Cafe-Hopping in Budapest

Anne & Kirk Woodyard – Music and Markets Tours

Old-world Europe is alive and well in Budapest….especially in the grand, baroque cafes where one can join the thoughtful scribblers nibbling on cakes and contemplating the meaning of life. Yes, Hungarians love their coffee houses, and the grandest of all is Café New York,  whose over-the-top splendor rivals Louis quatorze! 12291501 stupendous cafe eat even if dont stayOpened in 1894, when all of Budapest was gearing up for the 1000th anniversary celebrations of the country, it adjoins the former New York Life Insurance Company building, now a fabulous Boscolo hotel. Like many of the gorgeous old coffee houses, so popular with artists, writers, and thinkers, it was closed down during communist times, a suspected haven of dissent, and morphed into a sporting goods store – can you imagine such a rococo Footlocker?? Now it’s the perfect stop for an extravagant gateau.
Gerbauds, perhaps the most famous of Budapest’s grand cafés, sits proudly on Vorosmarty Square in the heart of the city. Glowing with 19th century charm, and ALWAYS packed with sipping customers,12301505 deserve a cafe stop its chandeliered splendor highlights cases of decadent cakes, topped with a macaron Christmas tree for the holidays. 12301505 gerbeauds most famousTheir flagship is the Gerbaud cake: ground walnut and jam filling layered between spongecake, then covered with chocolate.
The Centrál, a long dormant literary coffeehouse, was not only a place for drinking coffee and sampling cakes (we can recommend the plum tart!)12281504 coffee and plum tart but a meeting place for writers, poets, editors and artists, whose photos still adorn the walls. 12281504 cafe culture still going strongThe Centrál was the first of the historic coffee houses that reopened after the fall of communist dictatorship in 1989.  Modern-day scribblers appreciate the electrical outlets for laptops installed beneath each table.
Across from the Opera House, the classic old Muvész Cafe, oozing characteristic old-world feeling with its paintings, mirrors and statues,  12291504 eat at todays cafeis a favorite haunt of locally famous actors and musicians.
What better way to get to know this co-capital of the former Austro-Hungarian Republic than by its famed cafes? 12281504 cafe centralSip a cup of coffee, nibble a decadent pastry, and be transported back to the turn of the 19th century grandeur of Budapest.

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The best way to describe us (Kirk and Anne Woodyard) is that we’re interested in the stories that make the places we visit come KirkandAnneQuitoalive.
We’ve visited Europe more times than we can count, learned some entertaining stories there, and met some warm and helpful people who also enjoy the wonders of music and life in Europe. We look forward to sharing these stories and friends and experiences with our Music and Markets guests.
Between our music-related travels, we split our time between our homes near Washington DC and the south of France.
While both of us have experience in organizing travel and music groups Kirk’s background is in project management and competitive writing, and Anne is an accomplished pianist with over thirty years of teaching experience, and a travel and food writer specializing in France and Italy.

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