New York Café and Hungarian cuisine as food traditions in Budapest

Meat stews, casseroles, steaks, roasted pork, beef, poultry, lamb or game and the Hungarian sausages (kolbász) and winter salami are a major part of Hungarian cuisine and their mixing of different varieties of meat is a traditional feature. Goulash, stuffed peppers, stuffed cabbages or Fatanyéros (Hungarian mixed grill on wooden platter) can combine beef and pork, and sometimes mutton. Also various kinds of noodles and dumplings, potatoes and rice are sometimes served as a side dish. The Hungarian cuisine uses a large variety of cheeses, but the most common are túró (a fresh quark cheese), cream cheeses, ewe-chese (juhturó), Emmentaler, Edam and the Hungarian cheese Trappista.

When my wife Diane and I was in Budapest, we tried some Hungarian cuisine in various restaurant and here are some of the highlights (click all pics to bigify and enjoy):

Some of our starters:

Budapest in Hungary - Dinner A3
Goulash soup
Budapest in Hungary - Dinner B3 Budapest in Hungary - Dinner B4
Left: Goose lever paté & Cheese – Right: Sausages; winter or ‘pick’ salami

Some of the main courses:
Budapest in Hungary - Dinner A5 Budapest in Hungary - Dinner B5
Left: Roasted leg of duck – Right: Grilled fillet of pork and bacon

We had our portion of dessert too of course: Gundel Pancake (pancakes served flambéed in dark chocolate sauce filled with ground walnuts) – delicious! (Sorry, no pics of that).
You can get a decent meal in Budapest from 30€ and upwards and the service is excellent. I hope you’re not the hamburger or fast-food type of person when travelling, because then you’ll miss a lot of the local history, traditions and habits – in Bulgaria particularly!

Budapest’s New York Café:
You find this beautiful café in the ground floor of a luxury Hotel New York Palace (Hungarian: New York-palota) on the Grand Boulevard of Budapest’s Erzsébet. Built by an insurance company as a company hall, New York kávéház was a long time center for Hungarian literature and poetry, almost from its opening on October 23rd 1894:
Budapest in Hungary - New York Cafe #1

From the first decade of the twentieth century it became renowned as a real literary café one of the centre of the intellectual life of Budapest; Writers and journalists had their Home Circle here. Shortly after, the editorial office of the highest standard literary periodical of the age “Nyugat” (“West”) found its home here, too. Gyula Krúdy, Ferenc Molnár, Zsigmond Móricz, Dezső Kosztolányi created their first writings here. This café is also where Sir Alexander Korda – director of films such as The Private Life of Henry VIII & The Thief of Baghdad – started out for his world award winning career, just as Michael Curtis, Oscar winning director of Casablanca did too. Pongrác Kacsó found inspiration in the atmosphere of the Café to compose his famous opera John the Hero as did Imre Kálmán the famous operetta composer when creating several of his celebrated pieces whilst seated in the New York.

We had a nice cup of coffee with sweets of course, and here is a glance of the interior:
Budapest in Hungary - New York Cafe #5 Budapest in Hungary - New York Cafe #8
Left: The Café interior – Right: Roof decoration

Our servings:

Budapest in Hungary - New York Cafe #3 Budapest in Hungary - New York Cafe #4
Left: Chocolate cake – Right: Cheese cake with apricot jam
In total: 10€

This is the last of five posts from our adventures trip in beginning of June 2009. I hope you enjoyed our guided tour as much as we did when exploring this beautiful city. My wife has posted about it too of course. Click to experience our adventures through Diane’s eyes!

A collection of all my Budapest posts:
#0: All pics from Budapest at my Flickr account.
#1: Budapest the capital of Hungary in the Heart of Europe
#2: House of Terror and Dohany Great Synagogue
#3: Andrassy Avenue with Heroes Square, City Park and Millennium Underground
#4: Hungarian paradise on Margaret Island and Park
#5: This post