Sunday 28 October 2007

Quiet Contemplation: The Kaffeehaus Reader

The Newspaper Table
Café Hawelka

Café Hawelka

Café Bräunerhof

Café Bräunerhof


Café Tirolerhof

Café Landtmann
Dr. Karl Lueger-Ring

Café Bräunerhof

Café Markusplatz

Café der Provinz
8th District

Café Hawelka

"... it must be said that the Viennese coffeehouse is a particular institution which is not comparable to any other in the world. As a matter of fact, it is a democratic club to which admission costs the small price of a cup of coffee. Upon payment of this mite every guest can sit for hours on end, discuss, write, play cards, receive his mail, and, above all, can go through an unlimited number of newspapers and magazines."

Stefan ZWEIG, The World of Yesterday.
("Die Welt von Gestern. Erinnerungen eines Europäers")
(c) Viking Press 1943
The University of Nebraska Press
Repr. 1964
Library of Congress Cat.Nr. 43 5821


  1. This is a charming theme. I especially like the Starbucks photo. Our city has a similar pattern of behavior. I have made several friends now who are "regulars" at one of our cafes. Fun!

  2. I would like to be sitting there, I wonder what is the soundtrack, the murmur of voices, the tinkling glasses,mugs ... delicious!I think, it's a real challenge, shooting in such places!

  3. Lots to read! All good news, I hope. ;-)


  4. Oh, that looks like heaven! Coffee, a sweet bite to eat, a quite hour or two to read...quite perfect! Happy day ((HUGS))

  5. This is a nice post, Merisi! I love books, newspaper and magazines. I would like to be sitting there. All them are very charming! Great photos, too!

    Have a nice week ahead!

  6. There must be lots of new to catch up on in Vienna ;) That shot of the *melange* and cake made me hungry this morning!

  7. This is lovely. I have fond memories of cafes in Vienna, Prague and Altenburg (Germany) and coffeehouses in southern California and Philadelphia.

    Here in Virginia, we have just discovered a new coffehouse near our own house, which makes a total of three within five miles (one of which is Starbucks). This new one has the best atmosphere but the worst coffee. Choices must be made.

  8. Lovely, peaceful, evocative photos. They make me realize how badly I need a hot coffee and a book right now! Just wish it could be in Vienna. Have a wonderful day.

  9. How wonderful! A different coffee house for each cup of coffee!

  10. Café Hawelka, my kind of Bohemian place. Lovely theme, Merisi.

  11. I've had the pasta lunch at the little bistro across the lane from Hawelka a couple of times. In fact, from picture nr. 11, I can see the table we sat at. Thanks you for bringing back some happy memories!

  12. Love the theme and photos. You live in a charming city that hasn't lost its sould to its size.

    Kind regards from Ljubljana

  13. Ummm... delicious coffee and an interesting book or paper, a fine way to spend some time.
    I especially like the 3rd picture from the top. Pure concentration.

  14. Kate:
    Whether one is reading or not, it is understood that when you are sitting in a Viennese Kaffeehaus, everyone wants to be an island.
    After all, it is your home away from home, and in your home you want to be the master of your time. Unless you go there to meet up with friends, of course.

  15. bridget:
    For some reason I manage not to hear any noises when I am sitting there. I know they are there. But that's it. ;-)
    I shot most of the photos through the window, from an angle, so as not to be noticed. I also tried to keep the faces obscure as much as possible. I collected them over time, slowly.

    So much to read, so little time!

    I must confess I haven't quite managed yet that state of heaven.
    It takes apparently time to "become" a Kaffeehaus reader.

    Thank you, I share your love for the printed word. Have a great week! :-)

    My Melange:
    I hope you did find something good to eat! :-)

    There are some nice coffee places around DC too: Firehook Bakery up on Capitol Hill (the one on Pennsylvania Ave) for instance offers great coffee, newspapers and cozy sitting. Same for Quartermaine on Bethesda Ave in Bethesda, even various Starbucks (I like the Starbucks here in Vienna because the are non-smoking!).

    Are you going to post about your choice of coffee(houses)? *wink*

  16. If I could steal any of the seats in your photos it would be the one at Café Markusplatz. It is perfect, a Newspaper (have to keep up with current events), your fave magazine, a delicious looking cup of cafe and a little something to eat (to make sure you don't get to jittery from the coffee).

    Great post!

  17. Becca:
    Thank you! I hope you did get ahold of a good book and coffee!

    I like to select my Kaffeehaus according to my mood of the day.

    Café Hawelka is lovely, unfortunately also full of smoke. I sneaked in a couple of times during summer, when everybody was sitting outside. I love the staff there, they are extremely friendly and pleasant.

    SK Waller:
    You are welcome! :-)
    It's an Italian place, isn't it?
    Never went there, because we eat Italian at home, so I try to find something different elsewhere.

    dr. filomena:
    Welcome and thank you! :-)
    I feel very lucky to have moved here and enjoy discovering the true nature of the city every day more.

    photowannabe :
    Thank you. I couldn't agree more.

  18. Tori:
    I do love Markusplatz: Great coffee, very nice 50ish atmosphere
    and the owner and staff are of the best Viennese school of graciousness. And that Guglhopf is a meal in itself (infact, I took home half of it, too big, but boy, it tastes heavenly!). :-)

  19. Café der Provinz
    8th District

    I would luv' to visit there. All your featured coffee shops are cozy but the Cfe der Province is where I mostly see me.

    Here in my country my favorite coffee shop is named "Figaro"...I too spend time just quiety reading there.

  20. gawd! I wish I had the time to just sit and have a coffee like that.... I am just too busy :o(

    Oh yes, that is a sweet and intimate place, great coffee and even better, great food too.

    I am trying hard to study how the Viennese manage to find the time to while their time away. Or make it look like. Maybe they are just natural born actors?


Thank you for taking the time to leave a note.