I have just returned from five days in Vienna where I cafe-ed (my new verb for sitting in cafes for prolonged periods of time a la Viennese style) like the best of them. If there was an award for cafe-ying, Vienna would take the top spot. Before my trip, I researched the city by reading various blogs and websites and plotted out my culinary trip- a shout out to Unlike.net Vienna that served as an excellent resource.
Before I get to the cafe part, I will say, I didn’t have one bad meal in the city. I was so impressed by the restaurants I visited (Appiano das Gasthaus, Motto am Fluss, Sichuan, Palmenhaus, and Die Burgermacher) that I would return to Vienna just to dine. The food, quality and dining experience was so great that there was even a time where I had no idea what I was ordering (due to lack of an English menu) and walked away saying the meal was still top notch.
I visited cafes of all sorts where it was completely acceptible to order a coffee (food or no food) and spend a languid afternoon relishing the sights, sounds and smells before you, peruse a magazine or two or four, order another coffee and repeat. One blog I read, The New Diplomat’s Wife, talked about how it is possible to spend almost an entire day at a cafe and how to pace yourself based on what activities to do when!
I think my favourites were Orlando di Castello and the Prince Coffee Club. Both of these spots have uber-modern interiors (one is done in all white, the other in blacks and greys)- a stark contrast to the traditional, ornate, high ceiling, tiled, glitzy Viennese cafes that have a stuffier feel to them (although excellent). Orlando and Prince have excellent food and drink, play great music in the background and are very comfortable to “cafe” for hours. I wouldn’t recommend cafe-ing on a daily basis, but if you are missing a reason to sit, unwind, socialize, relax and indulge, Vienna cafes should be top on your list. Oh, and my reference to the title of this email “a portion of…” I found it fascinating and somewhat comical that on all cafe menus that I saw in Vienna, you have the optoin to order a portion of something. On offer I saw portions of cream, rum, milk, chocolate and you can order this so-called portion and add it to whatever you’re having- typically a coffee, tea or alcoholic bev. Quite indulgent but who wouldn’t want to sit and sip tea in places like the one’s below??