Herr K.

The Coffee House tradition in Budapest

In the 19th century, Budapest enjoyed a coffee house culture similar to that of Vienna. The coffee houses were important literary and political meeting points, where authors, poets and journalists worked at their craft. But unlike in Vienna, this tradition was broken during the Cold War years, as Hungary had a communist government. The tradition was such that one Emil Gerbaud was invited from Switzerland to partner in a coffee house. He eventually became the sole proprietor and rose to international fame. People came from far and wide to work with and learn from him. He was even invited to sit on the jury of the Brussels and Paris World Fairs in 1898 and 1900, respectively. In 1995, after the end of Communism in Hungary, the German entrepreneur Erwin Franz Müller bought Café Gerbaud and renovated it, returning the cafe to its original state. Café Gerbaud was not the only one of Budapest’s great old coffee houses to be purchased by foreign investors and visited principally by tourists after the fall of communism. In the 90’s, the Eckermann Café in the Goethe-Institut offered good quality and reasonable prices and was favored by younger people.
[188] Szimpla, Budapest
Notiz 1, Laden, Herr K