Known to every Budapest resident young and old, Gerbeaud is a legendary café and pastry shop in Budapest's downtown. Swiss patissier, Emil Gerbeaud, took over the business in 1884 and turned it into the leading confectionery of the city with a line of inventive sweets. They included the konyakmeggy, a brandied sour cherry enclosed by a chocolate shell, and the “macskanyelv”, a milk chocolate shaped like a cat’s tongue (both of them are still produced). Café Gerbeaud also makes a dizzying array of classic Hungarian (or Austro-Hungarian) pastries, such as Dobos and Esterházy torte, krémes, and the namesake Gerbeaud cake. They are some of the tastiest you will find in Budapest (if you order them to go, all cakes are half-priced).
Gerbeaud's gleaming white Renaissance Revival building features a gilded interior complete with crystal chandeliers, marble-topped tables, and cherrywood paneling. It's one of Budapest’s most precious pieces of real estate, just a stone’s throw away from the Danube River. In the side of the building operates Onyx, the city's only two Michelin-starred fine dining restaurant run by the same owners.
Listed in every guide book about Budapest, today Gerbeaud is mainly a tourist destination. Before it became one in the early aughts, it used to be a famed hangout of elderly middle-class ladies. But don't go searching for locals here now - they've been priced out of both Gerbeaud and the neighborhood (a cappuccino costs €5). If it's your first time in Budapest, however, I'd recommend that you at least pop in to get a flavor of Budapest's now-vanished, turn-of-the-century coffee house culture.
Right outside Gerbeaud is the subway station of the Millennium Underground, the first subway line on the European continent, and part of the World Heritage site.