Mention Oberlaa to the Viennese and they will nod sagely and praise the cakes, even though this Konditorei chain only opened its first premises less than 50 years ago (practically a baby in Vienna terms).
- Modern elegance combined with an excellent selection
- Several locations throughout Vienna
- The nicely-packaged boxes of chocolates and confectionery make fine gifts
- Seems the service is always unusually friendly for Vienna
- See also:
Time for cake
(Konditorei Oberlaa’s branch on Mariahilfer Straße)
Oberlaa is a relative youngster in the world of the Viennese Konditorei.
The first location only opened as recently as (whisper it) 1974, when the Kurkonditorei Oberlaa added its temptations to Vienna’s spa area. Which makes it the first Konditorei I’ve ever been into here that was younger than me.
(And now I need to have a lie down and a long think about what I’ve achieved in life.)
Oberlaa is the name of the area that hosts the spa and spa park on the far southeastern border of Vienna, though you can visit the Kurkonditorei there easily on the U1 subway. Look for it opposite the main entrance to the Therme Wien spa complex.
The Oberlaa moniker has since become associated with class and creativity in the realms of patisseries and pastry-makers, and recent years have seen branches open up in other, more central, locations.
They even have one at the main entrance to the giant Zentralfriedhof cemetery. So you can pay your respect to Beethoven, Schubert and others, then ponder the transient nature of life and fame with the help of a large strawberry slice.
We dropped into the location on Mariahilfer Straße, for example, which occupies premises at the bottom of one of Vienna’s main shopping streets.
(Konditorei Oberlaa’s branch on Neuer Markt)
Inside felt like the Konditorei concept updated for the 21st century, a kind of hybrid of the 1920s and 2020s. Tall and airy with a veneer of modern elegance and more space for each table than usual.
The place swarmed with a younger crowd than your average Konditorei, which meant, unexpectedly, it was noticeably quieter than its colleagues (there is something to be said for the younger generation sitting glued to their phones).
While the premises might be new, the long display counter heaved with tried and trusted cake varieties, but also a colourful cornucopia of macaroons, numerous fruit-laden delights, and Oberlaa’s own special creations. Not to mention various pastries, including several classic varieties of doughnut and strudel.
My sugar levels rose just at the sight, though a handful of savoury options for breakfast and other meals, plus a few gluten and or lactose-free choices, offered alternatives for those with allergies or avoiding a cake-rich diet.
Pleasingly, since a Konditorei tends to focus on the cakes and not the drinks, a lovely froth topped my excellent Melange and my wife praised the hot chocolate.
I popped in a few weeks later just for a breakfast, and the quality was excellent: particularly the size and freshness of my croissant.
More recently, I’ve found myself going regularly to the Oberlaa on Neuer Markt for breakfast meetings (see photo above). It sits at the edge of a newly-refurbished historical square that has the Imperial Crypt at the other end.
The building has a two-storey glassed annex, which makes a lovely location for
people-spotting enjoying the view and offers good value for money when you consider the central location.
One notable constant between all the Oberlaas has been the speed and friendliness of the service. Quite remarkably so: my colleague and I start counting the seconds between ordering and getting our coffee and croissant. Genuine friendliness, too: not the trained version.
How to get to there
Check the Konditorei Oberlaa website for locations in Vienna, which include one at the main railway station complex (Hauptbahnhof).
The branch at Mariahilfer Straße 1c in Vienna’s sixth district sits practically opposite a subway station (Museumsquartier on the U2 line). Alternatively, take a short walk from the Burgring tram stop (lines 1, 2, D and 71).
If you want a bit of culture with that cake, the MuseumsQuartier comes with an extra helping of public art, not to mention several museums of modern and contemporary art.