Pastries in Vienna & Salzburg?
Currently in Vienna and probably will head to Salzburg this trip.
Recommendations for where to find wonderful pastries and other desserts?
So far, here in Vienna, I've tried Gerstner, Demel, Aida (at Stephansplatz), Heiner (Kärntnerstrasse), and I've set my sights on Oberlaa. Other suggestions?
As for Salzburg, I am open to any suggestions.
Well, here's my take on Vienna anyway.
First, I've learned that I just don't like Viennese cakes much.
However, I did like some of the cakes I tried. And several of the better-tasting cakes and other desserts I tried came from a small cafe at Stephansplatz, right across from the cathedral -- Cafe Weinwurm. The choices on offer there seem to change from day to day. Portion sizes for some of their cakes were a bit smaller than from other places, but I guess that goes with the location. There were never more than one or two tables occupied (unless there is a back room I couldn't see from the front) whenever I stopped by.
Some of the guidebooks tout Demel as 'the best pastry shop' in the city. Poppycock. The food I got on several visits there just wasn't good enough to be worth the stress induced by the masses cramped into the small area just inside the doorway where the pastry display cases are. I'd take Gerstner any day over Demel. And the ladies behind the counter at Gerstner and Oberlaa are so much nicer.
Aida's pastries aren't very good at all. Aside from the convenience of there being so many Aida branches around the city, and their low prices (large slices, often selling for €1 less than you'd find at other shops), there's little to recommend them.
Zanoni & Zanoni had a few cakes that weren't so bad. Prices were low, and they are open later than many other shops.
I had a wonderful cake snack at Suka one afternoon when I came upon the cafe while wandering around the Rathaus and Parlament. Very elegant place, some truly beautiful pastries. Nice staff. This is where all those hordes who are at Demel ought to be. (But then that would spoil how nice Sluka is, wouldn't it?) Thank heaven they aren't mentioned in the guidebooks I checked. Our little secret.
For less fancy, simple viennoiserie, I liked some of the snacks I picked up at various Strök branches in the u-bahn stations, such as their omas kipferl, schinkenpariser, and topfenstange ohne rosinen.
Incidentally, I'll add, for those who make future visits, that one of the most satisfying desserts I've had in the past few days, after trying more than a dozen different cakes and some strudel, was a simple panna cotta (just like I make myself, except less dense and not as solidified) topped with strawberry syrup.
From Vapiano, a low-end Italian eatery, where I also had a pretty good pizza and a tasty dish of sweet mascarpone cream with fresh strawberries.
I think I might have to return for another of their panna cotta before I leave.