Gerbeaud is a historic pastry shop and café in Budapest, anchoring downtown's Váci Street. It was Hungarian-Swiss patissier Emil Gerbeaud, who, after taking over the business in 1884, revolutionized Hungarian confectionery with inventive sweets and pastries and the place became a see-and-be-seen venue for the city's upper crust. Gerbeaud was nationalized during the communist era but even then it retained an air of opulence and was a favorite haunt of Budapest's high society, especially among elderly ladies.
Today, still, Gerbeaud puts out some of the best traditional Hungarian and Austro-Hungarian pastries including Dobos, Esterházy, and Sacher tortes, krémes, and the namesake Gerbeaud cake. You should also try two of their signature sweets: konyakmeggy, a brandied sour cherry enclosed by a chocolate shell, and macskanyelv, a milk chocolate shaped like a cat’s tongue. Gerbeaud is inside a gleaming white, lavishly-decorated building outfitted with crystal chandeliers, marble-topped tables, and cherrywood paneling (Onyx, a two-Michelin-starred fine dining restaurant, is next door and run by the same owners). The place is mainly a tourist attraction these days as many locals have been priced out of both Gerbeaud and the neighborhood (a cappuccino costs €6).
If it's your first time in Budapest, I do recommend that you stop by here for the tasty pastries and a glimpse of the city's now-vanished, turn-of-the-century coffee-house culture. Part of the experience is basking in the historic glow of the space, but it's good to know that all to-go orders are half-priced at Gerbeaud.