Vienna Journals

Ein grosser Brauner, Bitte

Best of IgoUgo

A March 2007 trip to Vienna by captain oddsocks

Café Hawelka Photo, Vienna, Austria More Photos
Quote: Following the footsteps of Freud, Klimt, and Trotsky through Vienna is impossible without going for coffee and cake!

Ein grosser Brauner, Bitte

Best Of IgoUgo

Overview

Imperial Palace Photo, Vienna, Austria
Quote:
Legend has it that coffee came to Vienna in 1683 with the besieging army of the Ottoman Empire. When the siege was repelled by Polish soldiers in the command of King Jan Sobieski III, one of the officers wound up with some sacks of strange green beans. The officer Kulczycki (Kolschitzky in German) decided that this ‘camel feed’ was fit to be brewed for human consumption and from that moment Vienna went on to become the hub of a new Central European tradition of coffee consumption. Even though this is far from the accepted factual version of events, coffeehouses in Vienna often perpetuated the legend by prominently displaying Kulczycki’s portrait. Coffee was already making its way into Euro...Read More

Café Sacher

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Restaurant | "Sacher Café"

Café Sacher Photo, Vienna, Austria
Quote:
Sacher Torte - A moist chocolate cake with chocolate icing and a thin spread of bitter marmalade between the layers. I’ve always liked it and it would have been little short of blasphemous to come to Vienna and not try the delicacy in its spiritual home.Sacher Torte came into existence in 1832 when a prominent Vienna hotel requested that its kitchen come up with an original dessert. The head chef was off work ill and it was left to the 16 year old apprentice Franz Sacher to fulfill the challenge. The recipe that he came up with is still used today, and the café’s menu claims that it’s ‘the most famous cake in the world’. They might just be right.Even though the cafe is i...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on March 27, 2007

Café Sacher
Philharmonikerstrasse 4
Vienna, Austria
43 (0)1 - 51 456 661

Café Hawelka

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Restaurant

Café Hawelka Photo, Vienna, Austria
Quote:
Cafe Hawelka is little short of legendary among the traditional coffee houses of Vienna. Before I went there I’d read about Leopold and Josephine Hawelka and how they ran their café together for 66 years until Josephine passed away at the age of 92. Josephine was said to be particularly proud of the marriages that she’d helped bring about by sitting lone patrons of opposite genders at the same table. I’d read that Leopold still spends time in the cafe, even occasionally posing for photographs with tourists bold enough to ask. He wasn’t there when I visited, but after 70-odd years he deserves as much time off as he wants. I was expecting lots of old wooden furniture, dark...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on March 27, 2007

Café Hawelka
Dorotheergasse 6
Vienna, Austria 1010
+43 (1) 512 82 30

Café Central

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Restaurant | "Central Café"

Quote:
No exploration of Vienna’s coffee houses is complete without mentioning Café Central. Famous as the haunt of such historical figures as Trotsky, the central today is a pilgrimage shrine to the opulent café culture of the Habsburg Empire’s dying days.The architecture of the place hits you as soon as you walk through the door. A copse of marble columns supports graceful arches from whose peaks hang filigree brass light fittings with smoked glass shades like exotic and majestic fruits fit for the emperors themselves. Low upholstered benches surround the walls; tables and chairs occupy the centre and the multitude of free-standing wooden coat racks sprout and shed their plumage with the...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 27, 2007

Café Central
Herrengasse 14
Vienna, Austria 1010
+43 (1) 533 37 6324

Café Schwarzenberg

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Restaurant

Café Schwarzenberg Photo, Vienna, Austria
Quote:
Café Schwarzenberg is the oldest of the cafés on Vienna’s inner ring road and the wonderful location certainly makes it seem as if they had first choice.The Ring is Vienna’s equivalent of a High Street or Main Street address and, on a corner opposite Schwarzenbergplatz, this café has prime position. The front windows offer a view of the Schwarzenberg palace, the equestrian statue of Lord Schwarzenberg himself, and the dome and towers of the Karlskirche. The tables and chairs on either side of the entrance door were packed up on the day that I visited, but when open it must be one of the few Schanigarten whose surroundings are as striking as the interior of the coffee house to which it belongs....Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 27, 2007

Café Schwarzenberg
I., Kärntner Ring 17
Vienna, Austria
512-7393

Cafe Sperl

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Restaurant | "Café Sperl"

Cafe Sperl Photo, Vienna, Austria
Quote:
Café Sperl is the kind of place I had hoped to find when I began exploring Vienna’s coffee houses - somewhere with excellent coffee, good service, lavish cakes, and a little of the atmosphere of the old imperial Vienna of a century ago.The Sperl was the only café recommended by all four of my sources of information (Internet, guidebook, tourist info, and local friends), so after a morning of rummaging around the flea market stalls, my pal Ezra and I walked from the Naschmarkt across to Gumpendorfer Strasse and easily found the Sperl with the help of its buttercup yellow exterior and the obligatory black and go...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on March 27, 2007

Cafe Sperl
Gumpendorfer Straße 11
Vienna, Austria
+43 (1) 586-4158

About the Writer

captain oddsocks

captain oddsocks
Echuca, Australia