Destination: Austria: Vienna
Like the Hansen, breakfast is the meal du jour at this fanciful café located above the Kunsthalle in the MuseumsQuartier. It is served from 10 A.M. to 4 P.M., and includes everything from bagels to a typically Austrian spread of cold cuts, cheeses, muesli and hard-boiled eggs. Situated in the Emperor’s Loge of the former riding hall, the multilevel space has stucco ceilings, flowing gauze curtains and specials written on large chalkboards (the menu changes weekly). If you’re visiting the MQ’s museums, this is a nice place to refuel.
This funky café meets furniture store would be right at home in Brooklyn. Every piece of mismatched furniture, from twin-seat bar stools to sculpted low chaises, is on sale, though judging from the young, mostly local crowd of students and twenty-somethings, a huge demand for the pricey items seems doubtful (Das Möbel also has a freestanding store on the Gumpendorferstrasse). There’s Wi-Fi, lounge music and no rush with the bill. The location, near the MuseumsQuartier and such Spittelberg shops as La Petite Boutique and Lila Pix, is convenient. Open daily.
Like the Österreicher, the Hansen is one of those Viennese confections that brilliantly combines an old-world setting—in this case, the lower level of the Stock Exchange—with a modern sensibility. The restaurant, a popular spot for breakfast and lunch, is located in the midst of what must be one of the most beautiful flower and garden shops in the world. The 32,000-square-foot space abounds with urns holding colorful long-stemmed follies, shelves with delicate vases and handmade tabletop items, and an array of chic accessories, like patterned rain boots and lacquered watering cans. Diners sit on wicker chairs under skylight-studded vaulted ceilings (in the summer, there’s also a lovely terrace) and enjoy sandwiches, salads and omelets. Hansen is famous for its elaborate breakfast menu, which is served from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. during the week, should you have a craving for truffled scrambled eggs with salmon. Closed Sunday.
Fans of the 1995 movie Before Sunrise, with Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy, will recognize the Kleines Café with its peppermint green façade. True to the name, it is indeed klein (small), with only a few tables that are often crammed with artist types and students. During the warmer months, the café, which opened in the 1970s, spills onto the cobblestoned Franziskanerplatz, a lovely spot for an afternoon pick-me-up that is close to the Stephansdom but feels blissfully removed from the tourist fray. Open daily.
Orlando di Castello
Odd name aside, this brand-new restaurant, café and bar (it’s open from 7:30 a.m. to midnight) has an excellent location right on the Freyung, in walking distance to the Hofburg, and makes a nice pit-stop for breakfast, lunch or aperitivo. Its bright-white, sleek dining room is a nice change of pace from the traditional red-velvet-clad interiors and dishes served here are Mediterranean-inspired, so it’s a good fit for travelers tiring of hearty Austrian fare. The soundtrack played here is groovy, the clientele is primarily Viennese, and the staff is friendly and accommodating. Tip: Have lunch on the al fresco patio. Closed Sunday.
A popular hangout for chic locals and plugged-in tourists, this café and bookstore has a DJ station at the entrance (CDs and records are also available), a disco ball suspended from the ceiling and mismatched furniture. The last time I was there, the colorful mix of clients included students, young professionals, a couple with a golden retriever and a few families with kids who were engrossed in glasses of Cho, a rich hot-chocolate concoction. Phil is conveniently located near the Naschmarkt, the Secession and Gumpendorferstrasse shops, and offers something few other Viennese establishments dare: it is smoke-free. Open daily.
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