Vienna’s kaffeehäuser or coffee houses is to the city what English pubs are to London. Be it grand boulevards or cosy corners, the Viennese coffee house has become an attraction unto itself, offering locals and tourists alike the change to savour the city, one delicious coffee sip at a time. Ahead, a look at 6 notable coffee houses in Vienna where people have gathered for many decades to linger over a slice of cake, debate society’s hottest topics and of course, enjoy Viennese cafe in all it’s glory.
At Café Sperl coffee is served in a fancy silver tray, along with a glass of the purest of tap waters straight from the Alps. The café has maintained its original décor since 1880 and some say it was Hitler’s favourite hang-out place, close to the Academy of Fine Arts who famously turned down his admission.
Founded in 1873 the Landtmann will present you with the finest European patisserie. The dining room has a magical atmosphere with booths covered in velvet and immaculate cloths covering the tables. Along the room there are small abat-jours giving it an intimate look and you can help yourself to a newspaper as in most of the finest coffee houses. The menu reads like long epic a poem, but if you can’t make up your mind the apfelstrudel won’t disappoint. The Landtmann also offers a variety of coffees from the Kleiner Schwarzer (Espresso) to the Eiskaffee (a coffee with ice cream).
This is another one of your typical Viennese coffee house with arched ceilings and live piano in the evenings. The small lamps and the dark wooden panels will make you feel like you’re in somebody’s living room right in the city centre. You’ll be within walking distance from Stephansplatz and St. Stephen’s Cathedral, one of the city’s most recognizable buildings while relishing over a variety of colourful cakes and a nice cup of coffee.
This café hosts regular literary readings and has been serving generations since 1899 with Gustav Klimt and Otto Wagner amongst notable customers. The café is known for its simple design spreading along a corner in the Operngasse near the grand Vienna State Opera. The seating plan offers table booths which are great for small groups, and tables al fresco great for people watching.
Here you will have more chances of mixing with the locals. This is probably one of Vienna’s smallest cafes but definitely the one with most character. Its chairs reach out to the middle of Franzikanerplatz, an intimate pedestrian square with a beautiful fountain surrounded by mediaeval monastery and a church. Perfect for a late breakfast on a sunny day.
Your trip won’t be complete without a visit to Café Central for a slice of sacher torte, the world’s most famous cake – so they say. Waiters in bow ties, elegant arched ceilings from which chandeliers hang, plus original artworks, we can’t think of a more elegant setting to enjoy your coffee and cake, so it comes as no surprise that Café Central has catered for a great number of artists, writers and intellectuals throughout the decades. Nowadays you’ll find the odd Viennese guy trying to write his novel, pretending not to be bothered by the crowds of tourists wearing Berghaus windbreakers and cameras around their necks.