Garten Cafe is a place like no other in Vienna, perhaps even the world, and it’s not even trying. It may also be one of the calmest places in the world. With tables and chairs set up in the grass of a shady inner courtyard, this city oasis of a cafe has an old Vienna charm that can only come naturally.
Once upon a time, in a city which had once called itself the center of the world about 100 years ago, there was a garden in a cafe. The place was owned by a chaotic character until it was taken over by a wonderful lady and her partner, Therese and Wolfgang. By investing a whole lotta’ love, they gave it a makeover, and brought the Garten cafe to life.
Today, these two charming individuals strive to provide a inner city oasis with Garten Cafe.
You’re likely not to know anybody at the hidden garden, as the quiet and casual green spot in the 6th district is not the typical place you would duck into on a free afternoon.
From the outside, the venue is kind of subtle and looks like a simple ‘Beisl.’ You’d never guess the homey and welcoming wonderland it holds inside.
While sitting in the garden chairs out the back, you’ll hear birds chirping and buildings being built (which strangely also has a calming effect, here).
It's as if you're sitting in a place of utter tranquility, where nothing can go wrong, or get on your nerves.
The table next to you will probably be gossiping quietly about their family members, or old friends over a beer, or a sweet looking, and tasting, iced coffee. The regular crowd is older here, and it seems they have been coming here for years by how at home they look.
Therese and Wolfgang will be waiting for you with freshly made pastries, and the daily paper. They serve simple Austrian classics – all-day-Viennese-breakfasts, toasts, egg-centric dishes, salads and pastries. The food is not groundbreaking, but made with love and care. Whatever goes on your plate is made with local products, or sourced from local producers. Some of the herbs you’ll find on your plate will have come from the garden your sitting in. .
Therese doesn’t consider the spot a restaurant, yet describes it as just a familiar oasis that people escape to for casual plates and casual conversations over casual drinks. As you may have noticed, it is all very casual, here.
While they officially close early at 8pm, on some sunny evenings, they’ll keep the garden open for longer if they see their guests enjoying themselves.
The intimate insides of the cafe look like a conservatively dressed Austrian who goes to church every Sunday. We could imagine that sitting in there on a winter’s day when it’s cold, warming up with a coffee and cake, would also lend the feeling of a warm woollen blanket.
This is the kind of place that makes you hope that some things never change.