At Vienna Coffeehouse Conversations, strangers sit down to eat or drink together, with a menu of questions to ask each other.
The events are in English to allow people from all over the world to take part. After a brief introduction from us at space and place, you will be invited to sit down with someone and enjoy fine Viennese food in a relaxed atmosphere.
A typical question is, ‘How important is money to you?’, and a second is ‘Which part of your life was a waste of time?’. These questions are not easy to answer, and previous dinners have led to weeks of email exchanges, where the pair continued to discuss the ideas presented. Other questions explore travel, friendship, work and inspiration. We are keen to revive the spirit of debate that existed in the coffeehouses 100 years ago. After dinner, everyone is invited to stand up for a drink and chat involving the whole group – up to 50 people.
Our aim is to sit down visitors with locals, one to one. For us, visitors – or outsiders – include musicians, conference attendees, resident diplomats and cultural travellers.
Have a look at the Tischgespraeche page on our site to learn more about the concept of a conversation meal, which we first staged in April 2012. This page is in German.
The Vienna Coffeehouse Conversations build on Oxford University professor Theodore Zeldin’s Conversation Meals, which have taken place as part of street festivals, in art galleries from London to Singapore, and at the World Economic Forum in Davos.
‘In just two hours I made a friend who was closer than many I had known much longer.’
Participant at previous ‘Tischgespräche’ conversation dinner
‘I would never again give a dinner party without this Muse Menu, to avoid superficial chat.’
Participant at Muse Conversation Dinner, London
Vienna Coffeehouse Conversations At Café Ministerium
Café Ministerium, Georg Coch-Platz 4; 1010 Wien
The Café Ministerium is a plush local favourite just off Vienna’s Ringstrasse. Voted the most popular coffeehouse in the city centre in 2013, civil servants from the surrounding ministries and local business people love to lunch there on red velvety seats and marble tables. The Ministerium also serves as the ‘extended living room’ for a few regulars’ tables and club meetings.
The café is a 10 minute walk from St. Stephen’s Cathedral through the historic centre. It is located just opposite the Museum for Applied Arts/Contemporary Art (MAK). You can choose between several dining and coffee options typical for a Viennese ‘gasthaus’ when you register for the event:
Couples and small groups are welcome.
Ps.: For Viennese interested in the special Landtmann events this summer, please send Eugene a short email (in English) about who you are and why you want to come.