New York Café
New York Café opened its gates in 1894. The four-storeyed Eclectic style palace, and the café on the street level was built on the behalf of an American insurance company. The local intellectual elite loved the place so much that there's an anecdote about a playwright who threw the keys of the Café into the Danube because he wanted his favourite 'lieu de travail' to be always open. However, 'the New York' was closed down in 1947. In 2001 the Italian Boscolo group bought the building and finally in 2006 the café opened again, shining in its old splendour, located on the ground floor of the luxury hotel. In 2011 and 2013 it was voted the 'Most Beautiful Café of the World'.
Centrál Café opened its gates in 1887 and soon it has become one of the centres of the buzzing cultural life, a popular meeting point of intellectuals and aristocrats. World War II put an end to the happy days of the café, in 1949 it was closed down. In 1953 it reopened as a bistro for students, and in the '60s it functioned as an 'underground' club: many local rock and roll bands started their career from there. In 2000 the Café finally reopened, and now it can be seen in its real splendor, remembering the old days but looking boldly ahead to the future. Excellent café, good concerts, beautiful environment: that's all we need after a hectic sightseeing in town.
Hadik opened its gates in 1906, and lived its golden age in the '20s. Writers, poets and other intellectuals frequented it, though it was a more laid-back and less luxurious place compared to New York or Centràl. During the second World War the Café was closed down, but luckily a few years ago the idea came to modernize and re-open it, offering a cozy hideaway for locals and tourists alike. Again: don't expect a posh place, Hadik is more like a nice ruin-pub, but don't be fooled by the simple appearance: their café is excellent. Nowadays Hadik is very popular again, together with its twin brother Szatyor Bár.
The success story of Gerbaud began in 1870, when confectioner Henrik Kugler opened a small café in the beautiful Art Nouveau and Eclectic style building. His cakes soon gained him a good reputation. Unfortunately he didn't have children, but when he was traveling to Paris he met Emil Gerbaud, and persuaded him to be his business partner. In 1884 Emil Gerbaud has become the new owner: at first he built on the recipes of the late Kugler but after a while he eclipsed his predecessor with his own creations. Gerbaud Café and Patisserie continues to be one of the most famous and sought-after venues in Budapest.
Hiding modestly in the Buda Castle district, this small patisserie continues to enchant visitors since 1827. It survived all the tempests of history: the revolution of 1848, the two world wars, the communist era, everything. It is still a most frequented place because of the lovely ambiance and the delicious cakes. Even the royal family (Franz Joseph and his wife Elizabeth) used to order their sweets & treats from Ruszwurm when residing in Budapest. It is absolutely recommended to try the speciality of the house, the so called 'Ruszwurm Cake' which is based on the classical Hungarian pastry called “creamy” (cooked egg cream with vanilla mixed with whipped cream).