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Christian café opened at Ferenciek Square - Café Pio


  • Dezse Balázs

03/04/2014 2.00am

A Christian café opened at the renovated Ferenciek Square. Instead of finding communion wine and prayers on the menu, we can admire wide, sunlit spaces, healthy, made-on-the-spot food, Herendi Szalon and huge, atmosphere-boosting live plant walls. Oh, and the priests of the neighboring church come here for chitchats, as well. We took a look at Café Pio.

“Yet He commanded the clouds above And opened the doors of heaven.” (Psalms 78,23)The renovated Ferenciek Square seems to be a key place in Budapest's life now, including the catering units close-by. In addition to well-known players (Kelta, Ibolya), new ones entered the arena as well: one of them is Café Pio, a café built around Christian ideas. Local priests just cannot hold back their enthusiasm, but they might not be the only ones feeling this way.

Photo: Balkányi László

The café opened in place of the Ecclesia liturgical object and bookshop on the 25th of last November, but hid behind the ruins until the handing over of the Square, so no one really noticed it being there (including us). But now we did, and can say definitely say that it is worth to stop by.

Photo: Balkányi László

Café Pio's interior is enormously large, impressively vaulted, and gets lots of sunlight because of the huge windows. Which is really important because there are live plant walls inside that give a unique and natural atmosphere. It seems like every detail was thought out well: the chairs are comfortable, the workers friendly, everything is clean and shiny, and there is even a modern fireplace that we adored.

Photo: Balkányi László

There is also a VIP section in the back, which is actually a Herendi Szalon. It is perfect for bigger groups, private and public events. The basement's wine cellar (with more than 100 different wines) is for bigger groups as well - this is where the neighboring church's priests usually come together.Fish and bread... and a whole lot moreCafé Pio also functions as a bistro which food selection for every time of the day and mainly Hungarian flavors. Let's start with breakfast. We can have a Hungarian breakfast (1800 Ft) that includes different Hungarian cold cuts, homemade cheese and butter, but there is also Sacher sausage (1200 Ft), duck liver (2100 Ft) and French breakfast (1300 Ft) including homemade croissant with butter, jam, coffee, and orange juice. But we can also get a sandwich at any time of the day: the Hungarian salami one (1100 Ft) seemed very hearty.

Photo: Balkányi László

For the rest of the day there is goulash (1200 Ft), pork selection (1550 Ft), fish'n chips (1550 Ft), chili-honey-curry chicken (1450 Ft), or sheatfish fishloaf (1450 Ft). Naturally, there are some lighter dishes too, like tomato soup (790 Ft) or Ceasar salad with crouton (1200 Ft). For vegetarians they have grilled goat cheese on a bed of ruccola, with dried tomatoes and coriander dressing (1200 Ft).

Photo: Balkányi László

But since this is a cefé, it is important to mention the warm drink selection, too. One of the coffees are called 'heart attack', consisting of presso, sugar, and pear pálinka from Szatmár (650 Ft), and another is called 'Coffe-G', and its ingredients are presso, coconut milk foam, and ginseng extract (650 Ft).

By the way, the place is really health-centered. For example, there's no cola: for sweet-toothed guests, we can recommend a huge cake selection instead. We will not start to list its contents, but rather personal exploration of the topic. The Hungary-liking monk - Staint Padre Pio of PietrelcinaThe Hungary-liking monk - Staint Padre Pio of PietrelcinaFrancesco Forgione got his "pen name" Pio in the religious order, and after his priestly ordination, he became Padre Pio. He is known for his special properties, like the stigmas appearing on his body, his ability to read the thoughts and souls of confessants, and being at two places at once (bilocation). His story is relevant to us because he had serious phrophecies in connection with Hungarians: he said that the Hungarian people are ahead of great suffering, but will have unrivaled glory in Europe. Padre Pio got beatified in 1999, and canonized in 2002.
Café Pio
Address: 1053 Budapest, Ferenciek Square 7-8.
Opening hours: every day 8:00-22:00

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