Sunday, June 30, 2013

Restaurant review: Cafe Vienna, Mannheim, Germany

Cafe Vienna
S1, 15
68161 Mannheim

In April, I made one of my many visits from Mannheim and had lunch with a very nice Mannheimer who gave me the low-down on the city. I love meeting locals wherever I visit and it's great to learn about their favorite places to dine; these places are usually outside of your typical travel guides.

We met at Cafe Vienna for some drinks and lunch. My dining partner, R, told me that the Cafe is something of a local secret, in a way. It's a very unassuming-looking cafe from the outside and is even more rustic looking inside.

It's a very popular restaurant and meeting place among students. It really reminds me of the coffee houses I used to visit when I was a student myself: it's gritty, a little sarcastic, has band stickers all over the place, and is a great place to hang out with your friends if you're younger or have a younger mindset. The menu says something sarcastic about the servers; we found ours to be pleasant.

Meals are inexpensive and taste good but the menu is not extensive. I ordered a small käsespätzle and a hot chocolate and my bill was about 5 euros. Käsespätzle is pretty standard, as what I was served, but it tasted good and I couldn't beat the price and it was filling! Other offerings include spaghetti, currywurst, schnitzel, and bratkartoffeln. There are both cafe drinks and alcohol drinks available and both are inexpensive.

Even better yet is the atmosphere. Yes, the cafe is plain looking, but as R says, it's like a living room for the people who visit, and even has some couches! It's not that uncommon for people to meet here for breakfast, kick back with some conversation, and find themselves ordering lunch because they've been enjoying themselves so much and the time has flown. When we were visiting on a Saturday, the place was packed.

There is a Sunday buffet that's extensive, well-priced, and tasty. R says it can be difficult to find a seat because of how popular it is, but recommends it.

So, if you enjoy a good chat with friends in a cosy but rustic environment frequented by students, stop by Cafe Vienna for some inexpensive grub and a good time.

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