Gerbeaud is a historic pastry shop and café in Budapest's downtown inside a gleaming white building lavishly decorated with crystal chandeliers, marble-topped tables, and cherrywood paneling. It was Swiss-Hungarian patissier Emil Gerbeaud, who, after taking over the business in 1884, revolutionized the Hungarian confectionery industry with inventive sweets and pastries. Café Gerbeaud has always been known as a see-and-be-seen hangout for Budapest's upper crust. Even when it was nationalized during the communist era it maintained an air of splendor.

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 bonbon enclosed by a chocolate shell, and macskanyelv, a milk chocolate shaped like a cat’s tongue.

Gerbeaud is mainly a tourist attraction these days as few locals can afford its prices, but if it's your first time in Budapest, I do recommend that you stop by here for the delicious pastries and a glimpse of the city's now vanished coffeehouse culture. Part of the experience is basking in the historic glow of the space, but note that all to-go orders are half-priced.

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