Having just returned home from an epic trip to Prague and Vienna, I was aching for a taste of something that would bring back the memories of Europe. Food, being a transporter of memories, was an easy answer.
A Google search for “Austrian food in New York City” led me to discover Cafe Sabarsky and soon I was trekking through 60 snow-covered blocks just for lunch — and a taste of Vienna.
Cafe Sabarsky in New York City’s Neue Galerie
Cafe Sabarsky is located in the Neue Galerie, a German and Austrian art museum in the Upper East Side next to Central Park. The menu is full of favorites found anywhere in Austria: weiner schnitzel ($30), goulash ($16), spätzle ($22). They specialize in coffee and pastries — another tie to the cafes of Vienna.
I ordered as authentically Austrian as possible: veal schnitzel and a side of Viennese potato salad — served slightly chilled, with chopped cucumbers. I sipped on a glass of refreshing Grüner Veltliner and was instantly transported back to Vienna.
Despite the heavy lunch, I couldn’t leave without reminiscing about the incredible desserts of Vienna. I ordered a Warmer Milchrahmstrudel ($12), cheese strudel covered in vanilla sauce, with a melange (espresso with steamed milk and milk foam). It wasn’t exactly like the one I had in Austria, but it was so close I was ecstatic.
Cafe Sabarsky is like stepping foot into Vienna. The uniformed waiters delivering food on small silver platters, the menu of Austrian specialties, everything was just like in Austria. I was so transported that I found myself thinking it was strange that the diners at the table next to me were speaking English and I almost thanked the waiter by saying danke.
Food has a way of being a vehicle to transport you to far away lands or just distant memories. And when the atmosphere is just right, it can conjure up a nostalgia unlike any other.
So when you want a taste of Vienna, or maybe just an escape from the typical American restaurant in New York City, head to Cafe Sabarsky. Oh, and I suggest walking off your meal with a stroll through Central Park after.
Go to Cafe Sabarsky for :: an authentic Viennese meal, albeit one that’s a little pricy. Notes :: Open Monday and Wednesday 9 am – 6 pm, Thursday – Sunday 9 am- 9 pm (closed Tuesday). Reservations for lunch are only available for gallery members; dinner reservations are available by calling 212-288-0665.