This little French bistro comes complete with the intense smell of cheese. The love for Le Bol is bigger than the charming intimate wooded space it occupies.
When you enter Le Bol, an intense smell of goat cheese hits you in the face, as if the goat has kicked you itself.
And the food at Le Bol lives up to its smell, if you know what we mean (we’re not even sure we do). Especially popular during lunch hours, between 11am–2pm you’ll find it hard to land a table without reservation, and once you do, you’ll have a 45 minute waiting time. So consider Le Bol is like a real French experience: including the waiting time, the crowded small space, loud crowds, potentially angry waiters, and of course, the smell of strong cheese wafting about the place.
Le Bol has de rigueur trappings of a proper bistro – all-day opening, decent breakfasts, as well as lunch and dinner, outdoor tables in good weather. This makes this French café a popular spot for idling over a coffee and croissant, or a lunch with friends.
Colourful plates piled with salad can be seen being poked at with forks, like our personal favourite, the goat cheese crowned Monsieur Seguin. While the fancy French open-faced sandwiches, the Tartines, and baguettes are a hit with the lunch crowd.
The breakfasts will not impress with originality, however, they’re all put together with quality ingredients. Frenchness in the Frühstück can be found in the typical croissant, jam and butter of the breakfast, Petit-déjeuner français, and the Petit-déjeuner du Baou, that involves an onion soup (well, you already have a morning breath, anyway) and a well-made Croque Monsieur.
The French goods lining the shelves act just as much as adornments of the place.
Warning: if you’re in a hurry, or on a tight schedule, Le Bol is not the place for you. The ‘savoir vivre’ of French cuisine definitely made it into the walls of this Viennese spot. The warm, generously-portioned plates are made by passionate cooks who take their time in the open kitchen.
Sometimes, you’ll wait a bit longer than expected for your meal to arrive, but the chitter chatter of fellow diners in the cafe will suck you in, and have you forget about time. You could also end up sitting at the large shared communal table in the middle of the main dining room, making friends with your neighbours.
Now, as for the wine and the cheese – both are French, of course, and both are impressive. The cheese plate served up for a low 11.90 € will have you wanting to find the closest French person and kiss them. As for the wine, well, the wine is French… what more do we need to say. They’ve also got the favourite French aperitifs behind the bar, so you can sip at a Pastis after all is said and done.
If booze in the middle of the day ain’t your thing, or you’re looking for a cosy cafe for a cold day, their coffee is decent, and you can get it in a cup the size of a bowl (we’re guessing this is where the name comes from).
Oh, and did we mention it’s a patisserie? No, of course we saved this fact until last as we wanted you to read this magnificent review until the end. This way, we punish all of those that just look at the pictures and move on to their next beloved magazine about Vienna. So, the deal with the pastries is, if you seek out French baked goods like a drug addict in need of a hit, Le Bol is your dealer – you’ll be buying their Tarte au Citron and hiding it from your loved ones in your inner jacket pockets and denying everything when they catch you with sticky fingers. Little will they know, that you’ve got one of Le Bol’s eclairs hidden in your sock.