For every coffee lover, “coffee is life.” However, only a few caffeinated souls are lucky to visit several cafes around the world, trying their unique specialty brews and eats.
If you’re one of those lucky caffeinated souls, you may also be on a quest to visit the most beautiful cafes in the world. But have you seen Cafe New York? Or have you even just heard of it?
If you haven’t been to Cafe New York, it holds the title as the world’s most beautiful cafe.
Despite the name, Cafe New York (also known as New York Cafe) is not located in New York, USA. Instead, it’s on the other side of the pond – in Budapest, Hungary.
This cafe is known for its stunning interiors – opulent decor clad in gilt and velvet. It’s more of a palace than a cafe, if not for the sight of sharply dressed servers going from one table to the next and, of course, the aroma of freshly brewed coffee wafting across the dining halls.
Built and designed in neo-Renaissance architectural style, Cafe New York is one of Budapest’s most famous attractions. However, it remains largely unknown outside Hungary or even perhaps the entire Europe. Which is kind of embarrassing, considering that it is dubbed the most beautiful cafe in the world. Maybe that will change.
And maybe, too, that Cafe New York will ultimately end your quest of finding a cafe that’s the most beautiful, stunning, marvelous, gorgeous, dazzling, luxurious – will someone hand us the thesaurus? But seriously, this cafe is so beautiful that it defies description, especially when you see it with your own eyes.
Not only your eyes and bellies will be satisfied, but your ears will be also treated to gorgeous live music as you dine on your food and admire the interiors.
Cafe New York is located at the New York Palace Hotel in Budapest, Hungary.
This luxurious hotel that houses the cafe first opened its doors to the public on October 29, 1894. It was originally built by the New York Life Insurance Company as its local head office in Hungary. For many decades, this place had been a favorite literary hub among Hungarian writers and poets. And of course, it was also where the aristocrats met and rubbed elbows with each other.
The palace was devastated by both world wars and lived through the harsh Communist regime. Still, it has always been incarnated and reborn. An Italian-based luxury hotels chain, Boscolo Group, acquired the property in 2001. Boscolo reconstructed and renovated the building in a way that reflects the tendency to reclaim its old glitter and reputation as the most beautiful cafe in the world.
What’s in Cafe New York?
Today, Cafe New York is filled with local and foreign tourists keen to enjoy its coffee, delicious main course, and sumptuous desserts, not to mention an eyeful of magnificent interiors in an old-world setting.
The menu is largely based on traditional Hungarian cuisine, only elevated for the discerning palates looking for great-tasting food that’s also exceptionally creative. Popular dishes include beef goulash soup with beans, grilled rainbow trout with layered potato casserole, Wiener schnitzel with beetroot salad, baked carrot and hollandaise sauce flavored with tarragon, and the perennial favorite, chicken paprikash with spatzle noodle.
As you might expect, there’s a large selection of decadent cakes and desserts, including the Dobos torte, layered chocolate cake, and a cup of rich hot chocolate for which this cafe is also famous for. It’s best when they’re paired with their freshly brewed coffee. While you’re likely to have a sugar crash a few moments later, you’ll think these luxurious desserts are worth it.
In this technology- and smartphone-driven world, you won’t leave this luxurious cafe without taking several snaps of its richly intricate interiors and sumptuous food to fill your Facebook or Instagram feed.
The cafe is open from 8 a.m. to 12 midnight every day.
Breakfast is served from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m., and the cafe offers a breakfast buffet during these hours. The buffet has a pretty wide selection of dishes and drinks, including a glass of bubbly champagne.
The good news is that you don’t need to make reservations to dine at Cafe New York. You can walk in and have your seat. If there’s a waiting line, you won’t probably get bored or bothered – the cafe’s sheer beauty alone is enough to keep you enthralled while waiting.
That said, making a reservation or catching the cafe at its opening hours is highly recommended, so you will have less time to wait.
Good news again – you don’t have to come in a tuxedo or gown to dine in at Cafe New York. Still, you have to dress decently – no shorts, tank tops, ripped jeans, or flip-flops, please! Most diners come in smart casual attire, so better dress for the place and occasion. You don’t want to stick out like a sore thumb.
How to get to Cafe New York?
Cafe New York is located in Budapest, Erzsebet krt. 9-11 1073, Hungary.
The address is GPS-ready, so you won’t have a problem getting directions no matter where you come from. The metro station nearest the cafe is Blaha Lujza Ter, while Keleti Railway Station is the nearest train station. Another option is taking the Budapest Hop-On Hop-Off Bus and following the “red route” to reach the cafe.
Want to see more of Budapest? See these travel tips for Budapest to help you get you around the city and see its most popular attractions.