Some districts in Vienna are underrated, and the 20th district falls into this category. Admittedly, Brigittenau is not as glamorous as other districts (one of its prominent claims to fame is that Hitler lived here some time at the beginning of the 20th century) but that’s not to say that the area has no charm. It is a predominantly working-class district, but I like the communal buildings and the sprawling grounds they have. Café Monika is actually located at the bottom of one of the so-called Gemeindebauten – a council-built block of flats. It’s very communal, very (stereo)typically Viennese. When you walk in, there are always tables of old people chattering animatedly in thick Vienna schmäh, playing cards and complaining loudly about things (it’s called Jammern and is a very Viennese phenomenon).
That said, Monika finds itself in one of the more alluring corners of Brigittenau. There’s a tram stop – the 33 – just outside. It is surrounded by plenty of green space, is right in front of a beautiful church, the local district hall, and near the Hannovermarkt.
It’s a kind of rough-and-ready place; don’t bother visiting the website because it has probably been under construction for the last three years. There’s no Facebook site to speak of. That said, there’s wifi – you could easily surf the net in peace for hours. For me, these kind of cafes, although unheralded, are really the backbone of the culture. It doesn’t really get more Viennese than this.