Gerbeaud Haz sits beautifully on a square at one end of the pedestrianised Vaci Utzca, in Vörösmarty tér. It started off in 1858 as a patisserie and confectioner; it is a real European institution. Inside it exhudes lavish imperial smartness:
and this is definitely the place to stop for a slice of Dobos Torte
You see? There are five layers of vanilla sponge. This is exactly as it should be. Each is covered by chocolate buttercream icing. It takes a little bit of work to prepare it. You can see step by step pictures of how it can be made here (though notice there are more layers here, and the caramel top is in threads, rather than a compact slab: farther from the original, but more practical for cutting into it!)
A nice feature of Gerbeaud cafe is that, beside good patisserie, they make the best coffee (of several types) in Budapest – and we are pretty demanding on coffee (almost as much as on bread…).
There is now also an adjacent fine dining restaurant (which we have not tried) and a pub downstairs in the cellar (which we have tried). The food in the latter is what any self respecting tourist would want Hungarian cuisine to offer, extremely rich stews and soups but very satisfying, especially if you are tired and it’s cold outside.
To cope with the totally unattentive and dreadfully slow service we suggest you get a couple of beers: they do make their own, though we suspect they do not use the apparatus on display in the room….