The Café is in the New York Palace Hotel, an Italian Renaissance-style building. In the early 1900's it was considered the most beautiful coffee house in Budapest. Writers gathered and newspapers were edited here. After WWII if fell into disrepair, for a while serving as a sporting goods store. I can't help but to think of the movie The Grand Budapest Hotel. In 2006 it was restored to the beauty it once was.
There's a little bit of a class-system at work when we approach the reservation desk; guests of the hotel are seated on the lower level near the buffet, while the rest of us are seated upstairs. We quickly see that this is a tourist destination, with selfie sticks and camera phones capturing the moment at many tables. A line out the door is used by those without reservations.
The surroundings are beautiful and our waitress is very polite and professional. She explains the menu, the options on the buffet and that she will serve our coffee or tea. I am in a festive mood and would like to have a glass of prosecco. I'm delighted when she explains I can serve myself to prosecco at the buffet. There is a good variety of foods and sweets on the buffet and we take our time eating, enjoying our surroundings and watching the antics of the tourists. Our only disappointment is that the food is warm, but not hot. We are happy we dined here.
Since Kaleti is in a part of the city we have not yet explored, we walk around the area near the station and pick a very local restaurant for dinner. The waiter seems to be delighted that some obvious tourists have come into his restaurant. We have a tasty meals of beef goulash and grilled pork chop with beer and wine for 30% less than the places closer to our apartment charge. A good experience!