When the streets are lined with smoky bars, closed businesses, and blacked out “cafes” named after someone named Susi or Pam, the hope for a trendy, charming, brightly lit establishment is low. Very low.
I know this to be true based on my and Will’s two-year experience living in a particularly grungy area of Vienna’s second district. Though the area itself never bothered us, we always sought elsewhere for good food and coffee because there was truly nothing on our street or anywhere close by that didn’t either have a scantily clad woman drawn on the window or reek of cigarettes. Though we eventually moved across the river to the family-friendly 22nd district, we regularly wondered if our old stomping ground would one day renew itself into something more welcoming and attractive.
And it’s happening.
Who’s Behind the Change
Thanks to Anne, a talented musician turned baker from Ireland, this grungy area, known as Stuverviertel is now on the map. Initially, she came to Vienna to continue her vocal music studies. But after discovering she wasn’t especially excited about the performing part, she decided to use her musical talents and knowledge to teach children’s music classes. Though she loved her new musical outlet, she continued to dream about the possibility of opening her own a cafe as she baked, a hobby and dream she’d been working toward since she was young. When her dream became reality, she needed a fellow baker to help her out.
Andy answered the call though he, too, did not initially come to Vienna to pursue a career in the baking industry. A scientist from Pennsylvania, U.S.A., Andy, followed his advisor to Vienna to continue his research of gut bacteria in the wild lemurs of Madagascar. Though he didn’t say it, I can only assume he studied the same sassy, music-loving lemurs from the hugely successful Madagascar movies. At some point, the wild lemurs and their guts no longer called to him, so he took his knowledge of science and love of baking and put them into cakes.
Your New Go-To Cafe
The Cake Tree opened its door just four weeks ago and the surrounding community has welcomed its business with open arms. Many are thrilled it’s a legitimate cafe where delicious food and coffee are served while others are thankful it’s open on Sundays, a rare find in Vienna where most shops and stores are closed for the day. The cafe itself is bright and joy-giving and will have you pulling up your Instagram the moment you walk in. The name “The Cake Tree” comes from Anne’s personal experience in rooting herself in Vienna. Environmental friendliness is also of great importance to her which is why much of the cafe’s produce is bio/organic, and many items involved in her baking and serving can be recycled or composted. And who doesn’t love the image of a tree full of cake?
My and Lucy’s Experience
Lucy and I went for the first time a few days ago and we loved it! And I think Anne and Andy liked us despite my clumsiness and running the stroller into everything the moment I walked in. The set up in there is sweet and welcoming, and the case full of homemade cake is definitely eye-catching. Lucy and I split a brownie topped with coffee ice-cream, and when I say we split it, I really mean Lucy ate most of it and I got a few bites. But that means the brownie was scrumptious and made us want more. We spent our time chatting with Anne and Andy who are amazing and so friendly. They loved Lucy and didn’t mind her crawling around and talking loudly at them as they baked and decorated. Also – they have a great bathroom! Maybe that’s a weird detail to be excited about, but I like when places have great bathrooms.
I didn’t take a ton of pictures while I was there since that’s hard to do with a baby, but hopefully, the ones I did take will convey the sweetness of the place. You should 100% visit The Cake Tree, not only for their food and good company but to add to the transformation of this area. My old neighborhood needs your business and regularly so it can thrive and inspire other Annes and Andys to open trendy restaurants, coffee shops, and those stores that sell funky chairs that aren’t affordable but fun to look at.
- The Cake Tree is open every day of the week except Monday.
- It’s dog and baby/kid-friendly. There’s a small kids table with colorful chairs plus knitted eggs and other little breakfast items for kids to play with, made and gifted by a caring neighbor. There’s a changing table in the bathroom for parents with babies.
- As The Cake Tree is just a few weeks old, it’s still a work in progress. For example, if you go by today, you may notice the front door is a little wonky. Anne and Andy are waiting on a new front door, so the wonky one will be replaced soon. Or if you’ve already visited The Cake Tree but did so a couple of weeks ago, they now have outdoor seating in front of the cafe and a brand new sign. Support and encourage them as they get settled!
- For those who are vegan or have specific dietary restrictions, if you’re interested in visiting The Cake Tree, shoot them a message or email with what you can or can’t eat along with the day you’d like to visit. While they’re not able to serve items for vegans or others with dietary intolerances on a daily basis, they will definitely have something for you if you let them know the what and when a few days in advance.
- If you want to go on a Saturday or Sunday, make a reservation to ensure you have a spot for brunch. While you’re there, give a friendly hello to the lovely Bianca, The Cake Tree’s weekend team member!
- Cakes and other baked goods can be made upon request for your upcoming event.
- Their website is currently under construction, but you can find everything else you need to know on their Facebook and Instagram.
- They make American-style pancakes!!! (Only on the weekend)
Enjoy yourself at this new cafe, take pictures, and spread the word. Happy eating!