„Central is not a coffeehouse like any other – it’s a philosophy.“
If you want to rub shoulders with the likes of Sigmund Freud and Trotsky, you should visit Café Central in Vienna. Though, you’ll only see Mr Freud & his friends if you can see ghosts! Today this historical beautiful coffeehouse is overrun with the tourists but they don’t diminish its old-style charm.
The café culture is still strong in Vienna so during the week and off-season (if there’s such a time of the year when there are less tourists in Vienna) this café is still frequented by the locals. But if you’re visiting during Christmas season be prepared to wait in the cold to get in this very popular café/patisserie.
Housed in a grand old palace (Palais Ferstel) Cafe Central has been opened since 1876. It offers breakfast, lunch, dinner, desserts and Vienna coffee of course. Made famous by its notorious patrons and as a rendezvous place for many artists, revolutionaries and philosophers it’s a hot spot for today’s visitors to once imperial Vienna. Everybody wants to eat cake in Cafe Central (or take selfies) as it seems when you’re freezing in the long queue outside this old institution.
When you get in eventually you soon forget all about your half-frozen fingers and look up in awe. The ceilings are very high and exquisitely painted and there are elegant arches, like in a proper palace or church. But the religion preached here is coffee! The central place inside is occupied by two large cake displays and a large gingerbread house. There’s also live piano music after 5 pm. I came earlier so I didn’t get to enjoy this part of Vienna coffee culture.
I was on my own so I was seated at a small table by the cake display. The best place in the house if you ask me!:) I perused the menu and the cake display next to my table but I also got up to look at the other cake display too. I chose Winterkuss cake because I liked the name and the size of that cake ( Winter’s kiss; I do speak ein bisschen Deutsch) and I had a fruit tea. The cake was lovely but it wasn’t really my kind of cake. I prefer really sweet and calorie heavy chocolate & nuts cakes and this was all about pastry, cream and wild fruits.
While I was eating my Winter’s kiss a man approached me and asked me if it’s any good because he was wondering whether he should have it too. I was surprised by the question and answered yes, it does tastes as good as it looks. It wasn’t really a white lie but it wasn’t my honest opinion either. It was good but not spectacular.
I decided to have another cake since it’s not likely that I’ll be here any time soon again (I’ve been several times to Vienna actually, but I only had the original Sacher cake last year). I chose the cake I was looking at before; again I chose it because of its name and looks but this time I hit jackpot. It was divine and it contained a hidden surprise inside. I had Weihnachtenkugeln cake (Christmas bauble cake) and it did look like a Christmas bauble. It reminded me of Kinder surprise chocolate egg because there was a thin layer of white and milk-chocolate and inside a surprise. A chocolaty cream and something white and very tasty. I first thought it was marzipan but it was actually apple! The chocolate cover tasted of gingerbread-was it the red dust that gave it that o-so-Christmassy taste? I don’t know but it was a perfect Christmas cake. I loved it!
I was so happy that I chose the Christmas bauble cake. It was a perfect cake to enjoy in a beautiful setting of Café Central at the last Advent weekend in Vienna!
Have you ever been to Vienna?