To Austrian-born, New York-based accessories designer Devi Kroell, Vienna is a city that stirs up conflicting emotions. "This is the city that has always mixed artistic genius with the gemütlichkeit it is so renowned for: the Viennese mentality is one of questioning and suspicion, scandals and revelations, all mixed in the cozy atmosphere of its legendary cafés." Here are Kroell's favorite cafés and shopping destinations that she visits on trips home to see family and friends:
MARKET Naschmarkt (Karlsplatz U-Bahn Station) is Vienna's food and flea market. Translated literally, naschmarkt means the "bingeing market," and what a temptation it is! Many of the stalls are operated by immigrants from Turkey, which means the Naschmarkt has the most wonderful selection of Turkish delicacies.
EAT AND DRINK Located on the second floor at the crossing of the very exclusive Kohlmarkt and Graben shopping streets, Meinl's Restaurant (43-1-532-33-34; meinlamgraben.at) offers breathtaking views and mouthwatering Austrian nouvelle cuisine in a very see-and-be-seen setting.
Demel (43-1-535-17-17-0; demel.at) is the place to go for the most heavenly cakes and wonderlandish marzipan works of art.
The tiniest bar (20 people make it crowded), Loosbar (43-1-512-32-83; loosbar.at) was designed by Adolf Loos in 1908 and offers a timeless setting and delicious mixed drinks.
Café Hawelka (43-1-512-82-30; hawelka.at) is a piece of Viennese history. Its owners, the Hawelkas, have always welcomed artists and writers like Ernst Fuchs and Hans Weigel in their café.
SHOPPING Vienna is known for its classical music, but what few people know is that it is also the cradle of what is now called lounge music. Black
Market (43-1-533-24-58; soulseduction.at) offers the finest selection of difficult-to-find lounge tracks.
Every chic cosmopolitan's wardrobe should include an Austrian jacket or coat. Lanz (43-662-87-42-72; lanztrachten.at) is the place to get the warmest loden in a traditional dark green, gray or navy.
OFF THE BEATEN TRACK The Wachau region, just an hour and a half from Vienna, boasts beautiful vineyards perched on steep hills falling into the Danube River. Stay at Hotel Schloss Dürnstein (43-271-12-12; schloss.at) for a King Richard the Lionhearted experience.