In the year 1877, in the freshly built Franciscan Bazaar György Holzwarth leased a restaurant and appointed – wisely – Károly Csalányi as manager. The restaurant quickly became popular with Budapest citizens, often the line of those waiting for a table stretched as far as the Franciscan church. The famous restaurateur dynasty, the Spolarich family bought the place in 1925 and transformed it into its present, atmospheric and unique state with the help of celebrated artists of the day. In 1934 László Károlyi leased the restaurant, gathered a wide range of recipes and changed its name to Kárpátia.
Kárpátia became state property in 1949 and part of HungarHotels chain in 1957. By proposal of the Museum of Gastronomy and the Museum of Applied Arts the Minister of culture declared the interior decoration and furniture a National Heritage. The restaurant was renovated in 1979. In the year 1997, Dr. Ákos Niklai purchased the restaurant. His broad management experience, including management of the Forum Hotel, The Restaurant Gundel and Alabárdos as well as 9 years in Australia and the United States, is channelled into his vision of making the present reputation of Kárpátia as grand as its past history.
Kárpátia has a truly remarkable atmosphere – the harmony of the beautiful interior with its hand-painted and gilded walls, historical paintings (all created in the 1920’s) and the fiery and emotional gypsy music (played by Lajos Sárközi and his orchestra) is unforgettable. Add to this the professional, attentive service and the specialties of the traditional and contemporary Hungarian, escorted by the finest wines of Hungary (selected by sommelier Csaba Virágh) – this is the Kárpátia experience.