No city is quite as luxurious as Vienna (except maybe Paris). The shopping, the opera, the Habsburgs, and last, but certainly not least, the coffee. Vienna still embraces the original function of the coffeehouse as a place to meet and discuss ideas and facilitate discussion. And while you may never be more than a mile away from the nearest Starbucks whilst in downtown Vienna, you are also surrounded by hidden gems. Cafe Central may be tucked away from the vibrancy of the main avenues, but it is certainly not hidden. Opened in the late 19th century, this chic coffeehouse is most famous for its patrons Lenin and Trotsky. Today, it remains chic as ever and the most delectable way to enjoy an afternoon coffee.
Take your coat off and stay awhile. Enjoy a newspaper or magazine while you’re at it. (They even have English papers for those of us who can’t speak German)
Every warm coffee should come accompanied by a cup of cold ice water. I’m not sure if any better combination exists.
Despite the luxury and notoriety of Cafe Central, I’m convinced it is the pastries themselves that actually make this place so irresistible. Layers of chocolate and hazelnut and other Viennese goodness.
Maybe one day I’ll be lucky enough to get my hands on this recipe and open up my own little Viennese coffee shop right here in the US. Or maybe I’ll just have to go back to Vienna ;)
ps. As I type this I am sipping on a venti latte from Starbucks. I feel a little bit like a traitor.