A local's take
Posted on: April 11, 2009 at 3:41AM
It is true that Cafe Central's patrons are now predominantly tourists rather than locals. Yet this is not without due cause - the beautiful interior and ambient piano music that is played on some afternoons make for a visually and aurally pleasing experience. Not to mention the novelty of its historic background; it is said that Trotsky was a regular.
Beware the snooty service-staff at Cafe Landtmann and (especially) Cafe Sperl! On a not all too busy evening, it took two twenty-year-olds twenty whole minutes to attract the grudging attention of a waiter at the latter establishment. And another thirty minutes to finally receive their respective coffees.
Instead try Cafe Hawelka, whose founder, Herr Hawelka, used to provide shelter and a hot bite and drink to artists during the war, expecting no pay from them but accepting any artwork which they offered in exchange. This warm hospitality has been passed down to the next generation to the Hawelka sons who now run the coffeehouse and do so with a lot of cheer and gusto.
A couple streets down, Demel is a wonderfully beautiful corner for coffee and confections. The pastries and sweets on display on the ground floor are as dainty as the colourful ceiling decorations, and the opportunity to watch the chefs at work is an added bonus. Often busy, it is definitely worth stopping by and taking a look at.
And having never been to the Haas & Haas teahouse, I think I might just pop down there for a refreshment after all this reviewing ...