Ruszwurm Confectionery

If you’re roaming around Budapest’s Old City in the Castle Hill, it would be a mistake to skip Ruszwurm, the oldest existing pastry shop in the city. Opened in 1827, the place has attracted an enviable cast of customers over the centuries, most notably Empress Sissi, wife of Habsburg Emperor Franz Joseph. Ruszwurm was nationalized during communism but continued to operate as a confectionery; today it’s part of Szamos, a local confectionery dynasty with dozens of locations in Budapest.

You’re here for the historic air, the original cherry wood Biedermeier furnishings—they’re under landmark protection—and the krémes, a popular vanilla custard cake (€2) that makes other versions in Budapest pale in comparison. During the colder months, also order a whipped cream-topped, wonderfully creamy hot chocolate (€3). The prices are surprisingly reasonable for the Castle Hill.

Being a historic place near the tourist-heavy Matthias Church means that Ruszwurm is packed with foreigners at all times, but a few locals, mostly senior citizens from the neighborhood, also frequent the establishment.