What It’s Like in the Most Beautiful Cafe in the World – New York Cafe, Budapest
written by myrra kate
Cafes are where I am most creative and productive. It’s where my mind works and inspiration seems to be running through my veins. It’s kind of strange, I guess, (and expensive, of course) but I really consider it my workspace. Besides work and studying, it’s usually where I meet and talk with my friends. Generally, I just love how I get things done in cafes.
Boscolo Budapest Hotel’s New York Cafe, however, is different. It’s not just some cafe where you’d order your daily dose of espresso or sit at randomly when you feel exhausted throughout the day. No, New York Cafe is more than that.
So much more that, in fact, it was named the most beautiful cafe in the world.
New York Cafe throughout the years
According to its website, the New York Palace opened its doors on October 23, 1894. It was planned and designed in an Italian Renaissance-style by Alajos Hauszmann with the help of Flóris Korb and Kálmán Giergl. The lavish and eclectic-style building was built mainly to serve as a hall for an insurance company. But throughout the many eras that have passed and historical changes that were made, it was said to have been interlaced with the patronage of literature and arts – both Hungarian and the world’s.
It was a popular place for writers and editors from various places since the turn of the 20th century. And although it had to endure World War II and afterward has been changed into a sporting goods shop, the tarnished New York Cafe (New York Kávéház) will always find a way to stand. The cafe reopened in 1954 and was called Hungaria but it was only 2016 where it was returned and reborn in its original splendor.
Today, besides its comfort and coziness that was even enjoyed by the artists and writers in the past century, the cafe also serves multicultural cuisine that’s mainly from the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy. Their menu, according to the cafe’s website includes Beef Goulash, Fishermen Soup, Chicken Leg Paprikash-style, Wiener Schnitzel, and Grilled Foie Gras and Dobos, Sacher and Eszterházy cake as the classic dishes and desserts offered by the cafe.
New York Cafe on a budget & my experience as a solo and student traveler
When I was planning my Budapest trip, I actually didn’t know about New York Cafe. It was only until my exchange student friend, who has already been to Budapest before, recommended that I check out the world’s most beautiful cafe. I was initially stunned, to be honest. When I’ve heard it from her, I was immediately excited to go and decided that I wouldn’t leave Budapest without going there because that’s how much I love cafes. And what better way to appreciate cafes all over the world than to actually go to the most beautiful cafe in the world.
As an exchange student like me, however, my friend warned me that the prices are quite expensive and that when we’re going to the New York Cafe on a budget, we probably would feel so bad to spend our money there. She even told me that when she went there, she only ordered some cup of latte that was already priced at about 7 euros (~PHP450).
That was my original plan, too. Before going to the cafe, I checked their menu here and planned to order something in the New York Cafe on a budget that of a student’s – probably some cappuccino or latte macchiato. I said to myself that, after all, it was the experience that I’m after, food only comes next.
Thankfully, I had more than enough money with me during my Budapest trip. First of all, thanks to Big Bus Budapest tours, I was able to save on my transport fares (and time as well since their bus tours are really convenient). Then the price of my hostel accommodation was also quite cheap. I realized that Budapest was actually cheaper than I expected it to be (which is one of the reasons I loved my solo travel there). I’m not frugal though so knowing that I have saved some of my budget money on some parts of my travel, I was more than willing to splurge on another part of it, which is food.
I knew then that I could survive New York Cafe on a budget. Not only survive it but actually, enjoy it.
The thing, however, was that just an hour before heading there (it was just a 10-minute walk from my hostel), I just ate my late lunch where I also splurged on some local Hungarian restaurant where I ordered Hungary’s famed food with some Paprikash and some dessert (I forgot the name!) so I was so, SO full. My next destination in the itinerary, however, was the cafe so I knew I had to push through.
When I arrived in New York Cafe, there was a queue of people (mostly tourists) who were waiting for vacant tables. The cafe servers were very nice and accommodating and told us all to just patiently wait. It was definitely fine by me because looking at the magnificent interior and ceiling of the place, I was totally in awe.
It really is the most beautiful cafe in the world.
I haven’t been to any other cafe that could equal the beauty of this cafe. So really, I didn’t mind waiting at all.
After 30 minutes of passing time, I was led to my seat by the lady and she gave me the menu. Maybe I could’ve ordered and tried lots of stuff if I was with someone but since I was alone, I was afraid I couldn’t finish the food I was going to buy. That’s why I ended up ordering some New York Ice Cream Sundae (EUR 9,0 ~ PHP 575) consisting of:
- 1 scoop of coffee ice cream
- 1 scoop of vanilla ice cream
- 1 scoop of chocolate ice cream; and
- 1 scoop of hazelnut ice cream with raspberry sauce and whipped cream.
Hence, New York Cafe on a budget was achieved!
My love for the place grew more and more while eating my very palatable sundae and watching people in the cafe. I was alone so I didn’t have anyone to talk to about how happy I was that I got to be in that place and I got to try even one dessert from their delish menu.Being alone wasn't a reason not to enjoy those moments though.Click To Tweet
The couple beside my table was obviously enjoying their cake selection and the Chinese family in the front table was also happy to be there while their one relative probably took 10 minutes or so to take selfies and photos of their food. While watching them, I silently promised myself that I’d bring my family here in the future.
It was a new feeling for me. I was in a cafe but I wasn’t working or doing anything; I wasn’t even with anyone. I was just letting time pass by in God’s hands and it felt so awfully good. Knowing the fact that I was sitting in one of the chairs where writers in the past used to sit while crafting their geniuses and beautiful proses and poetry, I felt honored to be there.
I couldn’t help but smile. I was absolutely glad that I included the New York Cafe in my itinerary. Here’s another new place I’ve been to and another reason to love and live life to the fullest.
For hop-on-hop-off bus tours in Budapest, you may check out Big Bus Budapest Tours. Bus Bis Tours are also available in other countries.
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I'm Myrra Kate.
I help female entrepreneurs scale their income and impact by launching transformational online courses.
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