Schanigarten is an Austrian term for a coffeehouse or other establishment setting up tables and seats on the sidewalk. Originally, the term referred only to Viennese coffeehouses, but now the expression is used in other parts of Austria and for other types of establishments like bars and restaurants.

Unlike normal Gastgärten (guest areas), the customers actually sit on public property. The first authorization for a Schanigarten was given in 1750 to coffeehouse owner Gianni Tarroni.

The origins of the term are unknown. One thread of speculation believes it stems from Giannis Garten. Another popular tale involves a Schani, an apprentice boy to a waiter, who was told to "Put up the garden!" He then dutifully obeyed the order by carrying chairs, tables and flower boxes outside.

In order to operate a Schanigarten, an establishment needs an authorization, which is valid from March 1 to November 15.


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