Do you know the feeling of walking at a shop window and wishing to be on the other side of it? I always felt this while walking in front of the New York Palace. I stared inside adoring the fascinating decoration and that lifestyle, what I couldn’t afford at that time (not like currently, I could afford it every month…). The New York Palace Café (New York Kávéház) is trendy among tourists and most of us, Hungarians, have been there at least once to experience it. You might wonder… Is it worth visiting New York Palace Café in Budapest, Hungary?
I’m here to help you, just continue reading if you’re still thinking about visiting New York Café while you stay in Hungary.
New York Palace Café, the most beautiful café in the world
The New York Café got the title “the most beautiful café in the world” in 2011. I haven’t been to every coffee shop in the world, but this is not an ordinary one, I would say 😉
First, let’s see how New York Palace and its Café evolved in the past…
The history of New York Palace in Budapest, Hungary
The story began with a Hungarian teacher and jurist, who travelled to Paris. Thanks to the trip, with the help of the New York Insurance Company, he established the company’s Hungarian network in Budapest, which needed space.
Alajos Hauszmann (architect of Buda Castle and Ethnographic Museum) with the help of Flóris Korb and Kálmán Giergl designed the impressive building, which opened in 1894. So in the beginning, an insurance company worked in the building of New York Palace. The café on its ground floor soon became popular among artists and writers.
It flourished till the 2nd World War, after that it turned into a sporting goods shop. In 1954, the café reopened under the name of Hungária, and in 2006, it got its original name back.
The building was designed in an eclectic Renaissance style. The imposing interior is decorated with brass, marble and other exclusive materials. Moreover, you’ll see frescos on the ceiling, vast crystal chandeliers and candelabras. It might feel like travelling back in time. This chic interior creates an exclusive vibe, sitting on the brass and rufous coloured chairs fly you back to the beginning of the 20th century.
5 things you should know before visiting New York Palace Café, Budapest
1. Make a reservation to avoid queueing
I could talk about the best time to visit New York Palace Café, but if you really want to spend time there (and not waste your precious time), MAKE A RESERVATION! Otherwise, you’ll have to wait in the queue, which was very long when we finished our breakfast around 11 am.
On the website, you can easily book a table, just choose the time and the number of people. After the reservation, you’ll receive a confirmation email telling everything you need to know.
Be aware that breakfast time is only till 11 am.
2. Dress code
In your confirmation email, you’ll also find the dress code, which is “smart casual”. You don’t have to wear a fancy dress, just don’t go in your flip flops 😉
3. Literature is all over the café
During the 20th century, famous Hungarian artists, writers and poets visited the café, which was a meeting place and provided an inspiring atmosphere. Many novels and poems were even written there.
4. Don’t leave your card at home 😉
You might have figured it out, that New York Palace Café is not an average coffee shop. I guess that’s why it’s on your bucket list 🙂
So in this extraordinary coffee shop, the delicious dishes and coffee might be a bit pricey. We only live once, so we can pamper ourselves with sumptuous meals in a posh café. We deserve it!
5. Live gipsy music
Every day, you can enjoy live gipsy music between 11 am and 5 pm. For 15 minutes each hour, your delicious dish is accompanied by live music from classical through modern music pieces. The band plays on the top of the impressive staircase, so they are visible and audible from everywhere.
Be aware of the time slots. Otherwise, you won’t be able to have an instagrammable staircase photo 😉
What to eat and drink in New York Palace Café, Budapest?
On their website, you can check the whole menu with photos and prices. For breakfast, they offer sausage variations, toasts, egg dishes, pancakes and even more. Furthermore, the menu contains hot and cold coffee specialities as well as teas, milkshakes, lemonades and juices.
We went at BREAKFAST TIME, WHICH IS FROM 8 TO 11 AM. In the same time frame buffet breakfast is also available for 9000 HUF.
I chose New York Egg Benedict, which was delicious with the English muffin, bacon, poached egg, Hollandaise sauce and French fries. The food and café were very delicious. My friends had scrambled eggs, which was also tasty and a considerable portion.
The lunch and dinner menu offers many options, I’m sure you’ll find something for your taste on the menu. You can choose from special plates for one and two people, starters, pasta, soups and many main courses. Leave some space for dessert, because the dessert menu looks mouthwatering too 😉
- New York Egg Benedict – 3900 HUF
- Scrambled eggs (with ham and cheese or with vegetables) – 3000 HUF
- Cappuccino – 2550 HUF
- 15% service charge will be added to your bill
Website: New York Palace Café
Address: 1073 Budapest, Erzsébet str. 9-11.
Opening time: Monday – Sunday: 8 am – 12 am
Breakfast time: Monday – Sunday: 8 am – 11 am
Is it worth visiting New York Palace Café in Budapest?
Yes, if you like to enjoy a delicious meal at an extraordinary place, surrounded by beautiful architecture and served by friendly staff. It’s an experience to be there.
No, if you are more into the minimal design and want to spend less money on breakfast and coffee. In a specialty coffee shop, you’ll get a quality coffee for the third price, so don’t feel that you missed something 😉
Which one are you? Yes or no?
Would you put New York Palace Café on your Budapest bucket list? Leave a comment below.
Interested in more coffee and foodie places in Budapest? You might find useful the following posts:
- Where to drink the best specialty coffee in Budapest?
- Avocado toast lover’s guide to Budapest
- Budapest’s best breakfast & brunch places in the centre – Deák Ferenc square and Astoria
- A local’s guide to the best chimney cakes in Budapest
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