Café - Defined

Café—Pronounced KAFFAY. The name used to signify a restaurant or place where coffee is to be obtained. It is the French word for coffee, often seen on the bill of fare as "café noir" which means black coffee or strong coffee.

Cafés of Vienna (1904)

The cafes in Vienna seem to replace the clubs a good deal, and members of clubs frequent them as much as other men: the cafes take the newspapers, Austrian and foreign, and from four till about six o'clock they are full of people, both men and women. The principal cafes are Café Pucher, on the Kohlmarkt, which I think is the nicest and the most frequented, though very few ladies are to be seen in it excepting on a Sunday, when a good many take coffee, chocolate, or tea.

The Café de l'Europe, which is filled with strangers usually, is another good café opposite the Stephan's Kirche; the Café Schrangl, on the Graben, is another very good cafe, frequented by people who live in the neighbourhood, as well as a good many strangers. There are very many others; to enumerate them would be to fill pages, as in every street there are cafes. The conditorci, or tea places, are not nearly so numerous; there are two which are quite celebrated. The aristocracy goes principally to Demel, in the Kohlmarkt.

The Princess Pauline Metternich used to go there to take her tea at five o'clock with friends every day some years ago; it is the best frequented of the tea places. Then there is Gerstner, in the Karnthnerstrasse, which is also pretty well frequented, but chiefly by the middle classes, though some of the aristocracy go there for afternoon tea.

The other tea places are Reichhardt, on the Wieden, at which a good many dancers from the Hofopern-Theater go, and Uhl, which is also patronized by the dancers of the Hofopern-Theater. The tea places on the Ringstrasse are not so good and not so well patronized.

Source: Society recollections in Paris and Vienna, 1879-1904 By George Greville Moore, P. 169-170

Cafés of Paris (1900)

The most characteristically Parisian thing in Paris is the Paris cafe. Cafes are everywhere. They are half restaurant and half saloon, and in fine weather their tables and chairs cover half the sidewalk. They begin to fill up about n o'clock in the morning, when dejeuner or luncheon is served at many of them.

Dejeuner generally consists of Hors d'Œuvres, fish, meat, one or two vegetables, cheese, a sweet, and black coffee. Of course everybody drinks wine. At many cafes you can get dejeuner at a fixed price ("a prix fixe"). This is about three francs at a fairly good cafe, exclusive of wine and tips, which should be 50 centimes apiece.

After dejeuner, that is to say, about 1:30 p. m., the seats fill with men and women who have come to pass an hour or two watching the throng, reading the papers, writing letters (stationery is furnished by all cafes), and drinking coffee, chocolate, absinthe, madere, beer ("bock") or some harmless decoction like grenadine.

Only women of respectability are to be seen at the cafes likely to be visited by Americans, and they are seen in great numbers, always, of course, with escorts. The crowds at the cafes continue until long after midnight.

If you want to see all the Americans in Paris, go to the Café de la Paix, at the Grand Hotel. Around this corner, sooner or later, will pass everybody you know. If you want to see the French, frequent one of the cafes further down the boulevard eastward, toward the Porte St. Denis. The Boulevard Montmartre is the liveliest.

Never forget to tip the waiter at the cafe. If you do you will regret it. When you are leaving give him just ten percent of the amount of your bill—never less than two sous apiece. Here, also, look out for your change.

Source: Paris, 1900: The American Guide to City and Exposition By Barrett Eastman, Frédéric Mayer p 118-119

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