After Hours: Café Maldaner earns its position as beloved coffeehouse in Wiesbaden
January 15, 2014
If you’re looking for a romantic venue for Valentine’s Day, consider the charming ambiance of downtown Wiesbaden, Germany’s, Café Maldaner, arguably the city’s most beloved coffeehouse and patisserie.
Situated in the middle of Wiesbaden’s pedestrian district in a beautiful historic building, 150 years of tradition and history are quickly appreciated upon entering the heavy glass-and-tiger-oak revolving door.
A long glass showcase displaying delicious edible masterpieces immediately tempts customers. One glance at the chandeliers and dark wood wainscoting, and it’s apparent that this is not yet another modern coffeehouse filled with countless laptop screens.
We were led to a soft-lit corner that offered comfy leather seating. My wife and I immediately enjoyed Café Maldaner’s romantic yet conversation-friendly seating arrangement.
Being one to never forfeit an opportunity to try a warm apple strudel, I ordered my piece with whipped cream and homemade ice cream. My wife planned to order the chocolate mousse but decided instead on a homemade waffle with chocolate sauce. Both of these treats were complemented with some seriously delicious coffee. No paper cups here, folks!
The strudel was everything I imagined it would be — but I didn’t expect how delicious the bourbon vanilla ice cream served on the side turned out to be. The ice cream’s creaminess was unbelievable — the subtle bourbon notes and specks of vanilla throughout made me wish I had ordered a big bowl of it on the side.
Likewise, the waffle was light and crisp. The chocolate sauce was the perfect consistency and was elegantly served in a silver-plated boat. Waffle meets chocolate … need I say more?
Both of these sweet treats fell below the 5-euro mark (about $7), and believe me, we would have paid more.
But Café Maldaner is about more than coffee and the treats; it’s about ambience and the appreciation for traditional coffeehouses that offer high-quality service that is hard to come by these days. Add to that first-class service by wait staff in period uniforms and 150-year-old chandeliers casting a soft glow.
I couldn’t resist taking home a slice of Maldaner’s “house torte” and a chocolate-covered praline torte (to share with the kids, of course). Even the takeout packaging was elegant. The burgundy bag, paired with elegant gold baker’s wrap, both tastefully imprinted with Maldaner’s classy insignia, would make a great gift — especially when filled with any number of delicious treats available for takeout.
Maldaner is certainly at the top of my list for planning this year’s Valentine’s Day evening. Whether you’re with that someone special, or just out shopping with friends, I highly recommend stopping in for a truly excellent cup of coffee, a sweet treat and a memorable European experience.
Café MaldanerAddress: Marktstrasse 34, Wiesbaden, Germany.
Hours: 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday to Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sundays and German holidays.
Costs: Specialty teas such as organic green jasmine and summer berry may be ordered by the pot, or Kännchen in German, or by the cup. A Kännchen of tea costs 4.80 euros; a cup of tea costs 2.60 euros. Coffee prices vary widely; they start at 2.50 euros for a cup of regular filtered coffee and go up to just under 5 euros for a Kännchen of Café Crème. Breakfast entrees include pancakes for 5.90 euros and “any-time-of-the-day” warm apple strudel with vanilla sauce for 4.50 euros. Daily lunch specials average 8.50 euros. Soups and salads are also available.
Information: Telephone: (+49) (0) 611-305214; fax: (+49) (0) 611-301948; website: cafe-maldaner.de; email: cafemaldaner @t-online.de.
— Eric A. Brown