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UPD: fine 2018 kick-off

 

I decided to try to go back the hashtag #UPD from time to time. This blog has become solely a travel diary during past year, and I like it that way. But remembering that it started as a more personal thing where I was sharing emotions and events of my life alongside with pieces of traveler’s advice makes me wanna write down sometimes what’s happening around, too.

Writing this, I am on my flight from Moscow back to Vienna. I am now employed (*triple wohoooo from my mom here*) and had an unexpected short trip to Russia this weekend. Besides doing some serious adult stuff, I got to fly home and spend some time with my family again, as well as with my closest friend in hometown. Surprise trips are always great, but I couldn’t remember the last time I was in Russian in March, so the picture of spring in my head has shifted a bit: the forecast showed me sun, stable relatively warm for the region temperatures and no precipitation, so I came as my most classy elegant self, in a white suit. Well, don’t. Not in March. Hardly could I imagine this much of unidentified dark liquids flowing down the streets. One would hardly recognize that the car I was driving was once white as well. Thinking positively, I wanted no more snow this year – I didn’t see much snow since it was covered with mud. But I finally felt the spring!

Besides giving myself champagne showers for starting a job, I have been giving them to the others a lot recently. March is a big month of never-ending Birthdays. My closest ones in Vienna, Daniel and Jamila, have theirs one after another, accompanied by few more celebrations, so I had a good deal of rushing around town with presents, surprises and flowers, testing my baking skills and hiding in hallways watching youtube tutorials of how to pop a bottle once I break in at midnight, and other good stuff. I love Birthdays. I probably enjoy others’ even more than my own, which is coming up in two weeks. I find it super cool to be born in spring: everyone is happy and emotional after long winter; good vibes are in the air and people really enjoy the celebrations.

On top of pleasant weather changes and multiple reasons to celebrate (as all good stuff seems to happen in spring: everyone gets jobs, boyfriends, divorces and first tan), spring is a ball season in Vienna. I am not Austrian enough yet to annually attend classical events like the Opera Ball, which I actually would love to start doing in the next years. But I enjoy going to the great parties like Life Ball or Techno Ball – it was indeed grandiose!

 

As it turned out to be a very positive blog entry, so let me accompany it with few new and fresh must-visit spots in Vienna!
  • I already shared earlier that Daniel’s unique talent of a bar-chef brought Clandestino to this world. Now the bar has become popular and even more cozy and absolutely awesome with all the Star Wars gifts he receives, my fruit bowl and finest snacks menu by Mercado Nikkei, so let me invite you once again for a fantastic drink on Wed-Sat from 7 p.m. on. If you are in Vienna during this spring break – check out the upcoming event!
  • My favorite bar in Vienna since long before, Roberto’s, proudly introduced its new creation – another bar in the very heart of Vienna. Starting from 10 a.m. now at Jasomirgottstraße, 7.
  • There are some more new-openings that I found really great, including Birdyard and Bar3. Both are also offering delicious dinner opportunity.
  • And, of course, Kleinod. Not new, but always there for us!
May everyone’s spring be as smooth and nice as mine, and let the warm weather finally come to us!


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2o¡8

IMG_1428Happy 2018! Now all the celebrations are almost over (there is an “Old New Year” on the 13th of January for the Russians, too) and I am currently on vacation in Lech, Austrian Alps. So, I have some time to put a tick for the first post of this year. Some might have noticed that I was trying to catch up with my missing posts while traveling in the train and wrote about my trips to Azerbaijan and Georgia.

A new year on the calendar doesn’t mean any gradual changes for me. I make no resolutions and expect no miracles, bottomless inspiration and motivation or extreme weight loss, definitely mot after the holidays I am having this year! This is just a nice-memories-post of how I spent the holidays this year. I decided to stay in Vienna for the first time and didn’t really have any idea what to expect. Traditionally, we started giving presents and sharing food at our pre-Christmas dinner with the girls. which we host few days before Christmas. Last year it was at my place, this time Isabella invited us and our Olivier-bowls over.

For Christmas, me and Dani went to his family. We all stayed in an amazing house in the woods of the Austrian-Slovenian Alps, isolated from any means of civilization. We could see the whole milky way from our balcony! It was just awesome. For me it was always the first time I was staying with somebody’s closest family since my Christmas in the USA. I felt as a kid when we all searched for our presents under the tree and passed plates full of home-made food across a huge dinner table during 3 days. Many thanks to the Schobers! ❤

For New Year’s Eve, we came back to Vienna. I didn’t make any huge plans since I knew that it is not as much of a big deal here as it is in Russia. We started with proper daytime barhopping across our favorite bars, meeting acquaintances, collecting champagne glasses and delicious snacks followed by hugs and empty bills. Motto am Fluss held a nice brunch (which I had smartly reserved in October) and, well, Roberto’s and Kleinod are my daily New Year’s Eve, and judging by the crowd outside, I am not alone there. I was sure that bars would be the most fun. They were indeed awesome, but I was surprised later at night, too. I was spending several New Years in recent years in hotels so I was used to people going out on the streets after midnight – it’s quite natural to do when you are not at your own home with your family and friends. But I was sure such a scene could be seen only on resorts and never expected such celebration scale outside in Vienna! Hundreds of people, concerts and drinks on every corner, so loud and so fun! I am super thankful that my closest Austrian friend Anna dragged us outside together with her family to join the city celebrations before going to our final destination – Dani’s newborn baby, Clandestino bar @Mercado. I knew I wanted to kiss him for the midnight, but staying there partying until sunrise was a pleasant bonus. The staff knows how to do it right, so a proper party was guaranteed in advance. Needless to say that I left Horst club wearing my long evening gown and completely unbothered jumped into a morning tram to go home.

First three days of this year I got up from the couch maximum 10 times I think. Cuddling with boyfriend, eating non-stop and drinking beer – what else to start a perfect year? Those three lazy days were just as good emotionally as all the celebrations!

I had to leave my comfy couch once to pack suitcases and head off to Lech. So seldom I got to spend Christmas with the family, and this year I had two! I was with my family for the Orthodox Christmas, which never happens because of my studies usually starting earlier. This year we got all together with my parents, beloved cousin and her husband to have wonderful joyful time in the mountains. I love our tradition which is turning 15 years this season for me and the parents, but I am also happy that we could go not as early as we always do and I got to spend Christian Christmas with Dani’s family and New Year celebrations (there were a few) with my friends who all also stayed in Vienna this year. It’s a magic!

 

 


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Frohoho

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Frozen hello from unusually cold this year Vienna! We are expecting the coldest winter in 100 years, which is a big demotivator to such low temperatures hater as me. 

I am also a Grinch, to those who don’t know (if such people exist, as I tend to scream about it on every corner). So this is no adore-artificial-lights-and-sugar-with-hot-water-called-punsch post. I am really not a fan of all this Christmas fuss at all. Why don’t I spend winters in warmer countries, one might ask? Well, because I snowboard every free week I get. This is the only good thing during this season for me, definitely not crowds of people in shops and smell if cinnamon that I am allergic to. Ok, sorry, done with the Grinch vibe. I am starting with the season only in January this year, this means the first time in Vienna for the holidays for me. I am actually excited! Doesn’t matter where, matters with whom, right? And unexpectedly all my friends are staying in town as well, so we are already starting with our pre-parties and giving presents in couple days! The presents I like.

I don’t make any NY resolutions since few years, either. Honestly, I get a feeling that they are for the weak. Why do you need a list on a specific date to make your life better? I am such plans and fine organization lover on everyday basis, some would even call it a control freak. But those lists are something I don’t understand. I am not saying that all this “new year – new me” is bullshit, nope, it can be a very strong psychological incentive for changes. But why follow some stupid bullet points and put pressure on yourself, if you can just be strong enough to follow what makes you happy and what drives your personal progress. So, no “visit Paris this year” for me, I’ll just go and visit. 

Even though I am not trying to come up with random resolutions here, summarizing the past year would take me just few sentences. It was a happy one, because I ate a lot of good food, I traveled to a lot of beautiful places, I spent it with the person I love. Not much more I need. I really find all those talks about personal achievements boring, so I am not gonna bore you, if I haven’t already. 

So, spend the holidays with the ones you love, if you got the chance. Merry Christmas and talk to you next year! Prost! 🍸

P.S.: Time to share the most exciting event for us this year: Daniel opened up his own bar, Clandestino. Whenever you are in Vienna, come visit! You will be amazed 😉 I am very proud, the best feeling to end this year with.


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UPD: Life Ball & PIONEERS Festival

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Happy Summer, guys!

I am super excited for the upcoming season, despite currently struggling through finals and writing my thesis. It’s gonna be amazing, yes! As always, summers are always amazung, aren’t they?

I actually have been receiving a lot of positive surprises recently, and my life twisted around gradually 😉

But now – it’s just a short update to share that all is super cool, and I am just being too busy with uni stuff. Will soon write about our trip to Croatia; I got it as a present from my girls, it happened, and it was greater than great!

 

 

Another awesome event that recently took place and got us involved – Life Ball! Anyone who lives in Vienna knows its scale; it’s been getting more and more international attention, as well. More accurate info can be found on their web page, and I just want to share that it was absolutely great! It is so much more than just dressing up to go out and party all night long in one of the most beautiful sceneries ever. Spectacular way to raise aids awareness.

The coolest thing is not only the Ball itself, but the afterparty, which everyone in the city names the biggest party of the year. Yay!

 

And one more thing I wanna tell you about now – Pioneers Festival.

So, from the beginning, Pioneers is, as we were saying all the time, where tech startups meet investors. They do a lot of cool stuff in different cities, but as Vienna is trying to become a startup hub now, the huge event is held here annually. I feel honored that I got to work there, and my tasks were just a dream: I was part of backstage crew, helping out the main photographer and managing speakers before and after they go on stage to make sure that all media procedures are followed, and we get pictures and interviews with everyone we needed. One hell of stress it is, won’t deny! But the scale of the event was just breathtaking! And all of numerous afterparties that the organizers held were super cool, with a possibility to talk with the most creative and innovative people in a very chilled atmosphere. I even got to meet the president of Slovakia😱

Three days of excitement, responsibility pressure and fun fusion! Thank you, Pioneers, and I honestly hope to get a chance to join it again next year!

 


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UPD: Easter break highlights

92dvk6rqix8Happy Spring Break everyone!

I am not an Easter fan at all, the eggs-bird nests-and-bunnys market actually annoy me that much that last 3 years I carefully make sure I don’t pass by a single one of those. But spring break is something else for me because it’s traveling time, dislocating on to summer terraces time, and I am also a lucky one to always have my Birthday during these holidays.

This spring is already rich with events. A lot of new places either opened up or changed the concept, so every week we have something new to look forward to. Good news for those who are in Vienna – Tel Aviv Beach is already open and Motto am Fluss terrace is operating at its full capacity – probably my favorite places to sit outside in this town. Can’t wait for Pratersauna summer space to open up next!

A lot of people I know have their Birthdays at the end of March – April. Summertime must have some real love magic bringing so many kids being born these months! My whole April is usually just going to a Birthday party on almost daily bases. Three of those happened just last week only in Vienna, I congratulate at least 5 people who are away every day, and there are many more to go.

Btw, some lifehacks: if you need an amazing cake in Vienna that will be both delicious in exactly the way you want it and a masterpiece appearance wise – order one from eatandbake! I tried 4 of Mariya’s creations already and they are something I had never even dreamt of before! And if you need pretty neat and stylish bouquets – Vie de Flamme will provide you with the freshest and most beautiful flowers.

Going on with a minute for unsponsored marketing – new bars are in town! Josef just opened up recently and krypt is opening tomorrow. I have already been to both, too early to say anything, but they definitely look like very high potentials. Another art event, the opening of Julian Epok’s exhibition by Neni, took place last Saturday. It was very pink.

I am looking forward to a lot of different openings and events in Vienna which always brighten up spring. But honestly even more excited I am for leaving Vienna this Friday for my next trip, hehe. This year is the first time when I am not traveling far away for the whole Easter break because I am currently working on my thesis (and that’s exactly why I am writing this post now instead of doing my abstract) and can only leave for several days going within Europe. But I am still very very glad! It’s always nice to go somewhere warm, and, on top of that, it’s gonna be the two new countries for me where I had never been before. This will get me extremely close to completely scratching off whole Europe on my map, I will literally have couple more places to go to. Uiii!

Going back to my thesis now, have to finish last preparations for the trip tonight as well. Happy Easter, bunnies!


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Brunch in Vienna

vha5w24bxpcGood morning, dudes! I hope everyone had a very nourishing breakfast! I personally consider first meal of the day to be the most important, not only out of some kind of healthcare creeds but also because it simply rhythms the whole following day.

Breakfast, in my case mostly brunch as I try to avoid eating too early when my body is still asleep, is also the only meal for me that contains some sequences, they can even be called traditions. I can eat absolutely whatever from baked cheese with ice cream to pizza followed by a hummus plate for dinner, but my first meal of the day always has to include eggs and bakery. It can be a classic omelette with spinach/mushrooms/chili oil or banana pancakes with English cream and maple syrup – as long as there are 2-3 eggs and something bread-like, I’ll take it! I am not a fan of muesli or fresh fruits that many people love to have in the morning, though. Being lactose intolerant, cornflakes or yoghurts are not my thing either. Preferring something more substantial, my breakfasts usually include avocado (important: with wasabi salt on top! but that I unfortunately only get when I cook myself as no one in Europe has it), jamon or prosciutto, different kinds of cheeses (lucky me, I tolerate a lot of those), very often oriental vibes like fried eggplants, tahina or hummus; something crunchy and sweet, too. I don’t eat fresh vegetables, but really spinach or tomatoes with my scrambled eggs or in my morning quiche – whatever makes the meal more diverse and bright, as the serving is important as well.

I enjoy making quick breakfasts myself. What can make your mood better than waking up, taking a hot shower and preparing some french toasts or eggs with avocado on baguette from the oven while watching new episode of favorite series or having some energizing music on the background! Serving someone breakfast in bed is also a pleasure of a high extent, huh? 😉 But now it has become extremely mainstreaming all over the world to go out for brunch, too. It even seems to me of more of a social event than even getting together with friends/colleagues for dinners used to be. “Wanna go for brunch?”, “Let’s brunch next week!”, “What should we reserve for out weekly girls’ brunch this time?” – it’s everywhere, right? And look at instagram bloggers! Avocado has become more popular than eyebrows recently!

I have absolutely nothing agains that phenomena of looking fancy and socializing in the daylight rather than how it used to be earlier. And eating tons of food when starting a day seems to definitely be a better idea than stuffing yourself until you can’t breathe before going to bed, doesn’t it?

So, stopping my avocado-worshippong and getting to the main part: this is a very banal post about TOP20 brunch-places according to my insatiate point of view in the city where I brunch, Vienna.

The places are not put strictly in a satisfaction scale order, as some of them are simply too different to be compared. However, the top ones are my beloved breakfast spots, yes.

  1. Der Fuchs und die Trauben. They are the winners, solid! One of the new locations the emergence of which is natural following the recent brunch-trend. But they really ARE something. The way you can combine a lot of very small dishes to create your own set of tastes is even better than any of those breakfast-plates I’d day. And you can fins anything there, from amazing juicy burgers to little oriental things. BUT it’s only the weekend, and be sure to book a table 3-4 days in advance! Couple times I called on Thursday and there was already no seating possibility for any time available. Enjoy!
  2. Café Le Marcé/Café Français. I thought I can put those two together (but if you click on the names – it will take you to different links) as they are right next to each other, serve similar stuff and, in my opinion, have the same potential to become your new favorite breakfast spot. Cafe Français is in general a nice French restaurant that is beloved by Viennese people, so it’s worth visiting at any time. It is usually hard to get seated, though, which surprisingly is not the case during breakfast time (that is only 11.30, careful!). The neighbor, Café Le Marché is more concentrated on breakfasts which they serve until 16.00. It is more quiet there, the place is very small, so just sitting there with a coffee and laptop is something you will often see me doing there. They don’t take reservations, but once I texted them on Facebook to make sure I can bring my girls crew and have a table, and they kept one foe us with no problem. Order the breakfast tacos!!!
  3. Figar. There is a new one in 1040 now, but I have only had my loads of avocado and eggs in the one in 1070 so far. What they offer is classics, nothing that much experimental, but the quality is outstanding. Breads from Joseph Brot got my heart from the very first time I stopped there. Thy different combinations of their omelet in which you can put anything, I think even the dragon skin, and go for the simple but good avocado bread. During the week I find it easy to just come in and sit for as long as I want, even alone is very comfortable there. But if it’s a weekend brunch and you are a bunch of people – definitely requires a reservation couple days in advance, as they also have a lot going on there on Saturdays and Sundays, party-wise. Their summer branch, Figar macht Urlaub, is opening again at Danube Channel on the 15th of April, looking forward!
  4. Caffè latte. Be attentive, it seems like there are two places named like that in Vienna. I am talking about the one at Neubaugasse. They only offer brunches on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, 10.30 to 15.00, but it’s a buffet-brunch. And buffet doesn’t look like the one you think of when stay in the hotel with breakfast included, oh no! You can make your own little burgers, try several kinds of fish, meat and vegetarian main dishes with several choices of side dish; soups or pancakes – up to you; their croissants just never finish neither do endless bowls with salads, hummuses, raw salmon or beef and literally anything you can think of as food to eat not only in the morning, but throughout whole day. Make sure to reserve and come very hungry!
  5. Superfood Deli. Another trendy place that opened recently. Fresh juices and smoothies, couple healthy bagels and an interesting vivid choice of bowls. It’s a light breakfast opportunity, not exactly where you go with friends to take pics of different dishes together, socialize and get tipsy. But grabbing a bowl to-go or stopping by for a protein smoothie will brighten up your day. They are very tasty! I asked once to prepare a bowl for me a bit differently than was on the menu, and that was no problem. Limited seats and no reservation as it’s more of a to-go/to-deliver version, but that doesn’t matter, and I actually always manage to get a seat there. No credit cards, though.

    Those are my beloved places to go to now that I just discovered recently. The list is longer and some of the spots I might have mentioned already on my earlier posts under hashtags #Vienna and #food.

  6. Ulrich. Pancakes!
  7. Kussmaul. Rösti!
  8. Motto am Fluss. All Day Breakfast Sandwich; desserts are a must-try; drinking prosecco on their terrace is beyond enjoyable.
  9. Joseph Brot. All kinds of bakery is the best in Vienna. But the catering itself is at a decent level.
  10. Ströck Feierabend. Breakfasts sets are good; everything is very fresh; the bakery is also on point.
  11. Corns’n’Pops. A place for muesli lovers actually, but I found their bagels and pancakes ricotta with peanut butter to be a gift from heaven.
  12. Cafe 7stern. My usual place to study, a very cosy and chilled one. But it’s actually famous for brunch sets. A new menu there now, check it out!
  13. Naschmarkt: Neni/deli. I out those two on one position as well because they are interchangeable, which really helps when there are no tables available in one. Naschmarkt is in general a place to be in Vienna, and there are many spots you can pick for breakfast pr a morning glass of champagne. But those two to me are perfect oriental food. Go for breakfast for 2 and shakshuka at Neni and and some tender omelette and bagel at deli. Remember that Naschmarkt is closed on Sundays!
  14. Stadtcafe. Take the breakfast set that contains little NY cheesecake 😉
  15. Hidden Kitchen. I like the “park” one better, but both are well-known for the freshest healthy food. Their almond croissant may not be as healthy as everything else you will be served there but don’t skip it!
  16. Hotel am Brillantengrund. A completely different kind of brunch: Philippine food. They only make it as buffet on the weekend but you can order same dishes a-la carte anytime. It is delicious! And something rare for Vienna as well. Vegan options are absolutely amazing, too! Say hi to beautiful Olivia who works there 🙂
  17. Bro’s Pizza. A perfect hangover option! One of the best pizzas in town, great location, cold beer and the owners who will understand your sufferings. Delivery is possible, too, if it’s too bad.
  18. Le mercerie. A little place that I favor because it’s next door from my Uni. Good quiche, crunchy baguettes prepared in front of you; nice atmosphere. Quiet and good for a secret talk or reading  book alone.
  19. Vollpension. You will die from tempting bakery smell inside, so sit on the swings outside if on a diet. Breakfast sets are very satisfying and the ambient is great.
  20. Marco Simonis. Last but not least! It’s not exactly a brunch place, people go there anytime to just sit with their laptops and catch some creativity. It’s on my list because of their roast beef baguette – I’d eat that for breakfast every day of my life.

There is also such a thing in Vienna as popup events called Brunch Club Vienna. They are held at different locations, I’ve been to two of them and absolutely loved what they make there. It would be 3-4 dishes only, but make sure you it will be the happiest morning meal of your week! The girls are very hospital, will make sure you get a seat even though it gets very crowded recently, pour you a mimosa and make sure you are having fun there. Food and party combined – what else? Follow them on instagram to be aware of the latest news and upcoming popups!

You might have always noticed that when a place doesn’t have its own website, I use articles from the blog diefruehstueckerinnen. If you are German-speaking, this is a great source of information about the coolest places in Vienna, I use a lot of their tips myself.

A little gallery from the places mentioned above to awaken your appetite!

Mahlzeit!