Opened in 1968, Ibolya Espresso is an iconic café and bar in Budapest's downtown. Ibolya is deeply anchored in Budapest's collective memory given that at least two generations of local residents have been coming here for everything from secret dates to business meetings over the past half-century. Ibolya's interior furnishings evoke the design items of the communist era: the Mid-century modern-inspired light fixtures feature orange plexiglass, while the chairs are topped with sticky, red faux leather upholstery.
Ibolya's prices used to be too good to be true, but they've recently been raised as more tourists have discovered the place. Most of the patrons, however, are still locals, and many of them come here to watch soccer games projected on big screen, and to wolf down a toasted ham and cheese sandwich blanketed in ketchup before they call it a night. Teenage lovebirds from the neighboring high schools often occupy the secluded tables upstairs. Before you leave, be sure to observe the timeless typography of Ibolya's sign placed above the entry.