Trendsters and Traders
I’m sitting in a café on Yppenplatz. All around me I can hear the hum of voices speaking numerous languages. Market traders are loudly touting their wares at Brunnenmarkt across the square. Skateboards rattle across the asphalt. The scent of exotic spices from the market is carried over to me on the breeze. If I had to guess, I would say I was somewhere on the Mediterranean. But no, I am in the heart of Vienna. In the 16th district, Ottakring, to be precise. In one of the liveliest and most colorful parts of the city, which has sprung up around Brunnenmarkt over the past few years. With more than 170 stands, Brunnenmarkt is the city’s largest street market. At one end is a large open square lined with numerous cafés, bars and restaurants – Yppenplatz.
Like a Bazaar
Fresh fruits and vegetables are piled high at Brunnenmarkt, and the prices are set with weekly shops in mind. Stalls selling exotic spices from all over the world are interspersed with traders offering a seemingly endless selection of cheeses and halal meats. Some are given over to clothing, while others serve kebabs, Pide, and Börek with the odd complimentary glass of tea thrown in for good measure.
Brunnenmarkt has a distinctly Turkish flavor. And the same goes for the stores which line the street that the market is on. The names of the supermarkets, bakeries, jewellers, textile and carpet shops say it all. And Vienna’s best-known Turkish restaurant can also be found here: Kent’s Levantine specialties and its huge courtyard are a draw for older card-playing Turkish gentlemen and young scenesters alike. But it’s not just Turkish beer Efes on the menu here; Ottakringer from the brewery just up the road is also available. The very definition of local color. And if you should be unlucky enough to get boxed in by other cars, then half of the bar will soon be out on the street to help you out of a tight spot. Again, thanks to everyone who helped!
From All Over the World
But Brunnenmarkt is not just Turkish. From the Syrian kiosk on the corner to the African butcher and the Viennese Café Messner, everyone’s represented here. The market becomes increasingly specialized the closer we get to Yppenplatz, with delis now starting to dominate.
On Yppenplatz proper, the market consists of bricksand- mortar pavilions, most of which contain cafés, bars and restaurants. It is the first pavilion that catches my eye – home to Wirr am Brunnenmarkt. It also happens to be the only place on the market with a rooftop terrace, so demand for tables is correspondingly high. Next door is the Staud’s pavilion where shoppers can pick up jars of the traditional Viennese manufacturer’s unique jams, preserves and pickled vegetables.
I stroll past Mani, which specializes in contemporary interpretations of Middle Eastern dishes, and young Viennese eatery Völlerei. In the middle of Yppenplatz, the walls are covered in brightly colored graffiti, which is definitely worth a look. During summer, residents of the buildings overlooking the square come to sit on the benches in search of a cool spot where they can relax in the shade of its mature trees. With the unmistakable sound of the basketballs pinging around in one of the fenced-in courts in the background.
Holiday Feeling on Yppenplatz
A colorful blend of cafés and eateries lines the opposite side of the square: Gasthaus Müller, Café C.I., Cay (short for: Café am Yppenplatz), Café Frida and Dolce Lago line up shoulder to shoulder. Sometimes it is not entirely clear where one ends and the next begins. But it’s not really an issue as everyone gets on very well here. Opposite, in the middle of the square, is Café An-Do and Pizzeria Sofi. Yppenplatz is definitely hip, as a look at the clientele soon confirms.
A good tip for fans of Italian food is Restaurant Wetter, right at the other end of the square where Raetus Wetter cooks Ligurian dishes that are rarely found north of the Alps. While the menu is always in Italian, the staff are more than happy to help out with a translation.
Numerous creative outlets have also set up shop between the various culinary ports of call on and around Yppenplatz. Examples include a screen-printing studio, a bicycle workshop and the Brunnenpassage – this social art space in the former market hall hosts over 400 events every year, from theater and dance to music, exhibitions and film screenings. A special tip is Mano Design, Hedwig Rotter’s porcelain workshop on Grundsteingasse, where she produces beautiful items ranging from tableware to lamps. Often featuring Viennese designs, they make very special souvenirs of the city.
As I am already in Ottakring, I decide to take a detour to the Ottakringer Brauerei, the brewery that makes the beer of the same name – the unofficial tipple of the city’s beer drinkers. The closer I get, the more intense the aroma gets. On brewing days, a mixture of the sweet scent of malt and pungent yeast hangs over the entire neighborhood. Which is something that anyone planning on moving here should bear in mind. Sometimes, this aroma mixes with the smell of cacao from the nearby Manner chocolate wafer factory in the neighboring 17th district. From time to time, the two Viennese manufacturing stalwarts join forces and produce beer with a unique cacao note. Definitely one to try! Anyone interested in taking a look behind the scenes at the Ottakringer brewery can join one of the tours. And if craft beer is more to their taste, then there’s the Ottakringer Brauwerk, where the tours include samples of the creative brewery’s products.
After my trip to the brewery, I make my way back to Yppenplatz for a coffee. Whenever I’m longing for the feeling of a pulsating, lively major city, Brunnenmarkt and Yppenplatz are my go-to places. The area is a perfect example of how diversity, tradition and contemporary living can be brought together.
Text: Susanne Kapeller
Kent RestaurantBrunnengasse 67
- daily, 06:00 - 02:00
Wirr am BrunnenmarktBrunnenmarkt, Stand 157
- Mo - Sa, 09:00 - 23:00
ManiYppenplatz, Marktstand 153-155
- Mo - Fr, 17:00 - 23:00
- Sa, 09:00 - 23:00
- Tu - Sa, 17:00 - 00:00
Gasthaus MüllerYppenplatz 2
- Mo - Fr, 11:00 - 22:00
- Sa, 11:00 - 18:00
- Su, 11:00 - 22:00
Café C.I. Club InternationalPayergasse 14
- Mo - Sa, 08:00 - 02:00
- Su, 10:00 - 02:00
Cay Café am YppenplatzPayergasse 12
- Tu - Sa, 09:00 - 22:00
- on holidays, 10:00 - 22:00
Cafe FridaPayergasse 12 / Yppenplatz
- daily, 09:00 - 00:00
Dolce LagoPayergasse 10
- Mo, 16:00 - 00:00
- Tu - We, 08:00 - 00:00
- Th, 08:00 - 00:30
- Fr, 08:00 - 02:00
- Sa, 09:00 - 02:00
- Su, 09:00 - 00:00
- Mo - Sa, 08:00 - 23:00
Closed on Public Holidays
Pizzeria SofiBrunnenmarkt 161
- Mo - Fr, 12:00 - 15:00
- Mo - Fr, 18:00 - 23:00
- Sa, 13:00 - 23:00
WetterPayergasse 13 / Yppenplatz
- Tu - Fr, 17:00 - 00:00
- Sa, 10:00 - 15:00
BrunnenmarktBrunnengasse / Yppenmarkt
- Mo, 06:00 - 21:00
- Tu, 06:00 - 21:00
- We, 06:00 - 21:00
- Th, 06:00 - 21:00
- Fr, 06:00 - 21:00
- Sa, 06:00 - 17:00
Food stands: open Monday to Saturday 6am - 11pm
- Tu - Fr, 08:30 - 12:30 , 15:00 - 18:00
- Sa, 08:00 - 13:00
Mano DesignGrundsteingasse 36/1-3
- Tu - Fr, 12:00 - 18:00
also by telephone appointment
Brunnenpassage ArtSocialSpaceBrunnengasse 71/Yppenplatz
Ottakringer BreweryOttakringer Platz 1