Since it is again this time of the year when all of the students are facing exams and finals I was inspired to write this blog post from my personal experience. For the longest time I was the person, who studies at home. I never understood what was so charming about going to the library to study. I have always seen it as, well let’s be honest, a waste of time. I found it much more convenient to stay home, where all my books and everything is at the tip of my fingers.
However, in the recent times I encountered an enemy, which had to be battled somehow – procrastination. I think I have never had such sever moments of procrastinating before, because school was always much more dynamic. Tests and exams are a daily routine and in university it is completely different story. You have the whole semester to yourself and if you are studying in Vienna you know that in the beginning of your studies it is possible to have higher amounts of lectures but not so many tutorials and courses which expect you to turn in homework and written works. This somehow reflected on my overall organization and I had to take some measures as soon as possible. Therefore here I would share some of the places for studying, which you can maybe find suitable for you as well.
- Hauptbibliothek/ Uni Wien
Who hasn’t been here? This is one of the most preferable places for the students in Vienna, since it is so big and spacious. It is opened from the Monday till Saturday and it is such a magical place. Many people compare it with Hogwarts, because of this vibe you get and I would agree. There are two reading rooms (big and small) as far as I am concerned and one computer room. It is relatively calm, but beware sometimes there are students that come together and cannot obtain from discussions and small talks, which is not always pleasant. Little advice if you do not like chatty students: if you can recognize such small groups, do not sit around them and you will be fine 😉
I have been living for almost two years in Vienna and I have never been to this café throughout the time. Few days ago a colleague of mine suggested a brunch there since I wanted to try some place new. I have heard before of it and that it was situated in MQ. I was quite skeptical about it I must admit. Museumsquartier is a place for art! Read more
For everyone who has been in Vienna it is clear that this is the heaven for baked goods. Here you can find the most amazing pastries, bread and the second best croissants after the ones in France. The most amazing thing is that you can find them anywhere mainly in these two bakeries that are as popular as McDonalds here if not even more.
When I first came in Vienna 12 years ago as a tourist I was only familiar with “Anker” but not far longer after I found out there was a “rival” bakery in town and mainly – “Der Mann”. Till this day I cannot decide which I like better since both of them offer a great diversity and very delicious snacks.
“Anker” is established in 1891 so that means more than 100 years old! They offer quite a lot of different things but I’ve always seen them as the brand for all those “salty” yummy things like bread, sandwiches, different toast, etc. As well you can find here (which I find very convenient and pleasant) boxes with fresh fruit salads and regular salads like Greek salad or even if you want they offer soup to go. I just think that in the very busy everyday regime we live it is quite nice to have some healthy options in the menu. It is for sure easy to go and grab a Cheeseburger – I’ve done it many times, but a soup to take away is just so much better. And then imagine combining it with one of these salads or some freshly baked bread – yummy! Of course they offer a great deal of sweet treats but I think the prize in this category goes to “Der Mann”.
I think “Der Mann” has been around even longer than “Anker”. Let me quickly check that up – yep since 1860. So that means great traditions, great selection, great place! I enjoy going there and gazing at their windows – they have so many things that you can dribble at, that I just cannot count them. I remember that around Valentine’s day they released a line with strawberry-flavored pastries and well what can I say – that was definitely a dream-come-true. Because I am such a big fan of strawberries I think I purchased most of the things once they were out. I really love their small cakes and pies as well – every time someone invites me to go at their house for a coffee or tea, I go and get ones of these. They look divine, the staff makes sure to wrap them properly and everyone that tried them was as excited as me about the flavor and the look of it.
But there is one more thing I want to rave about that they sell in “Der Mann” and that is their “Panne Oliva”. I am in love with everything containing olives and if you are like me you will love this one. I am quite picky when it comes to bread and I don’t like everything that I try but for real – that is the deal. I suggest you give it a try if you haven’t already. If you don’t eat half of the bread in one sitting I will admit I was wrong but I am ninety-five percent sure you will.
So make sure to stop by those two bakeries since they hold in themselves a large part of the Austrian spirit and mainly – good cuisine, home cosiness and freshly hand-made products brought to you with lots of care and a smile J
Every time around Christmas I am in the mood for baking. Once I am home everyone knows – the kitchen is off limits. I have to have my space! Jokes aside but I feel this time of the year is the most perfect one for making baked goods and just for cooking as a whole. I get such an inspiration from everything around me. Just imagine that – outside is snowing, you are home, cookies are baking in the oven while you are reading a book and sipping on some hot chocolate. Well if that is not a perfect picture I don’t know what is.
I will share my perfect recipe for Christmas cookies and no, I don’t mean gingerbread cookies – everyone is making them. I got this recipe from my grandmother and she probably took it from her mother and so on and so forth but I think these are the most amazing ones. They are very popular in the German-speaking world under the name Linzer cookies. They consist mainly of dough with cinnamon and lemon crust and apricot jam in the middle.
Since my grandmother passed away 15 years ago, no one has made them at home and they don’t really sell them in my home country. It is very funny how I rediscovered them but I am telling you know how it all happened. I think it was June or July and I was at home, already on my summer break and I had nothing to do. So I decided I would just bake something. I went and took out my grandmother’s recipe book and let me tell you that is not a real recipe book. It is mostly a notebook filled out with pages and pages with different recipes, many of which Austrian. I was skipping through the pages when I reached a cookie recipe. Since I was not very experienced in the kitchen I decided that would be an easier thing to begin with.
After I chose the recipe I started preparing all of the ingredients and mixing them according to the instructions. Once I got to the cinnamon I cannot describe the feeling that got into me. I was taken aback! The smell of the dough was so familiar but I haven’t smelled anything like that in the last 15 years – how could it be? I’ve completely forgotten about these cookies obviously and found them again by pure luck. There were like hundreds recipes in that recipe book – it was not a coincidence that I found exactly this one.
So I started making the dough and is not really complicated at all – you just have to have suitable cutter shapes for the cookies but that is a piece of cake – they sell them everywhere apparently. Once I cut the forms out I baked 4 or 5 trays with them. The most amazing thing happened when my father came back from work and the first thing he sensed was that smell. I think I almost saw tears in his eyes – the familiar sent brought him back to his childhood memories and reminded him of his mom. It was emotional and beautiful and ever since I try to make them at least twice per year.
And here you have the recipe which I think now has been in my family for more than 100 years.
280 gr flour
1 tsp baking powred
185 gr butter
70 g sugar
1 lemon’s zest
1-2 tsp cinnamon (I love it with more cinnamon)
½ jar of apricot jam
Mix in a big bowl all the ingredients except the jam and form dough from it. After you have the right consistency roll out the dough and make sure you put some flour on your rolling stick. You maybe want to have the thickness of 5 mm since for each cookie you need two parts. The cutting forms for a Linzer cookie are normally two – one which makes a whole cookie and one with a circle in the middle (so you can see the jam). Make sure to have equal number of the two halves – one whole and one with a circle. After that bake them in a preheated oven at 180oC until they are slightly brownish (depends on the oven – it takes around 15 minutes in mine). After that take them out and leave them to cool off. Once they are not hot use a knife and spread some jam on the whole cookie and put the one with the circle on top – it is that easy.
I was introduced to this restaurant a while ago by a friend of mine. You won’t probably find it in the hot lists with pizza places around Vienna but let me tell you – they know what they are doing. I instantly fell in love with the place and now I am going to tell you why.
It is actually situated at a very communicative place – right in front of the Neubaugasse subway station – so I find this extremely practical. Every time when I have had too much pizza to eat I can just slide through the stairs into the subway station and be on the tube in no time. Also if the weather is nice – it is quite near Schwedenplatz so normally I would just go for a walk till there or even further to Stephansplatz.
Now let me tell you more of the place itself. Once you enter you smell the appetizing smell of tomatoes, dough and garlic and I swear there is nothing better than that. The dimmed lights and the cosy atmosphere just bring more to the table and make you feel at home or at your grandmother where you are safe and sound, filled with food and just being comfortable. I don’t know about you but I am a total sucker for freshly made food and here you have it.
To your attention – you have on display your pizza while being made. I really love when I can see how the chefs use fresh ingredients, bake everything there and have no pre-prepared things. The menu is very well done – it offers a variety of pizzas, pasta, risotto, appetizers and desserts.
I fell in love with two things from the menu and I admit that they are only two because I order them always and never try the other things – they are just that good. From the pizzas that would be the Eatalico pizza with some rucola, prosciutto, beef mozzarella, cherry tomatoes and parmesan. It is a very settle and classic combination and you if you prefer something not very heavy that is the right pizza for you – it has everything a bit salad, cheese, some meat and as well in perfect proportions.
I cannot skip the dessert that I’ve been loving ever since I tried it – Crema di Fragola. It is so simple and basic but its charm is exactly in its simplicity. Basically what you get is mascarpone and cream with the most delicious strawberries that I have ever tasted since they are not fresh but prepared from a jam or something – I am really not sure. This flavor is further enriched with a pinch of chopped pistachios on top. I cannot find words to describe what a heavenly flavor you get after the first spoon.
But even if you have other preferences I am sure there is something in the menu for every taste. Another thing I forgot to mention is that the portions are rather large, at least for me as a girl. That’s why they offer you the great option of splitting the pizza and even getting two different halves with the person you’ve come. So for example you want the Eatalico and your friend wants the Margherita – no worries, just tell them you want it split in half and they will serve it this way for you.
In Vienna near the Campus you would find this coffee place called Weltcafe. It doesn’t look like something special from the outside but I guarantee you – it is always crowded. It doesn’t have a certain generation target and you can see all kinds of people there – tourists, students, mothers with children, elderly – everyone.
It has been around for quite some time now (they celebrate 10 years today) and most of the people I’ve talked to are pretty familiar with it and have been there at least once. It is a very friendly place, convenient for small study groups or just meeting your friends over breakfast or one of their amazing Zotter hot chocolates.
Mainly when I go there I choose their breakfasts. They serve them all day long and they have traditional as well as a bit more exotic pieces. Each breakfast comes with a drink and I always take one of the Zotter ones – mostly the Cashew – Caramel. Really give it a try, you won’t go wrong! The traditional breakfasts include French one (basically an omelette), English and American. Other choices are the Nepalese, Japanese, Oriental and healthy one.
Apart from that they offer a lunch menu for all of the days between Monday and Friday and I must say they are very Vegetarian/ Vegan friendly. Each day they include different meals with mostly three courses – soup, main dish and dessert.
Another thing they offer is the weekend bunch. It is not very pricey – around 15 euros and it is a buffet so it will for sure satisfy your appetite. They run it till 14 pm so there is plenty of time to try everything. Another interesting thing that I’ve observed is that they don’t serve just dishes typical for a breakfast meal but pretty much things suitable for lunch as well like a goulash or lasagna. So if you want to have not only a breakfast but a lunch as well – you get plenty of choice.
To sum up I think there is something for everyone there – the staff is very helpful and polite and you find yourself in a very calm, positive atmosphere so make sure to stop by and have a look at this place – it is worth it.