As I say goodbye to Eastern Europe, I’m diverging from my usual format. As some might know I’m always game for good food and I have an interest in architecture. So why not combine both? I made it a point to visit some of the grandest cafes in the world (in my mind). What makes them grand? These are all white table cloth places and waiters all wear white shirts and ties. The interior decor are not too shabby either.
And yes I did visit a few more down to earth cafes which were just as marvelous.
Opened in 1876, Café Central is in Vienna. Very touristy and lines out the door. But the quality of food is surprisingly excellent. Here’s a trivial fact about this cafe, Hitler was a patron before WWII.
Callas Cafe in Budapest next to the opera and next to the hotel I stayed. Beautiful art deco style. This cafe absolutely oozes class. For example waiters take patron’s coats and places them in coat check area. Too bad the food presentation (breakfast) and quality isn’t quite up to par with the great service and ambience. But then again the cost of the coffees for example is similar to Starbucks. A bargain in my mind.
Centrál Kávéház or Central Cafe in Budapest became my go-to cafe of choice. Opened in 1887 but isn’t stuffy in any way. Service, food, decor and (very affordable) cost are all top notch. It all adds up to me making multiple visits. Do you want 3 stars quality food, $8 3-course hearty lunch? Check! Coffees that are cheaper than Starbucks prices? Check! Awesome selection or desserts? Check! Can you just smell the classy ambience from the photo? Scratch and sniff it.
Opened back in 1894, New York Cafe in Budapest might be the granddaddy of all the cafes. The baroque interior is over the top! So are the prices of the food and drinks. Consider it an entry fee for spending time here. My wife had the unusual spicy chili coffee. And they meant it. I was cheap ordering only a $6+ latte and a mixed dessert tray.