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New York Café Budapest – A Story-Wealthy And Historic Café

Once you get into the New York CafeYou will wonder if you accidentally stepped into the Hungarian version of the Sistine Chapel. The café is designed in the Italian Renaissance style. Here chandeliers hang from high ceilings, which are decorated with beautiful murals. This makes it more of a palace than just a place to enjoy dessert with a cup of coffee.

New York Cafe Budapest New York Cafe10New York Cafe

“New York Cafe” is one of the oldest cafés in Budapest with a 125-year history. The customers who want to enter it stretch along Elizabeth Boulevard, one of the main streets in Budapest Budapestwhere the cafe can receive around 2000 customers on its busiest day. And even on the least crowded days, it receives around 1,300 people.

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After entering the cafe and arriving at the table, most of your time will be spent looking up to explore the marble columns, plaster carvings and of course, taking photos. Although the menu for the cafe has about 16 kinds of cakes, the kitchen isn’t the reason all customers come to them, they come to the place to see the amazing design and take pictures.

The history of “New York Cafe” begins in 1864 when New York Life Insurance opened its European headquarters in Budapest and decided to set up a café within the company. Although it was the Turks who first introduced coffee to Hungary in the 16th century, the elegant coffee house building culture that flourished in Vienna only began in Hungary after the establishment of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1867; During this time, almost 500 cafes were opened in the city. One such cafe was the New York Cafe, where the owners wanted to create the “Most Beautiful Cafe in the World” and they did their best to make it happen.

Cafe in Budapest

Hungarian food critic Andras Gokotti says: “(The New York Cafe) was not only a place for the rich, but also a meeting place for poor artists. “He said,” They went there in the hope that there would be some generous rich people to offer them a meal. They take it in return for writing a beautiful poem or other service for their wives, or in return for helping one of those rich people write a speech.

New York Cafe

This led to the birth of the literary movement “Neogate”, which got this name from a newspaper that published poetry and prose by Hungarian writers. So it can be said that “New York Cafe” was not just a café, but rather a starting point for modern Hungarian literature. All the most famous writers and poets came here, and the place was always full of books.

In fact, the most influential newspapers in Hungary were published on the second floor of this building, and legend has it that on the night the cafe opened, a group of writers, including the famous author Ferenc Molnarwas in attendance and they were so impressed when they saw the inside of the cafe. They threw the main door key into the Danube so that the square would stay open all night. Of course, nobody knows if this story is true or not because Ferenc was only 17 at the time, but it’s a wonderful story shared by fans of the place.

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And it seems that there was a hierarchy where writers sat while they were in the cafe. The managing director of New York Palace Hotel, Tamas VazekasSays, “We call the lower part of the cafe a bond because it was the place where non-professional artists would always sit. The celebrities sat on the top floor and served food to the artists in the basement in exchange for writing a story for them.

New York Palace Budapest

Although the cafe’s popularity lasted long, especially with writers, the events of the following years, the most important of which were World War I and Second World War and the Soviet occupation of Hungary, had a devastating effect on the cafe as many of Budapest’s famous cafes during the Communist era were closed, including In this “New York Cafe”.
Over the years the café has gone through many changes, becoming a restaurant and then a sports equipment store.

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In 2001 the Boscolo Group acquired the building and began a 5 year restoration project led by the creative architects Maurizio Papyri and Adam D. TihanyThe main building has been converted into a luxury hotel, while the café on the ground floor has been completely renovated to restore it to its former glory.

When the cafe reopened in 2006, the restoration engineers had almost completely redesigned the former New York cafe after finding the original blueprints for the cafe design in the basement, adding some simple new details, such as frescoes. Inside is now the “Statue of Liberty”, which only existed years after the café was built.

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And although the current interior design of the cafe may be the same as it used to be, it is unlikely that a Hungarian writer will work in it today, as it used to be. Today the place is more of a tourist attraction than anything else.

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New York Cafe Budapest A story rich and historic cafe in the heart of Budapest

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