealleys #kingsvillages #suitcasetravels #architecturelovers #hellofrom #prettylittletrips #chasing_facades #culturetrip #topeuropephoto #iamatraveler #postcardplaces #mytinyatlas #discover_europe #theprettycities #map_of_europe #tlpicks #finditliveit #inspiremyinstagram #searchwandercollect #streetsdreammag #googlemaps #forbesttravelguide #lonelyplanet #shotoniphone #justgoshoot #likeforlikes #followforfollowback #follow4followback #followtrain #europe_pics
Today, the cafe most recent facelift has sparked a renewed sense of interest and international acclaim for its grandeur appearance, both interior and exterior. And it is this universal commendation that has cemented the New York Café as the “Most Beautiful Coffee House in the World”.
Classic Italian Renaissance Architecture
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Have your cake and eat it too 🍰 Dating back 125 years, New York Café is one of the oldest cafés in Budapest, Hungary. Built in Italian Renaissance-style, with sparkling chandeliers dangling from high ceilings adorned by spectacular frescoes, it's known as the "most beautiful café in the world." (📸 by @joethommas)
Before we drone on and on about how charming this café is, allow us to attempt to properly describe New York Café’s splendour and elegance in our own words.
Influenced by the Italian Renaissance-style, New York Café’s interior statement pieces are the highly embellished chandeliers hanging from the ceilings adorned with artful frescoes and golden patina. Along with that, the sturdy marble columns and stuccoed angels radiates opulence of a bygone era.
It’s inevitable to think that you’ve just entered a palace — of coffeehouse. The café’s dazzling gilded interior with over-the-top ornate lamps and contemporary furnishings like mirrored tables create an elegant atmosphere suitable for an indulgent afternoon high tea.
Add to that, the unique offerings of traditional Italian cuisine and local dishes, paired with the sounds of chill music and short performances by local actors, and you’ve got a world-class affair on your hands.
Speaking of the menu, New York Café also offers some of Hungary’s most traditional desserts which include around 16 varieties of cakes, Dobos, and Sacher. Furthermore, the classics like beef goulash, fishermen soup, chicken leg paprikash-style, wiener schnitzel, and grilled foie gras are also to be expected here.
Though, truth be told, it’s not the food that people come for — it’s the imperially decadent atmosphere! And these days, New York Café’s clientele comprises mostly tourists rather than the locals. Seriously, the queue to get in the café on busier days can stretch all the way down to the streets of Erzsébet körút, one of Budapest’s main boulevards.
On its busiest days, the café welcomes around 2,000 customers. Indeed, the New York Café’s title of “most beautiful” is truly befitting.
New York Café 1073, Erzsébet krt. 9-11., Budapest, Hungary Opening Hours 9.00 AM to 12.00 AM daily