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Piles of board games at Cafe Sperlhof.
NEIGHBORHOOD GUIDE

A guide to local favorites in Karmeliterviertel

Piles of board games at Cafe Sperlhof.
  • By Susanne Gottlieb
  • Photos by Stefan Fuertbauer
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Karmeliterviertel
Vienna
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Originally the heart of the former Jewish quarter, the Karmeliterviertel lost a huge part of its population during the Holocaust. It has since been revived by Orthodox Jews immigrating from Eastern Europe, and the multicultural Grätzl (a Viennese term for neighborhood) has become a point of attraction for Vienna’s art scene, with several galleries and shops popping up among its colorful houses and narrow alleys. Although this area has experienced some gentrification recently, it still offers a diverse range of restaurants and a bustling little market at Karmeliterplatz.

Meet Susanne Gottlieb

Susanne has lived in Vienna since 2006. She originally moved there from the south of Austria to attend university and, like many before her, never left. She is now working as a freelance journalist and film critic for Austrian and international outlets. In her free time, she is either sitting in a dark screening room or enjoying a cup of coffee.

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mail-solidEmail bytheway@washpost.com
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Karmeliterviertel

Café Sperlhof
This former Jewish artistic venue nowadays is a cafe and a popular meeting point for anyone who enjoys a good board game. Take your pick from several shelves full of games dating back decades, or play a round of pool in another room.
Grosse Sperlgasse 41, 1020 Vienna, Austria
Werkbuchcafé
This book and coffee shop not only offers a wide selection of reading materials, but also teaches visitors DIY techniques: Activities range from bookbinding, knitting, origami and herbal lore to professional input on developing your own projects.
Haidgasse 5/7, 1020 Vienna, Austria
Pizza Mari
Offering thin, flavorful pizzas true to the philosophy of Neapolitan cuisine, Pizza Mari is a fantastic spot for hearty Italian food. The green restaurant garden and the dearth of surrounding traffic may make you forget you’re still in a busy capital city.
Leopoldsgasse 23A, 1020 Vienna, Austria
Zimmer 37
Both a restaurant and a delicacies store, Zimmer 37 crafts vegetarian Asian cuisine that follows the Chinese cooking theory of the “five elements.” The establishment is run by a mother-daughter duo and features a sunny garden. It’s a great choice for a healthy meal.
Karmelitermarkt 37, 1020 Vienna, Austria
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Susanne Gottlieb
Susanne has lived in Vienna since 2006. She originally moved there from the south of Austria to attend university and, like many before her, never left. She is now working as a freelance journalist and film critic for Austrian and international outlets. In her free time, she is either sitting in a dark screening room or enjoying a cup of coffee.
Stefan Fuertbauer
Stefan, a contributing photographer for The Washington Post, was born and raised in the Austrian countryside but was drawn over 20 years ago to Vienna, where he lives now. He’s an admirer of the Austrian capital’s people and lifestyle and loves a good cup of melange (similar to cappuccino but different). When not racing his bike through traffic, he enjoys a relaxed ride on the tram, preferably on one of the models from the ’60s still running.

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