Café Jelinek is one of the reasons why we love living in Vienna – it’s dripping with true Viennese coffeehouse charm and is the perfect place to spend some lazy idle hours, or time with intense thoughts. The wood oven greets you as you enter, and while there’s no seating directly next to it, the cafe is small enough so that its warmth and glow is felt throughout. And it has to be one of the cosiest places to inspire reading. From the patine-stained walls covered with pictures of famous faces, the very well-worn wooden floor, to the comfortable scruffy velvet sofas, it feels as if nothing has changed since Jelinek became popular in the 80ies (It was actually opened by a Jewish couple back in 1910). We love the little marble coffeehouse tables, while a prime people watching position can be scored at the much prized seats by the big windows. With a collection of Stammgäste of all ages, the only challenge is getting yourself one of the comfy little booths to settle down in with a book.
Recommended Reading: ‘I was Jack Mortimer’ by Alexander Lernet Holenia because, well some of the action takes place on the same street as the cafe. Or the Nobel Prize winning wordsmith, Elfriede Jelinek, who this lovely cafe is named after. You could also get away with Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman, or, something completely random and old like Pride and Prejudice from Jane Austen. Or, if you’d like something more rock and rolla, go for a modern classic like Henry Miller’s Tropic of Capricorn, or The Unbearable lightness of being by Milan Kundera. And did we mention, The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. So as you can tell, anything goes in Cafe Jelinek.