The recent travels that took me to Verona, Italy, also included a side trip to Vienna, Austria. As you may already know, Austria is at a cultural and political crossroads right now. The razor-thin victory of their Left-ish establishment party in April has been overturned by a judge due to alleged ballot irregularities. A new election is in the works for September or October of this year, giving hope to a very disconcerting far right-wing candidate whose rhetoric smacks of hatred, anti-immigrant posturing, and hyper-nationalism.
Which way things will go is anybody’s guess. And while I did experience a few less-than-pleasant encounters with some angry Austrians, I have nothing but great things to say about Miznon, a tiny cafe in the center of Vienna. My wife and I had just finished some business and were hungry for something quick, simple, and delicious.
We definitely found it at Miznon in the form of some incredibly tasty pitas (not a staple in my diet back in the states). Not only did we find great food; we found great energy. From our brief conversation with the lovely Carina Slaviczek, who manages the Vienna location, I learned that the restaurant originated in Israel and has several locations in the middle east and Europe.
The Vienna location had, in my estimation, people from about half dozen different countries and cultures working happily together in the kitchen and on the floor. Obviously, some were immigrants. I’m guessing some were native Austrians. But the small and perhaps cliche moral of the story is that people from different backgrounds can and do work together productively and harmoniously very often, if simply given the opportunity.
My sincere thanks to Carina and the gang for taking the time to talk with us and pose for quick photos during a very busy afternoon shift. We’re also grateful for the hospitality and laughter that came out of the kitchen just as often as the great food. It was inspirational.
2 thoughts on “The Joy of Miznon in Vienna”
Thank you for the description and the pictures. It sounds great. I have been to Europe and to the UK several times but, sadly, have never quite made it to Austria, and I very much would like to go. Two quick questions: did you find many smaller nice three star inns? And, how did you find prices in Vienna and Austria in general? Friends have shared that the clothing and leather goods like billfolds are super expensive but of the very best quality (to be worn into the ground later!).
Hi Michael, great to hear from you again. We didn’t have a lot of time to research accommodations, so we ended up staying at Fleming’s Hotel. (There are 3 in Vienna.) Ours was a very clean, safe, and reasonably priced hotel with very good customer service. The breakfast buffet they served was excellent, and provided a great start on the day. They seem to service a few business travelers, more tour groups and tourists.
The downside is that it was a metro ride of about 25 minutes from the city center, where we were doing business. Obviously, the room rates are higher when you’re staying in the city center, near the opera house. The Bristol and the Sacher were in the middle of everything you’d want to see and do, at three times the price of what we paid per night.
Your friends are right: the quality of goods in Austria, and generally all of Europe, is very good, although some junk from China is creeping in. The prices for clothing and accessories can make you cough in your coffee. The only consolation is that, like you said, many times you will be buying something that you will use over a lifetime. Bonus: the personal service that seems to always accompany a serious purchase in Europe adds to the experience. They know they’re products, they’re passionate about them, and they take their time explaining the attributes of them to you.