Opened in 1968, Ibolya Espresso is an iconic café and bar in Budapest's downtown. Ibolya is deeply anchored in Budapest's collective memory as two generations of local residents have been coming to this unfussy spot for everything from first dates to business meetings to class reunions. The interior furnishings are a genuine throwback to the communist era, featuring Mid-century modern-inspired light fixtures with orange plexiglass, and curvilinear chairs topped with red faux leather upholstery.
Despite being in the heart of tourist-heavy downtown, most patrons here are locals, many of them here to watch soccer projected on the big screen, or to wolf down a grilled ham and cheese sandwich blanketed in ketchup before calling it a night. Teenage lovebirds from the neighboring high schools often occupy the secluded tables upstairs. Before you leave, take a glance at Ibolya's timeless typography above the entry door.