Visiting several coffeehouses is a must when you’re in Vienna. These traditional coffeehouses are cafes with good coffee and relaxing atmospheres — places to enjoy cakes and small drinks with friends or to sit alone and read for hours.
Vienna coffeehouses are said to date back to the 17th-century Ottoman wars when Turkish invaders supposedly left behind bags of coffee by the city gates, and this abundance of coffee brought about the coffeehouse. Others say a spy from Istanbul on the payroll of the Royal Court opened the first kaffeehaus. Either way, coffee and cafe culture are here to stay in this beautiful city.
Coffeehouses to Visit
So much goes on in these coffeehouses, and visitors won’t want to miss out all that awaits them once they step in and enjoy the good coffee and the luxurious or sometimes simple surroundings. Waiters and waitresses will greet you with “sir” and “madam,” and you’ll feel as though you were swept back into a forgotten world. Maybe order a melange, a milky coffee and a butter pastry.
But because there are so many coffeehouses in this city to choose from, over 90, which ones should you enjoy? The following are some of the best, and they won’t disappoint. Enjoy.
Landtmann. This popular cafe, which attracts business people and tourists, has a nice interior and is located in one of the most attractive parts of the city, so you really should check it out. You’ll find larger-than-normal tables and an elegant and mellow atmosphere.
Alt Wien. Younger people, particularly students, love this cavernous coffeehouse. On the walls, there are posters of shows and exhibitions, which you’ll enjoy if you’re artistically inclined. The bar food is quite good, especially the ham and eggs.
Eiles. Actors from the local theatres frequent this spot in the Josefstadt district, with its authentic sense of old Vienna. At lunch, you can enjoy a good meal along with your coffee.
Frauenhuber. This elegant corner cafe invites you in with classic Thonet chairs and marble-top tables. Try homemade pastries and traditional Viennese dishes.
Central. Grand and well-known, this cafe is popular with tourists and for its gorgeous cakes. With high ceilings and interesting 1876 architecture, you’ll be able to rest and enjoy yourself for a while. Try the flavoured coffees, because some of them are quite good.
Hawelka. The uninviting, slightly shabby exterior is part of its charm, so keep going and enter this comfortable cafe. The interior was designed by a brilliant designer in the 1930s and is still pretty much the same. Order the Buchteln, which are dough dumplings filled with sweet jam and topped with powdered sugar.
Diglas. This classy, cosy and elegant shop offers good meals and tasty cakes from their own bakery. You can also read national and international newspapers and journals if you like.
Sacher. This coffeehouse is part of the world-renowned Hotel Sacher and is part of the Viennese coffeehouse tradition. The Original Sacher-Torte is perhaps the most famous chocolate cake in the world, and it’s delicious. If you visit in summer, the terrace opens facing the Opera house.
Griensteidl. Unwind here after a long day, but first take a look at the gorgeous evening sky and the green and gold Hofburg cupola. This is a sight you won’t want to miss.
Kleines. This tiny spot is perfect if you’re looking for something typically Viennese. It’s nearby some very fine restaurants, which you can go to after you enjoy this evocative place.
Schwarzenberg. Dine here before or after a musical performance at the Musikverein or the Konzerthaus. Food is excellent, and at night a pianist and a fiddler entertain guests.
Wortner. This neighbourhood place is intimate and historical, with an inviting fountain and garden outside. The atmosphere is enjoyable, and the food is good.
Another great thing about Vienna coffeehouses is that workers don’t mind if you stay all day, even if you only order one cup of coffee, and they’ll bring you water to drink, too.
About the Author: Sahiba Gavaskar loves coffee, cafe culture and travelling. For travel information, she checks out expedia.co.in.