Zsuzsanna Kis and Ádám Székely never wanted to follow trends but rather create a unique, intimate environment by weaving in their own personalities. At the Aranypinty café in the Palace Quarter, French chansons play amid elegant Herend and Zsolnay ceramics.
Elegant Aranypinty, where Piaf meets Pushkin in the Palace Quarter
Just behind the National Museum, Puskin utca is not the most attractive street in the Palace Quarter, yet Zsuzsanna Kis and Ádám Székely have created their own little oasis of elegance at the Aranypinty.
In the background, catchy French chansons warble, porcelain rattles and crystal jingles. Listen more closely and you can hear the crunch of a fresh baguette and even the quiet satisfaction of bread being dunked into fried egg yolk.
While the offerings at the Aranypinty are indubitably tasty, what sets it apart from the trendy, clean Scandinavian-style cafés elsewhere is its atmosphere. Like a breakfast room in a Russian novel, there’s a classic nostalgia at play here, a modern interpretation of the past.
The menu is equally compiled from real classics, and visibly unreinvented. Locally baked bread and pastries, Italian hams and egg dishes all feature, such as in the Hungarian scrambled eggs (HUF 1,450), French toast (HUF 950) and baguette sandwiches (HUF 1,050).
Given the morning opening hours, as early as 7.30am on Thursdays and Fridays, the crispy frankfurters, French breakfasts and grilled croissant sandwiches with fried eggs (HUF 950-1,900) should all provide the perfect start to the day. You may not find quail sous-vide or confit pork wing but what it does do is concocted from high-quality ingredients.
The one-of-a-kind plates, cutlery, glasses and cups were bought as sets from flea markets and antique stores, after a long search on the part of various friends. And the choice of name, Aranypinty ('Goldfinch’), may seem snobbish and random but refers to the 2019 film starring Nicole Kidman, the story of a classic painting
Tiny inside, Aranypinty merits a visit, even a table reservation should you seek intimate conversation and a fine daytime snack while visiting the National Museum or strolling around the Palace Quarter.
1088 Budapest, Puskin utca 22
Opening hours: Tue-Wed 9am-4.30pm, Thur-Fri 7.30am-4.30pm, Sat-Sun 9am-5pm