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Serving customers for 109 years
The founder of Budapest's renowned beer house, Mátyás Borostyánkői (Baldauf) was born in Borostyánkő on 10 January 1873.

On 30 January 1904, he opened Mátyás Pince, which he named after himself. He went into business with his wife and four employees, serving 20 tables. The beer house had a terrace as well, which eventually held 22 tables where customers were received from 11 AM until midnight, offering Gypsy music as entertainment.

Mátyás Baldauf's expertise, his wife's genuine kindness, the prompt and attentive service, the outstanding cuisine and the legendary quality of the beer all earned him international acclaim, as he was praised not only in his homeland, but in the foreign press as well, including favourable mentions even in some American newspapers.

He refurbished the restaurant in 1937 according to the plans of architect Károly Dávid, decorating it with wall and glass paintings by Jenő Haranghy. The old furniture was replaced with tables, chairs and cabinets made in the Renaissance and old Hungarian styles. Its windows were replaced with stained glass and walls were covered with murals.

The second 'Golden Age' of Mátyás Pince began on 18 May 1947. This was the day on which Budapest's first beer festival was held, and Mátyás Pince took first place in the competition. 3,050 litres of beer were sold on that memorable day.

The restaurant was nationalised on 29 December 1949. This change put an end to the establishment's vocation as a beer house. Its atmosphere of a genuine Hungarian wine-cellar tavern made it possible for the restaurant to evolve into an authentic Hungarian fish restaurant. However, although fish dishes dominated the menu, there still was place for old specialities as well.



The clientele of the restaurant soon adjusted to the changes, and the tavern was well on its way to a third Golden Age. In 1952, the reconstruction of the restaurant was carried out with the atmosphere of the age of King Matthias in mind. Murals were created to reflect the Renaissance and old Hungarian styles, while Renaissance style furniture were left untouched.

The last time the establishment was refurbished was in 1964. During the construction of the Erzsébet Bridge, the area of Március 15 tér was filled up, which is when the restaurant was expanded to include a hall. No modifications were made on the restaurant itself, which preserved its appearance. The kitchen could no longer handle the traffic in the restaurant, however the management was not able to expand it accordingly. Instead, they decided to modernise the kitchen, replacing old appliances with new ones, but everything else depended on the skill and ingenuity of the staff.


The last time the establishment was refurbished was in 1964. During the construction of the Erzsébet Bridge, the area of Március 15 tér was filled up, which is when the restaurant was expanded to include a hall. No modifications were made on the restaurant itself, which preserved its appearance. The kitchen could no longer handle the traffic in the restaurant, however the management was not able to expand it accordingly. Instead, they decided to modernise the kitchen, replacing old appliances with new ones, but everything else depended on the skill and ingenuity of the staff.

In 1969 and 1970, students from the University of Fine Arts, led by painter Gyula Bozó, restored the murals. In 1971, the beer hall was adorned with murals, based on the plans of and executed by Gyula Bozó. He was inspired by the landmark events in the life of King Matthias. One of the prized possessions of the restaurant is a stained glass picture that was featured on a 5-forint stamp.

The restaurant, decorated in old Hungarian and Renaissance styles, garnered acclaim from the foreign catering industry as well. This is also proven by the fact that several businesses opened in other major European cities and capitals that were similar to Mátyás Pince in style. Gypsy music was also very popular among guests. In 1971, a restaurant similar to Mátyás Pince was opened in Vienna.
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