Walking into Daniel Moser's Cottage cafe, you'll feel like you're being welcomed home by your house mates, except that here your house mates welcome you with your favourite hot coffee and cake.
The 19th district cafe has become a spot 19th districters have tried to keep their own little secret 2nd living room, until die Vorstadtweiber, Austria's very own desperate housewives, made it public in their TV show.
The place is known for its homey-ness, and we asked Gottfried Krasser, the restaurant's managing director, why.
Gottfried tells us it all started three years ago, when Daniel Moser, the coffeehouse located in the city center with the local coffee roaster behind it, decided to move out to where its green and one can hear the birds sing.
This led to the cafe Cottage opening up, with its beautiful Shanigarten and big indoor space that carries modern elements of the Viennese coffeehouse charm.
He wanted to create a space that's like an extended living room, a space for everyone to come and go as they please.
Cottage is all organic, with Gottfried insisting that all produce is bought from small local farmers, right down to the wine and the honey. And, of course, the coffee which is their signature Daniel Moser coffee, is simply magnificent.
People come here to enjoy a long meal, spend many hours feasting on the all day breakfast, create art, sign real estate deals, watch films on their computer, have drinks in the evening – so pretty much anything you would do in your own living room. Well, anything kosher (and with clothes on) you would do in your living room.
Most dishes on the plentiful menu are seasonal, while the chefs get their inspiration from beyond Austria's borders, with choices ranging from Asian Wok, Mediterranean dips to the local Austrian best hits like Schnitzel & co.
Cooks also produce seasonal fruit cakes, salads and dips, while some classics such as the Cottage burger, the breakfast options, the nougat cake or the Guggelhupf (pictured below) stay on the menu all-year round.
Perhaps it is because the place is set in the outskirts of the city where the air is fresh that explains the pure farmhouse vibe that rolls over you when you enter.
Krasser describes Cottage's style:
'This is the future of Vienese coffeehouses,' as it holds onto the traditional touches, like the daily selection of newspapers hanging about, and the classic pastries and tarts, homemade by the pastry chefs.
The large selection of teas (we recommend the apple cinamon) and the murmur of chitter chatter calls for a relaxed atmosphere. The neutral lounge background music hints at the idea that you're welcome to stay as long as you like.
A short history lesson seems appropriate to fully explain the uniqueness of this place:
The original Daniel Moser coffeeshop opened 35 years ago in Vienna's city centre. Dating back to 1683, when it opened as the first 'Cafe Zimmer' (a cafe room) in Vienna, which was like a cafe that was more than a cafe, with back rooms where people would meet for coffee and to socialise. At the time the mayor of Vienna was called Daniel Moser. And nowadays, the brand Daniel Moser keeps this tradfition of the 'Cafe Zimmer' alive at Cottage. It even encourages it, by hosting special Sunday event series, from Jazz and fashion Sundays, to readings on Sundays.'
Gottfried knows everyone that comes in personally – the lawyers with their clients, the artists sitting down to write their newest novel, the tailor next door – he has become the host of this living room space, another traditional element they've kept alive from the Viennese coffeehouses.
Not to mention the modest Viennese tradition of bread smeared with Schnittlauchaufstrich (a chives fresh spread) on the menu.