- New York Cafe
- Cafe Gerbeaud
- Gresham Palace
- Sky bar at Hotel Aria.
After a day of sight seeing in Budapest there is no better way to relax than coffee and cake or cocktails in one of Budapest’s decadent cafes or bars. Here is my round up of the best spots…… and in no particular order.
- New York Cafe is in the central area of Pest, located in the upscale Boscolo Hotel on Dahoney Street. About a ten minute walk from the Grand Synagogue and 20 minutes from St Stephen’s Basilica. On entering you are guided to an available table and provided with a detailed menu. You can choose from a variety of hot and cold drinks as well as the more decadent cocktails along with a wide range of desserts and patisserie style cakes. I chose a peach bellini and cheesecake and was in seventh heaven. The ceilings are high, with detailed decoration and a lot of gold leaf. Afternoon visitors are entertained by a classical quartet which is unobtrusive and adds to the very civilised ambience. Toilets are downstairs and this gives the visitor a chance to look around at the walls and ceilings, the gold columns and the mirrors and just for a moment imagine you are Hungarian royalty at the turn of the last century.
2. Cafe Gerbeaud is in Vorismarty Square right by a metro station. Centrally located on the Pest Side and 10 minutes walk either from St Stephen’s or the shopping district of Vaci Street. With plenty of outside chairs and tables for el fresco dining it makes a great people watching spot on this wide square. But if sitting inside you won’t be disappointed with the old fashioned decor and vaulted ceilings with mounds of macaroons and chocolate torte to drool over! Gerbeaud is also known for its high class chocolate and I first tasted this in The Aria Hotel where it was presented as part of the turn down service each evening.
3. Gresham Palace does what it says on the tim, it’s a palace, a beautiful building right by the Danube and close to the Chain Bridge. Its now the home to the Four Season’s Hotel and its chic Kollaz’s Bar . A circular bar hosts a myriad of spirits and mixers waiting to be spun into a little cocktail magic……… and the bar staff are more than happy to discuss local beers to make sure you find the one best suited. The foyer of the hotel is a joy to explore and indeed palatial.
4. ……..and now on a High Note the Sky Bar at the Aria Hotel provides a unique close up of the dome of St Stephen’s Basilica and indeed all things birds eye across the city. Squashy cushioned lounge chairs both inside and out make coffee or cocktail drinking extra chillaxing. A photographer’s paradise and a cocktail drinker’s haven….either way you choose. You are eyeball to eyeball with the dome, infact you would be forgiven for thinking that you could reach out and touch it ……..you are that close.
The Aria is a 2 minute walk from St Stephen’s and the doorman will direct you through the foyer and the Music Room which is a downstairs lounge equally relaxing as the High Note Bar. The lift will then take you to the bar and you are conveniently met by another staff member who will guide you to seats and take your order. The staff on hand when I was there also told me which buildings I was taking photographs of and he was clearly proud of his role and city.
Take your pick…it’s hard to choose a favourite!