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Travel back in time at ’the world’s most beautiful coffee house’, the New York Café

Imagine sipping on a coffee topped with edible gold glitter and enjoying a slice of delicious cake – or a heartier Hungarian dish – surrounded by gilded and marble surfaces, fragrant flowers, etched glass, crystal chandeliers and frescos while lovely live music plays in the background. Well, this is an experience not to miss when in Budapest, as the city is home to the splendid New York Café, once voted the most beautiful coffee house in the world – and rightly so.

The New York Palace on Budapest’s Grand Boulevard is a breathtakingly beautiful building, housing the Anantara New York Palace Hotel with its special spa section and restaurant, as well as the New York Café. Though there’s often a winding queue outside – so reserving a table is recommended – once you stroll through the New York Café’s doors, guarded by torch-bearing gargoyles, your jaw will likely drop as you find yourself in a place that feels unreal, like something straight out of a movie. Recently, Tasteatlas ranked the New York Cafe 32nd among the world’s 150 most legendary dessert places.

There’s gold, glass, velvet and marble everywhere, frescos adorn the walls, and the staff are so lovely you’ll surely be treated like royalty here. A live band often entertains guests with popular songs, while during the breaks, peaceful piano music fills the air. Visiting the New York Café is an experience like none other, as it takes you back in time to Budapest’s elegant yet bohemian Belle-Époque and you’ll love every second of it. It is a place not only breathtakingly beautiful but also historically important for locals, as it used to be the haunt of Hungary’s literary greats, artists and painters at the turn of the century.

After getting seated, you can browse the lengthy English menu and see whether you’re up for a coffee and cake, breakfast, afternoon tea, snacks, or something a bit heartier. This time when we visited, we opted for some Hungarian delicacies, which we can’t recommend enough.

For starters, we ordered duck liver terrine with apricot chutney that comes served with a warm brioche. The duck liver was rich in flavour and a generous portion, perfect to spread on the warm brioche with the apricot chutney for a touch of sweetness. We also tried the Hungarian cheese plate with fig chutney and homemade bread with a bit of local wine and found that there’s hardly a better way to start a meal.

Next, we tried Hungary’s famous chicken paprikash with homemade noodles and cucumber salad topped with sour cream. It is essentially a stew made with chicken, a generous amount of paprika spice and vegetables, served with noodles made of eggs, flour and water on the side. It is hearty, it is colourful and oh-so-delicious.

We also ordered some roasted duck with pear and dödölle, which is Hungary’s version of potato dumplings. The duck was beautifully pink and perfectly spiced, while the dumplings were crunchy, and the pear sauce was a nice and sweet addition. We paired these with local wines, so it’s best to ask the servers for recommendations. We highly recommend both dishes as we found them absolutely perfect, but if you’re after something else, you can also order baked cauliflower, beef cheek with Hungarian sour cabbage stew, breaded pork loin, grilled rainbow trout, pasta, a rib-eye steak and other mouthwatering dishes.

After a wonderful meal like this, there was no leaving without dessert, so we went for the New York cake selection, a plate of three delicious mini cakes, and a super popular local delicacy, the Somlói sponge cake, which is creamy and chocolatey at the same time. None of the desserts will disappoint, but our favourite was definitely the Somlói this time. We washed these off with a coffee and a hot chocolate, both amazing and decorated with a bit of edible gold for good measure.

The true icing on the cake here is however the New York Café’s signature takeaway chocolate cake, which is one of the main reasons why the cafe has recently earned 32nd place among the world’s 150 Legendary Dessert Places according to Tasteatlas. It is super rich, tastes absolutely divine and comes in a beautiful takeaway box, which you can keep as a nice memento of an unforgettable visit to this splendid place.

For any special occasion or a lovely meal with your friends and family, the New York Café is always a perfect choice. Reserve a table on their website.


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