Coffee, that is. In a real, old Budapest café. Unassuming, authentic, cozy yet refined. One of a kind today, but there probably used to be one in every neighborhood. The Csészényi, Cuppa, café shows no sign of pretention, as if is perfectly happy being completely overshadowed by its flashy, see-and-be-seen neighbor, Café Déryné (which I also love, but for totally different reasons).
Coffee grinders, advertising posters and enameled signs from a bygone era adorn the walls. “In the interest of patients on this ward we request the greatest silence,”
pronounces one sign. “Spitting permitted only in spittoons” warns another. And
my personal favorite, which I hope the patrons respect, “Please refrain from
expressing opinions about politics.” And indeed, the Csészényi shows its
impartiality by leaving both Népszabadság and Magyar Nemzet newspapers on a
table for patrons to borrow and read.
There’s no wifi here – which seemed a drawback but became more of an advantage as I savored my coffee and wrote in a real paper notebook with a real ink pen rather than
immediately getting on the Internet. I chose to read the Hungarian tabloid Blikk, always a source of interesting information on Hungarian culture. Turns out a Hungarian won the world championships in twisting balloons into animals with a cute and very true-to-life-looking mosquito. Also, if you missed this on the evening news, a guy in Győr sold his car for cash, left the bag o’ bills on top of the car and drove off, sending 20,000 forint bills floating through the air. He managed to recover most of it – just 460,000 forint is still missing.
Anyway, despite the trashy news, my morning at Csészényi was still a calming and edifying experience. Csészényi is at Krisztina körút 34 near Krisztina tér. Here’s a map: http://g.co/maps/nrthu and here’s their website: www.cseszenyi.hu. I recommend the vanilla latte.