The most beautiful cafe in the world: New York Palace Cafe in Budapest, Hungary
Have you heard of the most beautiful cafe in the world? The New York Palace Cafe, located within the New York Palace hotel, is known as the most beautiful cafe in Budapest, Hungary and the rest of the world. But is it worth visiting when in Budapest?
For many travellers, we often head to one of its cafe in a new city, sipping coffee, resting our feet, indulging in some tasty pastries and cakes and to plan out our next destination. Sometimes, we'll bring a book or maybe a laptop and spend the rest of the day there, just enjoying the coffeehouse culture as we watch the hustle and bustle of the locals go by. But in New York Palace Cafe, you'll probably be too busy marvelling at the intricate details of the ceiling and the elaborate pillars.
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Like the coffeehouses in Vienna, Budapest's cafes attracted many literary minds, artists, musicians and poets. In its heyday, the New York cafe was the venue in which Hungary's most influential newspapers were edited on the second floor of the Palace hotel.
The majestic cafe and hotel that you see now wasn't quite the case a few years ago as the site was severely damaged by the two world wars. Thanks to Boscolo Hotels' investment and designer Adam Than, the New York Palace Cafe was able to renovate the depilated building and reopen its doors in 2006.
With such a rich history, it is definitely worth a visit to head to the New York Palace Cafe, but for the food... Perhaps you may just want to fill your stomachs elsewhere...
How to get to New York Palace Cafe?
The New York Palace Hotel is conveniently located at Blaha Luja Ter metro station, we'd suggest getting the Budapest City Card while in Budapest as it grants you unlimited travel on the metros, buses, and trams in the city. You'll also get access to quite a number of Budapest's attractions plus discounts!
New York Palace Cafe
Budapest, Erzsébet krt. 9-11, 1073 Hungary
Opening hours: Daily, 8.00 am to 12.00 midnight
The New York Palace Hotel
The entrance to the cafe was actually at the side of the building but we didn't know that and walked into the hotel instead. We were blown away by the opulence within the palace hotel. Lots of lush sofa seats, warm lights, intricately decorated stone walls... If you feel like splurging, the New York Palace Hotel is THE hotel you wanna book for your nights in Budapest. It doesn't come cheap though, each night comes around 77,199 forints.
Some of its room rates also include breakfast at the New York Palace Cafe and you'll be having your breakfast that appears to be fit for a king (or queen) in this beautiful great hall. Staying in the hotel also means that you'll be killing two birds with one stone!
But for the rest of us who do not wish to splurge, we may just be happy with that cup of coffee at the cafe!
Grab a read!
The Invisible Bridge is a novel about a poor Hungarian-Jewish student András Lévi who arrives from Budapest with just one suitcase and a mysterious letter that he has promised to hand-deliver to a young widower, Clara, with whom he fell in love at first sight. The novel depicts remote Hungarian villages to the grand opera houses of Budapest as well as Paris. Julie Orringer's novel is about marriage tested by hardships and disasters.
Buy your copy of The Invisible Bridge on Bookdeposity!
The queues at the New York Palace Cafe are usually outrageously long. You may want to avoid the busy breakfast and lunch timings to skip the queues. When we were there, we actually went to the cafe for breakfast at about 10am since our hotel, Ibis Budapest City was located just a 3-minute walk away. Bad Idea.
We didn't experience any queues but did not had a good time there...
Our experience at New York Palace Cafe - Is it worth visiting?
We managed to leisurely stroll in and got seats close to the front of the cafe near the entrance. That meant that we didn't quite get a good view of the marvellous hall. That aside, we didn't exactly get pleasant waiters and waitresses as well.
After taking a look at the menu, the prices were, well... exorbitant for Budapest's standard. We well expected that but decided that we should still give the historical cafe a good try.
We ordered a french toast with sour cream and chives (2950 ft / 9 eur) and a classic egg benedict (3900 ft / 12 eur) for our mains. And here's what came...
The french toast with sour cream and chives looked sad... We had three slices of bread that was sadly, cold and soggy. We usually had our french toast with maple syrup or honey so we also couldn't quite appreciate the sour cream dip.
Though the egg benedict's presentation was promising, the muffins were hard and the eggs weren't flown like they should be. We were extremely disappointed at this point and did not even finish our meal.
Fortunately, we managed to get quite a decent caffeine fix at the New York Palace Cafe.
We had a latte macchiato (2450 ft / 7.5eur) that came in a pretty cup served with some little biscuits and a glass of water plus an espresso (1650 ft / 5eur). These were still expensive but we'd suggest that if you ever want to visit and have something at the New York Palace Cafe, their beverages should be all that you spend your money on.
Also, if you could, we'd suggest requesting for a table inside the cafe so that you'll really get to sit under the ornate ceilings and decorations. Alternatively, it is possible also just to head to the entrance of the cafe, snap a few instagram-worthy pictures, and find breakfast and coffee elsewhere! The New York Palace Cafe is pricey and you'll no longer find literary geniuses trying to write their works here but instead throngs of tourists whipping out their cameras.
Ever since visiting the beautiful cafes in Vienna, we very much prefer those experiences. Have you visited New York Palace Cafe? Share with us your experience in the comments below!