A coffee lover’s paradise
The Austrian capital has a true coffeehouse culture and these five locations will satisfy the pickiest coffee enthusiast around, as well as travellers with an eye for design.
The Viennese have a taste for good coffee and an entire culture build around it. One that is even recognized as Intangible Heritage by a local agency under UNESCO heritage. But the labels mean little until you grab a seat into one of these Vienna cafes and order their specialty. Whichever you choose, the city has inflicted its own unique style on it, from reputable cafes with flackbacks to regal times to fresh hotpots displaying modern Austrian design. Simply put, here’s where you have a sip on your next trip to Vienna:
Find it at: Kärntner Ring 17 | Andreas Poeschek by CC-BY-SA-2.0-at
Let’s start with the oldest café on the city’s famous Ringstrasse, a place open back in 1861 and one of the most popular Vienna cafes. Take a seat into this classic and elegant venue and enjoy not only great coffee but also a variety of fresh pastry and a wide range of teas. Breakfast is a delight too, with a dedicated menu full of healthy options with local flavour.
If watching the street life is not enough entertainment, there’s a selection of international newspapers but cultural events also seem to prefer to make Café Schwarzenberg their home: exhibitions, concerts, book readings or piano recitals are all on their schedule. It still is one of the few places to uphold the atmosphere of a classic Viennese café.
Find it at: Herrengasse 14
Get immersed into a local fairytale setting inside Palais Ferstel. One of the most iconic Vienna cafes dates back to 1876 and it shares the striking architecture of the building it calls home. Arched ceilings, imposing chandeliers, high windows, period paintings and a grand piano set the mood at Café Central. Life-like figurines will welcome you in and take you to times past that still promote the city’s elegance.
Its cups of coffee are said to have attracted famous names like Sigmund Freud, Leo Trotzki or Peter Altenberg, so if the meeting of the minds is a concept you appreciate, you can still drop by to meet people of all ages who enjoy a good cup of coffee and local cuisine.
Find it at: Philharmoniker Strasse 4
Yet another place that will make you feel like royalty is this café inside the Sacher Hotel, right across the street from the Opera House. Opulent furniture, wine-coloured velvet sofas all around, a conservatory that becomes an open terrace during the summer – and the welcoming décor is not even the best thing about Café Sacher. Besides the strong coffee, you can also treat yourself to the famous and delicious Sachertorte. You must have heard of the popular chocolate cake and apricot jam desert beloved by Emperor Franz Josef and here you can enjoy it in its original recipe.
Located within one of the most famous Art museums in the world, the Kunsthistorische Museum Vienna (Art History Museum), this café has the perfect setting for all lovers of Art who want to take a coffee break next masterpieces from Rubens, Caravaggio, Velázquez, Albrecht Dürer or Hieronymus Bosch (to name only a few).
We recommend to enjoy your breakfast in the beautiful dome every Sunday from 10 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. Various delicacies are served to the table on a three-tiered platter such as gravlax salmon, homemade fruit salad, Gugelhupf ring cake and many more .
Last and most likely most impressive, the Gloriette is one of the more unique Vienna cafes. First of all, it’s a little further from the rest, located on the Schönbrunn estate. Initially a “Temple of Fame” envisioned as the crowning tough to the Baroque ensemble, the remodelling finally saw the building become a café with a spectacular terrace. The imposing arch lines with sculptural trophies forms a stunning backdrop to any morning coffee and the city is in sight through the large windows. Undoubtedly the best place in Vienna to sip a coffee and enjoy delightful chocolates.
If you ever find yourself walking the same streets as Empress Sisi or Sigmund Freud, now you know where to start your day. Each one of these Vienna cafes have a story to share with a cultural traveller, but also offer proper coffee and a sublime setting for your holiday Instagrams. All the while you take in the history of this charming city. If you want more, remember to check back for our Vienna Glam Guide – a selection of travel tips and itineraries for stylish tourists.