Robert Pimm

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Review: Vienna cafes: which are best?

Viennese customer (standing up, exasperated, after 20 minutes of trying to get the bill, in German) ‘Excuse me, Mr Waiter; I’d like to pay, please.’

Head Waiter (chatting to other waiters on the other side of the room) ‘If you’re in such a hurry, you should have stayed at home.’

This is a true story from Vienna, 1986 – I was there.  If my host that day (then working in the Town Hall with Mayor Zilk) is reading this, do get in touch.  Can you guess in which of the cafes reviewed below the scene occurred?  Clue: it was not the Hawelka.

The entrance to the Cafe Hawelka – photo Robert Pimm

How good are Viennese cafes?  Is it even fair for me to assess them, as a foreigner who has lived only four years in the city, all but the last year back in the 1980s?

Most Viennese cafes are excellent.  I like the fact that (more…)

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