Cafe-Restaurant Kalvarienberg - fusion kitchen in Hernals
At the Kalvarienberg in Hernals you will find the Cafe-Restaurant Kalvarienberg together with the Pizzeria and Gelateria Monte Calvario. Michael Schüller, the owner, tells you personally how this "fusion kitchen" came in the middle of Hernals and what makes this place historcally so interesting.
Please, tell us more about your restaurant ....
I run the Cafe Restaurant Kalvarienberg, Kalvarienggasse 21 and offer here 2 different culinary directions. On the one hand Viennese cuisine and on the other hand we have Italian cuisine, a pizzeria and also a gelateria, Monte Calvario, where we produce ice cream by ourselves. With our restaurants we extend the culinary offer in Hernals.
We took over the restaurant in 2015, before it was empty for two years. Potential we see here in any case. Especially the Kalvarienberg is known by many people, from the past even from the fasting market and now from the Kalvarienberg Festival, which takes place for 3 weeks before Easter.
In the restaurant itself, we also try to bring together art, culture and culinary art in the form of exhibitions, vernissages, readings and much more.
Is there anything special about your location?
Historically, the Kalvarienbergs is very interesting, because the Kalvarien church was of Protestant origin, at a time when in Vienna, the Evangelism was prohibited. Vienna at that time, however, was only what we know today as Innere Stadt (1st district). And so all those who followed this belief went to the suburbs. Also the lords of the Als, the Jörger family, were evangelists and they have just established a center of evangelism around the church. At the time of Easter everybody was then out of Vienna to attend the evangelical processions. Then came the Counter-Reformation. The emperor expropriated the Jörger family and made a Catholic church out of it. In order to bring the new faith among the people a procession was carried out, which lead from the Stephansplatz to exactly to the Kalvarienberg, a way, which is the same length as the Via Dolorosa. On this way also 7 Kreuzweg stations were built. Where there are many people, in the processions were more than 10,000 people, there had to be a supply too. Therefore, a market has been created and so the Kalvarienberg market started. The processions were later discontinued because there were too many byproducts and so the market also shrunk. At the time, this was the only Easter market in Vienna. For me there are a lot of childhood memories associated with it.
The church also has a special feature. There is a walk around the church that is falsely referred to as the Way of the Cross. Which is not correct, because the way of the cross is in the church. There is a covered walkway around the church, funded by 72 officials who raised the money, so there are 72 steps up and 72 steps down. In this way, the 7 deadly sins are first presented, then you come to the crucifixion doll, where the dying and the newly come to life, and then come the 7 virtues. It is a way of knowledge. Worldwide unique, but unfortunately this is not perceived touristic, what treasure we have here in Hernals.
Tell us the story of your restaurant ...
My younger daughter is a cook, the older daughter is together with a cook / waiter (soon married), I myself went to school nearby and so I know the area. I've seen that the place has been empty for a long time and so we decided together to take over the place.
The family team has changed a bit in the meantime. The future son-in-law wanted to have his own restaurant and then took over the Futterboden in the 14th district. Therefore, I now continue the restaurant with the younger daughter. Actually, I am working in a very different area, namely home care, and with my association Sonores, I offer all services related to this topic. The place is so useful for me as a supplement, because here I can bring together young and old, just a place of encounter.
The idea of opening a Viennese restaurant was very simple, I love to eat Viennese, and my daughter has learned to cook Viennese cuisine. And I believe that a good Viennese cuisine is timeless.
The Italian part was also logical, I love ice cream. There was a small ice cream shop in the Hernalser Hauptstraße. The owner basically wanted to die in his shop, but before that the house was demolished. I then took over the decor from him and also the old Italian original recipes. We then modernized it, doing it with organic ingredients, without any chemicals or dyes. But the basic recipes are those ancient ones from his Italian family. In addition I have won a real Italian, the ice cream condor and together with him we produce the ice cream on site, and all year - in the winter ice, which is hot. Yes, and with an Italian in the kitchen, somebody comes to think of it automatically, why not too sell pizza too, as there is the space. Well, and so we also added a pizza oven and all the accessories. Therefore, we have now in the restaurant, which is conveniently designed L-shaped, in one part, the Viennese cuisine as Cafe Restaurant Kalvarienberg and in the other the Italian with the pizzeria Gelateria Monte Calvario.
Where is your restaurant located?
Mike’s Vienna tipps
Why do you like to live in Vienna?
Where we live it is actually a bit rural. But it also takes only a few minutes to get to the city and at the same time the Wienerwald is practically at the doorstep, and so are the Schwarzenbergpark, Neuwaldegg, Kahlenberg, ... it's just so much around where nature is and yet you're in the middle of a big city.
My personal Vienna tip...
Visit the center of the world and come to Hernals to the Kalvarienberg. Apart from that, every visitor of Vienna should also experience the outskirts of the city, because here Vienna is still quite authentic.
My favorite place in Vienna ...
At home in the garden. Or just relax in the forest, and enjoy nature, such as on the Kreuzeichenwiese. Or the Steinhof grounds.
My favorite restaurant in Vienna ...
Apart from our own restaurant, we like to go to the Fillipo , a Spanish-Italian restaurant on the Thaliastraße, very large garden and very good, fresh food. And of course we also like to go to the Futterboden.