Vienna Kaffeehaus Culture

What a joy to experience the culture of the Viennese coffee houses. On our first day we managed to hit the Café Griensteidl about the time we needed a break from taking a walking tour (accompanied by a Rick Steves podcast). It sits between the grand Hofburg Palace and the Loos building.

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The interior is sumptuous with many small tables for two or three, velvet-covered seating, high ceilings, big windows, yet very cozy. Our waitress was most friendly and prompt, seeming very happy in her work.

Here we enjoyed a Franziskaner, an espresso with frothy milk and my favorite schlag (whipped cream). After we ordered that, we decided that we probably also needed a little to eat, so we ordered an Apfelstrudel. Knowing that we needed to spend at least an hour in the cafe to truly appreciate the culture, we picked up the Zürich newspaper and read through as much of it as we could. After that lovely respite, we were quite ready to continue our walking tour.

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Another day we decided to try a less well-known coffeehouse near our airbnb in the Mariahilf neighborhood. Café Jelinek, described as a withered beauty, was charming in a completely different way. It felt so cozy while it poured rain outside, and we sat in decor that has not been updated or renovated in decades. Although we didn’t order any food, we did enjoy another Franziskaner as well as a few of the newspapers. I am learning to drink a small cup of coffee over a half-hour or more, so different that my 16-oz. coffee I usually have at home.

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I need to find a job that requires me to try all the various coffeehouses in Vienna and compare all the different coffee drinks. And Apfelstrudel.

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