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“Nice typical German Cafe Restaurant”

Residenz Cafe & Restaurant
Ranked #17 of 156 Restaurants in Weimar
Price range: US$5 - US$26
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Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast, Reservations
Description: The History of the Residenz-Cafe The Residenz-Cafe has an over 160-year-old tradition in Weimar. This makes it the oldest remaining coffeehouse of Weimar. Although the history of coffeehouses in Weimar, began 100 years prior to it’s founding, the history of the Residenz-Cafes and more specifically its rooms reaches back closest into this historic time, as well as the beginnings of the Classical Age in Weimar. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s first residence in Weimar, from 1776 – 1777, was located directly behind the Residenz-Cafe in the adjoining building. His one time sitting room is now used by our guests and is known as the “Goethezimmer” (Goethe Room). Court Master Pastry Chef, August Emil Theodor Ißleib, founded the Residenz-Cafe on the 7th of November 1839. This advertisement was taken out in the Weimar Wochenblatt (weekly paper) to announce its Grand Opening: “I wish to announce, to the honorable public, that due to my establishing myself as a pastry chef, I am opening a business on the 7th of November. I genuinely hope that many of you will visit my place of business and honor me with your many orders.” Along with the cafe August Ißleib served simultaneously as the Grand Duke’s Court Master Pastry Chef. It is important to understand that during this time, only the very best Masters in their fields would serve in this manner. Additionally, there was an agreement between the court and the Residenz-Cafe, in which the new Hauptwache (headquarters of the town’s defense units) was supplied with warm beer, as soon as the temperatures dipped below 10°C, and this was paid for by the Grand Duchess. August Ißleib’s son, Karl Wilhelm Gustav, took over the business after his father’s death. At this time the coffeehouse was interiorly designed in the Wiener Stil (Viennese-style) and was already a popular meeting place for Weimar’s art scene. The historical painter Friedrich Martersteig also frequented the Cafe. W. Schulte vom Bruhl gave an account of this in his 1918 autobiography, “Sechs Jahrzehnte” (Sixty Years). “… I often went together with Martersteig, who was still making a name for himself as the theater director of the larger Musentempel, in the coffeehouse of Ißleib. Here, we often met with Rudi von Milde, the younger of two singing sons of the older Milde; who was a singing legend of the court theatre, and drank Cognac abundantly…” Following the death of Ißeib there were many different proprietors: 1886 Master Pastry Chef J. M. Bauer 1887 – 1893 Court Master Pastry Chef Bertram Oberdorster, who subsequently established a cafe in Schillerstraße (Schiller Street) 1894 Master Pastry Chef Brinkmeier 1895 – 1902 Master Pastry Chef Eduart Kampf, who afterwards opened the “Cafe Kaiser” 1903 – 1905 Master Pastry Chef Paul Kaiser On January 8th, 1906 Master Pastry Chef Alfred Schmidt, took over the Residenz-Cafe and ran the cafe until 1945, nearly 40 years. During his era the Residenz-Cafe would be interiorly redesigned and refurbished. First the “Wintergarten” (conservatory) was expanded and a terrace on the upper floor was created. Along with this change Schmidt arranged the upper floor, true to original Biedermeier style. He also redesigned the terrace in front of the main entrance. It was during this time that the Residenz-Cafe truly began to bloom. In 1922 Ilja Ehrenburg was sitting here and observed: “…dignified citizens with high standing collars and the twits of the local college (Bauhaus) in something like constructivistic blouses…” There is also an anecdote regarding Marlene Dietrich. Before she became famous, the actress studied music, from 1918 to 1921, in Weimar. Even following her studies, she frequently returned to the Cafe: “She and her friends had come to the Residenz-Cafe for ice cream, and they were unable to scrape together the hundred thousand or million they needed for their tab (inflation was at an all time high). A girlfriend was able to settle the bill with a dollar; Dietrich, however, was about to leave her gold watch as a deposit.” When Alfred Schmidt died in the summer of 1945, a temporary caretaker was appointed until the business could be closed down completely. On December 31st, 1948 Master Pastry Chef Amse reopened the cafe under the name “Haus Resi” (House Resi). He ran the private business only for a short time. In 1949 it was taken over and converted to a “volkseigener Betrieb” (nationally-owned enterprise) by the Handelsorganisation, HO, (a nationally run organization which managed all restaurants and supermarkets in the GDR) and it was run by different restaurant managers. The HO kept the name “Resi” and in the early ‘60s it was renovated and reopened to the public as a “Lesecafe” (reading cafe) containing national and international newspapers, magazines and books. In the late ‘60s the cafe was completely renovated; through which, the original design was completely lost. An article in the TLZ on March 25th, 1989 discussed how the previous renovations literally removed a large portion of distinctive coffeehouse atmosphere. In the last 30 years “Resi” has become the favorite cafe for many students of the Music Academy and the University for Architecture and Civil Engineering (today Bauhaus-University). Once, in the newspaper, it said: “The largest reading room of Weimar’s universities can be found in ‘Resi’”. Many of our earlier regulars are still raving about the unforgettable Mardi Gras events that took place during the GDR times. However, when the HO was dissolved so was “Resi”; it was closed in June of 1991. In 1992 the house would be laboriously and elaborately renovated and interiorly re-designed. On the 5th of October 1992 it would be reopened under its original name, Residenz-Cafe and is being run by a small corporation from Wurzburg. This however, has nothing to do with a letter that Johann Wolfgang von Goethe wrote to his wife in 1808: “… at the same time I do wish for a pair of Wurzburger…”(in German when speaking of people from a particular city or country the ending –er is often added to the town, city or country). Then he was speaking of his favorite wine, the “Wurzburger Stein”. After it’s re-opening the Cafe was almost immediately a favorite meeting place in Weimar. Students of all ages, politicians, architects, tourists, business travelers and many others once again meet in “Resi” and enjoy it for its ambiance, which truly makes the Cafe world famous. Here is a short list of prominent guests, who have signed or left short messages in our Guest Book since 1992: Hanna Schygulla, Lew Kopolew, Otto Sander, Dieter Hildebrandt, Gerhard Schroder, Michael Nyman, Gunter Jauch, Wolfgang Thierse, Marla Glen, Udo Lindenberg, Leander Hausmann. In 1999, as Weimar was celebrating its year as Cultural City of Europe, “Residenz-Cafe” celebrated its 160-Year anniversary with a book entitled: “Resi – Das Residenz-Cafe – Weimars altestes Kaffeehaus” (“Resi –The Residenz-Cafe –Weimar’s oldest Coffeehouse”). The authors, Ulrike Sebert and Karen Schroder, describe in the, well-illustrated, entertaining, 91-page book the 160-year history of Weimar’s Coffeehouse. This book is available in the Residenz-Cafe and many of Weimar’s bookshops.
Reviewed 26 May 2017

This Restaurant is between the Market Place and the Schloss and thankfully for us it is open on a Monday night (most of the really popular ones close on a Monday to recover from the weekend). We had a couple of small beers, 2 mains Pork Medallions wrapped in Bacon and a couple of Jägermeister to round off the meal; all in for less than 40 Euros

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Thank David K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Residenz-Cafe, Manager at Residenz Cafe & Restaurant, responded to this reviewResponded 13 June 2017

Thank you very much for your message. Hope to see you back one day. Have a nice summer.

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4 - 8 of 171 reviews

Reviewed 26 November 2016

My friend and I found this place whilst looking for somewhere to eat one evening when visiting Weimar. Copious quantities of beer followed up by two starters and two mains clocked up fifty euros or thereabouts, which we were quite happy with. Food was good - typical of the region and well presented. Thanks guys.

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Thank NGB_May2007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Residenz-Cafe, Manager at Residenz Cafe & Restaurant, responded to this reviewResponded 29 November 2016

Thank you for your visit!

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 October 2016

Came here one evening for dinner. There were candles on the tables, it looked really good. This is an elegant restaurant that harks back to the good old days. I had the veal schnitzel, which was very tasty though not particularly large. Although well cooked I felt that slightly too much butter had been used in its preparation. Howevwer, I left feeling well satisfied. The prices are not extravagant: A large beer (Köstritzer dark ale is recommended) was just 3.60 euros, and the panna cotta dessert came to 4.50.

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Thank Makaris
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 July 2016

Our brief stay at this pension was very pleasant. Due to the high temperatures we were confined to the terrace, the menu and the kind staff, whilst enjoying the view of the schloss and park beyond. And this was not unpleasant at all! Its location just behind the tourist office and the music academy means it is a lively spot. Close to attractions and services.

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Thank Mar D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 January 2016 via mobile

Pretty solid breakfast for reasonable money. Nice athmosphere not only in the morning.....you should try to avoid high season because it is packed with tourists..... Make a reservation or be just lucky. Would recommend it for breakfast and drinks in evening. Food for dinner is ok but there are better places on Weimar to have dinner.

Thank Martin F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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