With its magnificent architecture adorned with elaborate frescoes, majestic columns and glittering chandeliers, the Café New York in Budapest offers a real trip back in time!

Considered one of the most beautiful cafés in the world by many of the magazines that have made it famous, the Café New York in Budapest welcomes more than 2,000 visitors a day. Once you’ve been shown to a table, you too will probably spend much of your time looking up, admiring the marble columns, the stucco angels and taking photos.

History of Café New York in Budapest

The Café New York in Budapest, often referred to as the ‘Grande Dame of cafés’, is an emblematic symbol of the city’s history and culture. Its history dates back to the end of the 19th century, when Budapest was booming culturally and economically, and cafés were at the heart of the city’s intellectual and social life.

Designed by Hungarian architect Alajos Hauszmann and inaugurated in 1894 as the Hungaria Café, the establishment quickly gained international renown for its sumptuous architecture and elegant ambience. In 1899, the café was renamed ‘Café New York’ in honour of the American city, which was seen as a symbol of modernity and progress.
During its golden age, Café New York became a favourite meeting place for writers, artists, intellectuals and politicians of the day. Lively discussions on literature, politics and the arts were commonplace, making the café a veritable hotbed of Budapest’s cultural life.

During the First World War, the Café New York served as headquarters for officers of the Austro-Hungarian army, before going into decline after the war. In the decades that followed, it changed owners several times and was used for a variety of purposes, including as a warehouse and even as a variety theatre.

However, in 2006, after a period of painstaking restoration, the Café New York reopened in all its former glory. Today, visitors can once again admire the café’s breathtaking architecture, with its ornate frescoes, imposing columns and glittering chandeliers, while enjoying an exquisite coffee or savouring delicate pastries or a full meal.

Unique architecture

The Café New York in Budapest is an architectural gem that embodies the sumptuous style of the Hungarian Secession, an Art Nouveau movement. Both inside and out, the café is a superb example of this artistic aesthetic, with intricate decorative elements and a wealth of detail that captivate visitors from the moment they arrive.

The exterior architecture of the Café New York

Café New York in Budapest
@ wikimedia.

Dominating the corner of Erzsébet körút boulevard and Dohány street, the Café New York building is distinguished by its imposing, ornate façade. Inspired by Baroque and Rococo architecture, the façade features curved lines, delicate scrolls and exuberant floral details. The windows are framed by finely chiselled stucco ornaments, while the frieze above the main entrance is topped by an imposing sculpture. At the top of the building, an elegant cupola crowns the whole, adding a touch of grandeur to Café New York’s silhouette.

The interior architecture of Café New York
interior architecture of Café New York

As soon as you walk through the doors of Café New York, you are transported into a world of splendour and grandeur. The interior of the café is a feast for the eyes, with its majestic columns and magnificent ceiling frescoes by Hungarian painters Gusztáv Mannheimer and Ferenc Eisenhut. The marble columns dotting the main hall support a richly ornate vaulted ceiling, where frescoes depicting mythological scenes and floral motifs create a theatrical atmosphere. The walls are adorned with sumptuous woodwork and elegant mirrors, adding to the overall opulence of the space.
The imposing chandeliers hanging from the ceiling cast a soft, subdued light. Every detail, from the carved wooden chairs to the fine linen tablecloths, contributes to creating a complete sensory experience for visitors. Exploring the café’s different rooms reveals a variety of architectural styles, from neo-baroque to rococo, which bear witness to the eclecticism characteristic of the Hungarian Secession.

Practical information

Opening times:
Café New York is open every day from 08:00 to 20:00.
It is only possible to reserve a table after 18:00.
On weekends you will have to queue to get in and between 10.00 and 17.00 you will also have to queue.

Address: Café New York, Erzsébet krt. 11, 7th district – mapwebsite.

Discover now the Café New York in Budapest with this video:

You can also read our article on Budapest’s historic cafés on this link and our selection of Budapest restaurants on this link.
Don’t forget to check out also our article on the best baths in Budapest on this link.