Owners Leopold and Josefine Hawelka turned this dim downtown cafe off the Graben into a legendary bohemian hangout whose golden period lasted from the 1950s to the 1970s. Back then, Viennese painters, architects, and writers sat around the marble-topped tables amid a thick haze of cigarette smoke.
Today, the inside is still unquestionably cool: creaking wooden floors; museum posters and playful drawings on the walls; a well-earned patina anywhere you look. But Hawelka is a major tourist destination with little of its native spirit still palpable. If you decide to come, show up shortly after 4 p.m. when the freshly made yeast buns – Buchteln – filled with plum jam are served (they run out quickly). Prices, as you can expect, are inflated.
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