Got tired of sightseeing? Need a break from roaming around the streets of Vienna? The best place to relax with your friends or family is at a coffeehouse where you can get your caffeine fix and enjoy a delicious piece of cake.
Without a doubt, coffee has a crucial role to play in our lives. We cannot imagine starting our day without a cup of coffee. But in Vienna, it is more than that; it is part of the fabric of social life. In 2011, UNESCO listed the coffeehouses in Vienna as Intangible Cultural Heritage.
When it comes to choosing the best coffeehouse in Vienna, it can be a time-consuming and dreadful task since there are hundreds of coffeehouses in the city.
If you want to visit a great coffeehouse in Vienna, here is our ultimate guide.
History of Coffeehouses in Vienna
During the 19th and 20th centuries, the coffeehouses were at their height of popularity. They become so famous that they were often a focal point for creativity and intellectual discussions. The oldest café can be dated back to 1683.
Vienna was not the pioneer of the coffeehouse culture, but it has developed a tradition like no other city. No doubt, coffeehouses are at their best in this beautiful city.
According to legends, Georg Franz Kolschitzky was the first citizen to get a license for serving coffee. However, the first coffeehouse was opened by Diodato, an Armenian spy.
Coffee Menu in Viennese Coffeehouse
Before we move on to the best places for coffee in the city, here are some of the most popular coffees served.
If you have ever been to the Viennese coffeehouse, you might have noticed how long their coffee menu is. You might come across names that you might not have even heard of before. Not to worry, we are here to help you.
- Verlängerter- it is espresso with hot water with milk on the side.
- Wiener Melange- this is served in a ceramic cup and is similar to a cappuccino.
- Franziskaner- this is like Melange but with cream rather than milk foam.
- Einspänner- this is a double espresso with whipped cream in a glass.
- Mokka- Viennese calls it espresso. It is an espresso with steamed milk and chocolate.
- Kleiner Schwarzer/Großer Schwarzer- translated as little brown one or large brown one, it is a single or double espresso served with a jug of milk or cream.
- Kaffee Verkehrt- it is similar to Latte Macchiato. In this coffee, you get more milk and less coffee.
- Kleiner Brauner- it is a single shot of espresso.
- Großer Brauner- this is a double shot of espresso.
- Eiskaffee- this is served only in summers and is a dessert drink. It is a cold coffee with vanilla ice cream topped with whipped cream.
Best Coffeehouses in Vienna
The coffeehouses in Vienna have come a long way. Though there are hundreds of traditional coffeehouses in the city, new places are also opening where anyone can spend hours working, eating cakes, chatting, reading paper or books, and of course, drinking coffee.
However, the most popular and must-visit coffeehouses are the traditional ones.
The oldest café in the city is Café Frauenhuber, opened in 1824. Back then, the coffeehouses were a common place for writers, artists, and thinkers to gather. Still, these are the places for people to hang out with their friends to discuss, read, talk, eat, and drink.
As far as traditional coffeehouses are concerned, you can find only male waiters wearing tailcoats. The interior of the coffeehouse incorporates finely upholstered sofas, chandeliers, and marble tables. Mostly, the tables are stacked with newspapers for entertainment.
1. Café Central
Without a doubt, the grandest coffeehouse in the city is Café Central. The interior of this place is amazing and breathtaking. You can see vaulted ceilings, white tablecloths, ruby red upholstered chairs, portraits of Elizabeth I, and Franz Joseph.
When you enter the café, you can see the complete cakes menu. This place is best known for its coffee and cake. Usually, you can find a line out the door.
2. Café Sacher
If you want to taste the original Sacher-Torte, Café Sacher is the right place to go. For those who don’t know, Sacher Torte is a chocolate cake. This café is situated in the Hotel Sacher. A fun fact about this hotel is that it was opened by Eduard Sacher, who was the son of the creator of Sacher-Torte, Franz Sacher.
Another great thing about this café is its interior. It will leave you in awe. The interior is splendidly elegant and class, it will make you feel like you are in the early 1900s. Unfortunately, it has a long queue. If you don’t like waiting in the line, you can head to the shop and buy the whole cake instead.
You can even see the guide for coffeehouses in Vienna having the best atmosphere.
3. Café Hummel
Another best traditional coffeehouse on the list is Café Hummel. Known for its Gulasch, the café is off the tourist track. You should definitely visit this beautiful café located in the 8th district. Though you will not see many tourists here, the place is filled with locals. You can see locals chatting with their friends, reading the newspaper, or eating. Another good thing about this café is their lunch, it is luscious and affordable.
4. Café Landtmann
Next on the list is Café Landtmann. It is a perfect place for enjoying a good cup of coffee for elders. You can even see some other locals and tourists enjoying delicious food and a hot drink. The café is popular because of its history and Viennese coffee tradition.
For those who want to enjoy true Viennese coffee tradition and that without a long waiting line, this place is the best option.
They offer traditional coffeehouse experience with a wide range of coffees and more than 30 cakes.
5. Café Sperl
Unlike other traditional cafés, women work in this café and the atmosphere is relaxing and less stiff. It doesn’t give a very touristy vibe, yet, it is splendid and gorgeous. The interior is spacious and features dark wood accents, marble tables, great upholstery, and large round windows. The coffee and cake here are beyond tasty.
6. Café Demel
The most attractive thing about this café is to get to see the art of making chocolate and cake. You can enjoy this art from the glass windows. Everything in this café is good. It is one of the most visited by place tourists. You can see a few locals in this coffeehouse.
7. Café Schwarzenberg
It is one of the oldest coffeehouses in Vienna. Café Schwarzenberg has always attracted the businessmen to enjoy a cup of coffee after work or read a newspaper in silence. Since its inception, nothing has changed, still, businessmen come to this place for coffee.
Not only this, but the café uses Fairtrade coffee beans that are sourced in Honduras. This is what brings a special and rich flavor to their coffee.
Moreover, how they serve the coffee will make you feel like royalty. The servers make sure you have a traditional coffeehouse experience. Coffee will be served on your tables on shiny silver trays with glasses of water and small stirring spoons.
Also, you can have a great breakfast with tempting dishes and sweet Viennese classics.
8. Süssmund Kaffeebar
Though this coffeehouse is new to the city, their coffee will blow your mind. The staffs are more like coffee sommeliers instead of baristas. They have extensive knowledge about the different roasts and profiles and will guide you to properly. This café offers drool-worthy coffees for everyone to enjoy.
The interior of the coffee bar is relaxing and comfy. The stripped-down décor with a sofa-style seat is perfect unwinding and watch the world go by. The place has a serene and laid-back vibe.
9. Balthasar Kaffee Bar
It is an amazing and minimalist coffeehouse with the main focus on coffee. The interior is eye-catching and appealing. You can see a simple color theme with grays, whites, and blues. To enhance the appearance, funky golden lampshades are used.
The best thing about this coffeehouse is cheerful, friendly, and attentive staff. This coffeehouse used the latest technologies for brewing coffee. This is why you can taste smooth and delicious coffee.
The menu of the coffee bar includes a broad collection of coffees like flat whites, espressos, and lattes. You can even try their buttery pastries, big chewy cookies, homemade cakes, and delicious sandwiches. It is perfect for starting your day or having lunch with friends.
Keep in mind this coffee bar doesn’t accept cards, so do have cash with you.
10. Café Espresso
This café opened its door in 2004 and it is popular because of its 1930s vibe. The café has a retro interior that will take you back in time. The pop-culture inspired art, red boots, and padded doors; everything is just fabulous.
It is one of the places that are open all hours. You can have a great morning espresso, succulent lunches, tasty late-night drinks.
For coffee aficionados, this place is heaven. Their specialty coffee menu will make you fall in love. It offers Viennese staples along with classics like carajillos, and vanilla lattes. When you visit this place, don’t forget to try their breakfast.
Tips for Choosing the Best Coffeehouse in Vienna
Here are some of the best tips for picking out a great coffeehouse.
One of the things that you need to focus on is the crowd in the coffeehouse. Your experience will depend on the café you choose. For instance, you want to enjoy a cup of coffee quietly, some coffeehouses don’t get a lot of traffic.
There are some coffeehouses that attract tourists only. If you don’t mind a crowd, you can go to places that are filled with people.
2. Reviews of the Coffeehouses
Another thing you need to consider is the reviews. We are living in a technologically advanced world where you can find all types of reviews for anything. You can read reviews about the coffeehouses on the internet to know what type of service they offer and what type of place it is.
Besides this, you can even search for the best coffeehouses near your area and then read the reviews.
Another thing that you need to pay attention to is the price range of the coffeehouse. There is a wide range of coffeehouses in the city, ranging from reasonable to expensive. Depending on your budget, you can choose the one that suits you the best.
If you are a tourist, keep in mind that you will have to carefully spend your money.
4. Ask for Recommendations
You can even ask for recommendations, your family, friends, neighbors, or colleagues. There might be someone you know who always knows the hippest place and famous café to go to. Keep in mind you can ask someone who has a similar taste like yours.
Don’t be afraid of telling them about the café you prefer, so they can easily recommend a coffeehouse based on your likes.
5. Quality of Food and Coffee
One of the most important factors to consider is the quality of food and coffee. It is extremely important for having an excellent experience that the food and coffee taste good. If the place uses high-quality ingredients, the flavor and taste will definitely be exceptional.
So, make sure the coffeehouse is famous for its taste.
6. Other Things You Should Focus On
There are some other factors that you need to consider the atmosphere of the place and amenities it offers. Some places are famous for their interior and environment and food is average.
A Final Word
Vienna is a beautiful place to visit and spend quality time with your loved ones. We hope this guide will help you choose the best coffeehouse you should visit when you go to Vienna.
Which coffeehouse will you visit first? Let us know in the comments below!