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An Austrian friend of mine was reading my Great Vienna cafe reviews recently (links in bold italics are to other posts on this site).
My friend commented: But my favorite coffee house you did not even name. It is the Café EILES… Friendly staff, great environment, good coffee. And all the essential papers. And they do leave you alone, this is priceless. All the other coffee places I visit several times a month waiters become friendly and ask you things or even worse they involve you into their own problems, just because I am very friendly and leave good tips…
The Eiles is spacious, in the tradition of the grand old Viennese cafes
There is much wisdom in these comments:
(i) friendly staff: I have often written about the grumpiness and mixed quality of waiters in Vienna and in Germany. As someone said to me the other day, “you don’t go to the classic cafes for good coffee or good service – you go for the entire cafe experience”. Most perceptive. But the service in the Eiles is good; (more…)
Since I published my review of Vienna cafes a couple of weeks ago it has become one of my most popular posts. It has also harvested more comments than nearly anything else I have written.
So, as promised, I have expanded it. Instead of reviewing three cafes, I now review six. Additions include the Kleines Cafe; Cafe Landtmann; and, considerably less famous than either, the Ungar Grill.
Nice presentation at the Cafe Central in 2006 – Photo Robert Pimm
You can read the revised and expanded version at the link above, or here.
I’ve been particularly pleased to receive several comments recommending particular cafes as wonderful or terrible examples of what makes Vienna cafes special. More comments, or suggestions, welcome!
More reviews, including the Cafe Museum, Cafe Sperl, and Cafe Bräunerhof, coming up soon – in some cases these are new to me and I will need to visit them first.
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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…)