Gerbeaud Cafe

A Symbolic Confectionery in Budapest

The famous Gerbeaud Cafe on Vörösmarty Square in downtown Budapest looks back to more than 150 years of history.

Christmas Opening Hours: Gerbeaud is open on

  • December till 14.00, and
  • it is open on 25. and 26. December 2017 between 09.00 – 21.00.

It’s rather touristy, crowded and slightly overpriced but it’s worth a visit for the classic coffee house ambience.

The cakes and desserts, including some Hungarian classics like

  • the Dobos torte,
  • Gerbeaud pastry,
  • Eszterházy torte are delicious, made with care, but they’re quite pricey.
the terrace of Gerbeaud cafe on a clear morning
The Terrace Of The Cafe

History of Gerbeaud Cafe

Henrik Kugler established the coffee house in 1858 on today’s Vörösmarty tér in the heart of Pest. Since Kugler didn’t have a heir, he sold the cafe to Emil Gerbeaud descendant of a talented Swiss confectioner family.

Gerbeaud expanded the cafe and developed into one of Europe’s finest coffee house and pastry shop. He added new cakes to the menu and introduced modern confectionery techniques.

Gerbeaud even founded a small chocolate factory where the legendary pralines and other sweets were made.

glass cake counter in Gerbeaud
Sweet Delights

Coffee House Culture In Budapest

Coffee house culture thrived in 19th-century Budapest, with almost every street having its own cafe. Gerbeaud stood out from them by elegant decor, and by offering a wide choice of delicious cakes.

The silk-carpeted walls, the crystal chandeliers, gilded tables exuded style that drew people from the highest social stratas.

Everyone who counted at that time visited the place, including the Habsburg royal family and many foreigners.

Sissy, wife of Emperor Franz Joseph and Queen of Hungary always dropped in the Gerbeaud cafe when she was in Budapest.

black and white photo of the Gerbeaud cafe in the 19. century
Gerbeaud Cafe In The 19. Century

After World War II

Unfortunately the two world wars ruined the coffee house culture including the Gerbeaud. After Emil Gerbeaud died in 1919, his wife managed the establishment until her death 1940.

The two son-in-laws inherited the business who left the country in 1945.

The state took over the ownership of the cafe during the communist era and renamed it Vörösmarty Cafe after the square where it stands.

After the II. World War the Gerbeaud cafe continued to be the most exclusive coffee house and confectionery in Budapest though lots some of its old grandeur.

In 1984 the Gerbeaud family managed to buy back the cafe and its original name.

the classic vintage interior of the Gerbaud cafe's salon

By 1990 the Gerbeaud cafe regained its lustre, and it was again the place not to miss by foreign visitors coming to Budapest.

During its renovation in 1997 the cafe received

  • fine wood panelling,
  • lavish brocade wall covers,
  • marble tables that enhance the nostalgia and refined elegance of the place but still managed to maintain a relaxing atmosphere.

Gerbeaud Cafe Today

Opening hours of the cafe:

  • Mon – Thurs: 09.00 – 20.00
  • Fri, Sat: 09.00 – 21.00
  • Sun: 09.00 – 20.00

During summer the terrace facing Vörösmarty square and Váci utca is a great place to while away with a cup of coffee and a slice of cake.

Gerbeaud’s specialties include famous cakes, such as Esterházy and Dobos cakes, as well as all kinds of cream cakes, extravagant bakery goods

They used to have exquisite ice-cream too offered from a counter outside the cafe, now you can only choose from a menu card). A scoop – 50 g – costs 990 HUF.

The wide selection of handmade bonbons in decorative boxes can be wonderful presents to anyone with a sweet tooth.

The cake selection is not too wide but all are prepared from the highest quality, natural ingredients.

Slices of cakes are availble for take-away at 50 % discount (just like in all other confectioneries in Hungary).

a slice of Dobos cake and a cup of cappuccino wih latte art
Dobos Cake

If you decide to eat your cake on the spot prepare to pay between 3 450 – 3 650 HUF for a slice.

Traditional local favorites include:

  • Dobos cake (3 450 HUF a slice)
  • Eszterházy cake (3 450 HUF),
  • Gerbeaud pastry (3 450 HUF) and,
  • Sacher torte (3 450 HUF).
  • Mille feuille/cream cake: puff pastry layered with rich vanilla cream (3 450 HUF)

Try the Hungarian Classics On One Plate ( 5 390 HUF): a slice of Dobos torte, Gerbeaud cake, Eszterházy cake, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

There are some scrumptious desserts and sundaes too.

The Somló sponge cake is many locals’ favourite: vanilla and chocolate sponge with Valrhona chocolate sauce, whipped cream, walnut linzer crumbles and raisins soaked in Tokaj aszú wine, (price: 4 150 HUF).

The coffee is great too (freshly roasted specialty beans are used).

You can have all sorts of concoctions with or without alcohol and they have superb hot chocolates.

hungarian cakes gerbeaud
Classic Hungarian Cakes

Prices In 2023:

  • Espresso, macchiato: 1 490 HUF, or 1 250 from specialty coffee roasted by a locl company (Casino Mocca)
  • Americano: 2090 HUF
  • Cappuccino: 2 090 HUF,
  • Flat white: 2 490 HUF,
  • Ice Coffee: 3 350 HUF
  • Hot chocolate with whipped cream: 3 350 HUF.
  • Teas: 2 190 HUF

They also serve breakfast

  • Croissants (1 050 HUF), brioche (1 050 HUF) pogácsa (traditional savory scone with cheese on top): 1 050 HUF
  • Tapioca Pudding with Coconut Milk 5 490 HUF: Homemade granola, tapioca pearls, fresh and dried fruits, honey Tea or coffee and freshly squeezed orange juice (0,2 L)
  • English Breakfast (6 990 HUF): Fried egg, beans in tomato sauce, mini sausage, crispy bacon, hash browns, baby spinach, roasted mushrooms, Tea or coffee and freshly squeezed orange juice (0,2 L)
  • French breakfast (5 290 HUF): Homemade croissant or brioche, French butter, blueberry jam Tea or coffee and freshly squeezed orange juice (0,2 L)
  • Breakfast for two (7 950 HUF): Scrambled eggs, cold cuts, candied bacon, cheese, butter, Hungarian cottage cheese spread, chicken rillette, seasonal vegetables, twisted bread, tapioca pudding with homemade granola, Tea or coffee and freshly squeezed orange juice (0,2 L)

You can also have wines, sparkling wines by the glass, beer, homemade lemondes and various other soft drinks.

a bowl of granola with fresh fruits

Soups, Burgers, Sandwiches

Besides pastries, cakes and breakfast, today you can have lunch from 11.30, or dinner in Gerbeaud Cafe

The menu ranges from

  • Classic Hungarian dishes like goulash ( 4 590 HUF), or chicken broth made from free range farm chicken to
  • Street food offers: burger, pulled pork sandwich or tortilla.

TIP: Try the Gerbeaud classic menu of goulash soup, a slice of Gerbeaud cake, coffee and mineral water. It costs 9 250 HUF.

Nice selection of Hungarian wines, is also available by the glass.

the yellow stop sign of the M1 underground in front of Gerbeaud cafe

Onyx – Gourmet Restaurant

The newest addition to Gerbeaud is the sleek Onyx Restaurant that opened its door in April 2007, and earned a Michelin star in 2011 (chefs: Széll Tamás and Szabina Szulló – they left Onyx and opened the Stand 25 Bistro in the Downtown Market in Hold utca in early 2017).

Its hallmarks are the gourmet meals made exclusively from fresh ingredients by first-class chefs and their staff.

gerbeaud bonbons
gerbeaud cafe15

They offer special treats around major holidays, like Christmas or Easter.

macaron gerbeaud
  • macaron eggs – 4 pieces in paper box, flavours: pistachio, eggnog, chocolate, raspberry, price: 1 790 HUF,
  • eggnog macarons in paper box, 4 pcs: 1 790 HUF,
  • carrot cake: 4-slice: 3 260 HUF, 12-slice: 9 780 HUF,
  • Gerbeaud cream cake: 2 250 HUF
  • handmade Easter chocolate eggs in paper box: 6 pcs: 1 890 HUF, 8 pcs: 2 290 HUF.

During the Christmas season Vörösmarty square hosts the Budapest Christmas Market that is one of the best of its kind in Europe.

In the Advent period the windows of the Gerbeaud House facing the square turn into a giant Advent calendar counting back the days till Christmas.

TIP: After a coffee & cake in Gerbeaud, take a stroll in the well-known pedestrian shopping street of Budapest, Váci street that starts at Vörösmarty Square and ends at Fővám Square at the Central Market Hall.

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