I have this natural tendency to recommend food places to people traveling through Europe. Sure, I’ll recommend museums or parks but the food is my favorite part of traveling so with my parents trekking to Eastern Europe next month, I needed to come up with a list of things for them to do and I made feeding their sweet tooth a top priority.
Two places in Budapest and Vienna stick out in my mind as some of the best places to go to fulfill a craving and get that sugar rush – Gerbeaud Confectionary and Cafe Sperl respectively.
Gerbeaud is famous for their delicious and traditional Esterhazy and Dobos cakes. Located in Vorosmarty Square, which boasts an amazing food market, the place is a little pricey but worth the splurge for a brunch or afternoon snack. Order a coffee and your choice of cake, find a seat out on the patio, and you’re set for the next hour or two. When my friends and I visited this tasty gem in late March, it was our first city on our eight month trip abroad where we didn’t need a heavy coat to keep us warm. We loved sitting on the patio out in the sunshine, soaking up the rays, and watching people mill about at the food market in front of us. It was the perfect sweet treat on our last day in Budapest.
Vienna is the city of coffee houses and Cafe Sperl no doubt contributes to this great reputation. Sperl was our first stop after an overnight train from Berlin. With little sleep under our belts, my friends and I needed a caffeine boost. The coffee house is the one of the most traditional in town and the atmosphere was perfect inside. Devoid of tourists, locals were spaced out at booths talking quietly with companions or reading newspapers and books. The only audible sounds were the clinking of coffee cups. I had a plate of apple strudel for my breakfast – a traditional Viennese pastry that was sweet and flaky and pretty much perfect. Sperl was just right for my friends and I to wind down from a long night of traveling and to perk up for a day of walking and exploring.
Eastern Europe sure knows how to do coffee and pastries right and I am sure my parents will enjoy it just as much as I did. Sometimes a sugar rush is needed to make sure travel is done right.