Vienna Excursion – Café Culture and Food

by Kyu Ri Hong

The first thing that comes up in my mind whenever I think of Vienna is coffee and food. There are so many options for good food and coffee and desserts in the city. While we were in Vienna for a little over a week, I was able to experience the café culture as well as try many traditional dishes. Upon arrival, we went to a traditional Viennese Restaurant called “Restaurant Vienna” where I ordered the Wiener Schnitzel vom Kalb. The Wiener Schnitzel is a deep fried, tender-hammered meat (it has to be veal to be called “Viennese;” if it is pork, it will be cheaper and only called “Schnitzel”) and is usually garnished with a slice of lemon. Depending on where you go, you could also get a side of potatoes, a mixed salad, or cranberry sauce. For dessert, I ordered a typical Viennese pastry: Apfelstrudel, and it usually comes with warm vanilla sauce and powdered sugar on top.

Ordering a coffee at a Viennese café is not as easy. For example, when ordering a latte, you should ask for a ‘Melange’ instead of ‘Kaffee mit Milch.’  To get the whole Vienna café culture experience, I went to a traditional café called “Hawelka.” When ordering a beverage at a café in Vienna, you are always served a glass of water with it, which I thought was great because usually in Europe, you have to buy your own glass of water; it is rare for people to ask for tap water. Hawelka is one of the oldest cafes in the city and is usually crowded with both locals and tourists, just like it was when I went to get my cup of hot chocolate. Nevertheless, the waiters were nice and the hot chocolate was delicious.