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A coffee house should have the right to feel satisfied if the only thing it ever does is to serve up excellent coffee and pastries. By this exacting standard Café Centrale should feel very satisfied.

Central_pastry

Central pastry 2

But that is not all. Not only does it serve delicious coffee and pastries, but also it does so in a very magnificent setting, though it may just look ordinary by Viennese architectural standards.

Cafe central exterior

Furthermore, it turns out that Vienna’s cafes were the scenes of much intellectual ferment in the 19th & early 20th centuries. Café Centrale has been frequented some very well known (if notorious) people – Vladimir Lenin, Adolf Hitler,  and Leon Trotsky amongst others – as well as the usual roster of writers and intellectuals. It was also the scene of much chess playing and new philosophies such as logical positivism.

Cafe centrale

Cafe centrale

Peter Altenberg was a German writer who spent most of his waking hours at the café and even had his mail delivered here. So they have put up this poster of him right at the entrance to the café.

Peter Altenberg

Modern visitors to Vienna’s coffee houses are mostly tourists such as myself, looking to grasp a slice of history along with a slice of cake. There is also a sprinkling of affluent-looking locals.

cafe central coffee

And did I say, the coffee is excellent?

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