Today’s cafe crush is all about another cafe that I’ve had the pleasure of visiting – Cafe Hawelka in Vienna. Unlike the other cafes I’ve talked about, there is nothing modern about Hawelka – it’s all about a kind of cozy bohemian tradition. In a city famous for it’s cafe culture, you will find establishments that are grander and more ornate, but there is just something special that draws me back to Cafe Hawelka every time I visit Vienna.
The Cafe has been owned and run by the Hawelka family since 1936. It’s also a bit of a love story – Josefine and Leopold Hawelka ran the cafe together until her death in 2005. In the early days, they slept on the floor out back and managed the work in shifts. Their son has now taken over, but Leopold continued to come to the cafe every day until his death in 2011 at 100 years of age. We saw him the last time we where there in 2009, sitting on his chair in the corner, watching over the business that had been his life’s work.
If you ever have the chance to visit Vienna, be sure to stop in, have a melange and a strudel and soak up the atmosphere.
For this edition of Cafe Crush, we’ll be visiting a cafe I’ve been to and loved – Olive + Gourmando in Montreal. Tucked away on a side street in old Montreal, Olive + Gourmando is one of the coziest cafes I’ve ever been too. Could have been something to do with the lightly falling snow outside, but the red walls felt immediately welcoming.
The food was fantastic too – as well as a beautiful selection of sweets and breads, they have a full lunch menu including gorgeous house made ricotta cheese. I had a wonderful asian salad with tofu. They have a big sign up that says “Eat Real Food” – and, you can get drinks there – my kind of place!
It’s hard to express how great this place is in just a few words and photos (the photos are from the Kitchn by the way – I think I was too focussed on the food to get any of my own!) – but I said to myself, if I ever owned a cafe, I would want it to be like this. Amazing food, decor and people – look forward to our next visit to Montreal so that I can go back!
I have always loved spending time in cafes – not just because of the food and drink – but often because of their design and attention to detail. I have been known to travel miles when visiting a city just to go to a great cafe I’ve read about. So, I’ve decided to start a feature on the blog called “cafe crush” – which will basically talk about all the cafes I’ve developed crushes on for their food, philosophy, design – whatever! First up is Amelie and Friends in Chichester, England. I’ve never visited Chichester, but if I do, Amelie and Friends will be my first stop. Not only does the food look amazing, but I love the way the design incorporates all my favorite things – subway tiles, rustic wood, tin and chalkboards.
Their packaging and branding is great too – just looking at these whimsical slogans makes me happy!