Today, while a lot of international coffee houses have popped up in most
metropolitan area including Vienna, the traditional Viennese coffee houses still exist. While most international coffee houses offer free WiFi and serve as alternative work spaces and study rooms, traditional Viennese coffee houses focus on their coffee quality and selection of sweet dishes and serve as interaction points. When visiting Vienna, we recommend you to take some time out of your busy schedule and visit some of the following traditional coffee houses and enjoy a good cup of coffee and cake rather than asking for the WiFi password.
The chosen spot for Thomas Bernhard, a famous Austrian writer, the Bräunerhof still continues to attract a number of writers. The quaint café also has live music every weekend with an orchestra playing classical music. The café gives visitors a true glimpse of the Viennese culture.
Café Sperl is one of the oldest cafés in Vienna, being built in 1880. The café used to host architects, artists, musicians as well as generals from the military, counting Archdukes Josef Ferdinand and Karl Ferdinand as their regulars. Today Café Sperl attracts Viennese people as well as tourists from around the world. Since the café has retained much of its interior, a visit is like a travel back in time through Viennese history. Café Sperl serves a variety of different coffees, the "Melange" probably being Vienna's favorite along with delicious Viennese cakes and pastries.
A café with a history, the Café Central's architecture reflects its journey through the centuries. Established in 1876, it was a hotspot for many famous figures such as Sigmund Freud, Leo Trotsky, Arthur Schnitzler and others who stopped by regularly to converse, have a cup of coffee and muse over their work here. While it was shut down during World War II, Café Central was renovated and reopened in 1986 and counts as one of Vienna's most traditional places. The building itself is worth every visit, outside as well as inside. Some people say, Café Central has the best Apfelstrudel in Vienna, do you agree?
Its close proximity to the Museum of Applied Arts in Vienna's first district, made it a favorite among Viennese composers, such as Johann Strauss and Franz Schubert back in the days. The café's interior still features much of the design from the 1950's, making visitors feel like they have stepped back Viennese history. Also Café Prückel is located on the corner of the city center, close to several theaters and concert halls, making it a perfect pre-dinner place before a performance in Vienna.
Another café that has its roots in Austrian history, Café Sperlhof was established in 1923 and became the meeting point for various Jewish artists. Today, Café Sperlhof still maintains its aged and quaint appearance. Moreover, visitors can find columns and stacks of board games, chess games and puzzles that can be played and enjoy while having coffee. Not surprisingly, this Café Sperlhof is usually crowded, particularly during weekends.
Counted among the oldest cafés on the Vienna Ringstrasse, Café Schwarzenberg is famed for the fact that its clientele consisted largely of businessmen instead of the usual artists and writers. The place still serves a strong cup of coffee and hearty Viennese meals that are perfect when you want to unwind after a busy day.
Opened in 1939 by Leopold and Josephine Hawelka, Café Hawelka is a labor of love, and was run by the dynamic duo until their deaths. The quaint café is located on a side street at Graben in the heart of Vienna, and was frequented by many critics, artists and writers such as Hans Weigel, Oskar Werner, Fredrich Torberg, Gerhard Ruhm and many more. The café's specialty is "Buchteln", a dessert which was originally made by Josephine. "Buchteln" are sweet rolls made of yeast dough, filled with jam. After Josephine's death in 2005, her son Gunther has continued to make them, using the same recipe.
Coffeehouses in Vienna don't just offer coffee, they offer a complete experience of Austrian and Viennese history and culture. From the furniture to the atmosphere and the environment, each coffeehouse has its own personality and clientele that frequent it. Take a few coffee breaks a day, sit back and relax over a "Melange", an espresso shot with lots of foamed milk, a Viennese specialty and some of Austria's best sweet dishes, such as Sachertorte, Apfelstrudel or Gugelhupf. If you love coffee as much as we do and are interested in the Viennese coffee culture, we recommend to participate in the Vienna Coffeehouse tour and learn much more about our rich coffee culture and visit some of the best and most traditional coffee houses in Vienna!
Keep calm and have a coffee!
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The 10 ultimate dishes to try in Vienna
- Top 10 activities in Vienna
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