As you may or may not remember (if you follow me on Instagram), I came back to Budapest from Vienna the night before I flew home. Flights were super expensive out of Vienna (something like $300 more expensive) so I decided I’d just take the train back to Budapest the night before I flew out.
My missed opportunity to book a cheap hotel room ($100) at the hotel airport ended up being a blessing in disguise because when I arrived at the Budapest Central Station, I couldn’t think of anything I’d rather do less than keep commuting for another hour back to the airport. I’d looked on Booking.com at cheap hotels near the Budapest Central Station and there happened to be a room open for around $50 across the street from the station. The photos didn’t look too sketchy, so I booked it. The hotel was only a little odd – the lobby was on the second floor of a building. But whatever. It was somewhere to put my stuff and sleep for a few hours before my flight.
When I was looking at my map for the hotel, I noticed the famous New York Café was a short walk from my hotel. Amazing, I thought, since I hadn’t remembered to visit it my first stay in Budapest. I put on my pink sweater and my fancy pants (aka pleather leggings) and headed down. I arrived and was immediately seated at a little table on the main floor. The cafe was gorgeous. It looked like it was straight out of Versailles. Unfortunately, some of the tourists coming in did not look straight out of Versailles, but what can you do.
There were fresco paintings on the ceilings, gold molding, and chandeliers everywhere. The New York Café is inside the New York Palace, a hundred plus year old hotel. When the cafe first opened in the early 1900’s, it was the most popular coffee house in Budapest and after World War II, it fell into disrepair until 1954 when it re-opened under the name Hungária. The cafe was finally restored to it’s original grandeur in 2006.
I can’t lie. I went a little overboard on food. I had a lot of Forints left to spend (from when I accidentally took out 100,000 my second day there) and i was determined to spend it all. I had a glass of wine and then they brought the bread over. Yum. I shouldn’t have been starving for bread because it’s all I’d been eating while abroad, but it was tasty bread and I’d just been traveling for a few hours. I decided to order one of the only vegetarian options on the menu: New York Pasta, aka pasta with tomato sauce and shaved parmesan cheese. It was very, very tasty. Lastly, for dessert, I had the “Chocolate Choice” combo which included a small chocolate cake and a decadent hot chocolate. I couldn’t finish the hot chocolate but it was delicious.
Shockingly, I couldn’t use up all of my Forints so I alas, I had to buy a bunch of candy at the airport the next day, but there are worse things. Nevertheless, the New York Café was gorgeous beyond words and I really enjoyed my meal there.
It was the perfect last night in Budapest before traveling back to the real New York.