Before all the high-rises and chain restaurants began pushing it out in the '80s, the Hungarian community and its hearty eateries dominated Yorkville -- to the point where it was once considered Little Budapest. Today, Hungarian food is scarce in Manhattan, making Yorkville’s Budapest Café, and its Hungarian crepes, or “palacsinta,” all the more sacred.
The understated, narrow cafe (previously known as Andre’s Cafe & European Bakery) is a brick-lined space adorned with handmade trinkets, bottles of Hungarian wine on wooden shelves, and a sweeping photo of the gorgeous Parliament Building in Budapest. The crepe to order is the Hortobágyi Palacsinta -- a thin, delicate pancake stuffed with one of Hungary’s most beloved dishes, chicken paprikash. The tender, pulled meat is seasoned with plenty of onion and the country's favorite spice, paprika. It gives the chicken (and the broth that the crepe is served atop) a peppery taste and a vibrant orange tint. It’s not only a supremely comforting dish -- particularly when it’s colder out -- but it also sticks to your bones for hours, meaning you can have a full meal for just $9.95. As the Hungarians say: “Bon appetit!” Just kidding -- they say, “Jó étvágyat.”
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