Locations throughout Vienna
HOURS: Usually Monday through Saturday, 7 A.M. to 7 P.M.; Sundays 9 A.M. to 7 P.M.
No need to give the addresses to the thirty-one locations, as you’ll hardly walk in any neighborhood without coming across an Aida. Stop in and be served by one of their pink-and-white-clad waitresses.
HOURS: Daily, 10 A.M. to 7 P.M.
To me, and to any true dessert-lover, my first stop in Vienna is usually a relaxing visit to Demel. It is impossible to have a less-than-perfect dessert here, as their attention to detail is legendary. Making a selection from the array of desserts on the marble counter is a mix of frustration and hedonism. Go for one of their house specialties, such as Annatorte (a truffle torte wrapped in chocolate-hazelnut gianduja) or Burgtheatertorte (an unglazed chocolate torte with hints of orange). There are dining rooms for lunch and dinner, as well as the front café with its marble-topped tables. You’ll be served by a woman in a plain black aproned frock, a copy of a local convent uniform from back in the days when girls from the school were hired as waitresses.
Gerstner (near the Opera)
HOURS: Monday through Saturday, 8:30 A.M. to 7:30 P.M.
Walking down the pedestrian-only Kartnerstrasse, it is hard to miss Gerstner and harder to walk by without stopping and taking a table. If you order a pastry at the Vienna State Opera or Musikverein, it comes from Gerstner.
L. Heiner (near St. Stephen’s Cathedral)
HOURS: Monday through Saturday, 8:30 A.M. to 7:00 P.M.; Sunday 10 A.M. to 7:30 P.M.
It is pointless to talk about which of the Inner City pastry shops is better. Heiner has been in business for 160 years and serves all the classics in impeccable style. Their ice cream desserts are especially refreshing on a hot day. There is another shop at Kartner-strasse 21-23 that has outdoor seating in warm weather, and there are four others throughout the city.
Lehman (near St. Stephen’s Cathedral)
HOURS: Monday through Saturday, 9 A.M. to 7 P.M.
Another of the venerable institutions near St. Stephen’s Cathedral, right in the middle of Vienna’s most exclusive shopping street.
HOURS: Monday through Friday, 8 A.M. to 7 P.M.; Saturday, 8 A.M. to 6 P.M.; Sunday, 10 A.M. to 6 P.M.
Oberlaa is the new kid on the block, and they are making waves with their modern renditions of the old favorites. During the Christmas holidays, try their panettone, studded with marzipan as well as their own candied fruit. They have nine locations scattered throughout the city, including one across the street from the truly great Kunsthistoriche Museum (on a level with the Hermitage and Prado) and the Leopold Museum, with its unique collection of twentieth century Austrian art.
HOURS: Monday through Friday, 8 A.M. to 7 P.M.; Saturday, 8 A.M. to 5:30 P.M.
Tucked in an arcade by the Rathaus (City Hall), Sluka has meant top-quality pastry for over a hundred years (there is a gold medal on their door from the 1898 Vienna Culinary Arts Competition). During the cold weather, it is the place to go for chestnut desserts.
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