Grand Cafe Oktogon.

 This is an unofficial site, but nevertheless has some pictures of the Grand Cafe Oktogon which opened in March 2002.

 The 3 owners of the Cafe Restaurant decided to open an establishment  in the Oktogon area, which had previously been dominated by fast food restaurants. Opposite a Tram stop and adjascent to a Metro line the  positioning was ideal.

 David, Dani and Felix together with 3 Hungarian investors, who left the project at an early stage chose the site of a former Kavehaz,  which was then occupied by a car showroom, a photo development booth, a mobile phone outlet and a Japanese restaurant. The Cafe Sorrento had been a busy place in the early 20th century when the Budapest  Cafe society was in full swing.

 Together with the supervisor of the building they began their aim to  build and run a Hungarian style Kavehaz with a touch of French Flair  and English service.

 This is a view looking from to the right of the bar area back across  the Cafe, to the top right the VIP area can be seen, this can accomodate parties of up to 30 people and has a view down over the cafe. Centre right is the stage area, which can be used for fashion  shows as well as for concerts. Saint Martin the musician has played here regularly, as well as diverse musical tastes ranging from DJs to big band to classical. In fact the background music for the cafe is  also diverse, featuring classical music through to artists such as George Michael, depending on the time of day and the predominant clientele. Grand Cafe is a place to relax and ease away the stresses of the day. Foreign language newspapers are available daily and quite  often customers can be seen coming for coffee in the morning, taking  lunch and also  enjoying dinner in the evening all on the same  day. I think that says a lot for any restaurant and its food.

 This is a view looking from the stage down to the bar area, the toilets are to the right of the bar at the back of the picture below  the arched window on the top right.

 The bar area is shown here a very large variety of both alcoholic and non alcoholic drinks are available as well as Illy coffee (the best in the world), and a selection of Teas and hot chocolate drinks.

 There is Kronenbourg on tap as well as a variety of other bottled beers, and of course an excellent wine list featuring the best Hungarian red, white, rose and sparkling wines. I thoroughly recommend the Joszef Bock barrique from Villanyi  and the  Weninger Sperrn Steiner barrique from Sopron from the top end of the  reds, both are well rounded and would go well with any red meat dish or equally well on their own. From the white wines there is a very good dry white whose name escapes me but  I assure you will be  here soon, and of course there is a Tokaji the sweet wine of kings! The Grand Cafe also stocks some Hungarian sparkling wines made by  Torley at a very good price and also some French champagnes for when  you really wanna go nuts!

 I forgot to mention the banquette seating which I can proudly say I had a hand in suggesting, they are very comfortable and are situated mostly in the immediate area of the bar.

 As you can see the original structure of the building has been retained, with columns and arches supporting the roof.

 The cafe is lit by hanging venetian glass lamps some hidden uplighting and spotlamps which are often used to pick out exhibitions  of work from local and international artists hanging on the walls.

 Occasionally extra lighting is used in the form of coloured stage  lighting around the pillars, and there is a lighting rig over the stage to provide illumination on performances.

 The furniture is dark wood chairs and tables some large round tables are to be found in the main seating area as well as smaller square tables and also some sofas and armchairs which tend to migrate around the cafe, sometimes on the stage if there are no performances scheduled.

 The VIP area as I mentioned before is perfect for small parties and  events and is accessed by a small iron spiral staircase, it has  windows that overlook the pavement outside.

 I know I could be somewhat biased here but I think the Grand Cafe is  the ideal place to come to when you are in Budapest, whether for a  quick coffee, light meal or dinner. I have spent a lot of time with  the owners and the initiators of the project and so have an insiders view of  how the business works , coupled with the fact that I  have been to many restaurants in Budapest with them and they have tried to distill an essence of all that is good in Hungarian   catering coupled with their collective experience. I think they are on the right track with the Grand Cafe Oktogon.


 Sample menu and wine list to be attached!

Click here to see more pictures from Grand Cafe Oktogon.