What comes to your mind when you think of Vienna? Vienna has quite the reputation for its infamous Kaffeehäuser and how much I love these places. There is no time I am in the City without taking a break and escaping in one of the many Kaffeehäuser around town.
In my life I have already seen quite a few places around the world and each one had something I loved. Traveling and seeing other cities makes you appreciate the beauty at home that became so common over the years. A few years back I thought Vienna was this old boring city – ok I was sixteen and didn’t realize how great this city is. After my share of time abroad I started to see this city in another light. I don’t wanna say that the places I have been we’re bad, not at all, but I missed certain things that you can only find in Vienna, and I will always miss them. One of these things I missed the most, were the infamous Viennese Kaffeehäuser. Kaffeehaus means Coffee House. No Starbucks can replace a hundred year old tradition like we have in Vienna. There is this atmosphere when sitting in a Viennese Kaffeehaus that I yet haven’t found anywhere else around the world.
After a shopping spree with your best friend, an afternoon with your mum or to end a cultural day at a museums, you choose one of the many Kaffeehäuser to make the day perfect. You settle into your place and take in the architectural beauty that remind us of an imperial Vienna. And then comes the best part: taking a look at the various cakes and desserts presented.
Will it be a classic – the famous Sachertorte? A delicious chocolate cake with apricot marmalade filling. My absolute favorite and must-have on every birthday! Or maybe a specialty of the house? There are so many cakes to choose from and each one looks delicious.
From time to time I like to try new variations, but yeah on a rainy day there is no better cure to make you happy than a Sachertorte. You have made the difficult choice of your cake, now you get a look at the coffee card. There is a reason Vienna is famous for its Kaffeehäuser and it is not only the heavenly cakes. They just know how to make great coffee. My favorite coffee is Cappuccino. But boy is it good to try out some more uncommon variations. You have to know in Vienna you don’t just order coffee, you choose between a kleiner Brauner (Espresso), Wiener Melange (extended Espresso with foamed milk), Cappuccino, Verlängerter, Kaffee Verkehrt, Salon Einspänner, Pharisäer, Advokaat, just to name a few. By the way, some of them are made with alcohol.
My top five Kaffeehäuser in Vienna
These are my go to Coffee Houses in Vienna. There are so many more, that are at least as good. The choice was not easy.
Demel Kohlmarkt 14,
+43 (0) 1 53517170
So this is probably one of the most famous Kaffeehäuser in Vienna, next to Café Central and of corse the Sacher Café (that is not on this list). Situated on the most expensive shopping street in Vienna between the most exclusive boutiques, which also defines the high prices. But it is definitely worth passing by. They make amazing window decoration entirely made of things you can eat. In summer a little window is open and you can grab your home-made ice cream, which is delicious. And it is definitely worth entering Café Demel. First thing you see is the display of your dreams. Cakes, cakes and more cakes! And once you found the force to take you gaze from the savoring cakes you will notice the next room filled with chocolate and all sorts of sweets. This place is truly heaven for every person with a sweet tooth out there. Once you have examined every delicious sweet that is so proper displayed to make sure you don’t miss them and you thought you have seen it all, you will get a look at this breathtaking architecture. A place to truly dream. And don’t miss the show kitchen at the end. This is where the magic happens! You can look at every step the confectioners make to create these amazing cakes and sweets.
2. Café Central
Café Central and Café Sacher are probably the most touristy Kaffeehäuser in Vienna. But I really like Café Central. Love going there with my best friend. It is a very traditional Kaffeehaus with its share of famous visitors. Back in the time it was the go to place for Viennas Intellectual scene, Sigmund Freud was a regular at Café Central. People played chess, read their papers and held heated discussion the whole day long with only ordering one coffee. Still today you can sit in a Viennes Kaffeehaus with your newspaper and your coffee and even after hours not moving, nobody will send you away (maybe at the very touristy places, but otherwise we are very relaxed about this here in Vienna). Back to Café Central. I wanted to try something new and not always order my Cappuccino. I ordered the Café Central coffee: double Espresso with apricot liqueur and whipped cream. It was quite strong, was a funny afternoon. And as a cake I chose the Sissi Krapften. It is a variation of a normal Punschkrapfen with violas. A Punschkrapfen (punch cake) is a typical Austrian pastry. It is cake with fine rum flavor and normally with a pink icing, delicious.
In the back you can see a painting of Kaiser Franz-Josef and his beautiful wife Kaiserin Elisabeth (Sissi).
Café Gerstner used to be the K. u K. Hofzuckerbäcker, which means they made the pastry for our former King and Kaiser. Situated on a big shopping street in the old city of Vienna. Recently a new shop opened right next to the Opera. On the main floor you can buy all sorts of sweets and delicacies. On the second floor you have a cosy little restaurant and the Schlumberger sparkling bar (you can drink sparkling wine there). The original site of Gerstner is much more traditional. In summer I enjoy taking a seat outside and watch the people passing by doing their shopping.
4. Café Schwarzeneberg
Café Schwarzenberg Kärntner Ring 17, 1010 Vienna +43 (0) 1 512 89 98 Schwarzenberg Café is another very traditional Kaffeehaus in Vienna. The waiters still wear black suits and will always greet you. This coffee-house is situated close to the embassies. Their cakes are delicious and they also serve traditional Austrian food. If you are lucky even a pianist will play on the piano in the coffee. Schwarzenberg Café offer a Katerfrühstück after a big ball. And by ball I actually mean a dancing ball with big gown and everything, we still have them in Vienna and are worth trying out at least once in a lifetime – a night to feel like a princess. A Katerfrühstück is the breakfast you need after a night of dancing and partying. Kater means hangover in German, so this is a hangover breakfast.
5. Haas & Haas tea house
Haas & Haas Stephansplatz 4, 1010 Vienna +43 (0) 1 512 26 66 Last but definitely not least is the Haas & Haas tea house. They sell their own tea and have a big shop where you can find for every taste. They also have a little, cosy Kaffeehaus with a great brunch menu. Here I had the american breakfast with ham and eggs, fries, baked beans, vegetables and then pancakes. Sooo good. Haas & Haas is situated right behind the cathedral Stephansdom in the center of Vienna. Perfect to start a day in this beautiful city.
I wish you a lot of fun discovering my favorite cafés and try all the delicious cakes.
kisses, the brunettes